The last time I hugged my parents was on December 25th, 2019. I’m afraid I never will again.
My parents are in the 70s with underlying health conditions, which puts them at high risk of catching this virus, which means they stand behind their big glass front door and wave to me as I drive down their street. It really didn’t hit me how much I needed my parents’ touch until it was taken away, and in a cruel joke, I can see them I just can’t get close enough to hug them. It’s so frustrating to live less than one mile of your parents, but the only way to talk is via video chat as if they lived 200 miles away.
The fear of not knowing when I can see my parents again is real, and it brings on a lot of what-ifs. What if that really was the last time I hugged my mom? What if that was the last time I told my dad, “I love you” without a glass door blocking our way? What if I forget the touch of my mom’s hand or feel of my dad’s arm around me? The what-ifs bring on fear, which turns in anxiety, which keeps me up at night. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a good night of sleep since this has all started.
Frustration, fear, and anxiety have become the trifecta for keeping me up at night and slowly depleting my sense of peace. I know one thing for certain, I can’t keep going on like this. It will end up being detrimental to my physical and mental health more than it already has. So how do I find peace in the midst of fear?
I quickly realized I would not find peace on social media or with the news or even the daily updates from my state’s governor. Instead of peace, it brought more frustration, more fear, and more anxiety. So, where do I find it?
John 4:27 “Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jesus says this to his disciples at the Last Supper right before he is arrested and crucified for our sins, but the amazing thing is Jesus is saying it to me right now. The words Jesus spoke 2000 year ago applies to me at this very moment. And if I close my eyes, I can almost hear Jesus saying to me. ”Kacie, why are you putting your hope in what you see on Facebook? Turn to me. I will give you peace. You don’t have to be scared.”
I also started to understand that I couldn’t just turn to God when my fear and anxiety ramped up, but I had to start getting into a rhythm of being with God every day. If you are anything like me, picking up the Bible and reading it seems very daunting, so I started simple. And simple for me is having someone else tell me what I should read, which is why I love the Crossroads App.
When I started spending time with God, I started becoming grateful for what I do have instead of fearful of what I don’t have. I’m grateful my parents live less than a mile away from me. I’m grateful I get to talk to them through a glass door. I’m grateful for the video calls, which have become comical of watching my parents trying to use technology. But more than grateful, I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful that one way or another someday, I will hug my mom and dad again, and that brings me peace and fills me with joy.
What strikes you most about this article? Why?
What do you normally do when you notice fear or anxiety creeping in? How well is it working for you?
What is your experience like reading the Bible? What if it could actually bring you peace?
As much as restrictions from COVID-19 are impacting relationships, think of at least one way to reach out to your parents in a more meaningful way. Love isn’t limited by distance, so creatively lean into making the most of your relationships in a way that overcomes the barriers of the virus.
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