Social Distancing, Spiritual Closeness | What God has Taught Me During Quarantine
Being self-quarantined when you live on your own leaves a lot of time to think. Being alone with your own thoughts can be distressing, to say the least. But I'm blessed to have a relationship with God who is in my corner anytime I start thinking of negatives from my past or get anxiety about the future. Through prayer, reading scripture, attending online church, and journaling, I've strengthened my relationship with Him and found the sense of peace I need to make it through this time of uncertainty.
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1. We need each other now more than ever.
Social distancing calls for emotional closeness and finding new ways to support each other. Everyone's in their own bubble, physically separate from those they love, and that can make it really hard to stay connected. But it's crucial that we keep our key relationships close.
1 Corinthians 12:25-27 | So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Simply put, in my interpretation, if we think of the 'body' as the human spirit, everyone should have concern for and connection to each other. Right now, we are in a united state of distress and confusion. Our sense of community has been strengthened, I see it more and more everyday, and we are all looking for little victories to be celebrated. When times are tough, we should be reaching for those we love and even those we barely know for sources of light and to keep our collective spirits high. We're all connected in more ways than one, which has been made especially clear through this pandemic.
2. We have the inherent strength to get through this.
We are born with bountiful love and resiliency. We have innate abilities to fight off sources of evil in our lives and come back stronger. This quarantine was initiated to keep the most amount of people safe by limiting contact. By no means am I saying that was the wrong way to handle it, but I think it's important to acknowledge how quarantine has made some people's lives much harder and how it has negatively impacted mental health.
For some, getting out of the house was the best part of their day; it fueled them to get work done and invigorated their soul. Not everyone has a loving home to come back to. Not everyone is an introvert or homebody. But I'm sure everyone is feeling some degree of stir-craziness. Despite how agonizing isolation can be, how worrisome the uncertainty of tomorrow is, how unproductive you may feel, how scary it is to fear the virus -- you are strong. You are so capable of making the most you can out of each day. This time is not a waste, even though the days may run together, it's still a chapter of your life. Many people are missing milestones, but I find peace in knowing that we will get to celebrate them properly soon. To keep myself sane, I'm thinking of this as a break. It's like an extended weekend that feels less like a vacation and more like a complete lifestyle intervention. We've had to rework the way we live everyday, that's tough stuff. But look, we've been doing it for a month now. Props to us.
John 16:33 | I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Joshua 1:9 | Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
3. This will pass and we will come back more grateful and blessed than ever before.
Think of it right now: how GOOD it will feel to hug your friends, attend a concert, go to a dog park, unwind in a yoga class, and heck, even go to Trader Joe's without panic buying. All of those little things that we used to take for granted are going to be so much more valued. I truly have faith that we will walk out of this as way way wayyy more appreciative and aware people. For me at least, I feel like my life had become so mundane the last few years. Nothing was really sparking my interest and it's sad to say, but I can't name too many activities that made me feel *alive.* But I know for a fact that I will have a new perspective on all those 'mundane' things and take so much more time to invest in those things that make me feel good.
I think we all will look back at this time and remember what we missed out on and how weird it felt to be stuck at home. I can't wait for this to be a memory, though it will certainly stick with us forever and shape future interactions and events. That might cause some anxiety, so I encourage you to focus on the positives and cast your worries away, leaning on God to shed His light where you need it. With your faith, you can truly get through anything. Worship and praise a little harder today and remind yourself that good things are coming. (Also just imagine how incredible worship will be at church when we can all attend together again ahhh).
Isaiah 61:1-3 | He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
One last quote, also from Isaiah, which is oddly similar to what is happening in the world right now and will hopefully provide you with some peace as it has for me:
Isaiah 26:20-21 | Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed on it; the earth will conceal its slain no longer.
Though I'm not exactly sure what God is telling us with the current state of the world, I trust that everything is happening according to His plan for us, there is meaning in everything. I have faith that this pandemic, while tragic, can also serve as enlightenment. We've all been caught off-guard and put into this unforeseen and unfortunate new reality, but we've gotten a pause button on our fast-paced, always moving lifestyle. We finally have a chance to slow down, to self-reflect, (for some) to spend time with loved ones, and for all of us, this sense of unity. Everyone's going through it. No one's alone. While our day-to-day lives and roles are very different, we all have been impacted and are experiencing similar struggles: isolation, lack of social interaction or physical touch, missing out on something we were looking forward to, financial stress, whatever it may be -- He loves you, your family, and your friends love you. If anything can get us through this, it's love.
Again, to hype up Whitney from Scribble Devos, if you're looking for more spiritual enlightenment and a peace of mind, follow her Instagram! Since finding her account last fall, I've genuinely grown so much in my faith. Each of her posts have detailed captions that can serve as great inspiration for your journaling.