Many have said that we need to be journaling as we live through this pandemic because we are living through something historic, so this post is mostly for me, for the future.
I haven’t done much writing about it yet because I’ve been busy with toddler twins and because it doesn’t feel as though much has changed for us, aside from Brennan being home every day for the past two weeks.
We already did grocery pickup/delivery. I was already mostly at home with the boys. We already rarely went out to eat (budget and toddlers). In some ways, it doesn’t feel like life is different when in reality it’s vastly different. Even if we wanted to, we can’t go out to eat, go to the zoo/playground, go to work, go to see friends and family, go to mom’s groups. We can’t really go anywhere. Knowing that we can’t do things because people are dying and we might get sick is a strange feeling.
I’ve struggled to put into words how I feel about all of this, but I am going to try because someday I will look back and wonder how I felt in the moment. It feels like we’re in a movie because nothing like this has happened in my lifetime and it’s difficult to grasp. It feels like we’ve been preparing to be snowed in but the snow will never come. Instead, we’re facing an invisible, microscopic enemy and it all feels so surreal. Death could be around the corner but we’d never see it coming.
It’s so weird that the best thing we can do to fight COVID-19 is to do nothing. To stay home.
I feel frustrated with those choosing to disregard the government’s orders to stay home, with those who think it’s all overblown and a conspiracy. I feel frustrated with those who are angry because their “freedom” is being “taken away.” Though I lean toward being Libertarian, common sense dictates that in situations like these where your personal freedom can bring harm to others, we must choose to surrender those freedoms temporarily. It’s for the greater good. I will happily stay home and endure minor, temporary inconveniences so that others can live.
I’m disappointed about the concert that has been postponed, about not being able to go and do what we had planned for Tori’s Resurrection Day, about the other missed events and opportunities. While I agree with the need to cancel/postpone, it is still disappointing.
I am slightly afraid of catching COVID-19, even though I’m healthy and should be able to fight it. I don’t think it would kill me, but, because I’ve had pneumonia before and remember how horrible that was, the idea of having anything like that again makes me feel afraid. I mean, who likes being sick? I’ve never even had the flu, as far as I know, so reading about what COVID-19 is like is scary.
So yes, I have been feeling uncertain, slightly afraid, disappointed, etc. While I don’t know how to adequately describe how I feel about what I wrote above, I do know how I feel about all that I’ve seen God doing in our lives and in our community: hopeful, delighted, relieved.
Last night I was thinking, again, about how God prepared my heart for what was coming. I wrote recently about how I was feeling this compulsion to finish things. How I made decisions about cutting down my commitments outside the home. I don’t think that was as much about the actual things I was choosing to let go, but rather God’s way of preparing my heart to be willing to let go of it all so that it wouldn’t be such a shock. I’m not good at not being busy.
In the month leading up to us being told to shelter-in-place, I had been feeling uncharacteristically stressed out. I hesitate to use this word, but I even felt a little anxious. My pace was too fast and I was longing for a break. I was capable of doing all that I had on my plate, but it likely wasn’t beneficial.
God had provided opportunities for extra work and I took every shift I could because of our financial goals, even though it was more stressful than I had imagined it would be. While I can see now that the amount of work I was doing outside the home in the past two months was God’s financial provision for us for what was to come, I can also see that He used that to cause me to long for rest, which is very uncharacteristic of me. For this, I am thankful. It has helped me mentally deal with being at home constantly.
I’m thankful that Brennan’s employer decided to continue paying for our insurance premiums during his month (or longer) of not working (which is something they weren’t going to do at first). I’m thankful that we are able to claim unemployment and that the amount Brennan will receive isn’t bad at all. We will be able to pay our bills and feed our family without stress. I’m thankful that we had already made some major progress in our quest to be debt-free and had already eliminated a large amount of monthly payments. I can see how God prepared us for a loss of income through the hard work in previous years.
I’m thankful that I’ve seen people stepping up to help others in very creative ways. I’m thankful for the support our community is showing to our local small businesses. I’m thankful for the leadership of our state and local government officials – I can’t imagine being in their shoes.
I’m thankful that our boys have no idea anything is different and that they won’t remember this. I’m thankful Brennan is home for a month so that we can have quality family time.
I’m thankful that in this time of uncertainty we can know for certain that God is good, loving, sovereign, merciful, and gracious. He is not surprised by any of this. We can trust Him to lead us through.
Overall, I’m thankful for so much despite the uncertainty that surrounds us all. I long for the day life can go back to normal, but for now I’m trying to embrace the life we have and make the most of it.
What is one thing for which you are grateful today?
I’ve written a couple more posts about living through this and they can be found here.