I Was Making Such Headway

Do you feel like this right now?

Do you feel like the last few months have broken a healthy system or routine you had in place? I do. This year, 2020, started off just right for me. My wife and I were experiencing meaningful connection, and we really felt “together” even though there was so much uncertainty. We had a routine with the kids that felt right.

The church I lead, Downtown Faith, was exciting in ways it hadn’t been in the past year. We were growing again, and people were engaging in greater ways. Personally, I was reaching certain goals I had set for myself. My trajectory was aligned with the vision of my life. All of this was in the middle of some real, personal uncertainty. But it felt right.

I had lost 30lbs between January 1st and March 16th (my birthday). This was huge. I wasn’t just losing weight. I was living healthier.

Then…the pandemic happened.

It threw everything out of sorts. Schedules and routines were no longer. We didn’t know what the “new normal” would be. It felt depressing, and I was anxious. The church pivoted well, but honestly, we’ve lost engagement and participation. I put back on 10lbs I had lost and I never work out.

Amid the pandemic I tried to find other ways to be active and then allergies hit. I literally could not spend time outside. I broke out all over in debilitating hives and my hands would swell like I had broken them. This is still going on. I spent two hours outside last Saturday and the next Monday I couldn’t get out of bed I was in so much pain.

There’s more, different uncertainty now. I’m sure you feel it.

Will kids go back to school? How will this happen safely? Do I have the virus? Will I get it?

There’s real fear surrounding this and so much more. Until there’s a vaccine and a real handle on the virus most of us feel stuck in a pattern of living that is both disappointing and disabling. I feel it. Some days are especially dark because I don’t have answers.

I want answers.

Quote from blog postBut Wait…

While I’m not “out of the woods” by any means, I did have this thought today…

“You’re not done. You’re not dead. Be patient. Show grace. Go easy on yourself.”

We are all our own biggest critics. When we aren’t living and doing what we know is best for us, we tend to judge ourselves more harshly than we would someone else we love. But what if we were to extend the _________ we wished to receive, to ourselves.

Think about that.

Over the last few years I’ve been overcome with the thought that I needed to extend the grace, forgiveness, patience, etc. that I wished to receive from others. But I’m seeing now I need to give it to myself as well. There’s more to do in this life, yes, that’s true! But it doesn’t have to get done now.

My biggest concern is getting so deep into an unhealthy pattern that digging myself out when things regulate will be impossible. I still have that fear. Maybe that’s how you’re feeling. Maybe, you’re feeling things much deeper.

Either way, wait…you’re not done.

You are alive. You are surviving. There’s time. Give yourself the _______ you need to receive right now. Because right now, now is all we seem to have. This is a new situation, so the past isn’t helping. The future seems dark and dim. But NOW is HERE. In his seminal work, Be Here Now, guru and spiritual teacher Ram Dass says,

“It’s only when caterpillarness is done that one becomes a butterfly. That again is part of this paradox. You cannot rip away caterpillarness. The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control.”

I’m feeling this deeply. I’m not in control, but I’m also not finished. There’s a work, a transformation happening. Even in the middle of my unknowing I know I’m growing. It’s all a process. Just go with it. The pandemic didn’t catch GOD off guard. It’s all part of it. And…this too shall pass.

If there’s any wisdom I can give it is only the wisdom I’ve received. So, here some wisdom for this moment, for you, from author Rob Bell in his book How To Be Here

“If you feel stuck in your life, like it’s passing you by, like there’s something way better for you somewhere out there and you’re missing it, try this—try throwing yourself into the small things and repeating to yourself: This is where I start.”

Do you have something to share that’s gotten you through this difficult time with grace and patience? Share in the comments below and join the discussion!

Patience…You’re Not Done
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