My husband and I woke up to the news of the death of a loved one or a church member almost every morning for two weeks.
Published on: 08-29-2021
In 2020 a new normal was forced upon many of us because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing, the suspension of many normal activities, isolation, and the addition of face masks to our wardrobe became our new reality. The pandemic and the resulting lockdown caused increased levels of stress and anxiety.
As I connected with friends across the globe, I realized that all of us have been affected in different ways. Some of us have lost a loved one; some have contracted the virus; some are out of work, while others are overworked. It feels as if most of our dreams are placed on hold.
The travel restrictions that were placed to limit the spread of this virus have been daunting for enthusiastic travelers like my husband, Andrew, and me. We love exploring. Our own love story blossomed over many trips, camps, and adventures. So we thought it would be fitting to spend our second wedding anniversary traveling. We were looking forward to exploring the Indian state of Karnataka, and made our plans accordingly. But then travel restrictions were imposed in the state, and we celebrated our wedding anniversary indoors. We still tried to make it memorable and did something fun within the city limits.
This prolonged lockdown has changed life. Failed plans and unfulfilled dreams have become the new normal. The college campus where I work and that always buzzed with people and activities has suddenly fallen silent. Coping with these changes can be difficult. I tried to remain positive, kept active indoors, made life interesting by cooking up new dishes and learning to paint. But this year the pandemic hit close to home.
In the months of April and May, the peak of the second COVID-19 wave in India, our nation grappled with a severe shortage of medical oxygen and hospital beds. The exponential surge in infections swamped the health-care system. Patients were dying in ambulances and parking lots outside hospitals. Crematoriums were overwhelmed. My husband and I woke up to the news of the death of a loved one or a church member almost every morning for two weeks. We were attending funeral after funeral both offline and online. Death, loss, and pain had never been so real. All that I tried to hold on to seemed to fade, and I knew that I needed my God more than ever before.
In my struggle to finding peace amid this chaos, I rediscovered this beautiful verse. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isa. 26:3). Satan is on the prowl to rob us of peace and joy. But in Christ we are promised “perfect peace,” a double shalom. A peace that is complete, consistent, and encompassing. We can experience this promised peace when we fix our minds on Jesus; when we trust Him completely. This peace that passes all understanding can be ours when we choose to see, hear, and experience things through the eyes of faith.
This world is experiencing a new reality with many disruptions. We all need Jesus now more than ever before. Now is the time to share Jesus, for His love compels us to share His peace.