Strange times…

These are certainly strange times we are living in. Social distancing, the media bringing 24/7 updates (or the latest buzz) about the virus to the masses. Questioning how much food and paper good supplies we need. How are you doing? How are you adapting to the sudden shift in our lives?

For our family, it’s not a tremendous change in that my husband and I both work from home. Frank has been that way for over a decade, and I have worked from home for the past two and a half years since moving to the Carolinas. We have found ourselves together most days for most of that time. My adult daughter also lives with us (today is her birthday, in fact — welcome to your 20’s!), but unlike many of my co-workers with young kids, this offers a welcome break in my day when she is around and we get to chat a bit.

What has been difficult for me these last few weeks is knowing I can’t hang out with my peeps. If you know me, you probably see me as super social. I am always going and doing with someone or another. I attend a bible study with a group of ladies on Friday mornings, I co-lead another one on Tuesday nights. In between, I schedule lunch dates, dinner dates, date nights with my hubby (and often other couples), game nights, etc. I seldom sit idle at home veg’d on the couch binging Netflix. I am a doer.

This social distancing has been hard on me. I am thankful for the technology of today because it’s helped me bridge the gap. I have used Facebook to keep up with how others are coping, Marco Polo to keep in touch with friends, and Zoom to keep our bible studies connected. But there’s something about being in the room with others — feeling the energy, the buzz of a great conversation or adventure in real life. I certainly look forward to when this craziness is behind us and we can come together once again.

In the meantime, it has given me time to ponder and pray. I have spent more time in the Word and in doing so I have found verses and words that have brought me comfort when everything in the world feels a little unstable.

My Friday ladies and I are reading Job right now. I love so many things about Job’s story. But in the early part (Job 2:11-13) when the first lot of tragedy strikes and Job is completely blind-sided and devastated, his friends, upon hearing the news, travel to see him. When they arrive and see the state he is in, they realize there are no words, and so they sit with him. For seven days and nights, they do nothing but sit beside him so he knows he is not alone.

I think it’s important in the bit of chaos we are experiencing right now that we don’t forget to be there for one another. We may not be able to gather together in person, but I encourage you to reach out to one another — maybe through one of the means I’ve mentioned above. Find away to let those you love and care about know you are still there with them — to sit and offer comfort even while we are apart.

I have also found a great deal of comfort in Romans 5: 1-5 (NLT) as well.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of underserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forard to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy spirit to fill our hearts with His love.

I don’t necessarily know God’s plans for us, but I know He brings together all things for His good and that trials strengthen my resolve and trust in Him and I have always been better for the experience. I have faith that this situation will be much the same in the end.

I don’t have many answers. I don’t know how long this period will last, or how my family, friends, or I will ultimately be affected. What I do know is that to worry about what I can’t know only borrows trouble, anxiety and fear and that won’t make the time pass any quicker or in better fashion. So, I choose to have hope and faith. A belief that if I do what is asked of me; stay inside, keep my distance, and wash my hands often, I will weather the storm and hopefully keep my health in tact. Perhaps more importantly, these steps will help protect those within and outside of my family that I love and care about as well.

I will continue to stay connected and not let myself spend too much time alone where my thoughts can creep in and take hold. I will continue to use modern technology to reach out and sit with others until we can spend time together again. And I will continue to take refuge in God’s Word. For He has given me both a command and a promise…

…be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

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