I’m not sure how many of you follow me on Instagram, but I decided to take two weeks off social media back on March 5th. I had no idea that this virus hoopla was going to unfold during my hiatus, but I am so grateful I have been off social media for this! Let me tell you, I had said I wanted to lean into my last two weeks of having two babies under 2 years old. My toddler turns 2 on the 21st, and my tiny baby turns 6 months on the 19th. It feels like these last six months were a blur. I wanted to make memories these last two weeks, to make sure I was really, I mean really present with my girls.
Ironically, many people are now finding themselves extremely present now, too. The difference is they got pushed into it by schools closing, or maybe their jobs making them work from home. There is talk of social distancing, big events being canceled, even churches. People actually went to the grocery store and bought food for two weeks’ worth of meals. And I guess toilet paper for a year. Hey, look at the perks: everybody is ready for a stomach virus, too. I had to make a diarrhea joke because I’m 7 on the inside. Please forgive me.
I see all of this and if you remove the anxiety, I see a wonderful, wonderful opportunity to create space. I think sometimes we find ourselves cluttered and busy, stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed. And then something comes and says “you have to stop, your 17 extracurricular activities are canceled, you need to use your kitchen, and you actually need to be home with your family” and I think that just may be the biggest blessing some people receive in 2020. Beyond the possibility of a virus, we can be certainly infected with intentionality and a renewed appreciation for family.
This next part is cheesy, and if your heart isn’t there, maybe it’ll sound like Christianese and another band-aid meaningless prophetic picture thrown at you. Finding these words gave me a lot of hope and I wanted to share them. I want to say I wrote them in 2016 or 2017. I had made a bookmark and laminated it.
I had many notes on it that stood out to me, but one sentence made me cry. It said “Peace is my crown.”
Corona means crown in Spanish. This virus has taken up so much mind space for people, it’s almost as if it’s planted itself on our minds like a crown of anxiety and fear. I know God has a crown of peace already on my head. His peace is what takes up residence on top of me and in my mind. It’s a symbol of my royalty in Christ, His perfect peace! Peace certainly doesn’t mean ignoring wisdom, or sugarcoating affliction. Peace is that quality of being able to rest in the storm, or being able to trust when things are uncertain. Peace is knowing that no matter what comes, I can entrust my life and my eternity in God’s hands.
My deep prayer is that during this time of uncertainty, we step into clarity of what’s most important. Having extraneous things removed, I pray we find purpose in loving our families well, in loving our communities well, in rejuvenating our prayer lives, in redefining presence. You can look at it as social distancing or rather look at what it is that you are approaching closely. This is a good opportunity to reach out for help in counseling for the anxiety that’s been sitting with you this whole time. This is a great opportunity to reach out for help if depression has been in the background. This is a sobering opportunity to reevaluate your budget for restaurants, gyms, alcohol, vacations, and nighttime activities. Maybe, just maybe, the light will shine on the things that have been used to mask or escape a deeper root, and that can usher in such priceless healing!
Most of all, this is a fantastic opportunity for us to look the fear of death in the face and say “where is your sting?” and actually mean it. The punchline isn’t here, it’s with Jesus. People are extremely afraid of death, because they value so greatly what they see here, and who they see here. Do I want to get sick with any kind of illness? No. I do want to have a long life, to see my family live long lives, and all of that. We wash our hands, we do the common sense things. This is beyond that. Death is not an if, it’s a when.
At the risk of sounding morbid and insensitive, I’m not afraid of dying. I actually (in not a suicidal or depressive way at all) know that what comes after this will be ultimately so, so, so, so much better.
When I knew life was growing in my womb, I had to grapple with all of this, again. Surrender, again. And by God’s grace, I put on that crown of peace.
I pray a blessing over you, reading this. I pray that you feel God’s love and peace today. If you feel overwhelmed by what’s uncertain, the newsflash is that every single day is uncertain, but not every single day do you get bombarded with the news and your fellow humans harping on one single topic. I pray God gives you vision and reassurance of His love for you, so that you’re securely wearing a crown of peace, not just through this circumstance, but throughout the remainder of your days.