Wow, what a week, y’all. Between work and COVID-19 I think it’s in the top most event{full} weeks of my life. So many emotions. Surreal even. Concerning the Coronavirus, I’m actually really surprised at where I’ve landed today; a complete 180 from where I began the week. Here’s an attempt at organizing the many thoughts bouncing around the brain.

My initial reaction was frustration. It seems like things are being blown out of proportion and, frankly, I don’t do drama so I wanted everyone to get over it real quick. Like, toilet paper stockpiling? Really y’all? Chill. And what? the studios are closed? No dance for 3 weeks? So am I still going to get paid if you cancel my classes? It’s not quite like I can “work from home”? You should have heard me Thursday and Friday — I was zinging (thanks to Mr. C and Mommy and Daddy for listening to the rants). But then I started to examine my own heart.

I’m learning how much I LOVE my autonomy.
If you know me well, you know that under the right circumstances, I can be a bit of a renegade. And when events started getting cancelled and shows postponed and businesses closed, I started feeling like the reins were being pulled in. When we were younger my parents used to say “if you can’t control yourself, we’ll have to control you” “What? I’m a responsible adult,” I thought, “I can make my own decisions regarding my health and the health of those around me.”

Yes, yes, I can and I’m so grateful to live in the one and only, amazing, beloved United States of America in which I’m allowed to make decisions for myself. But I also want to use that freedom wisely. And am I really trusting the authority I’ve been placed under? Or do I pridefully think I know better than them? I am not saying to blindly follow directions without question but perhaps there is a structure in place for a reason and perhaps they have better information and knowledge than I do.

And then the research began…
I’m no expert and won’t reiterate what others have more eloquently penned but I found these articles to be quite helpful and informative as I tried to come to my own conclusions.

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now
Flatten the Curve
Why Outbreaks Spread Exponentially
Update from Concerned Physicians

Social Distancing
I woke up yesterday morning fully intending to attend a wedding shower that evening and church today. Yet, the more I researched, the more I felt convicted to practice social distancing. As a healthy, young, individual who is likely to be nominally affected if infected by the virus, I thought I’d continue to live life fairly normal (apart from cancelled work). Yet, I also interact with children on a regular basis. And though I may not be showing any symptoms, I could very well be a carrier. And as much as I love being the independent woman that I am, the reality is that this could be a life or death situation for someone else. For sure, the FOMO is real and I really don’t want to have to postpone my birthday plans for next weekend but if it helps “flatten the curve,” count me in. Though our days are numbered before we are born, I don’t want to contribute to even one person dying without knowing Jesus. And I don’t want to disqualify myself from being of help if I am needed later down the road. (This article was helpful on this subject)

What about the Church?
Aren’t we called to step in at times like this? Why would we close our doors if this is the time, people need Jesus the most? My social media feed is filled with polarizing views; each “side” criticizing the other. May I suggest a third option? We can be BOTH tangible hope to our worlds while still wisely stewarding our social contact. We can still bring sandwiches to the local ministry who helps feed kids who are without meals because schools are closed. We can still open phone/text conversations with friends and offer the hope of Jesus to those who need to process the whole situation. Yes, some of us may be called to the front lines and we stand behind you in solidarity. Church, yes, let’s rise up to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Let’s steward these opportunities well as we live in unique times.

My prayer is that as people have some forced downtime, and possibly time for their hearts to be quiet from distraction, that they would be drawn to examine Jesus and the many amazing resources online.

I’m also more aware of my own selfishness.
Looking back at the reasons mentioned for my frustration, they all stem from me being inconvenienced. I recognize that I’ve possibly idolized the act of doing things (being that I’ve already made a list of things to do over the next two weeks and plan on scheduling my days to accomplish them).

Maybe I should attempt to just be. Going to try to stay off my phone. More Jesus time. More reading. More writing. More dreaming (haha, that could be dangerous). More just being.

I don’t want to let this season be one of discontentmentlet us choose to find the moments for which to be grateful. In the forced isolation, let us not be tempted to fill the noise with distraction but have ears and hearts to hear what God might be whispering.

I am not afraid.
I don’t fear contracting the virus and if I do, I’m hopeful to recover but if I don’t, then I get to see Jesus and what’s better than that? (don’t worry, I’m not going to be stupid and try to hasten my time before it’s appointed).

Yet my heart is heavy for our nation and the world. The way people have reacted to this pandemic shows how much underlying fear is present in our society. What have we become? Where is our trust? Is it in our hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes or is it in an all powerful, all knowing, loving God? Nothing is a surprise to Him.

May we choose worship over worry. Great Healer, we need you— America needs you, the world needs you. Bring peace to our hearts. Bring hope to our outlooks. In our forced quietness, show us the still waters you faithfully lead us by.

Pray, Pray, Pray
President Trump has declared it to be a national day of prayer but don’t let it stop there with us. Let us remember this is very much a spiritual war. The Prince and Power of the air and spiritual forces of darkness are pushing hard for territory right now. We will not stand by idly. Rise up, warriors of Light and Truth!

May we be wise but not act out of fear. May we not be selfish but seek the good of others. May we wash our hands but keep them open in surrender for this life is not ours to control. May we disinfect all the surfaces but not become obsessive for that means our hearts have become distracted. May we wisely live and love boldly and as a result be drawn closer to Jesus in this season. Kyrie Elieson, Lord have mercy.

PS-This article and this article from RZIM were also helpful.

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