The New Normal

Navigating COVID-19 (coronavirus). 

The new normal. And prayerfully, a temporary new normal in regards to quarantining, business and school closures, shortage of supplies, stockpiling, job loss, travel restrictions, financial loss, and those likes. The ripple effect is heartbreaking, and the uncertainty and angst are real and valid. Undoubtedly, the recovery process and rebuilding will take time. Those are the facts. But as we are still in the middle of this fight, I'm reminded, again and again, we can get through this. We are not those who are without help or hope. 

So how is our family navigating COVID-19? Honestly, the only way we know how, taking one day at a time and the same way we've lived and led our family over the years, digging deep to stay above the fray. Make no mistake, we are not elite, immune or unmoved by the images and reports we see and hear in the news. And by no means have we "perfected" any of this (if that is even possible), but we choose every day to wake up, breathe in new life and grace, and do what's before us. We intentionally filter the things we hear and see throughout the day through the lens of our faith. And then we practice the discipline of choosing what we choose to dwell on. We dig deep and lean on our faith, because you see, our faith is built on a firm foundation, it's a solid rock. 

While positive thinking and "good vibes" are needed and make a difference in weathering challenging times, that it in and of itself is not sustainable because it requires us to "keep it going."  There is no longevity and can be exhausting because what happens when we get difficult news upon difficult news and we find ourselves utterly overwhelmed and feeling despaired? So we must anchor our soul and heart on something that is bigger than ourselves. So for our family, we add "positive thinking and good vibes" to our faith. I’m not talking about a faith in ourselves or our finite ability. Or an elusive concept or idea of faith, but we anchor ourselves and build our life on a faith that is real, and tangible. A faith that does not change or is moved by circumstances. A faith that is tried and true. And this faith has a name, and it's King Jesus. 

"The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see." Hebrews 11:1 (The Message Translation)  

The God we follow does not change, He is our constant. His character is unparalleled, and His love is unconditional. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, in control and has a good plan for our life. So as things around us are changing and we face uncertainty, we look to our God and His Word for comfort and help. He has the roadmap and knows the steps we need to take next. This is how we keep moving forward. 

Secondly, we choose to look for the good and silver lining in the face of difficulty. You will see what you choose and intentionally fix your eyes and attention on. So if you are looking for the good, you'll find something, small or big that is "good." But if you choose to fix your eyes on the negative, all you'll see is the negative. So during this time, and how we live our everyday life, we intentionally and deliberately choose to see and find the good. 

Lastly, while we have been social distancing, we are still finding ways to curate and engage in "community" with our neighbors. I have been encouraged and moved over the past few weeks in seeing neighbors being neighborly. Individuals, families, organizations mobilizing relief efforts to help fill in the gaps. There is nothing more rewarding and life-giving than generosity. When we truly "love our neighbor" and go beyond ourselves to show kindness in action, something changes in us. When we shift our eyes off of ourselves and circumstances, and for a moment consider ways we can make a difference for someone else, a sense of hope wells up in us. We find a measure of meaning and purpose, even in the midst of our struggle. That’s the power of generosity. We choose to give and be generous even when it does not seem convenient. 

When coronavirus first made headlines in December, the disease seemingly was a problem only in China. However, as I read news articles, something was unsettling for me and I began to pray immediately. Now, of course, I don't think anyone could have ever imagined we would be where we are today. It is surreal and surprising. So, for however long life as we currently know as the “new normal,” prayers and our faith keep us moving forward. We are resilient. We are better together. We are growing up, not giving up. 

"So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose." Romans 8:28 (The Passion Translation)

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