By: Laleanne Stanbery

Before COVID-19 we filled our lives with…

  • Busyness
  • School
  • Work
  • Sports
  • Extra-curriculars
  • Bible Studies
  • Lunches
  • Meetings, meetings, and more meetings
  • The occasional, penciled into the empty space on the calendar – date night
  • Birthday parties
  • Friend Gatherings
  • Team Gatherings
  • Family Gatherings

Then, in what felt like a rapid-fire of reaction- amidst the chaos & crazy that we called “normal” -a disruption of nothingness blanketed the globe.

  • No outdoors
  • No mingling
  • No crowds
  • No shopping
  • No school
  • No sports
  • No work
  • No church

Then, like a treasure, we had forgotten we had because we tucked it away behind the clutter of our chaos & busyness…

We found…

  • A gift of time
  • A gift of family
  • A gift of reflection
  • A gift of togetherness
  • A gift of fellowship
  • A gift of perseverance
  • A gift of teamwork
  • A gift of generosity
  • A gift of service
  • A gift of grace, mercy, and sympathy
  • A gift of unity
  • A gift of healing… for our land and our people

Though these last few weeks have been challenging, I find myself overwhelmed with peace and pure joy. Joy in seeing and experiencing these gifts.

We are living in unprecedented times under unprecedented circumstances. And yet, I have seen life continue in the most beautiful ways these last 2 weeks. Consistent family time that we otherwise would never have had the opportunity to indulge in. Friends, colleagues, families- regularly meeting face-to-face (albeit virtually) to connect. A rally of servitude to care for the weak, the elderly, the destitute, and the sick. Parents, stepping up to take on the charge of education, working as partners with teachers to continue schooling at home. Churches, pivoting quickly to bring Jesus into homes and hearts online. The environment, healing from the lack of pollution.

The days ahead will be tough. Maybe tougher than we can even imagine, but do not fear. God has been working it out behind the scenes, in perfect timing & in precise detail.

My heart and mind are set on things above! (Col 3:1-2) There is HOPE. It may have been packaged differently than we expected, but it’s tangible all around us. God is here. He is in control. He conquered all of this before we even knew there was a fight. (John 16:33)

The Saddleback Parents Team