Let me be super honest with you. Right after all this coronavirus mess started (well after it became REAL), I had a big ole meltdown. It was the Saturday before the governor of Louisiana issued our stay at home order.
Please, no chastising, but initially I was one of those who thought, “Oh this is just another flu. And I’ve already had the flu this year, so NBD.”
But things started to shift rapidly and the coronavirus got serious.
Schools were shutting down left and right. The stock market tanked. Toilet paper, bread and water, gone.
Then, there I was, sitting alone in my adorable cottage. And fear consumed me.
What if I can’t work? (I travel and help teachers be better teachers. No school = no work.)
What if I lose all my money?
What if I can’t eat?
What if my parents get sick?
What if my renters can’t pay their rent?
What if this continues for months and I can’t see my friends or loved ones and I’m stuck in isolation?
And honestly, this list could go on and on.
I lost it. I caved to fear. I was afraid, sad and defeated which then shifted to anger. Anger directed toward myself. After all the ways the Lord has come through for me in crises, how could I so quickly abandon hope, trust and faith? What was wrong with me?!
I cried for a long while, and then just went to bed. Enough.
Luckily, I slept soundly through the night. And upon waking, pulled out my laptop for church. And I ended up in church for several hours. First with FUMC Minden, then Church Unlimited in Corpus Christi, then Saddleback with Rick Warren. And before I knew it, it was 1 pm, I was still in my bed. I had only had coffee and nothing to eat. But interestingly enough, I felt a new peace that passes understanding very similar to the day I filed for divorce nearly 10 years ago.
And I decided, in the middle of all this mess, I am only going to do today.
Because today, I can eat. I can pay my bills. My parents are healthy. I am healthy. I have a safe, adorable home to ride out this quarantine. And since we are not promised tomorrow anyway, why should I be consumed by the fear of what if?
And it was also this day, I realized what a gift this season could be. Never in our lives have we experienced such, and hopefully we never will again. Chuck Pierce has called this season a Divine Pause. I see it as a physical depiction of Psalm 23. My brother in law once explained a visual picture of lying down in green pastures… the Lord pressing our head into the grass to rest. You see, it wasn’t so long ago, I was forced into such a season. I didn’t want to rest. But due to some life-threatening surgical complications, I was forced to take a step back and lie in my own green pasture.
The Saturday I had a meltdown, I found myself saying some of the same things I said when I walked through my divorce and when I walked through my health crisis.
“Lord, give me back my life. I just want things to be normal again.”
“Lord, you saw this coming and you could have prevented it. Why are you letting this happen?! Fix it Jesus. Good grief. SNAP YOUR FINGERS AND LET’S BE DONE WITH THIS for cryin’ out loud.”
And yet in my divorce and in the middle of the coronavirus, rescue did not and is not coming quickly. But guess what? IT DID COME AND IT WILL COME.
So while we wait for resolution, for the quarantine to be lifted, for our nation and friends to recover, why not relish in a season of rest and respite? One we’ve never seen and will hopefully never see again.
Sleep in a little later.
Take a nap.
Go on a leisurely long walk. Get some sunshine each day.
Call friends and loved ones you haven’t connected with in a while.
Love others well (even from a distance).
Read a book.
Write a book.
Weed your garden.
Weed your life.
I’m certain rough days are still ahead. Yet, I’m also optimistic about our future. I’m convinced SO MUCH GOOD will arise from these ashes. We will emerge better in ways I suspect we can’t even fathom right now. I will not allow fear to consume me any longer.
So, while I wait, I will rest in the hope of Jesus in my heart. I will do today and the things I can presently control. I will give thanks for the food, water and toilet paper I have in my pantry. 😉 I’m praying without ceasing for a rapid end to the virus, for those who have lost loved ones, for those who are sick and for the rest of us who hurt. All while resting in this Divine Pause.
Will you join me in doing the same? <3