Musing in this COVID-19 Season


It has been over a month since we began hearing the term “Coronavirus” nearly every day. It seemed harmless enough at the time…like the flu. The immediate impact on the beer company’s stock seemed a bit drastic and then the cancellations of Spring Break 2020 started to make this thing personal. Covid-19 soon became a household term. The year of 2020 “seeing differently” has put this virus right in our line of sight.

The death toll in the U.S. has surpassed 10,000 in the span of a few weeks and many counties across the nation are telling citizens to wear face masks and gloves in public settings such as grocery stores and only essential business entities are what remain open. The unknown economic impact concern looms in the back of the mind when driving down almost deserted highways and byways of our city. The “shelter in place” orders are now spreading throughout the nation beyond the larger cities. Fear nips at the heals of even the seemingly strong and optimistic. The playing fields keep leveling on most every front.

That was my two paragraph summary of where things were and where we are today.

As Tom and I live in Montgomery, Texas and have our 20 year old Sara home from Iowa State University for the time being and Ross still working as an “essential business” with Alpha 180 Sober Living in Austin, Texas, life feels pretty stable in some ways and pretty uncertain in others. Due to the external changes, internal changes stir and I have decided to start a diary of my inner story much like I did back in 2009-2010 during my walk through breast cancer. 

While I started that daily journalling process with no intention of anything other than keeping friends and family informed, I found it to be much like what I believe is the “Kingdom” Jesus said throughout the gospels “is at hand.” Journalling throughout my cancer journey became a respite from the world around—a safe haven to release what was trying to fester on the inside that was not healthy and needed to come out in the form of the written word.

What I soon realized through that process was that when darkness is exposed to the light, it disburses. For me, when fear or uncertainty was exposed through my written words and sprinkled with hope, this glimpse inside my journey released permission for others to peer into whatever fear or uncertainty might be harboring within their own story. 

If that isn’t the Kingdom at work in our world, I don’t know what is! During my 18 months of battling breast cancer, I was able to share what was going on inside of me freely and in doing so, it cleared the junk and allowed my body to heal. I didn’t care that I was not the most eloquent of writers or that I have more Yogisms than the average bear. I did what I feel I was made to do…share the journey.

Today I am stepping out and inviting you back into a journey. A journey that is also yours. How this will work, I have no idea. Maybe others will write their own thoughts here too. Maybe I will ask a question or someone will start a conversation. Maybe no comments will be shared or this even read, and that’s okay too. 

Here is why I want to try.

I find myself getting inside my own head lately and it is not always a healthy place for me to go. While I have learned many things since my walk through cancer, including the realization of my historical use of extroversion as an excuse to stroke my ego, I also learned that I do need others and a true community to be at my best. Becoming aware of where connection borders on idolatry is an ongoing process for me. 

All that being said, I might try my hand at writing and posting and see if any readers might find the process therapeutic as well. 

Heed the warning! I am not always politically nor grammatically correct. Think of my style as a stream-of-consciousness pouring out in a public forum. It is not for everyone, nor should it be. 

I learned to love the written word while I was sick – the way it made me feel when thoughts came out of my head and were made tangible and in the open. It freed me to be ME. Unfortunately, as Tom and I decided to follow the encouragement of so many and actually publish the blog series in book form after being declared “cancer free,” something very difficult happened…many publishers were thrilled with us and the idea of our story, but many promises were made that never came to fruition. The build up and hype lit our fire, then the disappointment and frankly, the embarrassment of it all was excruciating. 

The idea of Christian ministry and a great story and platform seemed great but then the shame of ‘failure’ took hold and I see now how it has crippled me for years. The lies I began to believe almost took me out as I attached the rejection to many aspects of my life. I did keep writing as a season of depression resurfaced in my life and a series of heartache came over both Tom and me. In that season, my writings were locked away in my laptop and looking back, had a serious darkness woven throughout. Seeking little wise counsel, I would try and address the pain of so much from my past by myself in hopes of making sense of it and my current circumstances. 

I did exactly what I tell others NOT to do…”don’t try and reason with the unreasonable thoughts in your head. You cannot do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. Crazy can’t fix crazy.” 

Of course I thought I was different. Surely I just need to mull over my past mistakes and regrets a few more times and then I will land on higher ground. It’s not exactly what transpired. Over time and some much needed wise counsel, I found myself moving back in a good direction. While some amazing things have happened with our family and with a new ministry, Mosaics of Mercy, I am still sorting through life on life’s terms. Who isn’t? While I have never lost faith, I have lost a few marbles here and there!! 

All this to be said, I am choosing “such a time as this” to try and write a little once again. No promises, just one post for today. I miss connection that change the atmosphere. As author and friend Allen Arnold would say, “Don’t enter into chaos and let it change you. YOU enter into chaos and change IT!”

Today I am choosing to step into the chaos that fights to take hold of this world and pull at the darkness once again and not let it close in around me nor the world which I love.