Of course by now, we are all hitting peak saturation with information, statistics, media coverage, and various people’s spin on the Coronavirus outbreak plaguing our planet at the moment. Personally, I’ve been tracking this thing for months, long before it hit the US. And have been watching with a twisted stomach as everything unfolds seemingly in slow motion. Maybe you’ve done the same or maybe you were blindsided when things started shutting down and suddenly, by law, we are no longer allowed to go about our daily business.
I’m not here to speculate on any part of this pandemic nor am I going to try to comfort you. My attempt at either would be fruitless. But one thing I will do is commiserate. And this comes back to my life with cancer.
I’ve had the blessing of sharing my cancer story in many places and with many people. One thing that I think surprises people when I retell the story of that time is when I tell them that the main thing that I struggled with over the course of my illness was the loss of control over my life.
Or maybe more than that, the shattering of the illusion that I was in control of my life.
I see a lot of my friends really struggling with all of this and I’m not sure they can really put into words why. But I think I know. We are realizing collectively that the life and lifestyle that we’ve built for ourselves, no matter how steady and prudent we are, is incredibly fragile. That it can be lost in the blink of an eye. That we aren’t ultimately in control of as much as we would have thought.
Friends, that is a hard realization to come to! And it’s one I wrestled with a good long time while I was ill. It took a different form -not being able to care for my children, being physically incapable of even the most mundane things, not being able to drive – it was a loss of the physical control I thought I had.
Now listen, I’m not a control freak. At all. I’m easygoing and go with the flow and am a complete type B (or further down the alphabet even!) so it shocked me when I came to realization that control was really my issue here. But that realization was also what helped me to step back and reflect on life a little differently.
It allowed me to rest and rely on God in a completely different way and I suddenly didn’t have to fight Him for the steering wheel. He has it, I can let go.
All of us are fighting the same mental battle. On one hand, we are being told to simply stay at home. And that’s a good thing! So why is this hard? I would suggest that maybe it’s because suddenly we don’t get to decide where we can go, when, and with whom. You don’t get a choice to work or not, that’s likely been decided for you. And while Eric and I were able to have months to prep and plan for homeschooling, suddenly you are thrown the responsibility of educating your children with no forewarning. And your children are dealing with the weight of all this change too. We didn’t get to decide any of these things. The decision has been made for us and we don’t have any say in the matter.
My hope here is not to add frustration to the situation, but to add some clarity for why we are feeling the way we are. As someone who likes to research and as someone who enjoys encouraging people, it’s been hard for me to bite my tongue and just sit back and watch but I felt there was no need to add to the white noise, theories, mass placating, and all the wise and good things people are sharing. And the memes. The memes have been gold!
But when I hit the realization that we are now collectively feeling what I struggled for so long to figure out and work through, I thought maybe it’s time to speak up.
There’s good news! As things change so quickly and the world is in utter chaos, God doesn’t change. His word never changes. He is the only true, steady force in the universe. And that’s a comfort to me.
Honestly, I’m a nobody that doesn’t know anything about anything. So why you’re even here, I don’t know, but I’m glad you are! And my prayer is that we don’t waste this quarantine time. If you are a Christian, now’s the time to dig deep and grow in Him. If you are questioning where God is in all of this, now’s the time to wrestle with Him. If you’ve been resistant to the gospel, now is the time to open up. There’s no way to know if this is the end times, but sheesh this sure does feel biblical, doesn’t it?
Stay well, friends. And keep in touch with each other. We need each other now more than ever!