The past few weeks have been pretty rough on us.

Finding Positives in the Negative

I don’t want to downplay the genuine anguish of those fighting for their lives, those who have lost someone, the medical staff who put their own health at risk to serve, or those who are in economic distress. I grieve for the loss and pain sweeping the world right now. At the same time, I am intently focused on learning whatever I can from this experience. I’m looking for positives to cling to rather than anxiety about what might happen in the world. And here is what I have found.

  • We have fewer outside distractions and activities, which forces us to seek out simple pleasures in our day.
  • The whole family is at home more and we are spending more quality time playing and learning together. Since I’m now working from home, I sit at my computer daily with my kindergartner learning at my side.
  • We’ve made time outside a greater priority for ourselves, and it has really positive results for our mental health.
  • It’s much harder to get groceries than it was a few weeks ago. This is forcing us to be more conscious of what we use. We are finding more creative ways to use our resources and have gotten far less wasteful. Why did we not use more cloth napkins before??
  • We’ve seen a lot of neighborliness. I’ve seen posts daily on NextDoor and Facebook where people offer help to those without. Businesses have been donating their protective equipment to hospitals. Small artisan businesses are sewing masks for healthcare workers with donated fabric. When the world is crazy, we tend to think of our neighbor more.
  • We value our relationships more. Now that we can’t just hop in the car to go visit our friends and family, we think about them more often than ever. And so we adapt and create new ways to connect.

Finding the Balance

I’m in a really odd head space right now. I go back and forth between counting my blessings and grieving for those who are suffering so much. We really are so incredibly blessed! It’s difficult to know how best to best leverage those blessings for the benefit of our neighbors. The only way that I’ve found to stay sane is to try to keep these thoughts in balance.

I know it’s not healthy or helpful to spend my days wringing my hands over those who do not have the advantages that we do. But it is also not healthy or helpful for me to shrug off their pain while my family sits in our comfortable home eating from our full pantry. We must find ways to reach out to those with whom we can share from our abundance. Every day, but especially now. I must also recognize that I cannot save everyone. I am not in control and I cannot fix this situation.

Unless the LORD [had been] my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence. If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

Psalm 94:17-19

This is where I have to lean on my faith and trust in a God who is well-acquainted with our human grief. I do not have the answers for this crisis. I do not have the resources to feed everyone who is hungry or give money to everyone who has lost a job. But I do believe that I can trust in God to be in control while sharing the resources that I do have, and this is what is getting me through this anxious season.