8 months is how long it’s been since COVID-19 invaded most of our lives in some form or fashion. If I were honest, even after 8 months I’m still struggling. Still processing. Still learning. Still praying.
A few years ago I discovered that I had developed restrictive lung disease as a result of also having muscular dystrophy. So, when a virus started sweeping through the nation that attacks your lungs, to say I was nervous or anxious is an understatement. I wasn’t exactly sure how to navigate all this and really still don’t but under the advice of my pulmonologist and others, I mostly stay home and wear a mask if I need to venture out. Unfortunately, my pulmonologist compared my lungs to a 90-year-old and said this virus could be devastating to me if I were to contract it. Even though my husband and I already knew this it was still very disheartening to hear and we knew we had difficult decisions to make moving forward.
Just like so many others, there have been many struggles for not only me but our family during this pandemic. Two major struggles I have faced during this time are from social media and isolation. I know, why is social media even a struggle? Social media, as I have found can bring out the ugliness in people. I know it is something that I can easily not read (I am working on this) and I know a lot of times I shouldn’t but I find myself doing it and later regretting it. I’m not sure how many times I’ve cried after reading insensitive comments about how the virus “only affects the old and vulnerable” or comments that use the survival rate for justification to do whatever they want. Both of these statements have truth to them, but when you are high risk it’s not something you want to read over and over from people that at times state it in a way that downplays it to make their point. I do want to say that although the survival rate may be high for some people, it is not for others like me. Over the months I have read many comments from people that I believe love Jesus that were downright malicious and divisive. I agree with the freedom of speech and having a right to your opinion but I also believe if you are a follower of Christ our speech needs to reflect God’s love and if it is not going to do that or further His kingdom then we may need to keep some things to ourselves or at least say them in a more gentle way.
Furthermore, isolation is another big issue I’ve been dealing with (honestly this has been an ongoing struggle even before this virus). Our family made the difficult choice to stay somewhat isolated which has been hard but we feel is necessary. I lost my dad when I was 7 years old and he was only 38. I know loss and I know what it feels like to long for a parent that has been gone for most of your life. This is a huge reason why I choose to sacrifice whatever I have to now and try to be as safe as possible so I can experience my daughter grow up and enjoy as many years as I can with my husband. I will say that although isolation has definitely been very difficult on us, memories have still been made over the last 8 months. Trips were canceled and holidays haven’t looked like those prior to 2020, but we were still able to make the best of it and enjoy our time together. On a side note, I want to urge others that if you know someone who is in isolation please reach out to them so they don’t feel so alone and so they know someone cares about them.
I bring all this up as a reminder.
We are ALL struggling with something during this pandemic whether it be physically, emotionally, spiritually, or financially. We may not have the same struggles or even understand someone else’s, but can still show compassion.
We really never know what someone else may be struggling with. We can still have opinions but can choose our words more carefully so we do not come off so divisive or hateful when stating them. We can do what’s best for our family without making others feel bad for doing what they feel is right for their family, even if it looks different to you or you don’t agree with it. Lastly, we can all love one another more.
John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”