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  • Writer's pictureJenene

Shifting Focus

What I have to say will sound rather negative at first, but please hear me out to the end, if you will. This started as a Facebook post, but I decided to post it here too.

I have to say that the past two weeks have been the most unusual of my life. Never have I ever seen 6-week (minimum) statewide school closures or bans on large gatherings or pending interstate travel restrictions. I have seen epidemics and pandemics come and go, but I have never seen a similar response to the current one. The most recent pandemic previous to this one occurred 11 years ago when the H1N1 Swine Flu, or Bird Flu as it was also known, sunk its deadly talons into our world; yet there was no equal response.

While I have a hard time understanding the unprecedented response to this pandemic, I realize that I do not know all there is to know and I will probably never fully understand it. So, whether it is the right or wrong response from a medical standpoint is not my call, nor my focus when I say that the response has been utterly devastating to many of our citizens, and it has only just begun. There are working parents trying to determine the best course of action for their children whose schools and daycares are closing. There are people losing their small businesses. There are families losing their livelihoods as a result. The grocery store shelves have limited resources. Churches have had to close their doors. I just learned that our local West Seattle Farmers Market that operates year-round is being shut down… and the list goes on.

Personally, I have had an extremely difficult time seeing all of this unfold. It hasn’t had a significant direct affect on me and Eric… yet. We are both fortunate enough to work for large corporations that have the resources to keep us employed… for now. We don’t have young children to care for. We do, however, have elderly parents we can’t go visit because we feel like the risk of carrying the disease to them is too great. We also have grandchildren who have to have arrangements made for. We have children who are losing jobs and have had their small business income impacted.

Oh, and the media and SOCIAL MEDIA… it’s ALL you read and hear. I went to the ABC news website and as I scrolled through the page, article after article after article was either directly or indirectly related to Coronavirus. I’d say that was true of about 85% of what I saw. Where is all the other news in the world? Is there nothing happening outside of Coronavirus? It is consuming every corner of our lives and minds!

So yesterday morning I made the decision to disconnect from Social Media and I will limit my exposure to the news to once a day. This will be the last post I will make (or read) for a while... maybe longer! (on Facebook - I'll still post here) It is all just too upsetting to me to see the devastation to both health and well-being of all the people. It breaks my heart too much, and is disturbing, on several levels.

Nothing about this feels normal or familiar. The reality is that things are not going to return to normal next week or even the week after. The six-week (minimum) state-wide school closure tells me this. The thought of that today brought a sense of loss and a fear of the unknown…

It is NOT the end of the world, however. There is great hope in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Fear is a tool of the enemy of our souls, and I reject that. I admit I had a moment of panic this evening when all of this really sunk in during a moment of disappointment that I can’t go to church tomorrow or visit either of our parents; and I wondered when I ever will be able to do either. I spent a while crying and scared, but God has blessed me with a husband who loves me and helps me find my footing and balance when I’m off-center. He points me to God when I need Him most… which, is always.

In addition to prayer, there are a couple of “go-to’s” I have when I need to get re-grounded. One is music – always music, and the other is Philippians 4. It’s entirely possible that I’ve read that chapter 1,000 times or more. It is definitely my favorite chapter of the Bible. All of it has very powerful verses for me, but today this is the most important part, in verse 8….

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

I need to know what’s happening in the world, but I don’t need to dwell on it. It is not beneficial and is destructive to my spiritual health. So, for the next little while, you can call me, text me, Message me, but I won’t be on social media. If I’m online it will be to read things like Philippians 4 or listening to something like this, which is how I’ve spent the rest of my evening…

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