No one could ever imagine that the COVID-19 Virus would disable us for so long. We have been able to manage six months of isolating and social distancing and have done well. Many banana breads, sour dough starters and other recipes have been shared and enjoyed. Virtual meetings, front porch visits, texts and telephone calls have kept people hopeful, yet many still have succumbed to sadness, isolation, depression and scary loneliness. Many who live alone have not been touched or hugged in months. We are made by God to be creatures of connection, of community and interaction.

Coping mechanisms (praying, reading, walking, cooking, crafting, exercising, singing, playing computer games, etc.) help us get through tough times. Drinking and eating too much, using drugs, pornography, etc., may appear and seem like coping mechanisms that solve problems, but, on the contrary, they only add to the problems at hand and pull people further into a downward spiral. These immediately gratifying habits ruin us and tear us down.

Now, more than ever, we need to speak the truth in love to ourselves and to those we love. While we may be giving each other passes and excusing behaviors because of the stressors of our times, it is the opposite that needs to take place. Encourage and affirm others for good behaviors, and challenge and support them when you feel they are hurting themselves. There is no doubt-these are awful times, but the sun shines through the rain and God sends us love and strength to get through. Most especially, He offers us the great gift of others to pick us up, to love and challenge us, and to carry and hold us when we need it the most. Be better at what you do best! It makes a difference!

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