I believe most of you will agree that things are completely different these days. My oldest walked into the room in late March and said, “Is it true that our cousins are quarantined?” At that point, we were not on a stay-at-home order, so I responded by saying, “I don’t know,” then asking my mother if my sister’s family was sick or something. At that stage, no one could have predicted we would find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. I hate to admit it, but sometimes China seems really far away so I wasn’t paying attention to what was happening.
That same week, my parents canceled our weekly family dinner, meaning I would have to adjust
my meal plans and figure out what to cook instead. Shortly after, doors to stores and restaurants closed down, and I found myself wondering what exactly was going on. I understood some things – I knew about COVID 19, for instance – but I admit thinking our schools were being presumptuous when they announced we’d be moving to an online learning platform starting the week after my birthday.
The week before school released for spring break, my students and I had many discussions on
what would happen and why. We were naive in saying things like, “It’s just a glorified flu,” and
“They’ll never actually cancel school.” Little did we know what times were evolving into. The first
time I walked into a grocery store at the start of the pandemic, it blew my mind. Never had I seen so many empty shelves. At the time, I knew there was talk of a shortage of toilet paper, but I didn’t actually believe it. (In my own mind, I tend to question everything, so this shouldn’t come
as a surprise.) I texted my husband and asked him if the world was ending. It seems like everything happened rather quickly. Schools closed, more food shortages, churches moving to online only services, restaurants doing curbside and delivery only, more COVID-related deaths announced.
My heart sank more every time I heard new information. I worried about my kids. I worried about small businesses. I worried about people having enough food. I worried about my students living in unstable homes. I worried about my students living in stable homes. I worried about how I was going to operate in my role as a middle school librarian without having a library my students
could access. Let’s just say I worried about everything until about mid-April. It was then that I
really started to appreciate being home with our littles, getting to cook more, having more than
enough to get by and being able to share with others, not feeling so busy I couldn’t find a
moment of stillness.
God spoke to me through a series of YouVersion devotionals that I don’t control circumstances and must maintain HOPE despite circumstances. I remember a certain series Pastor Carl was doing one year in which he talked about how as children of God we are called to lives of hope. Our world needs hope. It has more than enough worry. And because I know this life is not all there is, I get to walk in hope every single day. So today and everyday choose to hold onto hope and share it with as many people as you can.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-
discipline.” –2 Timothy 1:7