Covid-19, the pandemic, like a thief in the night, has taken from all of us. In many cases, it has taken friends and family. Those are the greatest losses. It’s interrupted our children and grandchildren’s ability to get a sound education, thus leaving many less fortunate impossibly behind where they should be in their studies. For me personally, it’s robbed me of any peace of mind. You see, I care for my nearly 88 year-old mother, and I’m terrified that if I got sick, I would end up being the catalyst that took her life. Fear of infection has seized our ability to move throughout society without fear, forcing us to hide behind masks while wondering will life ever be the same.
My assertion is that it will not. Stripped down to our very essence, we’ve been forced to go inside ourselves to find the fortitude to go on day after day not knowing exactly when this will end, oftentimes without the comfort of close family members, social gatherings and weekly worship.
I ask, “What good can come from this?” During this time of forced isolation where I’ve been deprived of birthday celebrations, holiday gatherings and travel to see loved ones at a distance, I managed to lose my footing, and I’ve had to battle depression on a regular basis. To top that off, we are a nation divided when unity and closeness is what we need most. Why?
My faith has led me to believe it’s because as a society we needed to be stripped down to the core where all the accoutrements we constantly surround ourselves with to show and tell others just how happy we are needed to at once become meaningless, so that we might finally see what we really need is something much greater than what can be purchased online. We need to finally admit to ourselves that we are not in control. The sun rises and sets each day not from any power we possess but from a power much greater than what can be found in flesh and blood. Recognizing this simple fact is freeing in that no one must feel the need to always have the answer or to feel in complete control. Faith is amazing. Finding faith will allow you not only to find God but to recognize His plan for your life leading you to rediscover who you really are without all the finery.
We also need to see and appreciate our families, both those we’re born to and those we find. They are who help mold and shape us into who we are, they keep us grounded and are the only ones we can count on to be brutally honest when everyone else tells you what you want to hear. Family gives us roots that reach back into history and children and grandchildren to point the way ahead. We need to see, hug and truly appreciate these people who hold such special places in our lives, because without them, we can hardly feel whole.
And last of all, we need to recognize that we are a small part of a greater community. We belong to social clubs and organizations, we ban together to make the world a better place, we have water cooler discussions at work and we mobilize behind a common goal in order to make things happen. Social media, staring at a monitor or a phone can never replace one-on-one conversation, because this is where the magic happens. This is where ideas are born and dreams take flight. Our community is where we find validation for all our hard efforts, and if we’re lucky, we can sometimes discover the contentment in just being.
I assert that we cannot discover God’s plan for us or realize our true potential until we as individuals embrace the tenets of faith, family and community. A three-legged stool cannot stand with just one or two legs, it must have all three. I believe it is just that simple. For all this pandemic has taken from us, if we gain these three things, then we end up with a glass half full as opposed to feeling empty and alone, and that’s a really good place to start in terms of re-entering society post pandemic.
About the Author
Joy Metzer worked as a professional interior designer for more than twenty-five years, spearheading projects both nationally and abroad, while cultivating an audience for her writing through several book publications and a successful online blog under her former name, Joyce M. Stacks. Though no stranger to real life portrayals intended to enrich the lives of her readers, this is her first effort at writing a children’s chapter book loosely based upon the private life she shares with her husband. She attended both the University of Utah and Texas Christian University and currently resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to be near her family, as well as in Lead Hill with her husband, Bill.