Most of us have never had to go through a worldwide pandemic that has caused such a magnitude of change to our country and to our daily lives. Millions of people have had their lives uprooted and changed by the physical effects of illness, death, or loss of a job or business. They may be unable to put food on the table, put gas in the car, or make mortgage or rent payments.
In addition to the direct impact of the virus, you may be going through an emotional crisis of a broken marriage, a severed relationship, the loss of a child to disease, or a teen addicted to drugs.
The residual effect of any of these things can become an emotional pandemic of grief, loneliness, anger, depression, despair, and even hopelessness.
It’s easy to lose perspective and a sense of self when you’ve been blindsided by a major life change or crisis, isn’t it? It’s unplanned and unwanted. You are unprepared to handle the unknown that seems to consume your thoughts and your daily life.
I know. When Bill, my husband of 45 years died of cancer, I was left feeling numb, shocked, and devastated. My life, and everything in it, changed from being complete to being crushed. I felt an overwhelming sense of loss and grief that I could not have anticipated. Then, when my daughter went through a divorce, I grieved over the loss of an intact family life for my four grandchildren.
If you’ve experienced a life-altering change or loss in your life, you know how hard it is to pick up the pieces of your shattered world and try to put life back together again. Those pieces will not fit together in the same way. Life as you know it may never be the same again.
With a severed and uprooted life comes change, with change comes loss, and with loss comes a myriad of emotions.
Right now, as you live through the ripple effects of this pandemic on you and your family, you may be experiencing some of those same feelings and emotions I had when my life was uprooted by death and divorce. Like me, I sense that many of you may be grieving over the life-altering changes and losses this virus has brought to your lives. You may even feel angry with circumstances beyond your control, alone without family or friends to come alongside you, depressed that there seems to be no end in sight, or feeling hopeless about getting back on your feet again financially.
How well you cope with these unfathomable changes – where you find the strength and the faith to start over and the perseverance to move forward with your life – has a tremendous effect on how well you recover.
Going through the emotional roller coaster of this pandemic may leave you feeling like you’ve hit rock bottom. You can make the choice to either stay there or see God as the rock and foundation on which to rebuild your life. It may seem impossible now to put the pieces of your life back together again, but it can be done with God’s help. It might look different than you imagined, but you can experience wholeness again. Life can, and will, regain a normal rhythm. Don’t let the impact of this unwanted change cause permanent damage to your life, your marriage, your family, or any relationships. Use this experience to grow stronger and more resilient, yet tender and more compassionate. Use this time to become more grateful for what you do have and less preoccupied with what you don’t have. Seek to discover a deep need in your soul to cling to God and trust Him for each day.
Yes, I hear you. You think you can’t. You can.
You think you are alone. You aren’t.
You wonder if your faith will stand this test. It will.
You want answers and explanations. God gives you His promises to rely on.
You want the assurance of knowing what tomorrow will bring. God assures you of His faithfulness in all things.
You want to reason with God about everything. God wants you to rest in Him.
God’s grace is sufficient, my friends. May you live each day with a peace that is beyond understanding and a hope that is anchored in Christ. Here are some of my favorite scriptures that bring me comfort during this emotional pandemic. May they meet you at your point of need…
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage…Psalm 27:14
I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18