COVID-19 · Faith · Loss · Vulnerability

The Things I Miss

I don’t write a lot these days, because I feel like my heart is grieving. It’s hard to share grief sometimes. I’m letting go of more and more things that I love, and today, I’m deeply missing these things:

I miss writing on my blog. The past few months have been a whirlwind of babysitting, homeschooling, respite, leading women’s ministry, driving kids to sports, gardening, canning, etc. Writing here was the first thing to go. After all, it takes up so much effort and time, and seems to have so little reward. Seeing four or five likes and even fewer comments can be disheartening. I’m constantly wondering, is anyone reading these posts anymore? If not, why bother?

But then I ask myself, why did I start in the first place? Was it not for my own emotional healing? Writing heals my heart. It allows me to share the deepest things that I often don’t have the opportunity to say. It helps me process the world around me. It relieves me of the burden that I often carry around. It brings me joy.

I miss running. Especially in fall. Nothing compares to the sweet smell of leaves and the cool breeze that compliments the last warm rays of the sun. I miss having the energy to run and the strength that I had built up over years of keeping it in my routine. I’ve lost it now. Crazy how something like muscle takes so long to build, but dissolves in mere weeks. The lack of motivation to get there again – to retrain my body – it’s disheartening. Running was rewarding but SO much work.

Will I ever get to that place of strength and endurance again?

I miss learning. I wish I could go back to school. For fifteen long years, I have desired this. I want to be a nurse. But life. The kids need my presence. Our finances with the mortgage and the children’s private schooling, and trying to do it all on one income makes money tight sometimes. Them first. Me last. Will I ever get the chance to be what I really wanted to be? Were all these dreams for nothing? Am I to lay them down forever? Or will I one day get my chance?

And then, there are the big things I miss. The things that aren’t just unique to me, but that are effecting everyone around me.

I miss the carefree, pre-covid life. I miss crowds and brushing past people in a busy room. I miss not trying to hide my cough when I sip my coffee too fast. Or singing in church without a mask – where now I feel breathless after every song. I miss the world, where we all seemed a little bit friendlier. Maybe it was because we could see each other smile. Which reminds me, I miss seeing people’s faces. I miss not second guessing every time someone in my family has a runny nose or a minor cough – wondering if we should stay home. I miss assuming that everyone was welcome everywhere, because that was the kind of country I lived in. Where for the most part, our biggest differences were the cars that we drove and clothes that we wore.

I remember a time when hating someone for the choices they made (or did not make) was seen as unacceptable. Tolerance. Ha! When was the last time I heard that word? Certainly not for quite some time.

I miss kindness and unity being more important than political and health opinions. Families refusing to meet together over divisive regulations and restrictions. Churches and family gatherings turning certain people away and calling it “love.”

These are everyday, good people – people who have given their time and care to their community, people who have volunteered and loved on “the least of these” without expecting anything in return. People who would give you the shirt off their own backs. These people are being expected to confirm to the popular beliefs or be shut out of society.

And we are shrugging it off as if it is no big deal.

This is not the world I grew up in. This is not the world I want my kids to grow up in.

But perhaps the greatest thing I’ve missed is the purpose behind it all.

Why I wrote.

Why I ran.

Why I learned.

Why we lived freely.

Why we valued love and kindness.

Because these things brought joy.

Unity.

Family.

Kindness.

Love.

Freedom.

What is life without these things?

I think it’s time we asked ourselves if this past year of “saving lives” has been worth all that we have lost. Great men and women in the past have willingly laid down their lives for these very values. And these past two years we have all too willingly given these things up. For what? For the need for everyone to survive at all costs?

I know this is an extremely unpopular view – I’ve heard all the arguments.

Yet I can’t help but ask myself, when did we start believing that we could control sickness?

When did we start blaming people for spreading viruses? This is a new thing. In the past it was always seen as unpreventable. Unavoidable. It brought people together to care – sadly, and to mourn.

Now we call people who leave their house with a cough “selfish”and we rain judgment down on them. Bizarrely enough, we even feel anger toward healthy people. Our society loses their minds over a mask worn incorrectly, or a person who feels uncomfortable with getting vaccinated. I’ve seen the cold hearted comments all over social media that they deserve to die of Covid, or lose their jobs or that they don’t deserve to enjoy the luxuries of restaurants, museums, movie theatres, and concerts.

How did we get here so fast?

I miss the world I used to live in. When kindness came before fear. When we could agree to disagree.

The monster of division looms over my nation, spurred on by my own political leaders. It’s being echoed loud and clear by the media: Do as we say or lose everything. Conform to our beliefs or be shut out. Shun all those who do not comply. It creeps into people’s hearts and minds until they think this attitude is normal. Acceptable even.

We don’t even see what we’ve become. And the worst part is that I don’t see an end.

Unless, of course, we remember.

And we all begin to miss the things we’ve lost… enough to do something about it.

35 thoughts on “The Things I Miss

  1. “Churches and family gatherings turning certain people away and calling it “love.”” — This breaks my heart, too. It’s not okay.

    I read online last night that a major Christian conference has essentially stated that there is no justification for people to reject the vaccine based on Christain beliefs, and that if a Christian wants to obey Jesus’s command to love, then they would take the vaccine, end of story. Since when did the church get to validate/invalidate a fellow believer’s personal faith-based convictions? Ridiculous. Even Paul stated that we need to act out of faith, and when we don’t we are sinning:

    “But the man who has doubts (misgivings, an uneasy conscience) about eating, and then eats [perhaps because of you], stands condemned [before God], because he is not true to his convictions and he does not act from faith. For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin [whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful].” (Romans 14:23 AMPC)

    How can we shame our brothers and sisters (in Christ) into taking a medical intervention that they sincerely believe is wrong to take? It would be sin for them to act against their conscience in this way. And it’s awfully judgmental of us to tell them they have no right to believe what they believe. Absurdities like this are occurring all over the world within our Christian families. Yuck. It makes my stomach turn.

    Jesus, Jesus, help us! Where I have judged, forgive me. Where I have assumed, correct me. Where I am blind, open my eyes. Where I haven’t loved, put your love in my heart. This is too much for me. We need you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It makes my stomach turn too. And it makes me think of all the horrible things that were done in the past that were “acceptable” back then as well. Shunning people, telling them to sit somewhere else, being afraid of a disease and isolating people have been commonplace throughout history. I have a feeling future generations will look back at us and shake their heads at the way we have turned on each other.

      What I beautiful prayer you wrote though, and I echo those words with you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Little sister I prayed for you for Jesus to restore the joy of your salvation. Life can certainly weigh us down especially now, The joy of the Lord is our strength but that can be difficult for us when times are hard.

    I have missed your posts but certainly understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your prayers. They are much appreciated. True joy is needed these days to get through all the heaviness. I find the easiest path to joy for me is thanking God for what we do still have. It’s impossible to be thankful and and unhappy at the same time. Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You wrote my feeling down on your blog… thanks for sharing!
    I’m thinking a lot of us are grieving more than we know w or choose to acknowledge.
    Bless you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Heather, a fellow blogger shared this post with me, and I feel blessed to read it. Joining with others in prayer for the light of the Lord to encourage you and watch over you. Sometimes our past shapes the present, but with faith the Lord will help us to reshape the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So much of what you’re saying here resonates with me, Heather. For now I will highlight the following quote: “But then I ask myself, why did I start in the first place? Was it not for my own emotional healing? Writing heals my heart. It allows me to share the deepest things that I often don’t have the opportunity to say. It helps me process the world around me. It relieves me of the burden that I often carry around. It brings me joy.” This is what writing does for me, too. Yes, we hope our writing will be important to others as well, if not today then some day. But otherwise, it does bring joy and is a tool God has given us for our own mental health. I find that even having a few faithful listeners/readers is healing to my heart.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I went to Costco today and immediately felt overwhelmed once I entered. For me, this location is where things started getting crazy back in March 2020. Where people packed the place out buying up bottled water and I stood clueless in line not knowing what was about to hit us just a couple days later. And, here we are months and months and months later…still in craziness. I couldn’t stomach all the people in masks today. I just couldn’t handle seeing the box of masks at the door and people pausing and putting one on. I coped by putting in one air pod and listening to Christian music the entire time. My mind was focused on the lyrics as I shopped and much less on the masked people passing me. I miss Costco as it once was. I miss faces too. The lyrics of Weary Traveler by Jordan St. Cyr helped me endure today at Costco. You might find them a blessing too. KOKO. (keep on keeping on)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that song! It has been a huge encouragement for me these past few weeks. And thanks for sharing about yours struggles as well. It’s been a long road, one that none of us could have even imagined back in Jan 2020. We don’t know what lies ahead, but I’m so very thankful that God does, and that he will never leave us through any of it. Thanks for stopping in 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t remember how I found your blog (MeWe, perhaps?) but so many times over the last few months you have expressed my own thoughts and feelings so well. Several times I began to comment but either kids or my own doubts prevented me from actually commenting. Now I’m determined to do it!

    This spoke to me: “Them first. Me last. Will I ever get the chance to be what I really wanted to be? Were all these dreams for nothing? Am I to lay them down forever? Or will I one day get my chance?”

    I have struggled with this for years. Only recently have I accepted that I need to be patient with myself as much as with the kids. God has a plan for me, has a plan for my writing, and all the times I feel so discouraged because I don’t have TIME to write, God has gently reminded me that the other work I’m doing now is important too.

    Anyway, know that you DO reach people, and you make a difference!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for stopping in and reading/commenting. I always appreciate what you have to say, you are very encouraging, but don’t feel pressured. I know how busy mom life can be and I definitely don’t feel like I always have time to read or comment on other peoples posts.

      I love what you shared. Yes, God has had his hand in my life, whether or not ALL my dreams have been fulfilled. This weekend I wrote in my journal some of my dreams that HAVE come true, and it actually amazed me to have it down on paper. A lot more of my prayers have been answered and my dreams have happened than I even realized. Sometimes I just need to be reminded of that.

      Like

  8. As always, so aptly written. I feel all you’ve written, from the “when me” to the “why hate?” Going out in an alien experience.

    I know I’m not 400 followers, but I always love when you write.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am happy to read your blog today. I am new here. I am sending you love and grace your way as you struggle to figure out the messy in-between. Two things, continue writing for YOURSELF not for anyone. Thank God when you see one ‘like’ at-least someone is benefited from your blog but again, at the end of the day it is for YOU. Number 2, try taking vegetable salad over lunch hour everyday this will make your muscles very smooth and ease any pain or fatigue when you run. All in all, YOU ARE DOING GREAT AS A MUM!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well expressed, Heather. As His people, we need to be listening to the Creator, and tuning out the din of propaganda (by definition, false at critical points). The Truth, however, sets free.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Any day we show a little more kindness, a little more tolerance, a little more forgiveness, and a lot less judgment makes for a good day. Thanks for making this one of those kinds of days.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. A few of the little things I miss:
    – strolling in a store sipping my coffee
    -squeezing one more family into the church pew, shoulders all touching
    -bringing snacks to school to share with the class
    -shaking hands and hugs
    -having conversations that don’t all lead to some form of Covid discussion
    -visiting my grandma and her friends at the seniors’ lunch room

    As you shared, I realized the importance of naming the things we miss as a way to grieve. Maybe sharing them with each other is a way for us to grieve together and realize we’re not alone in the grief. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    Things I’m more thankful for now than ever:
    -seeing the corners of someone’s eyes crinkle, knowing that it’s the sign of a smile under the mask
    -church leaders who choose to walk in humility, grace and unity
    -teachers doing everything in their power to make school as positive an experience as possible for students
    -many reminders that this world isn’t our true home and the knowledge that heaven awaits!

    In a time when it feels like no end is in sight, may we keep our eyes on Jesus. Our hope is in Him alone. ❤️

    Like

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