I am going to disclaimer before I start.
I have kept kind of quiet on things and have in fact decreased my time on social media and limited my conversations with people who are highly opinionated. It doesn't mean I do not agree or disagree with anyone or that I am burying my head in the sand. It's just that this pandemic has caused a lot of stress for all of us. All of us have to make different decisions based on our own family needs, but a lot of what I see being posted, shared and discussed are more of an attack on people's choices. I personally have received messaged from family members and friends that push their personal agenda and beliefs on me and have even been attacked for disagreeing. It is hurtful to our friends, our coworkers, our family and our witness when we respond out of stress (or we just think we are right). So, I took a step back because I want to be a part of the solution. I want my words to be helpful and not hurtful. So, with that, I wrote this a little over a week ago. I've sat on it because I was scared of the backlash, but a friend posted something today and it inspired me to share my thoughts with you. I pray that you see my heart and intent throughout this post.
I struggle because I miss just getting in to the car and going to the store whenever I want.
But I also struggle because not everyone respects staying home when they are sick.
I struggle because I crave face to face interaction and hugs with my family and friends.
But I also struggle because I limit my exposure to other people for the safety of my family.
I struggle because I've not hid in our home.
But I also struggle because we have made choices to not expose ourselves to our old normal.
I struggle because I miss worshiping in the same church with the people I love.
But I also struggle because I don't think it's time to open up the doors of church for regular services.
I struggle because I don't believe any government official has my best interest at heart. I struggle because so many believe our government is testing their boundaries.
But I also struggle because the government has already taken away so many of our rights before this pandemic and we have never done anything about that.
I struggle because I don't believe every vaccine is necessary for everyone.
But I also struggle because some will shame me if my family elects not to take a vaccine.
I struggle because I don't believe a face mask is necessary everywhere you go.
But I also struggle because I see and hear people judging and shaming both people who choose not to wear a face mask or those who choose to wear one.
I struggle because I believe the safer at home order and following some of the CDC guidelines really has helped us.
But I also struggle because if I do follow the CDC guidelines some think that I should follow all guidelines and others feel I'm just being a sheep.
I struggle because I was raised to evaluate and make decisions based on what I see.
But I also struggle because when I think for myself I am criticized by all sides. Even the ones who taught me to think for myself.
I struggle because I believe God has a plan.
But I also struggle because I'm accused of living in fear.
I struggle because God has provided for my family.
But I also struggle because so many others are not as blessed as I am.
I struggle because I believe we have an opportunity to share the truth and the gospel message.
But I also struggle because it seems instead of sharing the message so many of us jump to share fear, hate and divisiveness through our own personal opinions.
I struggle because I see hope.
But I also struggle because others don't.
I struggle because I want to feel peace in God's promises.
But I also struggle because right now that peace seems out of reach.
I struggle because I believe there is a middle ground in today's world. It doesn't have to be black or white.
But I also struggle because I feel as if I'm forced to have to choose left or right.
I struggle because there is no right answer that fits everyone's situation.
You see, we are all in the same storm, but we all have different boats that we are sailing in. I'm sure that you have heard the analogy. In the boat I sit in I still can close my eyes and remember the night in December when I was holding my sick little guy in my arms and he stopped breathing. I have to take the knowledge and information that I can find and make decisions that are best for my family. What I do for my family may not be best for your family and that is ok. I don't expect you to live in my boat with us, but I do want you to understand when I tell you the situation in my boat is different.
I'll also just add a little blurb in here about our witness as Christians. This part is very much my own personal belief and you can take it or leave it.
It is very dangerous as a child of God to be so negligent with the things that we say, post and share with others in a time that people are scared. Shoving your opinion down the throat of someone who is either scared or trying to make the best decision for their family (maybe both) is not biblical in any shape or form. I'll admit that I honestly do not know who to believe and the information that is put out. We have been inundated with information from all sides. Take the info you have and make the best decision for your family, but please stop shoving your opinions down everyone's throat.
I'll also, take just a small stand here on the rants against the government. I am wary of how much power our government has. I do not disagree that it is a dangerous and slippery slope/time that we live in. I bleed red, white and blue. I love my country and the freedoms for which it stands. I don't disagree that we should push back on the government, but if you feel so passionately about the government and the steps they are taking then I encourage you to stop standing behind the safety of your phone and get out and take action. Do something! Join a movement. Get a group together and go protest (peacefully would be my suggestion), but stop all the hate and spewing. Stop stirring people up with strife and divisiveness if all you intend to do is sit on your hands. Put your words in to action. You do not further the message of Jesus Christ by railing all day on Facebook and that my friends is part our big picture purpose in life.
Colossians 4:2-6 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful, as you pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may declare it clearly, as I should. Act wisely toward outsiders, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.