Before I had time to think, we were holed up together and uncertain of a time when normalcy would ever return. What a rude awakening.
Just days before, I was sitting in a hospital waiting to have a scheduled surgery. My husband and I were watching the news that morning as the virus was beginning to make its way into our country. It was before there was a guidance to cancel all elective surgeries. It was before there was a stay at home order. It was before my kids’ school closed. I was put to sleep and woke up to a different world.
It’s been two weeks since we’ve existed in the world like we always did: taking up space, going where we wanted, buying all the food we needed for the week, hugging the people we love. My surgery went well, but it confined me to the couch as I recover ever-slowly with four kids running circles around us as we try to make money, do schoolwork, maintain a 4.0 GPA in college (just me), keep a trace of sanity. Whenever the sun’s out, we make them run in it. Whenever we see a familiar face on the screen, we bask in the joy of seeing someone new that has been in our life for years but is physically inaccessible to us. Whenever there’s a moment of silence, we relish that we’ve made it this long together.
The word “Coronavirus” comes out of my kids’ mouths in their innocent voices, and it’s like it makes no sense. What world is this? Why is everything twisted and rearranged? Will we make it? I carry stress well most of the time, but lately, I don’t. I’m anxious in my gut thinking of people I love and like. And if I hear another sermon about it all I might barf. Or cry. Or fall asleep. I wasn’t prepared for any of this. I don’t think any of us were.
I crawled back into this space to write because this is what I know how to do. I know how to show up and deliver on eloquence and deep emotion that resonates with others. I have no idea how to do anything else when it comes to this virus. I feel paralyzed and exhausted, which is an oddity considering how little I have done for two weeks.
However, in the darkest days of my life, I showed up to God with a pen and said, “Tell me what to say.” Some of it felt like pulling a splinter from my skin. Sometimes it feels like gliding on a swing like a little kid being pushed by her daddy. It is a reassuring practice of finding freedom in a moment when I feel the most captive, most trapped, and most terrified.
You aren’t me. But we all have something that spiritually connects us. I think even for those of us who aren’t believers in Jesus know exactly what I mean. There are things that we do that connect us to unseen greatness. Passions, talents, skills. It’s like walking in shoes that were formed for our feet, doing something that feels to us like it’s in our skin and bones, molded into every fiber of us.
To tell you the truth, we have a lot of time while we wait. I invite you to join me in doing the things, the small things, that give you the most joy. The things that remind you of you. The things that connect you deeply.
I think you’ll see God. And if ever there were a time to want to see Him, I trust you know it’s now.