Most of us remember going either on a spring break trip or home in March, then getting the email that the semester was going online. We all had hope that SNU wouldn’t close down. Unfortunately, our nightmare came true and a long summer began. For most of us, we spent quarantine locked in with family, trying not to go crazy. Not only did Covid-19 rob us of our plans, but it also increased anxiety and depression in some of our lives.
For some of you, this was the most time you had spent with yourself in a while, and trust me, I understand that this was a foreign land. Our friends and community were pulled out underneath us, and we were left trying to figure out a new routine and how to stay sane on zoom.
There were several downs that came out of quarantine, and I want to take time to empathize with anyone who has lost loved ones due to the virus. Hopefully, along all of the downs, there have been ups: more time spent with family, new hobbies, or a deeper sense of purpose.
Congratulations, you made it out alive, and now we are here. The long wait is over and social distancing is in. Without a doubt, this year will be different. We are all in uncharted waters, and no one knows what tomorrow will hold. We are fighting an invisible war, and being in a constant state of an unknown tomorrow can be frustrating. Although all of this might seem overwhelming and discouraging, there is hope.
Your masked smile is needed, your voice is needed, and you are needed in this community. Tomorrow is uncertain, which completely leaves today in your hands to make it the best you possibly can. We have the opportunity to look at the way we do things from a different perspective. We get to define our new normal and make the best of it. We are back with our friends, and we get to make new ones.
God is not surprised as to where we all at this moment. Think about that. There has never been something that you have done or have not done that God did not see coming. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. You did not end up at Southern Nazarene University during a time like this on accident. It was not a mistake, and neither are you.
One of the things I love about God is that He fights battles on our behalf. Battles that we don’t even know of, and at the same time, He walks along with us and guides us. He would never put too much on us that we could not handle. Take hope and lean in because this year is going to be one for the books.
A verse that is very relevant to this moment can be found in the first chapter of the book of James, and I want to leave you with it. It says, “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”. We’ve got this and I am so excited for a year like this with our community. Bolts up, mask up!