Beyond isolation.

It is no secret that the past month has been one that has truly shaken things up for most of us. I’ve watched as public schools have closed their doors for the remainder of the academic years. So many jobs, schedules, social lives, and everything pretty much under the sun seemingly has been disrupted by COVID-19. This is our new normal, at least for now. But also during this time, for the past few weeks now I have watched as friends of mine have isolated and socially distanced themselves to stop the spread of COVID-19 …thank you all seriously for doing your part. It matters.

But in all of these people isolating, many are home with husbands, wives, parents, kids, siblings, roommates. They might be socially isolated but they are not alone.

I’ll be honest, I’ve been a little jealous of my friends who get to be with loved ones during this crazy time. I have seen so many fun videos of my friends and their families; the game nights, the movie nights, the dancing, the couples workouts, and more. It’s a weird paradox for me. I am so happy for them all. Really….how cool is it that people have been able to reconnect with family? I honestly don’t remember another time in my life where so many people were spending such quality time with their families. It’s pretty cool to see. But part of me is still jealous because I do not have that. I don’t have family that live near by. My husband is deployed thousands of miles away. I’m socially distancing as well which means I go to work in my “essential” job and return home…alone…again…and again.

I don’t say this as a pity party. But out of a raw place of where I’m at with our current events. For me, my season of uncertainty, frustration, disappointment, and even at times, isolation, began before coronavirus even was on our radar. The posts I’ve seen on social media that I’ve found most encouragement in are from friends of mine that are military spouses and military families awaiting their loved ones from deployment but also stuck in the same limbo of the unknown return. At the same time, I feel a sense of camaraderie with the single person who is living alone and obeying the stay home orders and doing their best to not feel disconnected from the world. It’s definitely a strange time indeed.

And during this strange time, I have tried so many times and failed to find the words to express the disappointment of this season for me personally, the biggest of all being my husband’s extended deployment. Part of that disappointment comes also with anger at people in the US not taking the restrictions seriously because maybe if people did obey and comply with the orders weeks ago, maybe my husband and the many other troops around the world would still be coming home as planned. This season of disappointment goes beyond the deployment. This is to me is one that is a bag of mixed emotion. I am so grateful to have a job and a paycheck and be called “essential” while simultaneously disappointed that the jobs I want and have been in the process with- both of which are amazing and would be incredible have- are on hold. So more job disappointment paired with career disappointment and more waiting. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to continue my physical therapy and recover all the while still frustrated that I am nowhere near 100%. There are so many details small and big that just show me why I want to fast forward this season.

I know not everything has been terrible, but like many people during difficulty, its so easy to get caught in the negative and hear the discouragement, the lies, the deceit that the devil speaks into our ears. I have felt like a strong Christian for my entire adult life, but even in strong faith, I have struggled at times to ignore the voice of the enemy, the devil. And when we are in the midst of the battle, the struggles, the difficulty, we have to try to hear the voice that matters. The voice calling to us, the one offering us the helping hand..

Then I remember that God reminds us so many times in his Word that he hasn’t failed us nor forgotten us. And though at times it seems like he has, I want to remind you all that God is working- we just might not see what is happening. Even when I face the things I’ve written here, and worse things, I know that God is faithful. He has shown up in my life so many times. He has been there through everything. He has gotten me through everything I have ever faced. At my core, despite struggling, my faith is still there and I truly know where the victory lies…only in God. God is our strength. He is our hope. Just because we cannot see what God is doing, doesn’t mean he isn’t working. And especially with struggling in this season, what’s amazing is I have spent so much more time in prayer. I think that’s how it should be…when we struggle, we tell God. We express our hurt, our pain, our struggle, our weakness, our failures, our disappointments. We can yell. We can cry. We can be angry.

God is not intimidated by what we feel no matter how big or small. Just go to him with everything. Then listen. Wait. Seek him and his wisdom, his peace, and friend I can promise you this…he will show up. Whatever your season looks like currently, God is present. He is not absent. He is working. We may not have the whole picture, but he is working. Use this time of uncertainty and mixed emotions and seek him more than you ever have. Spend time in his Word. Take the time to study it and not just read it. Learn his heart. Pray…even if you don’t know how to or where to start…just start speaking to him like you would to anyone else. We don’t know how long this isolation and quarantine season will last. Go beyond isolation and use this time to grow and seek God and trust him to write your story, which for all of us, includes a chapter on the pandemic we all face. But the story doesn’t end here. There is hope.

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