Lesson:Scriptures For This Week’s Lesson:
Emily Bedwell is so good to put into words what we are feeling and thinking. She posted this last week and is perfect for what we are discussing today—especially the first paragraph. Thank you, Emily!
What are you doing for your mental health? This week the craziness of life in a pandemic has hit me hard. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss hugging people and quick coffee dates and Saturday brunch with a girlfriend. I miss the sounds of a city thriving. I miss seeing the church full. I miss going to shows. I miss.
And then I get online, and there is just too much here. Opinions about this. Opinions about that. Doomsday predictions. Pollyanna dreams. People espousing a future they cannot know because NO ONE has lived through this time. And then I stress.
And then I hide and block. I don’t need to see that latest news article about how this virus might be different than we thought (of course it is). I don’t need debates about how I/we are not doing something right (maybe we are. Maybe we aren’t). I don’t need to see yelling about staying home, flattening the curve, or what is essential (we are doing our personal best and yelling online only makes you feel better). I create space in my digital world so that I can be educated and learn more when I want, but can also shut it down when I’m over-stimulated.
One day at a time.
- Have you make a list of what you miss? If you could have only one thing returned to you now for the next six months what would it be?
- Given the boundaries in your life, how have you built a life in this “foreign land”? How have you reset your life for this season? What rhythms have you developed? What practices are important in your day? What new things have you added that are helpful, life-giving, an unexpected delight?
- It is often difficult to see the changes God is working in us in the midst of a trial. Do you sense God “turning you into a new person or beginning a new work in with Him at the center?”* Do you sense Him working even if it’s not clear right now?
- From your previous life (and your family’s as well), what are you not missing? What are you surprised that you are not missing?
- If you haven’t already, make a list of what you’re really enjoying in this quarantine season. How have you made the most of this time?
- From your new rhythms in quarantine, what do you want to keep upon re-entry? Maybe not exactly the way it is, but definitely making it a non-negotiable priority. See homework below.
- As important as it is to use this opportunity to allow God to reset our lives to be more in line with what He has for us, it is even more important to use this opportunity to know Him better. Let’s look at Jeremiah 29:10-14 one more time. How does this passage help you know how to relate to God in this difficult season?
- How does this passage inspire you or give you hope?
Do you feel the tension? Trying to make room for the good from the past and present? Something’s gotta give. The something will be the things that are less important to us. We did them because
- We were expected to.
- We couldn’t tell our kids no.
- We wouldn’t set healthy boundaries.
- It was easier to go with the flow.
- We never really stopped to think about how important this thing/person was currently. Maybe at one time more important than they are now. In a word our priorities changed.
It’s gonna take courage to make the decision of what stays, what goes, and what is allowed to come back. That’s why now is the time to do it before the doors to society are flung open like kids running out of school on the first day of summer vacation. There is no going back once that happens.
“As we rush to return to normal life, consider what parts of your life are worth returning to.”
*Footnotes from NLT Study Bible on Jeremiah 29;12-14:
“God did not forget His people, even though they were captives in Babylon. He planned to give them a new beginning with a new purpose—to turn them into new people. In times of dire circumstances, it may appear as though God has forgotten you. But God may be preparing you, as He did the people of Judah, for a new beginning with Him at the center.”
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.