“The new normal” is a common phrase uttered by many people these days. The picture of this “new normal” is often bleak. Businesses are shut down, celebrations cancelled, and even churches, a sanctuary of hope, can’t open their doors. Many of us have asked, “What is God’s purpose in all this?”.
Restore reached more children and families in the last year, but the momentum was thwarted by the quarantine orders. We had to close our doors and figure out how to provide services. I brought only a few documents with me, thinking we would be back to business after a couple of weeks. None of us anticipated that the effects of the pandemic would last this long.
Living with the “new normal” for almost six months can wear anyone down. Emotions can range from frustration, anxiety, discouragement, and depression. The uncertainty of the future brings stress. Isolation can lead to loneliness. Restore has been a bedrock of support for our clients, and now more than ever they desperately need it. Thankfully for technology, Restore staff continue to connect with clients and caregivers. Telehealth became yet another “new normal”. Transitioning to this new format posed challenges, such as disruption of sessions due to poor internet connectivity and unstable phone signals. In spite of the challenges, clients, caregivers, and shelter staff continue to receive services from Restore staff.
There were moments when I became impatient with the pandemic situation. At times, I found myself blaming others for their actions. During these moments, I’m reminded of a word my grandmother often says when I’m at the end of my rope: “puhon” or “Lord-willing”. It’s easy to get caught up with what’s going on around me and complain. As I reflected on my question, “What is God’s purpose in all this?”, I came to realize that the answer is different for everyone. For me, this time has been a time of spiritual pruning and understanding that I’m where God wants me to be. I forgot that Psalm 23 doesn’t end with laying in green pastures and still waters. Sometimes, we will be led to the valley of the shadow of death. In this pandemic, we may travel through the valley of pain, suffering, cancelled plans, and unfulfilled promises. We have no control of how long we may be in this valley, but we must fear no evil, for God is with us. The path ahead may seem dark, but let’s not get discouraged. Since our God is leading the way, there is no room for doubt or panic. We entered this work because of the Lord’s assurance, so let us not forget who we are doing this for. Have faith no matter what!