Loss in the Time of COVID-19

I wasn’t going to write about the coronavirus, the stay-at-home order, or the social distancing. I’ve been pondering the effects of this pandemic in my heart, talking it over with close family and friends, and reading others’ observations online. But as Month One drags into Month Two of this unique and difficult season in all our lives, I find myself returning again and again to the word that is beginning to define the spring of 2020 for me. The word is loss.

Loss is not the same as missing people or things. Missing people, places, and familiar activities is a very real (and often daily) part of this experience, for sure. We all miss these things—some people more than others, depending on our life situations and our own God-given personalities. And we know that one day, sooner rather than later, we hope, we’ll reunite with people, return to our activities, and go back to church, among other longed-for places.

But the experience of loss is different.

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Who Knows Your Story?

“…in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”  Psalm 139:16b

Deep in the human heart is a desire to hear, and sometimes tell, a good story. It’s there from the beginning, as babies, sitting on a lap for story time. It’s there when we’re growing up, reading books, watching television, going to movies. It’s there when we get old, telling our own story to others, reminiscing with siblings about a shared childhood, or reliving long-ago moments when our present life is fading before our eyes.

The blockbuster Broadway hit Hamilton capitalizes on this universal human desire by telling the story of an often ignored founding father and his unknown but impressive wife, Eliza. After telling their fascinating story for more than two hours, the company asks the audience, “Who tells your story?” It’s powerful and poignant. It grabs your heart and reminds you that you do indeed have a story that may be someday forgotten to history but is equally important to every other story of anyone who’s ever lived. For those who cry easily, like I do, have a tissue handy for this one.

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How Do You Pray When You’re Waiting on God?

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”Psalm 27:14

There’s a lot of waiting that goes on in our house.

One teenager waits to see if he’ll be accepted into a technical program that will greatly alter his remaining high school years and give him practical skills and knowledge that he feels are relevant to his life now and in the future.

Another teenager waits to see if she’ll get a resident tutoring position at college that will greatly affect her financial situation, her commitment to living on campus, and future professional and academic possibilities.

My advice to both of them is about the same: Do what you can to achieve this goal, don’t miss any deadlines, and then wait patiently. And remember that no matter what the result, God knows what’s best for you. Even if the outcome isn’t what you would have wanted right now, it’s amazing how God works behind the scenes in our lives and we sometimes realize only years later that he did, in fact, work everything for our good.

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