So….Can I Write a “COVID-19 Sucks” Post?

by | Mar 27, 2020 | Research | 62 comments

I really have nothing nice or uplifting to say about COVID and what we’re going through right now.

I posted this on Facebook yesterday, and it got such a big reaction that I thought it may be worth saying here, too!

God tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

There’s a whole book of the Bible that is called Lamentations.

Many of the Psalms are David calling out to God–and I think they’re really more about him yelling.

And so, right now, I think it’s okay to just feel like life is tough. Doesn’t mean that God can’t bring good out of it, or that we won’t learn from it, or that we can’t find joy in small things, or any of those truths. It just means that, yeah, life is tough.

I woke up so many times last night thinking of New York and just praying, “Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.” I pray it doesn’t get worse than it is. I pray for protection on the health care workers. It’s just awful.

I’m glad that there are people writing inspirational things right now. I’m just not really one of them.

Encouragement isn’t really my gifting. I’m more a prophet yelling in the wilderness. Or in my yellow chair. While I’m self-isolating to my home.

But maybe the best way to be encouraging is not to try to be encouraging. Maybe it’s just to say to all of you, “yeah, this sucks.”

I have so many readers whose weddings have been cancelled, or whose honeymoons have gone up in smoke.

I don’t know what to say to them, except I’m so sorry.

Gina felt that way, too:


I have been specifically praying for those whose wedding plans were dashed by this. My daughter got married last September and even with the best of circumstances it was a crazy time.
I can’t imagine having spent maybe more than a year (and no small amount of cash) planning your special day only to have it ruined by this disaster. My prayers go out to those couples!


Others have their own struggles:

My oldest is a senior in high school, and while it’s not a life/death situation, it’s still really sad that he’s missing out on prom, senior activities and possibly even graduation. 


And people who were supposed to have graduation in May. And looked forward to all of the pomp and circumstance that go with it! That they’ve worked for years for! And daddies that won’t get to be there when their babies are born.


I know a bunch of women who are about to give birth in the next month or two, as well, and it looks like some will not be able to have their husbands in the delivery room. Honestly, I can’t imagine.

And I know that there are many, many facing worse than that, and that we should count our blessings, and all of that is true. But even if others have it worse, I think it’s okay to be sad and disappointed. God doesn’t hate our emotions. He made them. And I believe that if we’re real before God, and we cry out to Him, He will answer in some way.

So I’d like to ask you all something.

Do you have any words of commiseration for those who have seen their wedding plans put on hold, or who don’t know what’s going to happen now? How about leaving a comment or a prayer? You don’t need to say anything brilliant or deep. Let’s just be there for each other!

Because sometimes life is just plain hard. (which is a great reminder that this is not our home).

Hilary said this, which is a good thing to end on:

It reminds me of of Jesus weeping with Mary and Martha after the death of Lazarus. He didn’t just say, “have hope for the future”, or “you don’t know what I have planned for God’s glory.” Jesus DID know the bigger picture but He was with them in their suffering. “Jesus wept.” It’s okay for us to be grieving. It’s allowed, and expected and necessary for us to take our heart ache to God. Not just plaster a smile. So thank you for reminding us. We are allowed to be grieving right now. 


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Sheila Wray Gregoire


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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Lydia

    Yes, thank you for this. I resonate even though I haven’t been badly affected, it’s just been an inconvenience, but seeing what everyone else in the world is going through…. what do you do with that. Keeping a stiff upper lip is ok for a bit, but it’s definitely time to cry and commiserate with those who are having desperate and scary situations and losing loved ones… thank you.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Exactly! For me, it hasn’t really been much of an inconvenience, actually. I’m working at home, like usual. I was planning on hunkering down and writing my book anyway. But you can still see what others are enduring, and you can still feel for them and pray for them and worry about them. And just be sad for the world in general (and I’m worried about the Third World, and the Kenya that I love, in particular. What will happen when it hits the slums?)

  2. Eliza

    NT Wright said something really insightful on the ‘Ask NT Wright Anything’ podcast the other day – he referred to Psalm 88, and said:
    “When I read the Psalms, the Psalms of lament, I realise that God has given to his people the means of godly lament – saying why is this going on? What’s it all about? And sometimes yes those psalms then turn a corner and come out in the light – but sometimes they don’t.”
    I found this so helpful. It’s not ungodly to just lament sometimes. The Bible doesn’t hide or shy away from this, and nor should we!
    Thanks Sheila, another fantastic post.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, I love NT Wright! We’ve been devouring his podcasts. I don’t think I’ve heard that one, though–we’re a few weeks behind. I’ll have to go listen!

      • libl

        I’m a hermit. Part of it is my introverted nature. Another part is social anxiety brought on by years of covert legalism I am only just sorting out. Today, it actually dawned on me! All this forced isolation has got me realizing things.
        The legalism I grew up with was this fear that experiences leads to sin and isolation prevents this. My mother’s solution to keeping us on the straight and narrow was to never give us the chance to sin, instead of equipping us to be healthy people.
        I’ve unknowingly brought this into my household. I am wary of everyone because they might expose my children to sin or lead them astray.
        Relationships drain me. They shouldn’t. Something is wrong. My kids being home exhausts me, and not just the normal parental busyness. It’s an unhealthy experience.
        I wish I could afford therapy, but I can’t even afford routine pap smears. All our medical funds go towards the household members with chronic illnesses. There’s a mountain of debt and none left for me.
        Is there a book to recommend? I’m willing to put in my own work.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Oh, that’s so tough, Libl. If you’re dealing with getting out of legalism, I know Rachel Held Evans wrote a lot about that, but I’m not sure that’s what you’re really looking for. I think you more want books on being released from shame. I wonder if anyone else has any suggestions?

          • Hannah

            Brene Brown’s books are the classic recommendation for shame. I’ve also heard great things about Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman that might be along similar veins. I haven’t read it but several trusted friends have who highly recommend it.
            I’m sorry you’re dealing with this lidl. My heart goes out to you, and I hope you find peace.

          • Sarah

            Grace for the Good Girl is wonderful! Everything Emily Freeman writes is so infused with gentleness, kindness, and love. Her podcast, The Next Right Thing, might be very comforting in this uncertain time.

        • Rachel

          My growing up experience sounds similar to yours. Long story short, my dear mother truly wanted my siblings and I to grow up very differently than she did, but unfortunately that led her and my dad down a path of relative isolation (from “worldliness”), legalism, a hyper conservative denomination, and a focus on outward behavior and being a good testimony. I’m grateful for the good in it, but much damage was done, too. I’ve started unraveling it all over the last couple of years in (excellent Christian) therapy, and I have found some extremely helpful resources along the way. Here are a few of them:
          -The Allure of Hope: God’s Pursuit of a woman’s Heart
          by Jan Meyers Proett
          -The Healing Path
          by Dan Allender (I highly recommend any book by Dan Allender)
          – The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves
          By Curt Thompson
          And last but not least:
          – hosted by Adam Young
          This resource has done almost as much for me as face to face counseling. I cannot recommend it highly enough. You will be shocked with how much you learn about yourself and your childhood. It’s been life changing for me.
          And Libl, I really hope I don’t sound weird, but I’ve read your comments on various blogs around the internet for years – it seems we’re interested in similar topics and gravitate to the same kinds of blogs. I can’t help but notice the overall tone of your comments gradually changing. It sounds like you’re allowing yourself to wrestle with things more and more instead of just sucking it up, and I pray much wisdom for you on your journey. I can relate to much of what you say and how you say it. Right there with you on this post, for example, right down to how being at home with your kids makes you feel. If you sense something is wrong, you’re right. So much of what you say sounds like me. Even if you can’t do counseling right now, please check out that podcast. It’s the next best thing to therapy (at least it has been for me). It will help you put names and words to the things going on inside of you. You’ve always struck me as a smart, analytical, thoughtful person unafraid to do the work.
          Please forgive me if all this is way off. Just trying to help.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Thank you for all of these! I’ve heard great things about Dan Allender, and now a bunch of people have mentioned him. I think I’ll have to read it!

          • Mia

            Dan Allender’s Bold Love gave me the impression that the author places the responsibility on the hurt spouse to help the unhealthy spouse change. I would love to read Sheila’s opinion on this book. Something is definitely off with it.

        • Budgie

          I benefited a lot from Healing for Damaged Emotions by David Seamands. It deals with all kinds of issues, legalism among them.

        • Melanie

          Way to go for being willing to do the work of healing. Lord bless and care for Libl in this difficult journey.
          I second any suggestions of Dan Allender’s work and also Brene Browns book, “Daring Greatly”.
          WORD. This covid thing stinks, and it’s not fun, and I want normal back. New York is breaking my heart again, almost like 911. I hope it’s not politically incorrect to say that. Different enemy but casualties are mounting just the same. Our country needs prayer. Our world needs prayer. Thanks for writing this.

        • Jessica

          Andrew Farley wrote “the naked gospel” it’s about Jesus, without all the extra legalism. I’ve read it so many times. His perspective on Grace and Gods relationship with us has changed my attitude towards Christ. I had a similar upbringing and also tend towards self isolation as well as having an anxiety disorder. My faith journey has been transformed by understanding the Grace of God more each day. He also has podcasts and weekly sermons. Don’t worry about your kids, God has everything taken care of, including our complex relationships. Hope that helps!!

        • Gina

          She writes beautifully about her journey overcoming legalism. Praying for you to find truth ❤️

  3. Jill Couch

    Hey Sheila
    …from over here. I too feel so sad, and you know me, I bury my grief.
    I’m so scared and sad for us, our family, friends, clients ( my family also). I miss my granddaughters. Yesterday our eldest called sobbing because she missed me. She kept saying she just wanted to see me and it had been a whole week, yet it’d only been a few days. I see them if not every day, every other. They pleaded with us to move in with them so, in her words, “we can see you every second of every day.”
    Oh Sheila… my heart was in pieces. They’re too little to understand. She said, “ We’re only 20 minutes away Nanny, and you won’t catch the Corona in 10 min!”
    And to add to this my precious baby girl is a nurse! I pray for Gods protection every day but in my humanity I’m still scared. Not because I’m afraid of death because I know where I’m going but I think of how these precious people have to die alone…
    Lord; Hear Our Prayers…

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’ll pray for Pam, too, Jill! And for Andrew with the two girls and not being able to go out! So hard. It is really rough, isn’t it? Hang in there, my friend!

    • Ash

      Dear Lord Jesus,
      We pray for Your people, that You would pour out new hope because we need it so desperately. And I do pray that we would see it so magnificently because nothing is too difficult for You. Thank You for taking care of Your children! Amen.

  4. Cara

    Sheila-did you see Lysa Terkeursts posts about her “adopted” daughter’s wedding? After the original plan was ruined and the plan B was ruined, they came up with plan c and I just couldn’t stop watching! Her family was there via technology and the marriage mattered more than the wedding and she’s married now! And it was beautiful!!!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I didn’t see that, Cara! I’ll go look.

  5. Anon

    Feeling so much for those moms going thru birth alone. Praying gods presence will be so near when no loved ones can be.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Wouldn’t that be terrible? Praying with you!

    • Chelsea

      Homebirth is an amazing option for healthy moms and babes! I’m 7 months pregnant, and in a time of job uncertainty, I’m thankful I don’t have to worry about birthing alone. Midwives across the country are seeing a great increase in their workload, and are preparing for more!

  6. Karen Zemek

    I completely agree with you. This really does suck, especially for those groups of people you mentioned, but my heart especially goes out to those who have lost loved ones during this time but cannot have a normal funeral for them with family and friends for support during their grieving time. Or, for those who have to put the funeral on hold like over in Italy. Seeing all those caskets waiting in the morgue really broke my heart.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, yes! Wouldn’t that be terrible? And especially for people who can’t even visit their dying relatives in the hospital. I honestly can’t imagine.

    • Donna

      We just had a lady on our church lose a sister in law unexpectedly. My heart hurts for them because I know what it meant to our family to have friends at the funeral and visitation when we lost my dad last year.

  7. Lydia purple

    Oh I hear you Sheila.
    At first I was like oh well we homeschool anyways and I usually order groceries online for two weeks ahead…. so in some way I didn’t have to adjust much, I am used to being with the kids all day everyday…. but I didn’t anticipate what not being able to meet up with friends would do to us. There was so much crying, melt downs and complaining during the last three weeks. Also my husband seems to be working more than usual because of all the live streaming and online meetings that need tech people. If he is not there himself he is usually hours on the phone helping out. Last night I was tossing and turning in my bed and letting it all out before God. I am so over it. I woke up feeling relieved and in a better frame of mind.
    I really miss to able to talk about stuff that matters without the word Corona being mentioned
    We did celebrate our 12. Wedding anniversary with a nice bottle of corona beer just because 🙂

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I love that! I heard that Corona beer lost a TON of money because of its name. I thought that was kind of sad, actually.

  8. Nathan

    At home, too. Holding out okay, so far.
    Grocery stores out of most things, but the local stores still have PLENTY of mashed cauliflower frozen dinners!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It really is very funny to see what food people leave on the shelves when everything else is cleared out!

  9. Ina

    Thank you for this, Sheila. I heard something about the Psalms recently that was interesting. There is plenty to suggest that the lamenting psalms weren’t all David’s personal crying out to God, but a lot of them may have been corporate worship. The fact that the people would speak such raw words together, as a nation, really touched me. Culturally, when someone died in Ancient Israelite culture, their community would gather together sit Sheva- that is to sit in silence and just cry with the one hurting for seven whole days. I think during naptime I’ll take a minute to think of all you. Those that are stuck home with hurting little kids that don’t understand why they can’t see grandma and grandpa; those dealing with the disappointment of ruined wedding plans; those canceling celebrations for grads, births, milestones; those facing the ultimate fear of losing loved ones… I’m holding space for us all today. I’m virtually sitting and mourning with you this morning.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes! I love that picture. I wonder why we think the only emotion we’re allowed to show before God is happiness? One can be thankful and mourn at the same time.

  10. WJ

    Thank you! With my little sister’s senior year activities being canceled (prom, final play, senior trip, and possibly graduation), my wedding and honeymoon being canceled and a mess we haven’t been able to sort out yet, my older sister’s first baby due any day and my mom not being able to be there for her (though so far my brother-in-law should be allowed to), my fiancé’s sister’s husband’s 6 month deployment being extended another 3 months, and my fiancé’s other sister’s baby also due any day, this virus has disrupted a lot in my family this spring and I am really sick of all the “hope” emails when I just want to cry. Thank you for writing a post that encourages being allowed to grieve.

  11. Melissa

    When all of this started I was trying to keep a positive attitude, focusing on all of the blessings we have even in the midst of this. It didn’t take long, though, for me to start having physical symptoms of anxiety. And sometimes, the only way out of anxiety is through. I had to acknowledge everything affected by this. My oldest son LOVES school and adores his teacher, and the idea that he may have had his last day in her classroom makes me sad. I have an infant niece I cannot see right now. She will have probably doubled in size before I get to hold her again. That makes me sad. My youngest won’t be able to have a birthday party. That makes me sad. There will be no Easter Egg hunt at my parents house with my little nieces in frilly dresses. That makes me sad. All of these things might seem small on their own, but added up, it’s a lot. Not to mention the not knowing how this virus is going to unfold over the coming weeks. That right there is enough to make anxiety spike! I’m learning to not minimize my sadness. Acknowledge it, feel it, let it move through. Don’t compare, don’t rationalize, don’t judge yourself. Don’t stuff it down. God is not sitting up there going “Shame on you! Don’t you know others have it so much worse?” No. He will help you process your feelings and move forward. It’s “Yea though I walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death”, not yea though I pitch a tent and settle in for an extended stay in the valley of the shadow of death. We are in the valley. No doubt. It’s gonna be a long slog. But we walk through. Holding hands (at a responsible social distance) and letting God help us, we will walk.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Beautiful, Melissa!

  12. Susanna Musser

    Everything is actually better for us now, but we are 14 people in one household looking at the possibility of zero income in the near future. And I have huge empathy for those who are truly struggling right now. My heart is with the most vulnerable, the very elderly with no family, the homeless, and those who are stuck at home 24/7 with highly-stressed abusive parents or spouses whose coping M.O. is alcohol.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      You know who I keep thinking about? I woke up dreaming about them last night, too. All the women and children who are sex trafficked. So many are kidnapped and locked in apartments. What if their captors leave them there with no food and no way to get out? Maybe I’m just being very morbid. But I’m praying hard for them.

  13. CharitySolvesMostProblems

    This is such a good post – nothing fake, sometimes things just suck! Thank you 🙂

    • RNmom

      This verse keeps ringing in my head….Be still and know … I’ve just felt like this is what God’s saying to me over and over… he’s here, he hears, he knows, it’s okay to be upset, heartbroken, angry, but in the end whatever he is weaving into all this will be for good… somehow, someway, someday.

      • CharitySolvesMostProblems

        RNmom – I’m not sure if you meant to reply to my post specifically, but what you wrote was actually exactly what I needed to hear for an entirely separate problem. God really used what you wrote – it actually scared me a little bit because it was so directly worded to answer questions and prayers I’ve had just between myself and God – totally unrelated to COVID-19.
        Thank you, sister!

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Oh, that’s lovely!

  14. Sarah O

    The uncertainty is killer. Will we get it? Will someone in our family get it? When? Will they be ok? Will we lose our jobs? Will there be more shortages? Of what? For how long? What if the baby gets it – will they take my baby away from me and put them in quarantine alone? What if one child has it but not the others?
    We’re all being asked to place bets on our family’s future with not enough information. Every single minor decision has this ominousness hanging over it. How many diapers should we buy so we have enough but don’t leave someone else wanting? Have we made the right call on birth control? Should we bother buying new summer clothes for the kids – is that wasteful or would that help the economy? What do we say when people ask how we are doing? Should we try to lift them up with positivity or validate their struggles by sharing our own?
    When will this end? What are we dealing with?
    So far we are ok and I am trying to focus on that and trust the Lord…but honestly my mental health is not awesome right now.
    Love to everyone.

    • Rebecca B.

      Sarah, I’m right there with you. The unanswered questions are so heavy. Simple things like grocery shopping have caused me to feel panicked and scared, and it’s hard to accept this is reality. I don’t have any answers, but I just wanted to say I feel that same weight too. I pray for health for you and your precious family.

  15. Donna

    My mom has Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home. My sister who lives close was going every day to check on her and visit and now none of us can check on her in person. Mom doesn’t do well with the video chats but we keep trying. She wants to know when we are coming home and when can she visit her parents who are long gone. We know it is for her protection but we worry what if one of the workers gets it. It is hard but trying so hard to have God’s peace in this crazy world right now.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Donna, that is hard, especially when you know your mom won’t understand. I’m sorry.

  16. Susan K. Crockett

    This whole coronavirus does stink! My college age son won’t have graduation in May and my high school seniors graduation is still up in the air. I have to say though, when it comes down to it, these are 1st world problems! There are people across the world who live day by day. They already have a difficult time feeding their families, but now that the world has shut down and they don’t have a job, how are they feeding their families. We have a lot of programs in North America that help those who are less fortunate, but what about India, Africa and other 3rd world countries. This puts any inconvenience we have into perspective for me. Jesus understands our suffering and pain, but how much suffering are we experiencing by having to stay home, or having a wedding or graduation postponed?

  17. Flo

    I have been struggling with a bit of anxiety and depression this past week, every now and again. We are fine for now – we usually work from home anyway, we don’t lack anything (yet); had to cancel two planned trips but honestly that is nothing at all – but it is shocking to see the state of things, and where they are heading. The world was having enough suffering even before.
    And I think it is important to allow ourselves to feel down at times. Inside Out got that right 🙂 But also – maybe to reduce a bit social media and reading about the disease. It cannot be healthy to read all the time about it, I felt it was not healthy for me.

  18. Rachel H.

    The realness of this was an encouragement to me Sheila. Perhaps you have more an encouragement gifting than you thought. <3

  19. Blessed Wife

    Reading through all these stories, I’m crying for all of you as I have not cried for my brother’s ruined wedding, my children’s indefinitely-suspended dance recital, my mother-in-law in a care facility that we cannot visit, or my niece-in-law’s troubled pregnancy two hours away. She is due in July but has already gone into false or premature labor once, and I so wish there was some way we could help, but we’re just…stuck. Come to think of it, we have four babies due in our family between now and early July. I’m hopeful that much of the contagion and surrounding issues will be resolved by then, but who knows.
    I have buried a lot of unhappiness in my newly expanded garden, which I hope will strongly supplement our spring and summer food supply, with the stores so empty. We are finding such solutions as we can, trying to “attend” the (now-far away and much smaller) wedding via video call, etc. But it’s easy to get beaten down, thinking of all we have looked forward to and lost in the upcoming months. So mostly, I focus on doing the best we can with what we have, day by day.
    From what I’ve been seeing reported, Sheila, countries where malaria is a regular problem (most of Africa and Central /South America) are being impacted very little by Wuhan corona (as distinct from other corona, which have been with us for ages with very little problem). Epidemiologists are studying why, and are hypothesizing that the medicines those countries have been using for malaria are preventing the spreading of corona to and in those areas. I pray that will continue to be the case, and hope we can derive something from the current studies that will save lives here in North America, Europe and Asia as well.

  20. Budgie

    There have been many worse crises in the world, but I think what this makes this really hard is that we are so shut off from each other. At least during war or natural disasters you could be with other and support each other. It breaks my heart thinking of funerals where people can’t hug and comfort each other. I’m not even a hugger but as a single person, I’m wondering when I’ll ever be able to hug anyone again. I’m fortunate to be in education (distance learning), so my job hasn’t changed except I’m working from home now. But it means I’m alone 24-7, except for my sweet budgie. I’m an introvert, so don’t mind the alone time, but I’m an introvert that feels strong connections to people (INFJ), so it is hard not to see people. I really miss my church. We’ve done some online meeting things, but I find it so hard to participate. If I knew it was for 2 weeks or a month or whatever, it would be a little easier, but it’s so uncertain.
    If you are down, I recommend Steven Curtis Chapman’s album “Beauty Will Rise” which was born out of the tragic death of his 4 year old daughter. Many of the songs are specific to his situation, but they all reflect deep sadness in the face of sorrow. It is an album that has got me through many hard times in the last 9 years. The best song in my opinion is “Jesus Will Meet You There”, which tells us Jesus has been through whatever we’re going through. You can listen on Spotify or probably find most of the songs on YouTube if you don’t have it.
    Blessings, all.

  21. Jennie

    Sheila thank you for being real about this, it does suck! I am glad I am out of college, married and not pregnant right now, so hard to be happy with all of this going on. My sister and her husband own an event business that has been severely affected by all of this. We know with them when life does return to normal that their business will go non-stop, but for now they are depending on people booking events into the fall and for next year with the hope they can have those events. I really feel for our high school and college seniors and our brides etc. all of whom have had to cancel/postpone their events due to this horrible thing.
    I know we pray and we stand on God’s promises, but sometimes it helps to say when life is hard which it is right now. At least I live in an area of the US where it has started to warm up and we can get outside if nothing else in our yards, I feel for those of you who are in cold areas where you really are stuck inside.

  22. Krista

    Thank you for writing this. Thankfully things are not dire for us. My husband can work from home, which does bring it’s own challenges, we are all healthy, my kids’ schools will or have been giving them things to do, no one in my immediate circle has the virus. I was already a “work-from-home” mom, with a preschooler to keep busy. I actually have a little less to do with him now because my older kids are playing with him so much more. And yet, reading your post brought tears to my eyes because this all really sucks, and even though it’s not all that awful for me, I’m still having a hard time. Cancelled events that I was really looking forward to, or ones that probably will be soon, making decisions about my own work events, it all sucks. The unknown is driving me crazy and maybe that’s what it all comes down to.

  23. Becky

    Thank you for acknowledging that side of it, Sheila. I know there are families in much worse situations than ours, but it still gets overwhelming. I miss spending face to face time with my mom, whom we usually visit at least once a week. I am so sad for a cousin whose wedding was supposed to be at the beginning of May, and is having to decide whether to marry her long distance fiance as scheduled, or move it to the fall so she can celebrate with our family one more time before moving halfway across the country. I’m sad for my older son, whose homeschool co-op had to move online and he’s struggling as a preschooler to talk to his friends through a screen. I’m grieving that we can’t celebrate my younger son’s birthday as we’d wish to, and that my kids can’t even meet their newborn cousin who only lives a short drive away until this is over. I’m trying to stay positive for their sake, and to balance my husband and his worries about the economic fallout, but it’s so hard.

  24. Anon

    Thank you for writing this! I’m getting SO tired of all the ‘be thankful you can spend time with your family’ posts, because I don’t have any family living with me. And right now, I have no idea if or when my fiance & I will be able to marry, because weddings are banned in this country right now, due to the virus.
    One good thing that has come out of this – I know of a number of people who are now starting to ask questions about the Bible, and at least one person who has given her life to Christ because of this situation. So I pray that many more people will meet Jesus through this. And also that being cut off from our church families may make us more faithful in prayer for our brothers & sisters in other countries, who never have the freedom to meet together or share their faith openly.

  25. Another Sheila

    Thank you for this.
    Many years ago a friend of mine had a miscarriage and I said, “I’m so sorry, that’s horrible.” She burst into tears and said that was the best thing anyone had said to her. From my own miscarriages, I know how many people think it’s helpful or encouraging or something to say “It was probably for the best” or “You can have another baby” or “Be thankful for the children you have” or whatever. It doesn’t matter if those things are true or not: there’s a point where what we need is people to acknowledge that the situation is horrible. End. Not “…but…”
    I read something interesting about the book of Job recently. The idea was that it wasn’t that most of what Job’s friends said was WRONG, it was that what Job needed right then was for people to be WITH him, to say, “Yeah, this is awful.” That’s where they failed–by not accepting the reality of Job’s situation. I feel like I can relate to that a lot.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I love that insight about Job! So true. And you’re right–we just need people to sit with us.

      • GCB

        And unfortunately, I’m seeing a lot of this with doctors, politicians professionals encouraging social distance measures right now. They stress over and over and over how important it is to save lives but they’re completely ignoring the consequences of doing so, or just glossing over them as incomparable with the potential loss of life. Even in cases where that would be true, it’s still a refusal to acknowledge reality outside of their own situation, and that will never encourage cooperation. It almost appears as if the doctors and professionals and governors giving these orders are saying that their livelihoods SHOULD be destroyed.
        I’m suspecting that’s why some people today are actively resisting those measures, despite seeing the consequences of them pan out. They would be responsible for the spread, but who can blame them for thinking that the ones encouraging these actions and protections WANT their livelihoods to be destroyed? Why would you want to help someone who’s implied or fully admitted that they don’t care about your hardships or consequences?

  26. Rebecca B.

    THANK YOU! I’ve seen so many writing and posting with hopeful messages and encouragement, which is great and all, but that’s not where my heart is. I’m crushed by disappointment in this season. My husband and I got married right before he started graduate school. Being newlyweds and facing financial, emotional, and mental hardships for the past three years has been so tough. We moved in with his parents for the final year of school b/c they live right between his final two clinical sites. Then this pandemic hit, and his graduation is cancelled, he was released from his last clinical, his licensing exam is cancelled for the foreseeable future, and all job prospects went up in smoke. We were six weeks away from finishing this grueling journey and now every aspect of our future is unknown, AND I’m stuck self-isolating with my in-laws! I’m on a rollercoaster everyday going from “I can’t do this anymore” to “it will be okay” and I know so many others feel that same way too. Thank you for creating a space where we can all mourn with each other without having the “it could be worse” guilt trip thrown in our face. This just sucks!

    • Rachel

      Rebecca, your situation sounds horrible. To see your hard work and dreams instantly reduced to a pile of ash, in a twinkling? Awful. That rollercoaster you’re on sounds hard to bear consistently. I’ve been there, too. One minute you think, I can do this. The next, you’re filled with despair. That emotional swing in itself is enough to make anyone exhausted.
      I’ve been meditating some on Psalm 46 over the last few days. Just really focusing on the imagery of the whole world crumbling around me, and then God is right there in the middle, unchanged and still in charge, his ultimate plans totally untouchable. It’s helping a bit to refocus my mind.
      May we all be able to look back at these days some time in the future and see clearly how God was working strongly and surely in the midst of all this crumbling.

  27. GCB

    A few years ago, I read an anonymous user’s perspective on prolonged singleness possibly being a result of a drastically imbalanced gender ratio of Church members. Therefore, as long as enough men (or women) choose to not follow Christ, then the women (or men) who follow Him that are truly called to marriage and family will never have a partner to carry out that mission with. In those cases, God’s plans will be unfulfilled because of the (sinful) choices of His children. But because He is Love, He wouldn’t dare rob us of our free will, regardless of the outcome.
    I think a similar situation is at play with COVID-19. This is more than just a minor, brief inconvenience. People actually doing God’s will for them-businesses, aid, family, friends, art and support-are now prevented from fulfilling His will for them because of isolation and lack of appropriate resources *coughMONEYcough.* And the choices of everybody-the carriers, the doctors, the politicians-have brought this situation to a trainwreck that is destroying everything we can rely on, including our chance to worship Him in person.
    There is no way that God is pleased at this. Even if it IS part of His plan. When we use the language that this IS part of His plan, or to trust Him through it, we paint him as the one responsible for all of our suffering during this time, paving the road to thinking of Him as our enemy, and that’s the last thing we should be doing.
    Thank you for reminding that God mourns with us, in our sufferings and tragedies, even though He already overcame them. He has feelings like the rest of us, and that knowledge alone ultimately saved my relationship with Him before this pandemic even came to be.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s really insightful, GCB. I think you’re right. God did have plans for all of us, but our creation is marred. It’s very sad.

  28. Faith

    Thank you so much for this blog I am a Substitute teacher who has been put on furlough all I hear is we will get through this. At this time I do not need a can do cheery Spirit I am grieving the loss of a job I love so much. You made my day because today in the state of Michigan USA schools are suspended for the year.


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