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.
When 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.
Are 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!