By Pastor Suzanne
So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
While reading the news I came across an article on pandemic fatigue. This is defined as feelings of restlessness after months of various levels of quarantine. One way some people are coping is to revert to pre-pandemic behaviors such as doing activities without masks. Obviously, this puts both the individual and those he or she encounters at risk. Mental health experts also note that we could be feeling extreme highs and lows in our mood and more anger and irritability. I think I have seen all of these in our community and I have certainly felt this way too.
I have been trying to focus on the positives and the things I can control during the pandemic. It is not always easy and sometimes I fail. I am taking an online course on gratitude and it is challenging me to show gratitude daily and to focus on the good things that are happening in my life. One thing that has amazed and delighted me during the pandemic is the way our three congregations have come together. In many ways we are functioning as a single congregation. That brings enormous joy to my heart and spirit, and I am grateful for each of you and the way we are all working together to spread the gospel. I am convinced that God has a plan for us to be together and the Holy Spirit is making that possible.
Another thing that I am hearing from many people is the way families have bonded during this time of quarantine. Families have reported having dinner together, spending time together, playing games and watching movies together in ways that were not possible pre-pandemic when everyone was running in multiple directions. I am remarkably close to my family and find great comfort and support in our relationships.
As someone who lives with depression, I know that mental health is crucial to our well being and can not be ignored. If you are experiencing signs of depression please reach out to me, Pastor Jerry, your physician, or mental health professional. Please do not think you need to handle this on your own. Depression causes us to feel sad, lose interest in normal activities, food, and even being with others. These are stressful times in our world, and we need each other.
What I am learning during the pandemic is that relationships are key to our wellbeing. Nurture them and be there for each other. Control the things you can control, like how you take care of yourself and others. Find ways to be grateful each day, look for the positives and focus on how you can make positive contributions to your family, your community and yourself. And take it all to God in prayer. God is with us every moment of every day and wants nothing more than a close relationship with each and every one of us. God can handle our love and our anger, our joys and our frustrations, our failures, and our dreams. Take it to God in prayer.