God’s Goodness in the Middle of Trouble

Hello everyone!

Have you ever noticed how when you focus on something that upsets you, you become more upset? Now, have you noticed how changing your focus from what’s bothering you to something else can help you to calm down?

Right now, it’s easy to focus on COVID-19 and the uncertainty that it’s introduced into our lives. It’s easy to be afraid. And while what we focus on might not change our circumstances, it will change how we view them.

Ship AnchorWhen I was 18, my father was suddenly laid off. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to go to college in the fall like we’d planned and that we might lose our house. I was scared and angry. One day, while looking at the courses I was hopefully going to be taking in the fall, I started crying. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself sitting on an old-fashioned ship’s anchor that was dangling in the air. I couldn’t see what the anchor was attached to, and above, below, and all around me was blackness. Objects that represented parts of my life were falling from somewhere overhead into the darkness below, but I was safe on the anchor. I felt like God told me that he was the only solid thing in my life. I was honest with him and told him that I hated that. I asked God my questions, but he didn’t answer any of them. He said, “You will never go hungry,” and with those words, my fear disappeared. God blessed my family, and both of my parents got new jobs. I was able to go to college as planned, and we kept our house. During that scary time, what God had promised me kept me from being afraid.

Last year, I was walking out of the hospital after visiting my grandfather, and I looked up to see storm clouds rolling in. I felt like God said to me, “We’re going into a storm, but we are coming out on the other side.” My grandfather went to the hospital multiple times in 2019, and I watched him get weaker between stays. It was hard, and I cried plenty. I told God to either heal my grandfather or take him home, because I needed the drawn-out death and uncertainty to stop. Whenever I felt overwhelmed, I clung to the promise God had given me outside of the hospital. He was with me in the storm, and it wouldn’t last forever. We were going to come out on the other side. My grandfather died two days before Christmas. Last year was hard, but God got me through it.

I want to encourage you that COVID-19 will pass. It isn’t going to stay forever. And while we wait for this storm to blow away, God is with us in the middle of it.

Journal and PenAre you scared? Tell God. Angry? Talk to God. He can handle your anger. Confused? Trust Him. He might not give you the answers, but he will get you through this. It says in Psalm 46:1 that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Journaling your feelings and/or prayers can really help with releasing the negative emotions and processing what’s going on.

Be blessed, write lots, and stay healthy!

Katie

Coronavirus: Three Ways to Handle Fear

Hello everyone!

Right now, it seems like you can’t turn on the news or open a web browser without seeing something about coronavirus. And it’s easy to feel afraid.

These are three things that help me when I feel afraid:

  1. Jesus: I ask for God’s help and perspective by praying and reading the Bible. Psalm 91 and Isaiah 41:10 are especially comforting when sickness or physical violence are the fears.
  2. Emotional Release: I find a way to get out my strong, negative emotions, so I can return to a calmer state. Sometimes I do this through dancing or running short distances, but usually I talk to someone I trust and/or journal about my feelings and the cause of those feelings. As Fred Rodgers says inĀ A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019), “Anything mentionable is manageable.”
  3. ParakeetsHappy Place: I practice self care by doing things I enjoy. Going on walks, watching a favorite TV show, playing games with my family, and laughing at my parakeets’ antics are a few of those activities.

My challenge to you during this time of unknown is to take what you’re feeling and find a positive release for it.

From a writing standpoint, it might look like one of these ideas:

  • Journaling
  • Finding the humor in the situation and writing jokes or anecdotes about what’s going on (Laughter is good medicine, but please be sensitive about who you share these with.)
  • Writing about events from a fictional standpoint so that you can process your emotions from a distance (I’ve used fictional characters to work through difficult situations and feelings.)
  • Researching what’s going on and writing an essay or informative posts about it

However you choose to express yourself, be honest. I also challenge you to try to be positive. Fear and panic are contagious, but so is hope.

No FearOne final thought: be wise and take preventative measures, like handwashing, but don’t be afraid. “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4 NIV).

Happy writing and stay healthy!

Katie

P.S.

If you’re looking for information about coronavirus, including prevention and what to do if you get sick, check out the CDC and World Health Organization’s websites.

History Becomes Legend

Hello everyone!

What do you think of when you hear the name Johnny Appleseed? How about Pocahontas or St. Nicholas? They were real people, but what they are most known for has been exaggerated or altered so much that it is more legend than reality.

St. Nicholas DecorationWriting Prompt: Your writing challenge is to legendize a historical figure.

  1. Choose a historical figure and write a legend about him/her.
  2. Create a holiday celebrating that person or his/her legendary deed. What traditions mark this holiday? What are typical foods and decorations?
  3. Commercialize the celebration. How does commercialization affect the celebration and meaning of the holiday?

Happy writing!

Katie