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Because He lives, I can face tomorrow

Yesterday was by far my most difficult day since the shutdown began. Those Easter mornings as we scrambled to get in our best Easter outfits with crooked ties and bows and take a few photos, while still managing to make it to church on time (okay, often a few minutes late) seem like a life time ago. This Easter, I watched the online sermon alone in my pajamas, no new Easter dress this year, as I watch silently in the quiet of my home- no make-up and hair undone. I am not even sure I brushed my teeth first. While I greatly enjoyed the message, I felt so disconnected and alone.

Later in the day, my daughter and I delivered Easter dinner to my mother who lives alone, and to my young adult sons who are self-isolating. We gathered in their driveways and practiced social distancing. This year we couldn’t cook together or gather around the table for our traditional Easter dinner. This year we stood eight or so feet apart and embraced with virtual hugs. This felt so strange. I still am having trouble putting it into words. Here I stand, across from my mother, unable to give her a hug. I haven’t seen her in several weeks. Despite some light conversation and laughter, I could still sense the sadness and could see the tears that she fought so hard to hold in. We then took my sons their meal in similar fashion. They came running out to the driveway eager to see us and somewhat dressed up for the occasion. It made me remember all of the matching Easter outfits I bought for them to wear when they were younger. We had a nice visit and that felt good but as we drove away a lingering feeling of sadness and fear enveloped me. My daughter could sense it too. I couldn’t put it into words last night, but this morning I will try.

It all happened so quickly, within days we went from voluntary social distancing to shut downs.

Soon our routine trips to the grocery store feel like we are entering “the Twilight Zone.”

School and business closings.

Empty streets.

Masks and gloves.

Empty shelves.

Yellow arrows on one way tile floors.

Financial strains.

Families divided.

We were soon faced with so many questions that seemed unsettling. How do I practice social distancing with my loved ones? How will I work remotely or home school my children? How will I pay the mortgage if I lose my job? How will I protect my family and myself from getting sick?

It can be unnerving and daunting for all of us. It can be challenging to say the least to be mindful, present and calm in the midst of chaos. I felt this especially yesterday, as my mind was frequently distracted from God. I knew that I was succumbing to it all. Each encounter and experience yesterday was emotional and raw. As my daughter painted Easter cards for everyone, it made me pause and remember “God is with us”. He is not surprised by any of the current events. I felt God challenging me to rely on him. As isolating as this feels, we are not alone. It is also a unique experience to travel through times of uncertainty collectively. We are all experiencing this together. The pandemic is slowly nudging many of the barriers that separate us. It is comforting to see compassion and kindness rise to the surface. We are suffering collectively, and we will also heal collectively, and that is a powerful thing.

So, each day will present unique challenges and blessings.

I am missing seeing all of you, my family, friends, and clients face to face. In the meantime,

I am thinking of you all and I look forward to the day we can reunite. Stay healthy and well.

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