Better Than Before

The past few week have changed us.

No person, community, or country remains untouched.

We’ve stayed inside our home day after day. We’ve grieved over loss—personally and corporately. We’ve feared for our livelihood and wondered how long we can make ends meet.

Life won’t be the same following COVID-19. But as we slowly emerge from national and international shutdown, I want to leave better than before, lessons learned, life lived differently.

Here are a few things I’m trying to take hold of in this season:  

Life’s fragility. If there’s anything COVID-19 has confronted and disbanded within us, it’s our sense of invincibility. As we stare at daily rising death tolls, we’re forced to acknowledge that life is limited and precious.

The strong and healthy aren’t immune. Youth doesn’t protect one from pain or suffering. Fear grips all of us. We’re forced to look at life from a different perspective, and it changes how we live.

Everyday gifts. At the start of each day, we have a choice. Will we celebrate what we have? Or will we overlook the little things, wishing the time away?

If I’m honest, most days are long and draining. My husband and I juggle work demands and online meetings. My children are bored, with more energy that can be let out within four walls. We live for sunny days and socially-distanced walks.

But we are together. Spring is coming. Our baby has started talking and walking, and we’re all getting to watch his show.

Today is a gift. And if I look close enough, I’ll see the joys tucked inside.

Slowing down. A few weeks ago, life came to a screeching halt. The busyness that covered daily life, evaporated. In its place, a slower pace took hold.

At our house we now eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. Every day. Driving is now a luxurious outing, not a daily necessity. Time was once our most precious commodity. Now it’s our most abundant one.

The emptiness on our calendars invites us to slow down. The anxiety within tempts us to fill our days again—mostly with things that don’t matter.

Will I spend my time listening to my children’s laughter or staring at my phone? Will I make up silly games and bake another batch of cookies or simply turn on the news? 

Slowing down is an intentional choice that I must make each day.    

Inviting questions. Every time we turn on the nightly news, we’re overwhelmed with human suffering. People lose their lives. Businesses shutter. The lines at food banks only lengthen.

With so much pain around us, we cannot help but ask why. Pat answers won’t fix the problem we’re facing. Platitude won’t bring us comfort. Ignoring the questions, won’t bring us peace.

So why not lean in? Be honest about the questions that keep you up at night. Talk them out with trusted friends. Pray them out before the Lord. Read the hard passages of Scripture.

It’s how we get to the deeper places. It’s how we know God more. He invites our questions. He is present in our pain.

Life may not get better for a while. But amidst the suffering we face, we can become better. Our difficult circumstances can make us more faithful, trusting, and grateful.

May we meet God in new ways during this time. May we learn the lessons, embracing the challenges and joys all held together in his perfect hands.

What lessons are you learning right now?

Amanda DeWitt is a freelance writer, coach's wife, and mom. She completed her bachelor’s at Dallas Baptist University and holds a M.A. in media and communication from Dallas Theological Seminary. When she's not typing away at her computer, she's chasing her two little boys or watching her husband coach high school football.

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