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Adjust Your Sails

Adjust Your Sails

I want to share one of my favorite quotes with you this morning. Dolly Parton has several quotes I love, but this one below works for almost any situation.

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." 
Adjust your sails
Image courtesy of Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

We adjusted our sails to get through the #newnormal of COVID-19. And we'll have to adjust them again when other problems arise in life. Sometimes, you may have to help others adjust their sails. How? Through your strength. 

You see, as we gain knowledge and experience through our circumstances, God is training us in empathy and providing the skills to help someone else through similar circumstances. Because you can't help someone else unless you have experienced what they're going through.

How to adjust your sails

If you need to grieve, do it. Don't hold back. If you prefer to do it in private, do it. If you have support like I did from my husband and sons when my brother passed away in February, embrace it. When you come out at the other end, the heavy weight is lifted. After only 5 weeks of grief, for me, that "death fog" has lifted and I can benefit others who continue to suffer from his death. 

My parents and sister-in-law are still grieving heavily. And yesterday, I was able to move from just listening to start offering some advice that might be helpful to them. 

So, how did I get through that deep grief? Again, I had support from my closest circle of family members - either hugs or just listening to me as I cried, mourned, and expressed my thoughts. I'm still sad, but I've managed to finally pass through that thick "death fog" I had been trapped inside of for several weeks. It was like I couldn't get in touch with my own soul. Like an out-of-body experience of some kind. Very strange. 

Next, I did a lot of leaning on God. I prayed, asked Him a lot of questions, thanked Him for everything I could think of to be thankful for (which is really endless), cried, listened to my favorite worship music on Pandora, read a lot of daily devotions, and pleaded for help to get me through the grief. I find that this helps in almost any circumstance. 

However, grief is an important process, so this relief I pleaded for didn't happen overnight. I needed those tears from that grief to wash away that "fog" and reconnect with myself. Now, I feel like I can meditate and exercise - and receive more cleansing from those processes. You may be different, but for me, I need a clear head to do these last two things well. 

Don't lose faith

Always remember, God never gives you more than you can handle. Life is full of these times of testing. Sometimes they last for a day and sometimes they’ll last for months or even years. But adjusting is a built-in survival mechanism we all have inside us. Adjustments sometimes will help us find something inside ourselves we never knew we had. Remember our quote, “What doesn’t break me will mold me.” And as we look back at those rough times, we see how much stronger we are.

Look for the good

As I look back through the years at disasters nations and communities have faced, I have seen good come from them regardless of how bad the situations have been.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, a whole country came together to help victims and their families. Countries set aside their differences to offer condolences and aid. To this day, anyone who was alive at that time can tell you what they were doing when they heard the news about the attacks.

When natural disasters hit or citizens have to flee their countries because of invasions, assistance comes from areas beyond the borders. During these times, everyone becomes a neighbor to those in need.

With COVID-19, each of us has been given an opportunity to experience the same thing that everyone around the world is experiencing. That’s an opportunity that may not come around for another hundred years. This virus is teaching us respect, how to be innovative, and new ways to entertain ourselves. It’s also teaching us to be more mindful and more appreciative of what have. Also, more people are turning to God. None of this is a bad thing!

Perhaps once this is over, we’ll actually like this new normal and the journey of discoveries that came along with it. One thing’s for sure. We’ll all have lots of interesting stories to share when, in the years that follow, we’re asked, “How did you get through the COVID-19 pandemic?”

May God bless you and keep you safe,

Patricia

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