Knowing Peace in the Midst of COVID-19
Something about this just doesn’t feel real. For some reason, we have this sense of invincibility and permanence while on earth which, for the Christian, we know isn’t true by any means. I find myself at a loss to truly be able to describe the situation we are in but as I try to find the words, I’d love to just have a moment to share with you my week so far in social distancing and how I have been using this time to grow in my walk.
I should mention that I’m writing this blog post on the floor of my bedroom in my apartment where I have been for the better part of 1 week now and not my usual spot in a coffee shop near my home. I’ve only left for 2 days to go into work and during those days, I used my being out to run to the grocery store for things I may need while social distancing and staying home. I have been very fortunate to work in a space where I can work remotely from home and do what I can to contribute to flattening the curve. Of course I go outside to walk my dog and run to the store to get something I didn’t know I was missing. I like to think of myself as a fairly prepared and organized person but this week has shown me the little things about myself. The first thing being, I do love being at home despite the fact that I consider myself to be an extroverted person. I am an only child so I know how to be alone and entertain myself be it through YouTube videos or books. Of course my dog keeps my company so that has been wonderful. But I also realize that I genuinely enjoy having time to myself and doing things I enjoy which is keeping up with my home and reading books and/or discovering new music. Secondly, I also have learned that in this time, I really having to decide whether I believe that I have nothing to fear or not. Of course this isn’t to say being scared or uncertain is a sin or anything but I do find that I have had the opportunity to steward my time better and spend a larger portion of it with the Lord. Whether it’s finding a new devotional to follow online for my morning time or deciding to read the Bible in 6 months with one of my friends from church. Each day, we have been able to read the daily reading and talk about what we learned. We are reading for comprehension and knowledge, this is by no means a deep study. But I have enjoyed getting to know the Bible more in depth! Thirdly, I also notice how much money I spend. Sometimes you don’t notice how much you’re spending until you have your home as the basis of where you spend the majority of your day and you begin to count how often you leave your home to spend money when you could have just cooked for dinner or read the book that’s been on your bookshelf for months instead of getting a brand new one. Things like this have made me more aware of my habits. Lastly, this time has also made me aware of how much I am looking forward to marriage. Now before you jump to conclusions, no I am not dating or talking to anyone. Nor do I believe that marriage is a promise (because it’s not). But I do have a hope in the Lord that He will allow me the opportunity to get married one day. I do not despise my singleness like I used to in previous years but I do find that I look forward to having someone to talk to and share moments with. I know marriage is way more than this but I notice I have a deep longing for the little things like this one day. When I tell you that this pandemic has made me way more self-aware, I truly mean it.
One thing I have decided to do while social distancing is delete all of the apps (except for YouTube) that I spend an enormous amount of time on. Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, Facebook, etc all have been deleted from my phone. Why you ask? Well I didn’t want to spend this time just scrolling on my phone when I could be reading the bible, journaling, catching up on the books I’ve told myself I would read, and spend time with my dog since I am home now. While I do spend time on YouTube, I have decided to rethink the way that I use the app. Instead of binge watching ultimately meaningless videos, I am choosing to use it to keep up with the news and listen to current events. I have also begun using it to listen to my favorite podcasts and daily devotionals. I didn’t know that it was such a helpful tool until I decided to rethink the way I approached it. It has been incredible to be honest and I highly recommend anyone else who has thought about doing that to do so and noticed how much of your time has opened up to you as a result. Something else I have even thought of doing is redoing my apartment. Now I don’t necessarily have new decorations to put up but I have been thinking about changing the aesthetic of my apartment. I have been saving up to get some other sustainable living products and décor so I can make my space more practical as well as cozy to be in. Before, my living space has just been a tool to use to sleep at night and do ministry out of on a weekly basis. But now, it is becoming more of my dwelling place and I never thought I would spend so much time in my apartment but I have been as of late and I am just starting to notice all the little ways I could be making use of my space. Now that I can’t go to the gym in my complex since the amenities have closed due to COVID-19, I can use my den area to do at home workouts. I can rearrange my kitchen to look more aesthetic and accessible for when I am cooking. Little things like this that I never would have noticed until social distancing. It makes me excited to think of the possibilities and I hope that as you are staying home and dwelling in your living spaces more often, you can take the time to do the same to notice how you can make your house a little bit homier.
Another thing I am noticing is how my creativity is starting to come back as my imagination runs wild again! I have received a fun “finish the story” journal and it has caused me to stretch my imagination as I try to finish a whole page worth of a story just from one line. It has been so fun to do these prompts and I honestly think that this time spent in social distancing has been a huge blessing for me. Now please hear me and know my heart: I am not saying that this world-wide health pandemic has been a blessing but the heart posture-shift that the Lord has allowed me to experience because of it has been. Have you noticed that there is a foundational difference in the way Christians have reacted to this pandemic vs non-Christians? I hope you have! Because we know that God works out all things, even bad and scary things, for our good and His glory. I have been able to spend more time with my Father than I have encountered in a long time and it has allowed me to slow down and look up more often. I have more spontaneous worship moments throughout my day now than I have ever before and I have been enjoying just getting to know Him deeper. I cannot thank the Lord enough that He has chosen me when so many people in this world will not choose Him. Something I’d like to offer you is not only a reminder of Truth but also some hope as we get into the thick of this as a country.
Our God has won!
We have not been given the spirit of fear!
Use social distancing as an opportunity for closeness with the Father!
Finally, remember this: you have an eternal home that is not here but is far better than we could ever imagine. I know things are hard right now and we are a bit on edge. But remember that when your peace feels disturbed, remind your anxiety and your worry and your impatience who your God is. This is a daily battle for me, I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. No this is not just something that goes away without the intervention of the Lord but it is an invitation to trust His Word more than our feelings. And o how sweet it is to trust in Jesus. Just to take Him at His Word. Just to rest upon His promise. Just to know, thus saith the Lord!