So many thoughts are going through my mind lately. Some are cheerful, others are grim and lonely. Try as I might, I can’t find peace or joy 24/7. I want to tell you all will be well, it’s going to be fine, just hold on a little longer. But the truth of the matter is, I can’t even convince myself of this lately. It is a deep dark hole. So here is my truth.
I have been in the house for 9 months. This means I’ve gone out for grocery’s, seen clients (on zoom) and one dear friend weekly, met with our women’s group outside once a month and our daughter and the boys once in a while. I’ve not gone out to church (again thankful for Zoom), not been in the office, no walks around stores praying for those I pass, no people watching, no long coffees with acquaintances who might be friends one day. All of that is gone, faded like the leaves on the trees. Three seasons have passed spring, summer, and fall are all memories now as we head into a bleak cold winter.
Yes, good things can happen in 9 months. I was reminded that in 9 months a woman can carry a child to birth. The promise of joy and beginnings are hidden in new life. In fact several babies have been born in my faith community since this whole Pandemic started. These children are beautiful reminders that the Creator is at work. Yet, I can’t touch them, cuddle them, and welcome them into our little band of merry Christ followers. All I can do is see them on a screen and hope that one day we will meet. That should be enough right? Well it’s not!
Nothing is enough today. The zoom meetings, the time spent with directees, conversations with friends, all of that is not enough! It’s not touchable, I can’t feel their presence, and I can’t reach out to offer a hand of compassion. I can’t receive a touch from them. We can’t feel the table shake as we laugh together or feel the breeze from our breath as we sigh. Those small things are missing. They add up to big losses.
I’m grateful to be alive and still breathing. I’m grateful to have a husband who loves me dearly, but it is not the same as having others close. Today I am tired of pretending it is enough, because it is not. I think many of you can relate to what I’m feeling. We are older, or perhaps have health concerns. These situations keep us isolated, in our little bubble (I hate that term now, it no longer brings back sweet memories of magic floating through the air!). All this isolating is taking a toll on us. Others see our smiles and activity as signs we are fine. But the ugly truth is we are NOT OK! We are slowly dying inside. We miss it all. We put on our mask (our fake smiles), and say we are fine and march on.
I say all this to be real, to be honest. I’ve realized in this mess that I have maybe 3 truly good friends. Those people who call me to checkup and talk just to talk. Those who know that all though I’m an introvert, I often receive joy in extroverted ways. I realize I’m not alone in this lonely season. I want you to know: I SEE YOU! I HEAR YOU AND YOU MATTER TO ME. My prayer today is for us to find hope, joy, love and peace again soon. Until then, I will paint, pray, listen and smile through the tears.