"The struggle is real", "It's hard out here in these streets", "You don't know my struggle" are just a few things that we have heard or even said to someone. Sometimes when say it we may be joking around about something not really serious. Just messing around. For some however, that statement is a fact of life. The struggle is real and we don't know their struggle. Just because we don't know the struggle or take that statement as a joking statement does not make it less real to the person saying it. They may be dealing with some really serious stuff in their life. It could be struggles at home with parents or siblings, something at work, something in a relationship or just an internal battle that they are dealing with. Unfortunately, for some it could more than one of these or some thing else but they are dealing with a lot. To make things worse we are dealing with truly unparalleled times dealing with the affects of the Corona-virus. This has caused, job loss, financial struggles, family struggles, relationship struggles, spiritual struggles, metal health struggles, you name a struggle and it has shown its ugly head over the last 2 months. Some of these things are new because of the virus and some have just been magnified since the virus because these were already there. With all that going on, it is sometimes hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
I want to tell you to hang in there!!! I cannot tell you that it is not as bad as it seems because I am not in your shoes so I don't have the right to do that. I will tell you that it won't always be like this. I am not going to make the bold prediction and tell you that as soon this virus is over things will immediately get better. What I will tell you is that it will get better. It will take some time and I am sure making adjustments to the way we do things will be needed but we will work our way out of these situations. The term "New Normal" is being used quite a bit, even by me, because things are going to forever be different. All the struggles that were mentioned before may still be around but we will need to find different ways to deal with them. Financially we may need to find a new job. This new job may have us do things that we never thought we would such as taking additional training or going back to school. Don't be afraid to do this. We must do what is necessary. Family and personal relationships may be strained or you begin to appreciate them more than you have before because of this. I have seen families on having to say good bye to a loved from behind a glass or worse through video because of this virus and them not being allowed to be within. This broke my heart because it was kids to parents, parents to kids as well as spouses that had to say good bye to their loved ones this way. This made we think about my family and what if that was something that I had to do or worse they had to do to me. I appreciate my family more and can't wait to hang out with them again. Spiritually people deal with this differently. Some people's faith has been shaken because of this and others made stronger. I will tell you that you have to have faith that God is still in control and this is not new to Him. It may be new to us and we are freaking out as to how to deal with this but God is excited because the focus is back on Him again. We have been so caught up in "Our Church" and what it stands for like the building, our Pastor, our position in the church, our "friends", and of course we can't for our set in the congregation. Now that all that "Our Chruch" has changed and services have been adjusted we see the shift back to God. Stand church services will forever be different. But let's not just focus on the church as a building. A lot of churches have gotten back to basics when it comes to outreach. There has been so much assistance given to the elderly, the disabled, the children, and those that just need help, through gifts, food pantries, providing dinners and even gifts cards to grocery stores. That is what the church should be doing anyway and now it is becoming a main focus. There is this shirt that I saw (and will be getting made) that says "The Church has Left the Building". That is what we all needed was to get away from "Our Church" and focus on God's missions for us. So from a spiritual stand point we have to see that God is changing our off of ourselves and back on to others. I Pray that this does not stop and that churches of all denominations continue the work of God and not go back to "Our Church".
I just wanted to take a little bit of time and tell everyone to Hang in There, this is just temporary. We will get through this, that is one things I will definitively tell you. It is not the end of the road. Actually take this as new beginning. This is your reset button. Start something new or make adjustments to what you are already doing. Change is good. I do recommend that when making changes, look at the things that stressed you and are no longer stressing you because you are not around it or them anymore and maintain that. Don't go back to the things that held you back, mentally, physically, financially or even spiritually. We hear the phrase of someone acting "Brand New"... get brand new. If you are stressed find someone you can talk to help you get through whatever it is. You are not alone. Hang in there, we will get through this thing together.