I think that Forrest Gump’s Mom gave us one of the most profound statements and I think she was right that Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. When I originally wrote this post I wrote about how life was some bittersweet chocolate right now. I was getting towards the last part of senior year, and I was talking about how I was going to enjoy last minute memories with friends who are moving away, or friends that our relationship was different, or just how the transition was going to start thinking about life after college, and true adulthood. And a lot of that stuff is true, but I don’t think I will be the first or last one to say that COVID-19 has changed the plans. It had me rewrite this in a different mindset, almost in one where that chocolate has a really bitter first taste and I am really hoping and praying that it has a sweet after taste, but I just don’t know yet.
Right now I have to say this bite of chocolate really stinks. It tastes like it should be that 80+ percent cacao chocolate that ends up tasting a little like dirt and you wonder why you would be crazy enough to put it in your mouth, because it turns your tastebuds into utter chaos and it is hard to swallow. This right now, social distancing and everything is that. For me all the rest of my senior year has been put online, and it all happened without getting to say goodbye to the classmates that I started forming friendships with this year. It meant not getting to mentally prepare for any of these things that were going to be my lasts. The hardest one is that my college ministry and small group no longer get to meet in person, and for this close community I was a part of I was looking forward to spending time with them. I also have friends moving to Colorado in June, and now hang outs can only be done via FaceTime, etc. Which just isn’t the same. My cousin Celia has a birthday soon, and we were going to celebrate my great grandparents 75th anniversary in April (They were married in February), and who knows about my birthday or graduation in May; it all has to be via Zoom or Google Hangout or something. But for me a hugger and “shy extrovert” I want this time in person with people, but I get separating for the greater good of our whole country and world. So Class of 2020, whether high school or college, I feel your pain and sadness of this being the sudden end that you weren’t preparing for.
I have to say that although I was a little worried about the fact that I had not found a job yet, before all of this happened I still was more trusting in the Lord’s plan, because the unemployment rate was so low. Now I sit and look at Linked In or just sit and think and I get so stressed and anxious about the future and what is in store because it is so uncertain. I worked hard for a degree and now I might only be able to get a job that I could of had or done without spending $100,000. (I am super thankful for the people doing these jobs, I have actually applied to some and they either turned me down for being overqualified or haven’t gotten to me yet, is the last name effect a thing??). I also think I get even more anxious about this, because now I feel like I am starting to let down the expectations I had for myself and those that others have for me. It is hard to see the Lord in this specific thing but I know he is there.
Want to know how I know that, because there is some semi-sweet chocolate in that box too…
God is working in some crazy ways through the way the world is right now: More people are “going” to church because it is live-streamed, you don’t have to interact with people (which isn’t actually great) and it gives a sense of peace in this chaotic time. Families and Marriages are being redeemed because people actually are interacting with each other and are taking time to slow down a bit. People are FaceTiming or using other voice calls to talk to people that they haven’t talked to in a while, and blessing one another with good relationship. People all throughout a city in Brazil sang together out their windows the hymn “Because He Lives”. People are getting groceries for the at risk, we are seeing the importance of education, others are handing out essentials, companies are changing the production lines for things this country needs, people are taking time to get in the Word of God and pray for others, either by texting them for prayer requests or leaving a comment space in their Insta-stories.(Thank goodness for this time of technology) This is a crazy time, but God is doing it for all these things, because these things bring Him glory and point others to His son Jesus and the cross.
And if you don’t know the gospel or have a relationship with Jesus right now, what a perfect time to start one, because you can see that you are not in control of your life and you can’t be. This world is fickle, it falls and it disappoints, and it is broken just like us; and there is only one person who is in control who has saved us and will save us and that is Jesus. He is here for you in this time, and He will be the only thing that can ever bring you peace in this time.
We don’t know how long this will last, or the effects it will have whether positive or negative. The only thing we can be sure of is that we have a hope in eternity if we give our hurting and broken hearts to Christ and let Him work in our loves in this time.
I don’t know when the sweet caramel milk chocolate will come, or what it will even look like, but I know the Lord is good and faithful and He has a plan even though right now we can’t see it, because we really don’t ever know what we are going to get. So my prayer is for you all to look to Jesus; to stay safe, healthy, and inside; and use your time to build whatever relationships you can right now.