I opened up my blog to see if I could even get a word out to process my life right now. Top of the page was a rough draft titled ‘2020.’ It was a list of goals, constructed similar to previous years, broken down into categories like finance, adventure, fitness. We’re just finishing up the first quarter of the year, do y’all realize that? It’s my birth month. Thirty years here. And not once could I have fathomed where I’d be right now.
I have been leveled. Everything I thought I had an ounce of control over has disintegrated like the end of that superhero movie I have yet to watch.
The year twenty-twenty brought so many hopes for us all. New beginnings, some have weddings planned, little ones on the way, home renovations, moving to new apartments, new jobs, promotions, some people might’ve just needed to reinvent themselves and were focusing on ‘self-care.’ I don’t know your situation, but I do know that we have all been completely humbled within days and weeks. This coronavirus came out of seemingly thin air and took the entire world within the course of a season. This invisible enemy has stolen our stocks, our sports, our concerts, our physical fellowship, our jobs, and for some- our lives or our loved ones.
This year was supposed to be so great. I had several concerts lined up, trips planned to visit friends across the country both north and west, music festivals, birthday plans. For spring break, the family and I were going to sort through our storage building and downsize. When everyone was asked to “social-distance” I was annoyed. I had to cancel my plane tickets, get refunds on what I could. My dad was bummed his trip to NYC was canceled. Everyone was annoyed. And I was annoyed at the people that kept getting annoyed at other people. I had read health articles from China and Europe, but it hadn’t really hit yet.
Now it’s hit home. And I wish I could take back every selfish thought I’ve ever had in my entire life. (And believe me, that’s A LOT.) My dad contracted COVID-19. Mine. The guy I always go to for any answer about anything because (ask him) he knows everything. The one person in this world that “gets me” through and through. I don’t know how to really process this or anything right now. He’s currently in ICU on a ventilator. The future is uncertain. My heart hurts. It hurts more than anything has ever hurt before.
I have fallen to my knees involuntarily quite a few times now, gasping for breath and praying that God will heal my daddy and give him back his breath. I have lost all appetite. I have screamed at God and cried more tears than I thought I had in me. I’m sure my cat thinks I’ve lost my mind, but as long as I keep feeding her she doesn’t seem to be too bothered. This is not how 2020 was supposed to go. None of this seems real.
I have a knack for waking myself up from bad dreams.
But try as I might, I can’t wake up from this one.
So I’m going to take note from the pages of the Psalms and transition these laments to praise.
No matter what David was going through, he cried out to God with an honest plea, then circled it back around to praise. I want a heart like David because David was a man after God’s own heart.
That’s all I know to do. When my legs won’t work I will bow in prayer. When I feel completely empty I will let praise songs fill my ears and saturate my heart. Regardless of my circumstances, I know God is good, never-changes, and is in control. As Stacy Conner always says, I can stand on that.
“God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.” ― Charles Spurgeon
I will praise God that my father is in caring, capable hands. I will thank God for every morning he has breath. I will praise God for the health of other friends and family. I will thank Him for my job, boss, and coworkers that link arms and pray over each other in hard times. For a hometown that sends me prayers in the morning and cat memes at night to lift my spirits. For friends new and old that somehow know just when to be there and also understand my need for space. I will be thankful for this extra margin that has been forced upon us and will try my best to not waste this extra time I’ve been given. Time to draw close to Him and time to connect with my family.
God didn’t cause this pandemic. We live in a broken world. But if this is the journey He has allowed me and my family to walk through right now, then I will do so by His strength. As Levi Lusko put it, “it is an incredible honor to be entrusted with pain.” And if you know anything about his story, he knows pain.
So we will “run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish.“ Heb 12:1-2
Some versions call Jesus the author and perfector of our faith. So I can go ahead and toss my “2020 rough draft.” My plans for this year have been canceled by COVID, but I know that I walk with the author and creator of the universe. There is a big picture here that I cannot see, but “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
All that being said, thank you for all of your prayers. Please don’t stop. Pray for complete healing for my dad, that the virus and pneumonia would leave his lungs, that he would allow the vent to work and allow his body to rest and heal. Pray for the multitude of others worldwide affected and for the medical staff that are working around the clock to bring relief and healing. Pray for the families that cannot be there with their loved ones. For those that have lost jobs or are in other uncertain, confusing, and painful times.
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
Now go hug your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you.
You can follow my dad’s status at Broad Street Baptist Church’s Facebook.