This unprecedented time in history began with uncertainty, moved into fear, and is headed into impatience. Much has been canceled, postponed, or simply lost. But don’t lament loss, let’s harness hope.
While difficult to see at times, I sense this stay at home season is and still can be very beneficial. Our world, country, communities, and families are coming together in unprecedented ways. Many are putting others before self. Some are using newly found time to learn, grow, catch up, clean, purge, and create. But losses still sting. Maybe lesser or little income impacts you or yours. Or the COVID-19 virus has directly impacted family or friends. Loss, no matter its source, hurts.
Loss is real, but so is hope.
The way through grieving any loss is to eventually find acceptance and hope. We are beginning to see light at the end of this crisis tunnel. We are anticipating a resume to new normal. As Christians, we find our hope in Jesus as celebrated recently at Easter. But just like after Jesus’ resurrection, nothing will ever be the same.
Sure, we will try to resume business as usual at work, school, home, and in our communities. But it won’t be the same. In the future, we’ll think twice when someone near us coughs, prepares our food without gloves, or shares of a recent trip abroad. We will stock up on non-perishable food, cleaning, and paper products. We’ll wonder about our finances or jobs rebounding. These are scars from loss. But let’s also consider the hope.
I hope we continue to support our most vulnerable, the tireless caregivers, and protectors of our country and communities. I pray we keep our connections strong, not only with family and friends, but also with our ever present God. Let’s harness this hope and use it for ours and other’s good and God’s will.
There are ways to move from loss to hope. Here are a few practical tips as we journey along this path:
Learn from the Loss
- Identify what is missed about the person, place, or thing we’ve lost. Whether it’s physically being with someone, going to that favorite place, or experiencing an event, something is missing in loss. Once we identify it, we begin to move forward.
- Honor the loss. We may not be able to experience that certain someone, site, or situation, but we can honor and celebrate him/her/it in another way. Be creative and draw upon your feelings to honor it/them in a different, yet worthy way.
- Accept and remember. Hopefully, this same loss will not be repeated, so as we move toward acceptance, let’s remember it well to learn for the future.
Pursue the Present
- Cherish what we do have. Yes, there are losses in life, but we’re still here and have valuable people and gifts in the present. Let’s cherish what and who we still have and never forget the importance of being present in the present.
- Keep connections strong. Even if you haven’t mastered Zoom calls or Google hangout, we have telephones to connect with all those we care about. In some ways, connections are stronger now as we learn not to take one another for granted. Stay present and connected.
- Hone your home. This can be done through family bonding, sprucing up yards and/or home interiors, or simply creating a haven worth enjoying. Learn about, purge, clean, renovate, and/or organize your home to enjoy now and in the future.
Harness the Hope
- Plan Loosely. Hoping for a better future isn’t wrong. But as we make plans, let’s hold them loosely, trusting God’s will over ours. Seek God in planning and follow His lead. It’s good to plan, it’s even better obey God in the process.
- Find the Fun. Days can get long and run together. Finding daily fun is something we should be doing every day, especially now! It’s good for our mind and attitudes. We’ve initiated Malt Mondays (celebrating another week of staying at home with ice cream), created new recipes, learned home improvement skills, discovered old treasures, built a mini golf course, and reminisced on past excursions-all while being home.
- Spread the Joy. Some days things and people will overwhelm and get to us. Especially in these moments, it’s important to be present, attentive, and spread the joy. Let’s lift each other up with prayer, a virtual hug, words of encouragement, or a special something they’ll enjoy. When we spread the joy, we all share it.
Until we are out of our stay at home orders, let’s learn from loss, pursue the present, and harness hope to share with others. We may be physically apart, but we are all in this together.
Happy to link with Crystal’s #HeartEncouragement