I really shouldn’t be blogging right now. No, I should be writing a case report, grading a presentation, or doing a plethora of other residency related tasks. But, as in my optometry school days, there is nothing like an imminent deadline to promote procrastination.
So I will write.
I’m pretty sure every post I’ve had for the last 6 months started with a variant of: this isn’t what I expected. And as I stand here contemplating the last nearly 4 months, and the days, weeks, and moths that lie ahead, I can say with certainty that this is unexpectedness still rings true.
This time, I’m sure I’m not alone.
2020 hasn’t been what any of us expected.
Not that I’m really sure what we expected…
Maybe a year of fun? A year of hope? A year for success?
All I know is a global pandemic that has stopped the world in its tracks certainly wasn’t it.
For me, 2020 was supposed to be a year for changes, a year for community, and a year for growth.
I was supposed to wrap up my residency, find a job, start doing this optometry thing on my own.
For the first time in my adult life, I was beginning to feel integrated into a spiritual and social community.
At last, it felt like maybe this weird life-thing was coming together.
And then, as the last weeks of February turned into March, slowly but surely, it all began to fall apart.
Trips were cancelled. Communications strained. Plans were derailed. Communities unraveled.
And not just for me, but for everyone.
For others, jobs were lost. Finances upturned. Weddings postponed. Hopes, dreams, lives – torn apart in days.
And so we’re left to scream:
This isn’t right! This isn’t fair! God, this isn’t how it was supposed to be!
And sure enough, maybe this isn’t how it was supposed to be.
It sure doesn’t feel right.
It sure doesn’t feel fair.
But yet, here we are.
I wish I knew why.
I wish I could make it all make sense.
I wish I had answers as to what the coming days may hold.
But I don’t.
And so, it’s easy to feel afraid – gripped by the uncertainty.
It’s easy to feel lost – shrouded in darkness and despair.
It’s easy to feel alone – abandoned in this life of isolation.
But in the deafening silence of isolation, as the tumultuous waves of doubt and anxiety rise, I hear a voice – still in the chaos, quiet in the noise – and I am drawn to the arms of the one who brings peace in the storm, hope to the hopeless, life to the dead.
It is He who holds the nations.
It is He who promises never to leave us or forsake us.
It is He who works all things together for our good and for His glory.
And so I am called to trust – trust his goodness, his grace, his mercy, his love – assured that He knows the plans He has for us – plans for welfare, not calamity – to give us a future and a hope.
As I close out this blog and move onto whatever task lies ahead, I am reminded of the words of a hymn written by Horacio Spafford upon the loss of his fortune and family in 1872:
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say:
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”
And as its melodies resound in my mind, I pray that you find peace, comfort, and assurance as we traverse the days ahead, so that together we may sing:
“It is well. Yes, it is well with my soul.”
Til the next time,