We woke up feeling off. Perhaps it was the hangover of joy from the holidays or just not enough sleep. Maybe it was the chill in the air from last night’s storm. Maybe our heater was to blame for our groggy morning. It is fickle and kicks on as randomly as a distant relative stopping by. But our bodies felt the ache and hot tea couldn’t wash away our scratchy throats. We were undeniably sick — COVID-sick.
We are rapidly approaching two years of this pandemic. Two years of masks, two years of shutdown, two years of controversy, two years of science, two years of sickness that just doesn’t seem to find an end, two years of virtual learning and meeting, two years of making impossible choices, two years of canceling plans, two years of test results, two years of almost normal but not quite yet.
To be honest, I’m tired. I’m tired of conversations starting and ending with COVID. I’m tired of the arguments, articles, and endless mandates. Here I am now boiling water for Top Ramen and measuring out Tylenol for my boys. It is a fragile feeling when you are sick. It’s scary wondering and waiting for this virus to meander its way through our bodies.
In the rawness, I turn towards several different places with my pain. I turn to blame and shame, but surprisingly, my emotions turn towards anger. I am angry at our government. I am angry at leadership. I am angry at my neighbors. I am angry at random influencers online. I am angry at my family. I am angry at friends. I am angry at myself. I am angry that we are still stuck in this pandemic; it seems to rule our days and ruin our lives. Anger can feel as dangerous and as hot as the water bubbling up like a volcano on my stove right now.
I want it to be over, but it’s not. It’s still here. I want things to be different, but they’re still the same. I want to shut the door and move on, but reality is demanding another way.
I am done with COVID, but COVID isn’t done with me. Even if it were, the effects of it will be long-lasting.
The truth is we have all been through an enormous trauma. It’s not time to look away; it’s time to start healing. We’ve all walked, crawled, and hurled our way through the last two years. We want to be done, but God is still doing something here. Whether we like it or not, we must continue to feel the pain we’ve already persevered through. We need help for our bodies and help for our souls. One without the other is a cocktail for disconnection and depression. We must let God do more work in our hearts.
Remember the story of Jesus and the disciples in the storm (Matthew 8:23-27)? The disciples were frantic and anxious as the waves rose high above their heads. They woke Jesus up and begged Him to do something. Jesus was undeterred by the weather but deterred by the disciples’ outrageous response to the storm. He calmly settled the waters and rose in frustration at His disciples’ lack of faith.
Two years feels like an eternity when I am looking through the lens of this mortal life. When my gaze is fixed on the storm, I only see chaos. When my anxiety is tied to a news cycle, I only feel fear. When my hope is lassoed to a holiday party and it’s canceled, I am only left with despair. When my security is connected to a shot and I get sick, what comes next?
Faith, sisters, faith. Faith not in peace, faith not in tomorrow, faith not in what can be measured or monetized, faith not in health, and faith not in my own understanding. We need faith in Jesus and in Jesus alone.
We may feel done with all the suffering, inconveniences, and weariness of this pandemic, but Jesus is never done with us. He wants to heal our pain, trauma, and PTSD. Jesus calls us to rise up and have faith. When we are tempted to only look at the monsters around us, let us instead draw our attention to the healing medicine found in Christ.
Our family will heal from COVID this week. We will return to work, school, and church. The real question is, how will we return and move forward? Will we let the suffering of this world drown us or will we walk forward in faith? There will be many unknowns in the future. I can get tired of being sick and quarantined, but I can’t let it keep me from following after Jesus in faith. I will keep my eyes fixed on the only hope in my world and for the world. As the waters rise and fall with my anger and fear, faith in Christ is the only thing that keeps me afloat.Leave a Comment