I’m the woman who makes paper chains to count down to things I’m excited about. Like when we could test to see if we were pregnant. Or when we would leave for a trip. But this strategy is not serving me right now, in the context of the pandemic. My husband read that the best method for handling COVID is to stop dwelling on when it will be over. To live like this is going to be our world for a while and be surprised when they tell me it’s over. I think he’s right.

Focusing on the end I can’t predict or control makes me low-level frantic.

Pain in life is unavoidable, but resisting it adds a layer of suffering on top of the pain.

At the same time, I don’t think you can fake this. We resist for a while (see grief process) and pretending we’re okay with something we aren’t doesn’t help. But what I noticed is I am ready. Ready to accept this reality and make the most of it. Ready to see all the things it CAN’T take away or cancel.

I know some of us aren’t ready yet and that’s okay. This is much harder if your livelihood is at stake. It’s crazy hard if you’ve lost someone to COVID or someone you love has ongoing issues from it.

I know it’s been said, but be gentle. We’re experiencing what they call ambiguous loss. It’s loss that comes with lots of questions and little closure. To add to the unknowns,  if you live in a place with seasons, we are transitioning to winter. I’ve heard myself say, “Winter and COVID? I can’t.”

But I can.

You can.

We will.

Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are in us and on our side. God’s own energy moves us through things we think are too hard, things we think will consume us. He promises they won’t. Keep walking. Keep loving. We will not be consumed.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2 NLT