\dis-ˈrəp-shən\: a break or interruption in the normal course or continuation of some activity, process, etc.
So much change has happened in two short weeks. In the last two weeks, COVID-19 has gone from a peripheral issue to THE ISSUE, causing a huge disruption in our lives. Here are eight examples:
- Shopping: transition from this being a non-issue to fears that we may not have what we need; symbolized by a toilet paper shortage.
- Working: transition from business as usual to working from home or getting laid off.
- Social: transition from normal to little if any face-to-face contact
- Children: transition from going to school to staying at home.
- Church Services: transition from corporate gatherings to streaming or nothing.
- Economy: transition from a growing vibrant economy to a recession.
- Stock market: transition from record highs to a loss of one third of its value.
- Health: transition a threat to people in China and Italy to the probability of people in in our town.
These developments have happened so fast, with changes occurring hourly, that, quite frankly, it has been overwhelming. It has been very difficult to wrap our heads around what has happened.
Here are some questions we are asking:
- How long will schools, restaurants and some businesses be closed?
- Will things get worse?
- Will my family and I be OK?
- Will we have the food and basics that we need?
- What is this going to do to our finances?
- Will I or a loved one get sick? Will I or others I love die from this?
- How long will this craziness last?
These are very relevant and real questions. There are no answers at this time. What may be the hardest of all is the uncertainty that permeates everything.
Uncertainty is very hard to deal with. We are grieving the loss of the daily and weekly rhythms that we have become accustomed to. But we don’t know what the new normal will be like, and for how long. We are grieving the loss of so much of life as we know it. It is healthy to acknowledge that and be in touch with our feelings.
We can learn from David in how he processed his emotions in Psalm 34:
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears… This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles… The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit…
David was self-aware enough to name his fears. (We can be fearful when there are unknowns coupled with possible negative outcomes. Sound familiar?) He cried out to the Lord. He acknowledged that he was brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. David, a man after God’s own heart, was aware of his considerable pain, and talked to God about it and shared it with others. David was practicing Relational Skills 2. Sooth Myself and 13. See What God Sees.
The last two weeks have been very challenging for me personally. As a financial planner, collectively, my clients have lost millions and millions of their net worth, and it has been important that I be connecting with them as they grieve this loss. They needed reassurance that they are going to be OK. I am concerned with my family and their wellbeing. I have been focusing on caring for others, but have lots of concerns about our situation as well, as my income will most likely plummet.
Has this impacted my relationship with Sharon? Yes. It has been good for us to talk about how this stress is affecting our relationship. We are in this battle together, and by having a candid discussion on how we are doing with this, it allows us to support one another.
It is good to pause and take inventory. I encourage you to set aside some time and interact with God about how you are doing with all of this. Here are some questions to interact with Him about:
- What losses am I grieving?
- What are my fears?
- What is my body telling me about what is going on inside of me?
- How has this affected my interaction with others, especially those I am closest to? Am I stressed or grumpy?
It is good to bring what is hidden inside of us out into the light. (Eph 5:13) Then we can have a candid discussion with God and others about what is going on inside of us. That is called self-awareness, which is a good thing.
Here is a link to a wonderful tool: a sheet to do Immanuel Journaling, developed by my friends John and Sungshim Loppnow. We encourage you to use this to tell God what is on your heart and listen to Him care for your soul. There is never a better time to interact with God than in this season