The most common question you ask when you have to chat or talk to someone today is, “How are you?”. This new normal we keep on worrying about everything. “Is your heart still okay?”, Maybe this question is what you keep on asking yourself. These past months we all feel empty and tired of all the things that are happening up until this time that you are reading this.
“The Lord himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.” – Deuteronomy 31:8
This new normal allows us to look deeper in ourselves as we follow the protocol to have social distancing. In the first few months it is really challenging that we have to adjust to the changes and as the pandemic continues it gets harder than we thought. We start to get bored and start daydreaming of the things that we normally do. Going on vacation, catching up with friends, going on missions, traveling to unwind and relax. Furthermore, as we look into ourselves it’s getting clearer that we can finally see ourselves on where we lack or what are our weaknesses. This new normal I was able to clearly know myself a little better. It is like you don’t have an excuse to escape the reality and to what the world is telling you, because we always seek to escape when things aren’t in favor of us. As I keep on convincing myself that I’m okay and that I can surpass all these trials of self-doubt, insecurities and worries, I sometimes can’t help myself to think the opposite. The pandemic forced each of us to change whether we are ready or not. A change from working outside to working from home, taking classes at school to having online classes. It changed so quickly that we also get tired of quickly adjusting as well. As the saying goes, “Eventually everything changes, and it is up to us whether we enjoy it as it changes.”
As we adapt to the change, we are calling to change our faith as well. A faith that is much stronger and firm. The new normal is somehow a test for us on how we really trust the Lord. This new normal is more difficult because it is the first time we have experienced this reality. Adapting to change and focusing on God is necessary and what we have to do is to seek God in the middle of all circumstances. We need to find new and innovative ways to reach others for the Kingdom of God and I think more than ourselves, it is the most important change in the new normal and everything else will take care of itself.
“There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.” – 1 John 4:18
We have to accept this new normal as an opportunity and not a problem. An opportunity for us to love more and focus on God’s love alone. He makes a way of hope in our wilderness of worry and streams of faith in our wasteland of fear. As I discovered my fears and weaknesses this new normal, I also accepted that this is an opportunity for us to know deeper about ourselves and adapt to new ways of knowing God. Yes, it is challenging but as a child of God we must perceive it, believe it, receive it, and embrace it. Because as long as we accept the challenges this year may bring us, we also accept and allow God to make His plans possible in our lives. We do not have to be afraid because the Lord is always with us. Do what the Holy Spirit is calling you to do and not what the world has to offer. This journey to redefine “normal” includes more gratitude, love, appreciation, service to others, mercy and joy. This new normal tells us to have a heart that has no fear of love because our Father sacrificed everything for the sake of love. Surviving this year is not the prize, but rather to be more aware that you are loved by God and in Him alone you are enough.
Jean Ramos is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team.