When you are on a long road trip, do you ever express your appreciation for the inventions of GPS and Waze? I am old enough to remember long road trips with my mom holding up the large paper map in the passenger seat making sure we stayed on course. If your family was anything like my family, your route may have even been highlighted. But back in the days before Waze and technology, what happened if there was an accident or a road closure? Most likely you’d pull over the side of the road to re-route. You didn’t have the luxury of Waze already planning your fastest route and telling you where the accidents, cops, and road closures were ahead.
I think it’s safe to say this past month and a half has been the biggest “re-route” that I have experienced in my lifetime. Our road map has been thrown out the window and it seems like Waze is stuck on “recalculating”.
We made all these plans, but now what? What do we do? How do we react? Everything that was so routine and familiar has changed. We like knowing our plans. We like our routine and we look forward to our events, our gatherings, our trips, and seeing the people we love. Things are happening all around us and at times it feels like we can’t catch our breath.
- You lost a loved one to the virus unexpectedly.
- You planned to go to work every day and now you don’t have a job to go to.
- You were planning to get married and have had to change it to a small, intimate ceremony, or reschedule it completely.
- You did NOT plan to have your children home 24/7.
The control we find comfort in now seems out of grasp. This can lead to us feeling lost, sad, frustrated, angry, and any other number of emotions.
You may be thinking along the lines of these:
What’s the next route?
What is my plan?
What do I do next?
Whether or not I like it, my plan may not look the same as it did. It’s going to change and with that I am going to have to adapt my mindset and as we can all see, our lifestyle is going to have to adapt as well. So, even though I cannot control when the economy will open, what happens in the stock market, or this virus, what I can control is my response, and how I adapt.
So here are a few questions that I have been reflecting on and asking myself:
What have I been putting my hope in?
It is easy to put our hope in financial security, job security, and all the things that we think will fulfill us, but when taken away we feel empty, scared, maybe even hopeless. But there is good news: we have something that we CAN put our hope in when things seem desolate. The only hope that brings fulfillment and sustaining peace is the love of Jesus —putting our hope in Him and what He has already done for us. I often have to re-center myself and the Lord reminds me that I have everlasting hope and a love that will never fail.
Am I adapting and adjusting well? Am I even adapting at all?
I think this question may be the one where I have to be brutally honest with myself. Am I faking it and pretending like everything is okay? Or am I being honest with myself and others on how I am feeling? Emotions are going to be all over the place. Some days will be good, some days will be tough and that is okay. Finding a healthy way to process what is going on is important. It may look like taking a walk, reading God’s word, cooking a meal, going for a drive, talking to a friend, or even talking to a professional if need be. For me, when I start to feel anxious I pray, listen to worship music, and get into God’s word. Another thing I have done is carve out at least 30 minutes to do something that brings me peace and joy. For me that looks like going for a run.
What can I prioritize that I didn’t before?
For me, this question has caused a lot of reflection on what I was and was not prioritizing. For you, it could be that work had taken priority over your family. Your physical health and mental health were not as much as a priority but now you see how important both are. Many people have lost loved ones due to this virus and it has been a reminder to not take any relationships I have for granted. However it may look for you, challenge yourself to do some hard, honest, reflecting.
A New Road Map
As everything becomes reconstructed and we start over or start new, there is no doubt that these are difficult and unprecedented times. If you need help and are struggling, please reach out to someone that you trust or a professional. The staff at Crossroads can be a great resource for you. If we can help, give us a call at (225) 314-4147.
There will be a “new normal” in the next few months, but how we respond to that new normal can make all the difference. We may be still recalculating and figuring out our next route, but as we go forward, let’s also look to where our map ultimately leads us and not lose sight of the hope we have of eternity with Christ.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”Romans 15:13