They say, “you can’t take it with you,” referring to those post mortem, who won’t have the capacity to care; but most of the living will fight you to the death for trying to take what’s theirs. That’s humanity though! We are full of contradictions and we are quite comfortable existing in our conundrums. The rise of COVID-19 has exposed many things about the way we’ve been living, the way we should be living and the way we want to live. As for me and my house, it’s no different! I have been pondering so many things from my past that have prepared me for such a time as this.
My college experience included being homeless for a few weeks, I hadn’t thought about it in years. When my “essential worker” husband called me four weeks into the pandemic to announce that he had been furloughed, I thought back to that experience. Being homeless is nothing I was proud of. Most of my belongings were in storage, but that was all lost when I couldn’t pay the bill. I lost childhood, high school and college memories and paraphernalia that I shall never see again (and it hurt me deeply). I was illegally parked in a hidden area of the campus with only my essentials, I got very little sleep worried about my safety and if I’d wake up on the back of a moving tow truck. I would sneak into dorms in the late morning hours to shower after or before class, depending on availability. I ate from the cafeteria as long as I could before I ran out of excuses as to why my meal plan was not active. Though it didn’t last long, I was homeless long enough for it to be forever burned in my memory.
I don’t desire to be homeless again, but I’m not afraid of it either. The worse part for me was being homeless and alone. When I tell my husband we’re going to be ok, regardless of finances, I mean that wholeheartedly! God forbid everything is taken from us, as long as there is an “us”, I know it’ll be alright. It took me years to attain my current possessions and memories but I know what it’s like to lose everything, just like I know the victory of getting back on your feet. We have a 2yr old little girl now and we will do everything in our power to always put a roof over her head and keep her safe. But if that roof is reduced to the sheet metal covering the steel frame of our vehicle, then so be it. If her protection includes her Daddy and I taking turns sleeping, then so be it. Understand that this would not be an experience we want for her but I believe that God would turn this into His plan for the good of all our lives. I believe that she will see how her parents still operated as a family unit and banded together and rose to transition into a story of God’s glory.
This will not be our family’s apocalypse! The expression, “you can’t take it with you” is a reality I’ve already confronted in life and is inevitable in death. The COVID-19 tragedy has shaken our household to the point that I am fighting depressions and desperation. It seems depression is the tempest that only appears during the storms and this time, I’m not going down without a fight! I’m a planner, I planned for this, it’s time I relied on the plans God has given me instead of focusing on whether the plans will work; I already know our next moves should the first fail. Instead of focusing on the outcomes, my way of averting the “double d’s” is making the most of every moment we have.
The spiritual and physical subhead of our household is my husband (God being first) but I am the core, and thus, this family’s heartbeat! Without the tone he sets or the rhythm I provide, we don’t work. So, I’ve centered our hearts around appreciation in this season. My goal at the end of this journey, is that we are able to look back and be proud of how we’ve grown closer as a team, despite the trial. I got the idea after meditating on Deuteronomy 29, a few weeks into the quarantine, which focuses on remembering God’s covenant when the journey gets hard and it seems as if it’s never-ending. My husband and I have already been through our share of trials since we’ve been together, but to date, this has been one of our biggest challenges. Ok, so what does “appreciation” look like for our family? Well, first it looks like what we don’t see!
Our mind is our biggest battlefield right now, so we proclaim what we appreciate everyday. In our family, right now mental appreciation looks like: waking up next to my husband every morning in awe, taking a moment to ponder the joy in our daughter’s eyes because she is with both her parents, enjoying where we live and the amenities we have access to, and absorbing the fact that my husband is willing and available to help with daily tasks on a consistent basis. Regarding our physical being, appreciation looks like: cooking regular meals, taking walks in the neighborhood, racing my daughter around the next door track, managing our stress levels by going for bike rides and fast-paced 3-mile walks along wooded trails. Spiritually, appreciation looks like spending time with God, speaking our gratitude and our fears in our prayer language, planning our future…then doubting it…then praying for our doubts to be removed. We practice social distancing, we wear masks, we disinfect our hands and environment, we never put our daughter in harm’s way and we’re comfortable that we are doing what’s necessary to protect her and ourselves. This is how we plan to survive the apocalypse that is COVID-19, we are aware that this pandemic is far from over, but we’re taking it one wave at a time.