Living in the Moment

Since becoming members of GFC five years ago, my husband and I have grown in our relationships within our small group and in our relationship with God. I’ve been particularly thankful for the community we’ve found at GFC during this time of uncertainty.

I’m a nurse at JCMC but, having more of an administrative position, I’ve been fortunate enough to work from home during the social distancing period. It’s a strange feeling knowing I can’t meet with my small group in person, go to a movie, eat dinner in a restaurant, or hug a friend. It is even stranger to think that in parts of the United States people are in crisis mode trying to cope with the effects of this virus while I sit at home. I sometimes feel guilty that life is easy for me right now when it is so difficult for my fellow nurses. But, I will do what I can to prevent the spread of the virus and continue to pray for the people on the front lines.

This time of forced slowdown has been a welcomed change of pace I didn’t know I was looking for.  Looking back at time before social distancing, it seems that on any given day I was rushing to work, then rushing around the grocery store (which still happens only because, you know, germs), then rushing home to hurriedly put everything away and rush to make dinner.  Now when I feel rushed, I find myself reciting my new mantra: “We aren’t in a hurry because there’s nothing else to do”.  I’ve realized I wasn’t actually rushing around for any purpose in the first place. Maybe to get the things I didn’t want to do over with so I could plop down on the couch at the end of the day and relax. But soaking up each experience is so much more life-giving than rushing past everything in a blur. Even if the experience, like putting away groceries, is not particularly meaningful, I’m thankful to be learning the value of living in the moment.

Instead of using this extra at-home time to sink deep into a Netflix coma (which don’t get me wrong, still happens occasionally), I’ve been challenging myself to find activities that don’t rely on technology for entertainment. My husband and I have spent more time on our front porch over the last two days than the last two years. We’ve gotten to know the birds outside our window and had a 2-hour conversation with the next-door neighbor (at a 6-ft distance, of course). We’ve thrown softball, played cornhole in the back yard, and battled many rounds of Phase 10. I’ve been more intentional about checking in with friends and family. I’ve started an online Bible study with the group of 10th grade girls I lead as part of Grace Students. And since Grace has started streaming Sunday messages, I now hop on a Facetime call with my mother-in-law to discuss our thoughts afterwards.

If you are having trouble seeing how God is working in this season, hear this: the things I just stated aren’t a list of accomplishments to show how great I am at social distancing. The sad reality is none of these things would have happened without this season we are in. So my eternally optimistic side would say I’m grateful for what this time has produced in my life and I pray that you will reflect on your own life and choose to see God’s work.

Abby Crowe