I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.  My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead.  I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.

Philippians 3:12-14 (CEV)

The longer the stay-at-home orders lasts, the more I wonder what life is going to look like when the nation resumes it’s “new” normal. I struggle with the loss of the familiar and accepted pattern of life. I remember when 9/11 hit and many things changed. But now, nineteen years later, we have come to accept those changes as our way of life. Will the same be true?

I find myself wishing that we could go back. I liked being able to travel when I wanted to, to invite people over for a big party, to rub shoulders at the concert or game, to sing in the choir. I miss being able to hug my family and friends, to shake hands with a new acquaintance, to walk anywhere without a mask, to lead our women’s Bible study.

But it is time for acceptance, and that has been difficult. I can appreciate the past but, it’s time to let it go. If I hang on, I won’t see the wonder of all that God has planned for the future. I know that the past has made me who I am today but God is training me for new things for tomorrow. He made me just the way I am to do good things ALL the days of my life.

I had to laugh when I opened the fortune cookie the other day after getting Chinese take-out. Even the message in it is telling me to let it go. OK, God, I get it.

As I thought about those things I’m missing, I asked myself, what roles do I still have — wife, mother, nana, friend, writer. I can still communicate but just not in-person so I need to be more creative. I’m thankful that technology has made it possible to stay connected in new ways.

So if you are struggling with acceptance, as I am, you are not alone…and loneliness has become more familiar than I would like. I encourage you to reach out. Let a friend know that you need to chat. Listen to the Holy Spirit as He brings people to mind. Maybe a sack of cookies for a neighbor, lunch using social distancing with a friend, and always remember a phone call or video chat is there for your use.

God has not forgotten us and is getting us through this. We don’t know what it will look like or when it will be over but we do know that He is faithful.