It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. Last week I was really struggling. After nearly six weeks of social isolation, it finally got to me.
A thick blanket of fog settled over me, and for several days I felt listless and depressed. The weather certainly didn’t help either. It’s been rainy and cool in the DC region, typical for April, but the last thing any of us need right now.
Still, I got up each day, showered, and did my best to follow a routine.
Teleworking always sounds wonderful until you do it for weeks on end. It really is quite challenging. My normal tasks as a church Office Manager have morphed into a new world of Zoom meetings, YouTube videos and Mailchimp campaigns. These are not new platforms for me, but they have now become my lifeline, my connection to the outside world. Fortunately, I have few distractions at home, and can accomplish everything without interruption each day.
I’ve spent several mornings at the church though, collecting mail, paying bills and just making sure things are okay. One morning I sat in the empty sanctuary, trying to recall the last time we all gathered together. It seems like ages ago. Under normal circumstances, in the midst of my busy day, I would enjoy the peace and quiet of the sanctuary. But right now, it just feels . . . lonely.
I miss my church family. I miss singing in the choir, reading scripture together, and lifting our voices in prayer.
I also miss the people, and the fellowship we share before and after worship. But, I think most of all, I miss my Sunday morning hugs. No amount of social distance emojis can fill that gap.
I tell myself we will be together again soon, and that it will all be okay. But I know it will still be a while before we can safely begin meeting as we once did. Before the pandemic, when everything changed.
Each morning I begin my day by reading several devotionals. I have been faithful to do this ever since this pandemic began, and it is helping to pull me through each day.
On Saturday, as I was sipping my coffee, I had a breakthrough. This is what I read in Everyday Grace, a collection of 60 devotions from EllieClaire.com:
“Victory’s in Sight”
It may be hard to see your life as victorious in the face of failure, disappointment, or continued conflict, but every war that’s ever been fought was won through a series of battles. Not every individual battle will be victorious. What matters is how it turns out in the end.
Is a major conflict raging in your life? A rebellious child, chronic illness, the loss of the job, a betrayal by someone you love . . . whatever your struggle, both you and God are on the battlefield. Even if victory doesn’t seem close at hand, God is. Your fight is also His. Be strategic and courageous in pursuing the right course. Don’t let discouragement tempt you to give up. Today’s skirmish may be the decisive battle that wins the war.
The scripture related to this devotion was from Psalm 60:12 – With God we will gain the victory.
This truly is a battle we are all waging each day. It takes the greatest strength sometimes just to get out of bed. But we fight on, taking on every new skirmish in this seemingly endless struggle. And while we are fighting, we are keenly aware of our “battle buddies”, those who are suffering alongside us. We may know others who have fallen to the enemy; we grieve their loss, and pray for those left behind to continue the fight in their absence.
Keep Being, Keep Doing
So how are you doing? What are you doing each day to stay focused, to stay busy, to keep moving ahead?
I’ve been organizing my home office where I am now writing and working each day. And since I feel we each need to tackle a project or embrace a hobby to help pass the time, I have picked up a project I began over a year ago. I have my fathers letters that he wrote home every week he was in the Army, from his boot camp in January 1951, until he finished his tour in Germany in December 1952. I am transcribing the letters so they can be easily read by future generations.
My father passed away in 1986. I never knew much about his time in the military. These letters give me a glimpse of who he was as a young man at 22, his character and integrity, as well as his love of his Nan’s fudge and all types of automobiles. I also have the scrapbook my grandmother made, which he references throughout his letters, as well as memorabilia and photos he sent home. It’s an amazing chronology of the two years he served, the people he met, and the places he visited. What a previous gift!
The Power of a Purr
Since I last wrote, some of you may have also heard about a new family member. On Maundy Thursday we adopted a cat from the local animal shelter. We saw only a photo and video of him before we met. He was brought out to our car in a cardboard carrier, and we didn’t meet him until he popped out of the box at home. His name is Gipper and he is truly a member of our family! Of all the cats we have loved over the years, this little guy seems to have the best of each personality.
Pets are amazing, aren’t they? Since our Nicky crossed over the rainbow bridge last June, I had forgotten the special bond we establish with our fur family.
Gipper purrs and snuggles close, and suddenly life becomes manageable again. I know that all will be well.
Remember, as my devotion says, “Even if victory doesn’t seem close at hand, God is. Your fight is also His.”
We are never fighting alone.