There is a frenzy in our society in response to the growing COVID-19 outbreak. A palpable panic in the air at the grocery store. A quiet avoidance, as we try not to look our neighbors in the eye. As if viruses were contracted through something as simple as a smile. The air is thick with restlessness, as so many of us who are used to staying busy, are now confined to our homes.
And my family is not immune. Sometimes we come up for air and feel the same uneasiness in our bones. But we have so much to be thankful for. And I hope this little list of musings brings peace to your panicked places.
1. Plan for the worst
These tumultuous times have thrown many families into uncertainty as jobs have been lost, or temporary lay-offs imposed in the wake of social distancing. Luckily for my family, I was introduced to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at my job several years ago. And we’ve been able to save for a time such as this. But even if you don’t already have an emergency fund for tough times, it’s never to late to start. In times of financial crisis like these, focus on your Four Walls first: Food, Utilities, Shelter, Transportation. Focus on your families basic needs first, and try not to stress the rest. This won’t last forever, and when it’s over you will be armed with better knowledge for the next trying time.
2. An Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude is a game changer in times like these. Even now, when I go to the grocery store and can’t find basics like eggs, milk, or butter I KNOW that we, in America, are still living in abundance. Even with emptier shelves, and less choices I know that I’m so blessed that the store has things for me to buy. Even if I have to get a little creative, or eat things I don’t prefer I am so richly blessed compared to so many in impoverished countries EVEN in days like today.
3. Focusing on Facts
Like some of you, my personality is Type A to the extreme. And I like to know what’s going on. And when I look up facts on COVID-19, I’ve found that for most infected individuals the viral symptoms range nonexistent to mild. But COVID-19 is concerning because of how rapidly it spreads. Meaning those who are unlucky or immune comprised at more at risk than they would be during a simple flu season. So I feel more at ease staying home. Knowing that my family is likely to come out of this healthy and well. But I’m happy to be diligent in my social distancing for the sake of others. I am so, so willing to put up with this temporary discomfort if it means that medical staff and buildings are better able to care for those who desperately need it. Your Grandma is worth it to me.
4. Faith over Fear
At the root of all other things, I’m finding peace in the God who made me. I trust that He is good, even when things seem dark. I know that He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And even though bad things may happen on this earth, He is the only one who can turn it for good. So even if the food ran out or the money was gone, I’m leaning in and trying to find security in Christ rather than material things. Because I know that they are temporary. And hopefully you too can find rest in the solidness of God’s promises. And if you want to know the kind of peace I’m talking about, this link is a great place to start.
I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy, as we wait for easier days.