More Encouragement from a Sister in Christ
I'm so thankful for our sisters in Christ, how they have ministered to me and so many in these times. Their contribution and creative gifts and insights in serving are an inspiration and encouragement to me. Earlier this month I shared this blog (click here for Encouragements from Sisters in Christ). Another sister in Christ later shared her reflections and recollection of how God encouraged her to serve and re-adjust during this time:
“I worked from home, making phone calls to people I may not have called as often before; met on Zoom with people I have never even seen before; created new ways to minister to those in need; tapped into my creative brain in ways I never thought I’d get a chance to again; learned new technology that I didn’t think could be taught to this old dog; and reconnected with our very needy home. With less time on the road, we’ve had more time to repaint, plant a garden, fix the broken things, cook and eat in our own dining room -- and simply enjoy some quiet time here.
I haven't gone to church for over 70 days, but through the gift of technology I have worshiped, learned from so many fantastic sermons and even participated in Bible studies in our own living room. Because my heart’s desire is to gather with the people we love, we have done so through FaceTime, Zoom, Marco Polo, texting, phone calls, letter writing, over the fence/social distance visiting and even participating in the drive-by birthday parties with streamers attached to our car.
I have not been able to hug my 88 year old mother-in-love--but we have been able to talk with her three times a day by phone, way more than before COVID. For the first time,she is asking me to shop for her, and I am so blessed. We drive to her town, 3 hours away, to deliver those things through her caregivers, blessing her by bringing more than she has asked for, and thinking up with ways to uplift her spirits -- like leaving balloons with encouraging messages written on them, or dressing up in silly hats and aprons to make her laugh as we wave through her window and blow kisses to each other. We FaceTime with her on hercaregivers IPad, and the whole family sends (via anelectronic photo frame) fun pictures of themselves holding up signs letting her know how much she is loved.
Yes, since March, things have changed. Expectations have been dashed, graduations canceled, weddings and funerals put off. Without question, there are feelings of loss. Each of us is missing out on something we would really like to do. But, personally, I feel we’ve learned a better way. It’s just my husband and me here, but we have adapted. We have become inventive. We have learned that there is not just one way to do what we need to do to enjoy this life.
I hope we can all just stop and appreciate that there are some incredibly good things that have come from all of this. We have had to take a good look at what we treasure and uphold as more important than life itself. During the first few weeks of isolation, the question was, “How are you doing?”
Now, the questions is, “How have you done so far?”
Are you a better person now, or a bitter person? Did you use this as an opportunity to find the joy in life, or did you wallow in self-pity and jump on the bandwagon to become angry, looking for someone to blame? There is, likely, still some time for us to become the glass-half-full person.
Think about this. Something really remarkable has just happened to the entire world. In years to come, no matter where we travel, we all went through this pandemic together. Separately.
It makes me think of the Veterans who ban together in brotherhood, to share memories, to laugh about the good times and never forget the hard times. They remember those they served with and they honor those they lost. They continue to draw strength from each other…because that one thing that binds them together was the hard work, fear, loss, tragedy and hardship of war. They wear hats that say World War II or Vietnam, not because war is good, but because they got through it TOGETHER, even if serving in different parts of the world. They did it. They survived. And they remember. When we see them wearing that veteran hat, we thank them for all they did.
I will forever treasure these past days. As we move forward, I hope to keep the best of these times in my heart and mind.
We don’t have to wear the symbolic hat because everyone in the world has gone through this one. For the first time in this generation we have all been in battle TOGETHER. We need to treat each other with grace, and honor each other for how brave we were as we experienced isolation, illness, possibly a loved one’s death, certainly hardship, and the significant re-adjustment of all parts of our lifestyle. We are, I hope, better for it.
Today...the roses are still growing. Let’s go out and smell them.”