All I can say is the last four months have been scary, confusing, controversial, difficult and uncertain. At least these are the emotions and feelings I have been having. I look at the things we have been through in these last few months, lockdown, rising COVID numbers, protests and riots, changes in public like wearing masks and social distancing. The general public that I come in contact with says they are doing alright. Let’s look at the word alright.
Now alright is a subjective word. Alright, adjective meaning satisfactory but not especially good; acceptable. I don’t want to be alright, I want to be normal! Actually, I want to be fantastic but I will take normal.
We have seen such constant change recently that I think people are just shutting down and trying to function on autopilot. You know going through the motions without much thought. Living day to day until this all goes away. I have taken a different look at this time, season, valley or whatever you are calling it. Because of my faith, I am calling it a season in the valley.
Early in this valley, say mid-April I became very down. I felt controlled and almost tortured that my life was taken away. My job was pretty much gone, my ministry was halted because I couldn’t be near people that didn’t live in my house and I was getting more and more confused. I was not alright or okay for that matter. I was just trying to exist. No one reached out to me to see if I was alright (outside of my husband of course). Everyone I knew was dealing with the same things I was dealing with. They had their own struggles. I needed to get back to normal.
Well, there isn’t going to be my normal (or yours for that matter) again. I look back at the events of 911 and how it changed travel forever. No more sitting at the gate with family members until their plane boarded. No more bringing your food and water through security. Bags scanned for explosives and weapons. Flight crews trained to look for terrorists instead of focusing on customer service. This was the first huge change in policies I remember. I look at these times the same way. This is another huge change in how things will be handled in the future.
I am digressing away from my topic and for that, I apologize. I worked hard to move through the first few months of this change by digging deeper into the Bible and practicing more gratitude than I normally do. Yes, things are changing but what do I have? I have a loving and supportive husband. He smiles daily and tells me he loves me. I am close to my daughter and her family and my parents so we can check on each other often. I still have people asking to get hearts from my ministry to share with people needing hope even though I am not handing out the hearts, they are still being shared. We had plenty of food and never ran out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap, or cleansers. Best of all was that I knew Jesus was walking with all of us to calm anxiety and worry if we allowed Him to. I felt that I was finally in check with my emotions and feelings and I knew it was time to check on others.
1 John 3:17-18 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
The one good thing about social media is I feel you can read a person’s mental wellbeing through their posts. For example, I had a friend that I could tell was suffering from depression. She had lost her job, the family was moving into her house and her world truly went upside down overnight. I know all of ours did too but I could tell she felt like she was the only one. She was struggling so I reached out to her.
We met for breakfast (masked and distanced) and she did reveal she was clinically depressed and was having a tough time. She looked about 10 years older than her age because she wasn’t sleeping and was wrought with exhaustion and worry. We talked for over an hour and I kept nudging her to talk about her blessings instead of riots and COVID 19 which were ongoing in Dallas where we live. Lack of sleep makes it difficult to see the brighter side of life but I needed for her to see it. I talked to her over and over about the things she did still have and how God takes us through valleys to bring us out better and we have to walk the path He lays out in front of us. After an hour and a half, I saw her face change. Her eyes lit up and the color came back into her face. She saw that hope at least for a minute.
Now, this friend is still struggling but now I know to touch base with her to continue to pray for her and let her know I am her friend and truly care. You can’t snap your fingers and have depression gone. You have to work daily at keeping yourself lifted which I feel is prayer. I pray with her through text so she can keep the text to read it over and over if need be.
Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
I am making a point of texting other friends to ask if they are doing okay and if I can pray for them. Last week I texted several friends and everyone said they needed prayers. Prayers for anxiety was the number one request, health was second and normalcy was third. I think I offered more prayers of intercession last week than during this whole life situation.
I think one of the most touching things last week was that one of the people that follow my Facebook page, Grateful gratitude reached out to me to ask me to pray for him, his family, and another special friend. My heart just shined out love when I was able to pray for him on a Facebook post reply. He was from Mexico which connected me to someone miles away that chose me to pray for them. Can you hear my heart beating loudly?
I also posted on my Facebook inspirational page that I wanted to pray for anyone that needed prayers. Again I got several requests to pray for our leaders, our community, more anxious thoughts and employees, and business opportunities for protection. I answered each request online in a Facebook reply. Again I wanted to bare myself in prayer publically so others could maybe see God working through me. I don’t want to shy away from my faith in public even though I do get some negative posts. That’s just Satan try to slow me down and it’s not happening!
I am asking you today, if you’re not okay, message me so I may pray for you. If you are doing great then please reach out to others to make sure they are okay. Prayer is so powerful and God wants us to care for our brothers and sister like Jesus cares for all of us. I will be praying for you, please pray for others.-LoLo
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”