Blessings from the Pandemic
Published on July 22, 2022
There is one word that unifies humanity over the past two and half years: Pain. Ever since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, China, the people of this earth have endured great pain. The sad thing is I don’t see a whole lot happening recently that doesn’t involve pain. But I want to take the advice of Jordan B Peterson and cherish every moment of my life that isn’t painful.
I’ve collected here a few stories from people close to me about blessings that resulted from the pandemic. I know it’s easy to get caught up in all the hurt and feel like the world is falling apart, but let’s embrace Peterson’s advice and fall on our knees in thanks that we can experience even the most fleeting moment that isn’t painful.
My biggest challenge during the pandemic was having to finish high school from my home. Not being able to see my friends for the last three months, not having a senior prom or class trip, and graduating from my living room made it extremely difficult to move into the next phase of my life. However, that transition was made much easier thanks to the pandemic. Before COVID, I was slated to move to Indiana for college; halfway across the country, and I wasn’t thrilled about it. So, my parents and I started looking and found Messiah University, which fit my criteria perfectly, so I decided to switch. Now it wasn’t easy going to a school that I hadn’t even visited before, but I am much more comfortable in PA compared to if I was in Indiana. I have made friends that are very important to me and participated in things that I am grateful for. If it weren’t for the pandemic, I would be going to school 13 hours away from home and likely having nowhere near as good an experience.
A blessing that my pastor, Andre, shared with me was a “re-appreciation for community.” He never realized how positive an experience in-person interaction is. Even though there were options like Zoom, Facetime, and live-streamed church services, it was just never the same. Regarding church experiences specifically, Andre said that people appreciate the in-person experience so much more now that they had to use live stream for almost two years. This is definitely a blessing from the pandemic and has the congregation becoming more tight-knit than before COVID.
Along the same lines, Andre also shared how much of a blessing the live stream technology is. Before the pandemic, it was never on the church’s radar to use a live stream, but now it gives people from across the globe the ability to “attend” church and be connected wherever they are.
My supervisor James shared how the pandemic gave him the chance to become a better leader. He realized that his coaching style was somewhat outdated and took the opportunity to write a book that helps others develop solid leadership habits. James said that the pandemic let him zoom out on the situation, identify issues, and find solutions to teach others and be a better leader himself.
What my mother, Diane shared with me was that the pandemic let her zoom out and look at what is truly important in life. One example of this was that she was able to communicate better with her family members. She shared that she found she was pushing her desires onto her youngest son regarding his college choice and that the pandemic gave her family the much-needed time to find a better fit.
Diane also shared that her marriage communication improved as well. With both her and her husband at home, they were able to talk through many important issues that otherwise would have gone unattended. This directly resulted in a more respectful and trusting relationship where they could rely on each other.
Someone very important to me shared how effective remote work has been for companies around the world, including his. During the pandemic, his company went fully online and they are essentially staying that way as we exit the brunt of COVID. This ability allowed them to pick up right where they left off in the office and not miss a beat. Remote work also lets people work desired jobs without moving to new locations, perhaps that they cannot afford. It also lets people integrate a better work-life balance, which is obviously important in times like this.
Lastly, a close friend of mine from school said that her pandemic blessing was that she learned to rely on God more through hardship rather than her own strength. I really admire this because it is hard for us to admit when we don’t know the solution to a problem. The reality is that we don’t really know anything. In hard times, relying on your own strength will only put more pressure on you and make you feel exceedingly overwhelmed. I am reminded of Proverbs 3:5. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Talking to God about your struggles and casting your worries upon him is the only way to make it through.
All of these blessings would not have been possible without the pandemic. Now, believe me, I understand the pain and suffering that has gone on over the past two or so years, but let’s try to acknowledge the positives where they are. Even though the media typically focuses on the death and destruction of the deadly disease, a lot of good came from COVID, and I encourage you to zoom out and look for your pandemic blessings.
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