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What The Pandemic Gave Me

A FULLER HEART

An unprecedented time. That’s what they keep calling this season we are in. Frankly, I’d like to see some precedented times. I’d be happy if I never heard the phrase “unprecedented times” again. I’d like to have some hum-drum, boring, completely normal times. I’m sure you all would, too.

What began in 2020 and has seeped into 2021 is a bewildering, uncertain time that has upended life as we know it and will have some lasting effects. When this is all over, how long will it take for us to enjoy being in crowds? Will we always wear face masks? (Personally, I don’t mind them so much in the cold because it keeps your face warm — but you have to temper that with the fogging of your glasses.) There are so many unknowns about what life will be like both during this season and afterward.

However, I have learned quite a few lessons during COVID. So many things have been removed from the lives of myself and my family — but we have also been given knowledge and experiences we never would have had.

I have learned you cannot take anything for granted: time with family and friends; being able to see a movie; your health; someone else’s health; holiday celebrations. You can’t even take for granted the availability of toilet paper. You just never know what tomorrow will bring.

Spending time with your family is important. The extra time at home with the kids and my husband has been great over the past few months. We’ve gotten into different hobbies and activities that have brought us closer — which is nice.

Spending time alone from time to time is equally important. Family time is fantastic — but sometimes, you need to just be by yourself. Read a book, write a story, take a walk — get some solo time. It helps!

Your home should be a place you want to be. It doesn’t have to just be practical and functional. Buy the fuzzy blankets and the candles. Make your home a comfortable haven that you and your loved ones feel “at home” in. Otherwise, it’s just a place to sleep, eat and bathe. (However, this isn’t all about what you can buy either — it’s a mindset as well.)

Self-care isn’t some silly thing that millennials made up. Do your yoga. Write in your journal. De-stress and practice grounding. These small steps add up into greater improvements that can help you get through the tough times. And these, my friends, are tough times.

In a period of fear, it can be hard to trust God. But God understands that — remember, he sent Jesus to experience humanity and live among us. He is fully aware of what fear can do. However, fear cannot steal your faith unless you let it. Cling to the Lord and his Word, even when it is difficult — even when you don’t want to. It will help you more than anything else.

The things that are good for you can often seem like a struggle to do. It is hard to exercise when you feel down, stressed or worried. It’s difficult to read the Bible when it seems hopeless. It can be hard to cook healthy meals when you’re so tired you just want to eat a burger and go to bed. We need to take good care of ourselves during this time, so we should focus on doing these things to make ourselves feel better. However, we cannot push ourselves so hard that we push ourselves into failure.

Have grace — with yourself and others. If you can’t do xyz today, maybe you can do it tomorrow. If so-and-so didn’t do something you’d though they would, maybe there is a good reason. Let us look at ourselves with grace and forgiveness — and share that grace and forgiveness with others as well. No one is having a good time right now, and we should be cognizant of that.

There are so many things I do not know or understand. If this time period has taught me anything, it is this. There are no five year plans anymore. We cannot possibly know what is going to happen tomorrow, let alone what will happen in a few years. Likewise, I only know about the things I have learned about, the experiences I have had and the things I have done. There are so many lifestyles, places, concepts, customs and more than I literally have no clue about. The only thing I can do is continue to strive for more knowledge and understanding as time goes on.

What have you learned during COVID-19, my dear readers? I know there are so many things that have been taken away from us — but what has COVID given you? If you’re willing to share, feel free to send me an email at ktrnfuller@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Dear readers, I pray blessings over you and your family this week. I pray for wisdom, kindness and joy to come abundantly into your lives and the lives of your loved ones. Be safe, be mindful and may the Lord make his face to shine upon you. Amen

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