I think this quarantine has had various effects on everybody’s mental health. Some are feeling anxious. Some are feeling despondent. Some are feeling frustrated. Some, like me, haven’t really had that much change in their lives. I’m still working, I was going to school (now graduated from my master’s program), and now I’m still studying for boards – well, trying to at least. Yet, I’ve still noticed some changes with my mental health. Granted, I’m still going through some stressful things, but aside from that…
There is uncertainty going around. Graduations haven’t happened. Sports have been cancelled. Gyms have been closed. Churches have been closed. There is a lack of people communicating face-to-face, and, for the huggers around here, this is a difficult time! For me, I’m not swimming at my gym due to the closures, and that has been hard because that has always been an outlet for me and a way to keep my body healthy. Graduation was cancelled, I’m stressed about life transitions at the moment, and I find myself struggling even more with depressive feelings related to my illnesses. I’m sleeping more (and for longer), I don’t have a great eating schedule, and I’m looking to just fill up time. Not that I’m normally an excessively social butterfly (I’m not), but the isolation is difficult.
Through all of this, sometimes I forget that I am a fierce-hearted woman.
Maybe you’re struggling with being single at this time (me too, by the way). Maybe you’re struggling with losing your livelihood. Maybe you’re struggling with a lack of human communication. Maybe you’re feeling inadequate and are comparing yourself to others. Maybe your faith is going through a rough time. Maybe your physical illnesses have worsened (my blood sugars have been more difficult to control – if that’s possible). Maybe you aren’t sleeping very well.
I’m here to tell you to not forget who you are. I am a fierce, protective woman. I am protective of my faith. I’m fierce about fighting for my sanity in the midst of my chronic health issues. I’m protective of my purity, and protective of my heart. But, all of those pathways can be very lonely (for both men and women). Not all of those things are very popular in our culture today, and it’s easy to get swept up in the outside storm. I know what kind of devastation life can bring. I also strive to be gentle, compassionate, and encouraging. And, during this quarantine, it has been easy to lose sight of all of those things.
Sometimes the edges of goals and convictions seem to blur slightly in uncertain times. Life has a way of making you forget. That’s when discipline, perseverance, prayer, and a good foundation comes in. Whatever you’re struggling with at the moment, God is using it to help teach you something. I don’t know what that is for you.
Would I like to not be single? Sure. Do I struggle with the implications of my health issues in a relationship or a future marriage? Every day. Does my desire to stay pure before marriage scare people off? Many times, yes. Do I want just anybody to fill that “singleness” gap? Certainly not.
Was I frustrated when I realized I needed to apply for “special accommodations” due to my diabetes to have access to my supplies during my board exam? Absolutely. Do I want people to know that I struggle with my illnesses? Not really. Was it difficult to write my book and talk about it? Absolutely yes.
With a cancelled graduation, are there bad memories coming back from my college graduation when I was so sick throughout the whole thing and that summer after? Yes. Do I try to shove down the feelings of inadequacy and failure each time I look at my blood sugar meter? Yes.
Is it hard to abide by Godly values in our culture as a young person? Yes. Do you go to God to talk about your frustrations and worries? Do you? Sometimes I struggle with that in all honesty. What are your feelings about this quarantine? Are you casting blame? How are you treating others? Are you looking to encourage or cast down/complain?
Here is my main point: we’re all struggling with something right now. What are you doing in your day-to-day life that is affecting your mental health? Talk to someone about it, let them in. Read your Bible. Take a break from social media. We aren’t the first people to struggle, honestly. Answers often aren’t just there, but maybe you need to remind yourself who you are in Christ. And maybe your solution is staring right at you.
I am a fierce-hearted, protective woman. I can go through fires – even if it’s hard or different – because I’ve been through them before. If there’s a God-fearing guy who comes along who wants to brave the weeds with me, then great! But, I’ll wait for him instead of grasping at some other relationship. My desire for a relationship is only if it’s based in Christ. And, for that reason, I have faith that it will eventually happen. When my depressive feelings start to overwhelm me, I will fiercely hold onto the freedom God has gifted me from those things and not let the devil confuse me. Whenever I’m encouraged to go against God’s way, I resist because I’m protecting my heart and know that deep down, God’s way is the right way to go. And, it will also be the most rewarding path. I don’t expect to get through without some mockery or eye-rolls from others in this world, but I’m not fierce through my own strength. I am fierce because I know that God is on my side. He is protective of me, so I am protective of my faith. I know that He has plans that I can’t fathom. And, I know that at the end of it all, His victory is the one that awaits. And nobody can take that away from me.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”