On Sunday morning, I hid in my laundry room while Linda C., my Instacart shopper unloaded my groceries from her car to my front door. I stood in shame, because I’m too nervous to get my own groceries—let alone leave my house or see a stranger. Ten days prior, I was mad and telling people, ‘Just wash your freaking hands! You’ll be fine!” And, now I sit in fear in my own living room; upset that I took for granted such freedoms like going to the store, checking the mail, moving the trash can back to the garage, or meeting new people with a handshake— without thinking twice about where their hands have been.
It’s been eight days since I’ve left my house and I ping back and forth from irrationality to rationality. But because of this, I’m finding joy in the little things such as shelter over my head, a job where I’m still able to provide for myself, food in the fridge, and health. I’ve read horror stories, watched the numbers hit a steep incline for days; infecting people in my state, neighboring counties, and as of a couple hours ago, my county. I check on my mom and dad, who are both over the age of 60, daily. I talk to my brothers, sister in law, and my bests to make sure everyone is doing okay and being safe.
My heart yearns to do the mundane things in life. I think about hugging my grandma who had surgery a little over a week ago and making her day, by stopping in for a chat. I think about hugging my dad, who I haven’t seen in a bit because he has underlying heath problems. I moved back to my hometown nearly two weeks ago and have yet to see all my friends and family, because the thought of getting anyone sick is far worse than the thought of myself getting infected.
Like most people, I don’t do well when I can’t control things. I can’t wrap my family, my friends, my coworkers, all the people I love in the world, in a big bubble until this thing passes and that’s a tough reality to face. I have to sit idly by and wait for this to blow over, knowing that whatever will be, will be. I have to ask God constantly to control my irrationality and rampant thoughts. I have to ask him to keep providing safety to my friends and family and keep us tucked away in his arms while this thing, that feels bigger than us, goes away. I have to remember that God is BIGGER than all of this. And, when I find myself in a state of fear, it’s often because I’m not focusing on the whole picture. It’s because I’ve lost sight that one day this WILL BE over, and the lessons that we will learn because of it will be awe-inspiring and monumental.
Unfortunately at this moment, life seems like a big blur. I don't know what's happening. There are so many uncertainties and it changes from one day to the next. No one really knows how to feel right now, but every emotion is valid--and no one should take that away from you. So, if you find yourself on that hard pendulum swing between, ‘I’m overreacting” and “we’re all going to get sick from COVID19”, like I do several times a day…turn off the news, get off Facebook, and be grateful for the small things. Play a game, exercise, go for a walk, listen to a podcast or book on tape, or even check out R+R for some fun new videos and remember that this too, shall pass.
I pray with the light of each new day that we begin to see a shift in those rapidly inclining numbers, that we learn to love each other more on social media and not play into hateful versions of ourselves behind keyboards and screens. I pray so hard, that God will take away that pain, that anxiety, that fear, and replace it with hope and comfort and love. Stay safe out there and help me lift up and pray for those that are at the front lines of this—going into battle each day and fighting this for us and most importantly, know that you aren't alone. We're all connected and even though we're social distancing, we're together in that, as well.