by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1
Mid-March. The pandemic began spreading. Life as we knew it started crumbling. We were sent home to work. My husband’s and my vacation plans changed four times in ten days with three of those happening within a week. When we returned, we found ourselves under a statewide stay-at-home order. The only time we should leave? For essential trips and exercise. I barely left the house.
I’ve run the gamut of emotions. Anxiety I’d never experienced before. Exhaustion. No appetite. Crying to relieve the stress. Fear. Worry. Does any of this sound familiar?
Something I’ve quickly learned during this pandemic is that living with these kinds of emotions ruling me isn’t healthy—or sustainable. I’d forgotten that God is on His throne. He remains sovereign. He is near. And if we look long enough and hard enough, we can see that He is actually providing some blessings. Silver linings.
Please, don’t get me wrong. I know this has been difficult. People have lost jobs. The economy is writhing. People are sick. People are dying. People like my brother and several friends are on the frontlines. I get that. Truly, I do. This is a hard situation in a lot of ways.
But what are some silver linings? What are some blessings, even if they seem small, that I’ve seen?
- I’ve started noting the flowers. Spring has been beautiful, and I think, for this particular year, even more spectacular than most. Has it always been that way and I’ve been too busy to notice? Or has God provided this beauty to soothe my soul? Maybe both. I’ve finally been forced to slow down enough to see this beauty.
- Phone calls have increased. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? For the most part, our communication had begun going to messaging, texts, and e-mails. People would rarely pick up the phone. Until the pandemic. Forced to stay isolated, we’ve reached out in a way we’d neglected—by phone. A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I texted. Then I asked if we could talk on the phone. That was such a sweet time. We talked on the phone for almost an hour, and it was so good to hear her voice.
- I’ve gotten more exercise. Since I’m working at home now, my commute is about 30 or so steps instead of 30 or so minutes. Which means that when I shut my computer down at the end of the day, in mere minutes, I’m outside to either walk or run, which has kept me physically and mentally healthy.
- Families are spending more time together. When we were ordered to work at home, I joked with my husband that it was a good thing we were best friends because we’d be spending a lot of time together. Truer words have never been spoken. It’s been a sweet time for us. And good to see kids and parents walking together, getting to know one another in a way that’s impossible when everyone’s headed off in various directions for different activities.
- The schedule has slowed. When life is normal, my schedule can get out of control. Work. Writing. Bible study. Time with friends. Working out. It can get so hectic at times. During this slowdown, I’ve had to ease way off the throttle. I now have time for tub baths (my hidey-hole time!), for reading, for getting the rest I need.
I know this has been a tough time. But there have been some small blessings, some sunlight peeking through the storm clouds. This too shall pass. When? Only God knows. But He does. And when it does, I pray that I take some of the silver linings I saw and apply them to when I get back into my normal routine.
Question: What silver linings have you noticed during this pandemic? If I get enough answers, I’ll share them in a future post.