I am on a roller coaster. The peaks are as high as the sky will permit and the lows go to the depths of the center of the earth. I've never been one for roller coasters. I'm scared of heights and I much prefer simulated rides because I can always look to see where I am and that I am safe. My emotions have run the gamut that a human can endure. It is a mind game really. The inner ninja warrior I want to be fights with the scared shell of a human that I really might be.
The thing is that my husband and I both work in a pharmacy. Both. In the middle of a pandemic where we are considered essential employees and yet we are not listed on the prayer lists because people forget that the sick people no matter what is wrong with them, if they aren't hospitalized, end up in the pharmacy. In all actuality sometimes people go to the pharmacist first to avoid going to the doctor. All our children are home, all of their jobs closed, and sometimes I feel like I'm under water and I can't find the surface because of the fear I might catch a virus and bring it home to my family.
The mind can go off in many different directions in a time like this. If you think about it hard enough you can almost will something to be wrong with you. You can think that anything is a symptom of the worst possible illness. The internet is no help. If you work at it hard enough you can get WebMD to convince you that you are dying and all you have is a cramp from working muscles that you don't normally work.
I take my temperature every day. That's new. When we arrive home after working, we come in through the garage. We wipe down/spray down everything we have with us. We strip down and put our clothes in the washer, shut the lid then wrap in a towel and scurry off to shower and put on fresh clothes before we can sit or even talk to our family. That's new. I analyze every emotion. That's not new. I feel guilty for emotions that I do have. I am disappointed because my plans were cancelled for my 25th wedding anniversary and I feel guilty for being disappointed. Who am I to feel such disappointment when others are going through far worse? I talked to my friend about this and she said it is ok to be disappointed. It is not ok to live there.
Here is the thing...it is ok to run the gamut of emotions. It is ok to be depressed because you can't go visit friends and family. It is ok to be missing going to work. I miss going to my main job of working at preschool. It is ok to miss taco Tuesday at your favorite Mexican restaurant. It is all ok. It is not ok to live there. When I can think logically, which admittedly comes and goes, I know this. All of these things are inconvenient. Imagine what this would have been like in the 90's before we could use modern technology like Zoom, or Facetime, or Skype. Imagine schools closing for the rest of the school year without anything but dial up internet. Imagine going through this having to wait until after 9 p.m. when talking on the cell phone was free.
It is easy to get caught up in all that is wrong. It is easy to sit in quarantine watching the news and criticize who is doing what right and who is doing what wrong. I can't do it. I am aware of what is happening, but I cannot, nor will I sit and focus on these things 24 hours a day because I will lose my mind. I tend to think there is a better lesson here.
My husband was talking to his dad and trying to reassure him, he told him that he thought we would all be back to normal by November or December. I thought about this and honestly, I hope not. I don't think our normal was really working for us. If you take a minute and look around for the good you will see families spending more time together. You will see neighbor helping neighbor. You will see entire communities rallying around people who are in need. You will see that people are waking up to the fact that we are far too "self" focused in our culture. I get it. I fall into the trap of busy and disappointment in my own things as well. Clearly.
But God. If I take what I know about God and who He is and apply it to what is happening in the world instead of listening to the noise of other people's opinions, I can focus. I can get centered on what I know instead of what I feel. The world is in utter chaos, but God has gone before us and already knows the outcome. Someone I know is fighting COVID19, but God has heard the prayers of many, and he is making strides toward recovery. The He IS part of God must take over in my mind. Maybe you don't struggle like I do. I have seen so many things saying that we are all in this together, but we are not all having the same experiences or reactions to it. I must remember God is. Whether I take every precaution and my husband takes every precaution and something still happens to one or both of us whether it be an illness or accident or anything the enemy can put in our minds to worry about, God is. Not God was. Not God will be. God is good on his promises. God is still in the miracle business. God is.
Please stay home and let all of the people who are considered essential do their jobs. Be thankful that there are people who are willing to fight on the front lines for you. People willing to drive trucks and deliver supplies, people working in grocery stores, restaurants, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy staff, the list could go on and on, anyone you can possibly think of. Pray for them. Do what you can do to support them. Stay home, stay healthy, pray. There isn't much else you can do. Take a break from the news and play a game with your kids. Read a book for fun. Take your mind off things you have no control over, take a deep breath and remember that God is.