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  • Patti

Remedy - Part 1: Wrap Differences in Grace

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

Although, it seems glaringly obvious, sometimes it is easy to forget that everyone is actually different. People don’t all feel the same about events or things or circumstances. We all deal with life's experiences in ways that reflect our intrinsic design, temperament, and past experiences.

This realization hit home as I heard someone in my office comment to another co-worker, “We just weren’t made for this social distancing thing! We were made to touch and connect.” Do you know what I thought at that moment? True confessions… here I go! I thought, “Speak for yourself! I was totally made {exactly} for this!” I am not sure if the “speak for yourself” part sounds very adult. I’m guessing maybe a little like a 6th grader?! The funny thing is, when I heard those words in my head, I felt more like a 5-year-old. And that 5-year-old was quite relieved that finally everyone was ushered into her world for a change. A world that craved the safety of personal space, versus constant infringement. A world that was actually starting to practice good hygiene, sanitation of surfaces, the common sense of “stay at home when you are sick”, and a better level of awareness for how behaviors might impact the wellness of others.

... we are not all the same and we are not all experiencing life the same way.

As I listened to friends share about how they were navigating the sudden lifestyle changes related to COVID-19. Some were now working from home, along with spouses and their suddenly home-schooled kids. Some were still having to work in the office (as essential) while husbands and children were home.

Certainly the “challenge nuances” for each person vary. Maybe it is a home-space serenity now invaded by the whole family 24/7; or logistics of accommodating telephone and video conferencing while trying to actually find a quiet space in a full house of family; or maybe a complete work-pause accompanied by wondering how the bills will get paid.

For most, there has likely been a calendar of outside obligations, events, and commitments abruptly cleared, canceled, or put on hold - leaving room to reconnect.

Yes... you read that right! In the midst of social distancing, you have been given a gift - a slower pace, leaving room to begin fresh - and to reconnect with the ones with whom you actually share a home. The ones that likely matter most to you. Those same ones that you sometimes feel too busy for... or, at least too busy to connect with more deeply and intentionally.

The bottom line is that daily life has temporarily, but dramatically, changed for most of us, although in different ways. I would imagine that there are some nice things and then some rough things that you have been noticing as you have navigated the last few weeks.

So… have you paused yet to recognize how you really feel about the sudden changes in your life? Are these good? Needed? Overdue? Are they challenging? Uncomfortable? Worrisome? Do you hope for more, or less, of this change of pace, even after our world revolves back to normal?

In the coming weeks, give some thought to these questions, and welcome the new awareness they may offer. Don’t simply jump on board the train destined for the most popular cultural viewpoint. But rather, become a student of your own life, your own experience, your own soul, your own state of demands, and your own unique God-given designed.

Next week I will share some of what I have learned about myself and my life during this shelter-in-place.

In the meantime, let me share my personal remedy for our troubled times - wrap differences in grace.

May we cover all our moments with copious amounts of grace – for ourselves and others – remembering that we are not all the same and we are not all experiencing life the same way. Our differences allow for growth, and the opportunity to honor others by expanding our compassion and grace. A humble assessment of our own struggles and weaknesses should {super}naturally result in more genuine grace extended to others in our life. Let us lean into God for strength, ask Him for wisdom, and continue to point others to our Savior.

  • May God who gives patience, steadiness, and encouragement help you to live in complete harmony with each other—each with the attitude of Christ toward the other. (Romans 15:5, NLT)

  • For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power. (Philippians 4:13, NLT)

  • For You formed my innermost parts; You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-14a, AMP)

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