Listen to today’s article here.
We woke up feeling off. Perhaps it was the hangover of joy from the holidays or just not enough sleep. Maybe it was the chill in the air from last night’s storm. Maybe our heater was to blame for our groggy morning. It is fickle and kicks on as randomly as a distant relative stopping by. But our bodies felt the ache and hot tea couldn’t wash away our scratchy throats. We were undeniably sick — COVID-sick.
We are rapidly approaching two years of this pandemic. Two years of masks, two years of shutdown, two years of controversy, two years of science, two years of sickness that just doesn’t seem to find an end, two years of virtual learning and meeting, two years of making impossible choices, two years of canceling plans, two years of test results, two years of almost normal but not quite yet.
To be honest, I’m tired. I’m tired of conversations starting and ending with COVID. I’m tired of the arguments, articles, and endless mandates. Here I am now boiling water for Top Ramen and measuring out Tylenol for my boys. It is a fragile feeling when you are sick. It’s scary wondering and waiting for this virus to meander its way through our bodies.
In the rawness, I turn towards several different places with my pain. I turn to blame and shame, but surprisingly, my emotions turn towards anger. I am angry at our government. I am angry at leadership. I am angry at my neighbors. I am angry at random influencers online. I am angry at my family. I am angry at friends. I am angry at myself. I am angry that we are still stuck in this pandemic; it seems to rule our days and ruin our lives. Anger can feel as dangerous and as hot as the water bubbling up like a volcano on my stove right now.
I want it to be over, but it’s not. It’s still here. I want things to be different, but they’re still the same. I want to shut the door and move on, but reality is demanding another way.
I am done with COVID, but COVID isn’t done with me. Even if it were, the effects of it will be long-lasting.
The truth is we have all been through an enormous trauma. It’s not time to look away; it’s time to start healing. We’ve all walked, crawled, and hurled our way through the last two years. We want to be done, but God is still doing something here. Whether we like it or not, we must continue to feel the pain we’ve already persevered through. We need help for our bodies and help for our souls. One without the other is a cocktail for disconnection and depression. We must let God do more work in our hearts.
Remember the story of Jesus and the disciples in the storm (Matthew 8:23-27)? The disciples were frantic and anxious as the waves rose high above their heads. They woke Jesus up and begged Him to do something. Jesus was undeterred by the weather but deterred by the disciples’ outrageous response to the storm. He calmly settled the waters and rose in frustration at His disciples’ lack of faith.
Two years feels like an eternity when I am looking through the lens of this mortal life. When my gaze is fixed on the storm, I only see chaos. When my anxiety is tied to a news cycle, I only feel fear. When my hope is lassoed to a holiday party and it’s canceled, I am only left with despair. When my security is connected to a shot and I get sick, what comes next?
Faith, sisters, faith. Faith not in peace, faith not in tomorrow, faith not in what can be measured or monetized, faith not in health, and faith not in my own understanding. We need faith in Jesus and in Jesus alone.
We may feel done with all the suffering, inconveniences, and weariness of this pandemic, but Jesus is never done with us. He wants to heal our pain, trauma, and PTSD. Jesus calls us to rise up and have faith. When we are tempted to only look at the monsters around us, let us instead draw our attention to the healing medicine found in Christ.
Our family will heal from COVID this week. We will return to work, school, and church. The real question is, how will we return and move forward? Will we let the suffering of this world drown us or will we walk forward in faith? There will be many unknowns in the future. I can get tired of being sick and quarantined, but I can’t let it keep me from following after Jesus in faith. I will keep my eyes fixed on the only hope in my world and for the world. As the waters rise and fall with my anger and fear, faith in Christ is the only thing that keeps me afloat.Leave a Comment
Karen Marie says
This is so beautifully written …. Everything many of us have been feeling … the anxiety has become so great ! People have been paralyzed with fear. Thank you for acknowledging all the feelings we have been going through these past two years…. We pray for healing ❤️ and loving kindness to one another !
Deb Gurganus says
Thank you so much for these words. You have certainly hit the nail on the head. I am tired myself of the disruption that this has caused and it makes me mad which is probably what the devil is trying to accomplished. Your words have given me the encouragement to push forward. It is my choice to stay in this pit of depression or I can be a overcomer. I can be a light in this dark world because JESUS has it all under control.
Our son graduated from high school and attended his freshman year of college at the beginning of this. Our daughter has been through year 3 and 4 of college in this mess (including theater classes with virtual performances). I was a substitute teacher who took an aide position so that I could at least be at the same school every day. We’ve had shut downs and shots and extended breaks. We live in Indiana so when you throw winter weather in there…..I spend a lot of time simply praying “Please God get us through this….”
Carol Louise Gonzalez says
I agree about the weather. I was dealing with a fractured shoulder at this time last year and was unable to help my husband with snow removal. I was thankful not to be driving with some of the snow we had and hope we have better weather this winter.
This is what exactly my heart has been feeling as well, I get it all. So thankful our Saviour comes along side of us and is there with us in it all. He is bidding us to come to him and asking us to lay at his feet. Knowing He is all we need and his grace is sufficient. Thank you for sharing your heart and being vulnerable and real as I know this is so much of what we have all been going threw. Lord help us to persevere and keep our eyes on you! amen.
Ruth Mills says
Amen! May our faith roots grow deep & fat through every hard & unknown life season. Bless you richly!
I am so at my wits end with this. Last week at worship, (a very small gathering and all masked and vaxxed and distanced while sitting there) I actually hugged someone! I thought I am willing to chance it. So thank you for sharing this. I am beyond frustrated and angry. So I begin my day as I always do saying this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it- and maybe today I can be glad.
When nothing makes sense and we get mixed messages the only truth is our lord. You hit the nail on the head about being angry with so many. But thank god for this community and our faith. I have listened to my instincts and tuned in sharply to my intuition and not the television during the past couple of years. Gratefully no one in our family has been sick and we have resumed our lives the way WE want to live them since June of 2020 not the way others are telling us how to live them. I pray that all of us come together and feel a sense of life again soon.
Carol Louise Gonzalez says
The world will certainly look different when the Pandemic is over. I have a friend who believes it will become an epidemic rather than a Pandemic in time. I choose to believe that this situation is in God’s hands. I am thankful that God opened my heart to being vaccinated and made it less anxiety producing for me to get my first dosage of the vaccine. I had a rough time after my booster but if boosters are again suggested I will probably just get it as I believe God can work through the people who made the vaccines. My new normal includes shopping for my Mom and it will probably be that way going forward. I get upset and frustrated at times but have to trust in God that what I need to do will get done going forward. And I continue to mask up. Stay safe and well!
Thank you for addressing this.
Well said, Anjuli! Our pastor said something similar a couple of weeks ago. And it makes perfect sense. When we are disheartened, we only need to turn our eyes on Jesus!
Emily Carringer says
Yes! This! Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I feel so much of the same. Keeping my eyes on Jesus!
Thank you for writing down our reality right now. So many emotions we are feeling that can overwhelm us!! He is for you and me. I read Hebrews chapter 11 yesterday. Faith in Jesus is what is going to help us get through this and many days ahead. He is with us in our coming and our going. Thank you incourage team for speaking truth.
Your words so expressed what is in my heart and on my mind. Through all of this I am so grateful to have our God.
Thank you for the encouragement. I’ve had some extremely frustrating days about this virus but Jesus. Thank you for the reminder that Jesus is our source of peace in all circumstances. Blessings!
Amen! Reminds me of the words of a Worship Chorus: “Jesus is the answer, for the world today. Above Him is no other; Jesus is THE WAY!”
Elizabeth (Betsy) Hall says
You are so right. Faith in Jesus and God. That is what carries us through. Also turning off the news. They hype things up–they want to keeps us upset and definitely not calmed down. I am a RN. I have a chronic disease and am immuno -suppressed.
I could worry all day, but that would be worthless. When you feel like you are drained of everything in you–I I do many times a day at times. The old hymn comes to me–“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the think of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” There are more verses–google them if you are not familiar with this hymn, or go to YouTube. Yes, we are tired of this pandemic, but we can cope and make it through when we walk it through with Jesus.
Also an RN myself. My frustration level has been elevated since this whole thing started; I work in our hospital’s transfer center, which means we get all the calls from outside facilities looking to transfer patients, and we assign ALL the beds for the 3 hospitals in our system here. Believe me, we are ALL over this…and beyond…
Prayers for you to be as protected as possible with your health.
I just keep shaking my head and saying “hold me Jesus!”
Thank you for being so transparent and sharing what many people are not brave enough to share.The pandemic has truly been a trying of our faith. It’s important for us as believers to continue to let our light shine in the dark world. Its so unfortunate that many of us have started arguing over whether to be vaccinated or not which is just a trick of the devil. Whatever choices we make are personal just as our relationship with the Lord is. We really need to focus because the world is watching us. I’ve seen so much bickering starting with the election, and continuing with the vaccination. Let us love each other regardless to our political state or our vaccination state. God is love, and he wants us to let the world see the love of him through us.
K Ann Guinn says
Thanks for sharing what’s been weighing on my heart, as well. I also have been feeling tired, worn out, sad (mildly depressed?), and confused after all we’ve been through and are still traversing, and am concerned for those around me as well.
I think this is the “new normal” they were talking about way back at the beginning of the pandemic, when we had no idea how long and tough it would be. My husband scoffs at this phrase and we don’t like it; we want our comfortable past way of life, not some new, degenerated normal.
While I firmly believe it’s healthy and necessary to admit and deal with our negative emotions and fears, I also agree with you that our focus needs to be elsewhere. We can cling to the positive changes and growth we’ve experienced, and trust God to lead us to HIS new normal.
I am endeavoring to remain grateful and trust God’s plan, since he cares for us, will never leave us, and works all things for our good.
K Ann Guinn says
Just to clarify, we FEEL we want our old way of life, but wish to embrace what God has for us today. 🙂
Becky Keife says
“Faith, sisters, faith. Faith not in peace, faith not in tomorrow, faith not in what can be measured or monetized, faith not in health, and faith not in my own understanding. We need faith in Jesus and in Jesus alone.” Every yes! Preach, my friend. We all need to hear this message!
Robin Dance says
Becky, while I was scrolling down to comment, your comment jumped out at me because THIS mini sermon was strumming in my thoughts :). Anjuli, a wonderfully-written encouragement calling our sisters to FAITH! Thank you, friend <3.
Well done! I’ve not thought about Jesus as often as I should have. Thank you for this piece. It was a wonderful read.
I appreciate this article, we have to have faith in Jesus and place our hope in Him. I am an ICU RN who has been in the middle of this. Although I believe the sickness is from Satan as is the loneliness, depression, isolation, etc, I am thankful for the changes I have seen. My ICU team now prays for each other and our patients and families. It has revealed some of my gifts as well. As a former hospice nurse I know that God has given me the gift of comforting they dying and their family. The compassion and empathy I feel could only come from God and for this I am grateful.
This has been a very difficult time but there are positives, you can see them when you keep your focus on Him.
Thank you Molli. You are being used for His glory.
Bless you Molli! Hard times indeed—and yes, this virus seems to be the work of the devil for sure. One of our nursing floors established a daily prayer time for healthcare workers in their unit at the start of this pandemic. Due to it being at 2pm, which is a very busy time in my own department (bed placement, aka “transfer center”, etc etc), I set a daily alarm reminder in my phone. You will be added to my list of folks I pray for!
Dawn Wood says
Keeps by my eyes fixed on Jesus with you. Sending love!
Beth Williams says
This pandemic has everyone on edge & divisive. Opinions vary about getting vaccinated or which ones to get. We are ALL getting tired of distancing, wearing masks & not hugging each other-take it from one who works in a hospital & loves to hug)! We must remember that God is in control. He alone can give us a cure for this disease. Put your faith & trust in Him alone. He will see us All through these trying times. Meantime pray & encourage each other.
Gillian Mackenzie says
I am beyond done with this pandemic and so much has happened to me and my family, as a result of it. I had covid way back in Jan 2020 and nobody knew at that stage what it was. I was so sick for 10 weeks and I thought I was going to die. It has left me with damage to my upper gastrointestinal system and I’ve been in and out of hospital for tests for the past year and have a lot ahead of me. It’s doubtful I’ll recover fully. My daughters have lost out on university experiences and spend most days stuck in front of their laptops, living virtual lives. They are pale and disinterested in life. We are depressed as a family. We pray, but we feel nothing changes. My marriage is a mess too. In all honesty, we are all losing hope and faith. I don’t know how it’s possible to keep walking forward in faith, I really don’t.
Terry Law says
So hard! Hugs and prayers for you Gillian.
Thank you so much, Anjuli, for articulating so well what many of us feel right now. I pray your family has recovered well from COVID. Thank you for drawing us to Jesus in these times of uncertainties. Indeed, Lord, when our hearts are overwhelmed, lead us to the Rock that is higher than us.
So grateful for the daily words of encouragement at (in) 🙂