Three and a half weeks ago I officially started self-quarantine with my parents. I have felt a wave of different emotions, sometimes all in the same day.

Anxious, worried about the ones I love and wanting to check on them.

Angry that this kind of virus exists and is temporarily taking away our sense of normalcy.

Aware of my dependence on others and the extra limits many of us are experiencing.

Under those emotions is a grieving. It can’t easily be named, explained, or touched, at times. What we are living involves loss.

I’ve lost caregivers coming to help + give my parents and myself a break.

I’ve watched 3 trips I had planned get canceled or postponed.

We have lost —

the option to gather, go out to dinner, get together with friends;

the ability to be at church, school, and for some, work;

the chance to hug and greet our people with a warm embrace.

Even while it’s temporary, we have lost aspects of our daily lives, what was “normal” and what we wait to be normal again. I am reminding myself — A) it’s OK to break down and cry for a moment or not be ok for a day; B) it’s ok to go to bed extra early. Then I can keep going with what’s next (I’m in my first seminary class) and enjoy the times I do connect with community.

God has carried me, and many of you, through so many hard seasons before. This one looks completely different with no direct end in sight. I don’t want to get used to this as a new normal, but I want to make the most of whatever we call this season. One of stillness, slowing down, and solitude (if you are single and live alone).

It can seem like I can’t do much during these difficult days, especially since I’m considered one of the vulnerable. But I’ve thought of a few ideas. If you are also stuck at home, here are things you can do:

  • Check in with each other.
  • Use technology to stay connected. (Think of who you can text, call, FaceTime. Recently I also learned about an app called Marco Polo that enables you to send video messages.)
  • Focus on the present.
  • Enjoy today in some way.
  • And PRAY a lot. (Use this post for ideas or download this guide.)

Let’s carry each other to the other side of this season while we carry on as best as we can. I hope we all look back and see beyond the struggles to see the gifts we found right where we are. God loves to surprise us in the middle of difficult days. Keep your eyes open for the evidence.

What gifts have you already seen?

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