Women’s Connect Devotion – February
We invite you to spend a few moments and take in this encouragement from our Women’s Ministry team member, Allison Greenwald. We pray it inspires you to take a step towards deeper connections with others, that it comforts your heart, and is a reminder that we are designed by our Creator to belong together in community.
A few thoughts about CONNECTION and FEAR.
For the last year, COVID has created so much fear in our hearts. Fear of getting COVID led us to isolate and separate from friends and family, colleagues and neighbors. It seemed the wise and loving thing to do. We’ve gotten by using Zoom for work and church and Facetime to connect with family members and friends, and those tools have been some help. But take a minute to calculate: How much stress has COVID fear caused you? What are the negative consequences you’ve seen within yourself and others around you?
News outlets are spelling out the repercussions of living in COVID fear, noting significant increases in anxiety and depression. Kids are finally going back to school, as educators realize the inadequacies of virtual learning and its costly side effects on mental health. The CDC reports that 1 in 4 young adults had contemplated suicide over the past 30 days. This world can seem so dark that we lose hope.
My rising sense of concern has led me to think about how God designed humans to live in COMMUNITY. We need each other! As God said in Genesis 2, it is not good for us to be alone! Hebrews 10:25 encourages believers: “let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another. . .”
As we near the one-year anniversary of COVID restrictions, I want to encourage everyone to look around for opportunities to connect. Connecting will help with the fear. Here are some suggestions to consider:
- Come back to church! It lifts my spirits so much to worship together with others. Masks and social distancing are minor inconveniences compared to the stimulation of being together with others in our church family.
- Attend options offered by our church and other organizations. I was so encouraged and blessed by our Holy Yoga gathering (organized by Women’s Ministry) the end of January. I’m loving my learning experience in the class Pastor Staff is teaching on The Great Divorce. Step out to reengage, realizing that fear of COVID can be quite detrimental to your health.
- Reach out to a friend and schedule a walk or talk or a Facetime date. You need the interaction and your friend needs it, too. These meet-ups can be done safely, so take the risk to connect again. Life is so much richer when we share it with others.
- Consider others who need to connect. Do you know folks who are even more socially isolated than you because they live alone? Make their day (and your own) by giving them a call. As so often happens with ministry, we end up being incredibly blessed by our efforts to be a blessing to another. I
As we each walk a tightrope between COVID FEAR and our need for CONNECTION, let’s respect each others’ choices but spur one another on, as well. Let’s bring our fear to God and look to Him for the wisdom and courage we need going forward. He can help!
Allison Greenwald. February 2021