I almost decided not to post this month because the world has been turned upside down through a pandemic. Then I decided that this month’s blog was more crucial than ever because the world has been turned upside down through a pandemic. It randomly hit me as I opened my computer that the world now feels how I feel.
Grief comes in many forms and for many different reasons. While 2 months ago today I lost my best friend and only biological sibling, all across the world people are grieving as well. Tragically many are grieving the loss of their loved ones due to a relentlessly spreading virus known as coronavirus, or COVID-19. However, millions are simply grieving the lives they once knew before COVID-19 made its way around the globe. Whether we know someone who has been diagnosed with it or not, all of our lives have changed forever. We can no longer go to work if our careers that we worked so hard to attain are not deemed ‘essential’. Social distancing is now our new normal and yet there is nothing normal about it. There is nothing you can watch on television or view online that doesn’t at least mention the virus. I struggled with if I would mention the virus, but our world is grieving and needs hope too. Whether you have physically lost someone to death or your way of living is lost to COVID-19, there is hope.
Please keep in mind that the Grief +hope journey will always require a shift in perspective.
Today my hope is attached to God’s timing.
In this grief + hope journey, my hope can never fail if it is attached to something that is perfect. And God’s timing is just that! I can’t help but think about how right after my sister died, I kept saying that the whole situation happened too fast. I was secretly disappointed because on January 1, 2020, we were told she had pneumonia again so we attempted to plan her Smile Day Part 2 for February 15, 2020. Instead, her funeral was that day. I remember feeling horrible that I didn’t push to plan it sooner. I questioned God on why He took her so fast. I thought, “Didn’t he know the plans we had?” Sure He did, but I didn’t know the plans He had. Now I’m eternally grateful to God that He took her when He did. We are living in a time where it is unhealthy to even have a funeral to the magnitude that we wanted and had for Kayla. His timing is always perfect.
There are 3 scriptures that remind me of this:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” Ecclesiastes 3:1
This brings me comfort because it assures me that everything, every single activity that is happening in our world is allowed and planned by God. He is allowing this world to experience this virus in 2020 for however long He decides it will last. It’s not my place to understand why and for how long, but I’m comforted in the one that is in control.
“ But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9
Many people have been counting the days that they have been in quarantine. They are growing anxious and irritable because they are in mourning of their old life and can not wait for this season to end. The longer this process goes I am in a strong belief that God is using this time to be patient. He is patiently waiting on His church to rise to the occasion and spread His gospel even with the doors of sanctuaries closed indefinitely. He is waiting on His families to get themselves back into a place of loving each other in harmony instead of coexisting in a hurry. This perspective takes extreme maturity, but ask yourself during this season “What is God patiently waiting on me for?”
“ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12
This is one of my favorite scriptures of all time. He plans for us to have hope and a future. Plans take time to perfect. It is our job right now to be patient and let the plan He has perfected and set before us go into fruition. We are also instructed to call on Him and pray. He has promised us that He will hear us!
Grief + Hope= Laughter
While the world is in a frantic search for a cure, do not let your spirit be consumed with sadness and fear. Proverbs 17: 22 teaches us, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
My laughter is getting me through this season of grief. Kayla’s favorite pass time was laughing. Both of us were blessed with an amazing sense of humor from our father. Between the 3 of us we would always find something in the room to laugh at. Kayla had a hard life to live with her illness so she found her medicine in laughter. I now honor her by laughing as much as I possibly can.
In the last 2 months, I have made an intentional decision to laugh every single day, multiple times a day. Simply because I feel better when I do it. I feel mentally and physically healthier every time I laugh. It is scientifically proven that laughing decreases stress, boosts your immune system, burns calories, relaxes muscles, and prevents heart disease.
During this season, please do yourself a favor and laugh! Turn off the news, find a funny television show, play a game with your family, make up silly dances and songs, talk with people (over the phone) that make you laugh. Just do something and laugh about it!
It is my prayer that through this journey of grief + hope, you are comforted in the fact that His timing is perfect. I also pray something makes you laugh uncontrollably today!