This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Does anyone else feel like they are living in an alternate universe right now? For me, I keep having visions of exactly how things were supposed to be going this spring and summer.
May 2, I was supposed to have my beautiful perfect church wedding at Mount Olivet. As the day arrived I could envision exactly how the day was supposed to feel. I could see it in my head so clearly, the precious moments with family and friends, the hugs, smiles, conversations, the tears of joy shed while my heart was exploding with love marching toward the man of my dreams. Can someone snap me back to that universe?
Yet here I am, trying to make the most of what this new reality is. Trying to see the beauty in every day and the gift that God has given me. I’m one of those eternally positive people, but I’m struggling these days and I’m still sad. And not just sad for myself, I’m grieving for all the lost lives, jobs, monumental events (2020 Graduates- I'm sending you all love), simple dinner nights with friends, vacations, the list goes on and on. I have so much to be grateful for yet I’m just so disappointed. And feeling disappointed just makes me feel guilty because I could be in so many worse situations and scenarios right now.
A few years ago a dear friend found out she had brain cancer weeks before her wedding. The flood of support and love she received from friends and strangers was truly awe-inspiring and such a testament to the incredible person she is. Aside from her faith, when I asked her how she stayed so positive she recommended the book Happiness: The Art of Living with Peace, Confidence, and Joy by Douglas A. Smith. One of the suggestions from the book is to keep a gratitude journal.
Since the stay-at-home order, I’ve finally been consistently writing down each night the three things I’m grateful for that happened that day and what I’m praying for. Looking back at my previous entries has given me hope as I see how far I’ve come and how my past prayers have resolved themselves in ways I never expected. It’s the little things these days I’ve found gratitude in, such as a pleasant walk or run in the sunshine, extra cuddles with my cat, or a funny conversation with my fiancé.
Learning to choose joy and find happiness in the everyday is not an easy task; especially during times of uncertainty and stress. It’s the hard times that test our strength but this is what part of being a Christian is. Every single one of us is deeply impacted by this virus in all very different and personal ways. We are being tested. Some days, heck some hours, are better than others. It’s okay to ride the roller coaster of emotions, feel disappointed, and to mourn the loss of certain expectations and dreams you had for this year. But it’s our faith and continued trust in Him that will ultimately see us through this.
Now is our time to prove to God we aren’t giving up on Him as he will never forsake or leave us. And while it’s easy to get bogged down by fear and uncertainty, if you take the time to notice the small unexpected gifts in each day, you’ll find God is giving us the encouragement and hope we need to make it through. So let us rejoice, even when we don’t really want to. This is the day that the Lord has made and wherever this next week, month, or year takes us, let us lift each other up to find the good and be glad in it.