Are you feeling anxious and stressed? Are you worried about your health and safety, about your job, about the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on your kids or your older family members? For months you’ve been modifying and postponing weddings, and holding online memorials for those who have passed away. You’ve been visiting people outside at a distance, and signing on for church by sitting at your computer. You’ve been inundated online by rising numbers, wild conspiracy theories, end-times-style predictions and a large helping of doom and gloom. You’ve taken a beating… we all have.
Are you tired? The wear and tear is showing.
Do you feel like you need a break? Breaks can be hard to come by, especially for caregivers.
The Perfect Day
On Monday, at CBOQ’s staff virtual coffee meeting, a moment we use every couple of weeks to connect and see one another, we were asked to describe our “perfect day”. Not one of us suggested that it would be spent on lockdown, hunched over a computer in our kitchen/dining/living rooms, participating in Zoom meetings. Not one included wearing a mask. While there were a few people who wouldn’t mind some alone time with a good book, COVID played no role in anyone’s perfect day.
What’s your perfect day? Where would you be? What would you do? With whom would you spend it? I’m guessing, like us, you wouldn’t include isolation and a global pandemic.
It’s tempting to try to force a stiff upper lip—to show a shiny, flawless exterior to the world. We’re Christians, after all. We live in the victory of Jesus! We will overcome! We’re transformed by Christ! We’re imbued by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!
So why is this so hard???
Letting the Light In
An airtight space doesn’t allow good things to grow and pretending to have it all together as Christians, as leaders or as neighbours doesn’t help anyone. In the words of Leonard Cohen, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
We’re all going to have good days and bad days. We need to give—and receive—grace in the midst of trials. Admitting that you’re struggling doesn’t make you weak, but it does make you relatable. And the longer this goes on, the more those cracks can turn to chasms.
What to Do
So what can you do if you’re struggling?
- Exercise grace—with others and yourself
- Read “Coping with Stress and Anxiety,” an online article by CAMH
- Talk to and pray with your pastor or a trusted fellow church member
- If you’re a CBOQ pastor:
- Join our Pastors’ Prayer time on Tuesday morning
- Sign up for CBOQ Now—On December 10, the webinar topic will be “Self-Care Essentials”
- Access your benefits! If you need to talk to someone, remember that your benefits are there to help with the cost.
This isn’t the first time we’ve shared some of these things; it probably won’t be the last. This is a hard season for everyone, and we’re all feeling dented and chipped by the pandemic experience.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”