This journal was written in 2020 during a very unprecedented and daunting time in my life. First, the COVID 19 (Novel Coronavirus) pandemic disrupted the lives of so many people around the world, with no regard to race, color, or economic status. People were affected in different ways, some having no symptoms at all, while for others the symptoms were devastating – fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue and sore throat. It was and is a deadly virus, beyond man’s control, with an unknown vaccine or cure. The guidelines for protecting yourself changed every day but we all were encouraged to boost our immune system with vitamins C and D, wash our hands frequently and stay at home if-at-all possible. A new term called social distancing was coined as we were encouraged to stay at least six feet apart while out in public or in gatherings. Even as the world adopted these guidelines, I watched the death toll continue to increase daily across the globe as this virus claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands. During this time, I am caring for a parent whose immune system is compromised, and it certainly rendered its challenges. I remember driving my mother to her doctor appointments only to be informed upon arrival that I would not be allowed to accompany her in the visit. It was so hard not being able to be with her or for her to have the comfort of a loved one near. However, my goal was to ensure my mother’s safety to the best of my ability by making sure she was provided with the proper Personal Protective Equipment (masks, gloves), and most importantly, fervent prayer for God’s divine protection over her at each visit. Thank God, that as I am writing this God has kept my immediate family and me from hurt, harm and danger!
Then the quarantine happened, and the world came to a virtual standstill for more than three months. Schools, restaurants, non-essential businesses, and churches were forced to close their brick and mortar doors for the first time in history. Graduations, weddings, even funerals had to be postponed. The more time went by, the more frustrated people became. However, thanks to the digital age, we saw many innovative ways of education, business, and life events being carried on. We also saw churches respond to the change by starting virtual services online or adapting their existing services to continue to offer hope and peace in a dying world. The weeping and wailing of 2 Chronicles 7:14 could be heard aloud, “If my people who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray… then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” While I do not believe God orchestrated the pandemic, surely, He used these perilous times to draw us closer to Him and He will be glorified.
As if we did not have enough to deal with the video of the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis Minnesota who was viciously murdered by a white police officer while three other officers looked on rocked our world. We watched as for over seven minutes the officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck while he (Floyd) called out for his mother and repeated the now iconic phrase “I CAN’T BREATHE!” This event reignited a fire within the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which is a group who opposes systemic racism and demands justice, equality, and the end to the killing of all unarmed black men and women. Floyd’s death, along with others that came to light during this time sparked protests aimed at bringing change. While many protests were peaceful, some did get out of hand. Looting, rioting, arson, and abrupt violence were the language heard from not only black people but people of all colors and creed. People are hurting; they are angry, enraged, and disappointed. They realize enough is enough! NO Justice, NO Peace! A change must come because all lives are important in God’s eyes.
Talk about trying time and a test of my faith! But God in his infinite power continued to be with us all in the middle of the storm. There is a famous quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination, so enjoy the ride.” The year 2020 was destined as the year of God’s divine favor – undeserved, unearned, and unmerited; therefore, no matter what curve balls were thrown, I was determined to embrace the ride. This season was a time of self-evaluation and reflection, a pause for the cause, and a time of waiting on the Lord. The question I asked myself and would like to pose to you is “What will you do in the waiting?” God’s purpose and plan for 2020 did not change for me during the pandemic – and everything that came with it – and it has not changed for you and whatever tests and trials you are facing. God is faithful to see you through it. This is not the time for you to give up, but a season to hear God’s voice more clearly, keep fighting the good fight of faith and let him use you to be a beacon of hope and light to those around you.