If you have been reading this blog since the fall of 2019 or following my journey through adversity Via www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelGuthrie, you know that an immune system disorder led to a syndrome called Guillain Barre. It left me unable to move for 17 days and gave me the “opportunity” to be in a rehab facility while I regained my strength allowing me to walk out and go home 43 days later. March-June of 2019 were pretty much lost. So, why would I say 2020 has actually been worse than the same time in 2019?
Dottie and I were struck the other day that we have lost the same 4 months this year because of a completely different type of adversity, Covid19 aka The Coronavirus. I have found myself discouraged and on edge in a way that Is not normal for me. I am sure the pandemic has some you feeling the same. This discouragement and angst oozes itself into all aspects of my life which results in a sadness that has led me to ask why? Dottie’ answers, “It is the uncertainty of not knowing what to expect with Covid19. Your bout w GBS was different. Once we knew you were not going to be put on a ventilator, we had the confidence that although it would take a long time, you would get better. We have no idea where the pandemic is taking us and what will be its long term effects.” I find myself fighting this realization but at the end of the day, she is absolutely right. Whether one wants to say this is not a big deal or that it is being over blown by the media, the fact remains no one knows the long term effects of the Coronavirus be it physical, psychological, or economically.
The second reason for 2020 being worse than 2019 will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. It has been the subject matter of several blog posts here. I MISS MY PEOPLE 😀. We are not made to travel this life alone. Jesus knew it and that is why he sent the disciples out in twos. “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.” ~ Luke 10:1 We need others in our lives to keep us uplifted when it is so easy to fall into despair.
There is also the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” My recovery from Guillain Barre was indeed a group effort. Friends spent the night with me in the hospital and in rehab. People brought us lunch every day. I had so many visitors that Dottie had to, lovingly but fiercely, become the gatekeeper so I would get my rest. I was in a bad way but throughout the ordeal and even after we came home, we had people cheering and encouraging us along the way. 2020 is harder than 2019 because this is a fresh and different kind of adversity. I am sure that many of you are struggling with the pandemic’s “shelter in place” in some of the same ways. GBS without a doubt was the biggest challenge I have faced in my life. The difference this year is I don’t have the people around me as I did last year. Dottie and I are fortunate to have each other but it is tough going through this pretty much by ourselves. Like us, You are tired, lonely, and Frustrated. Asking, “When will this ever end?” You are longing life to get back to normal. I am grateful that Jesus says in Matthew, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Reading through Proverbs in June teaches God want us to wait on Him. Be patient. Trust that He already knows the outcome of the Covid19 story and as this song reminds us, He has never failed us yet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B_lnQIITxU When we do Isaiah 40 lifts us up knowing “those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength”. I will look unto the hills, to the One who loves me, for rest in my soul and a renewed strength. How bout you?
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