“for I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”Philippians 4: 11b-13
“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”Martin Luther King Jr
*Cue T.I. and Rihanna’s “Live Your Life”*.
If you don’t know this song, listen to it!! Even if you do know this song, it’s such a bop, with a capital BOP, so give it another listen. And let this song be your quarantine jam.
I know how this might sound. “How can I live my life when I can’t live my life????” Sound familiar? Maybe it sounds impossible right now? Not feasible? Maybe not even wise? Valid points. By no means am I telling you to forsake this quarantine to go back to how you were living your life before this pandemic. No, no. That kind of living your life is definitely not wise under the current circumstances. But really and truly, there’s nothing stoping you from living your life in other ways right now. Think about it. Physically, okay yeah there are technically a few hinderances, like, for starters, a stay at home order. But emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, there’s nothing stopping you. Sure, you can’t go where you want to go right now. Sure, your days don’t look how they looked two months ago. Sure, you might be unsure of the events of next week or maybe even you’re unsure of the events of last week (because at this point it’s all merging together in a weird blur). But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to plan for your future (within reason bc if this season has taught me anything it’s to loosen my grip on what I consider to be my plans & just ~go~ ~with~ ~the~ ~flow~). Maybe you want to take up golfing? Start now. Watch YouTube videos, read books, order some clubs. Maybe you want to get your real estate license? Explore when classes are offered and sign up for one of them! Maybe you want to write a book. Get out your computer and start writing. Maybe you want to physically get stronger? Work out at home; go for runs and walks. Start eating healthier! Maybe you want to go to seminary. I bet if you looked, you’d find online classes you could take this summer. Maybe you want to make the earth a better place? Start now. Sign up to volunteer, buy a reusable coffee cup, be intentional about the products you’re buying and consuming. Whatever your dreams and desire are, pursue them.
Just because things look different, feel different, are different right now, does not mean you can’t pursue the things you wish to pursue. And just because things look different, feel different, are different right now, does not mean it will be like this forever. Periodttt. If anything, this is just a blip in the timeline of our lives, despite how it feels. Hear me out on this one. I’ve been on this earth for 8,184 days. If I say that I pretty much started quarantine/staying home/staying in on March 16, that was only 38 days ago. Yes, I said only. BECAUSE that’s 0.4% of my life up until this point. Point 4% for the people in the back. Y’all, when we look at it like this, this quarantine, this unknown and terrifying season full of questioning is sooooo minuscule in the grand scheme of things. Even if this lasts for another 40 days (Lord, I come to you again today in prayer with all my blog readers as witnesses to ask you to not let this go on for another 40 days, but if you allow that, we know your plan is far greater than ours, so we ask for peace, wisdom, and a sound mind), it’s still only 0.9% of my life. That’s not even 1% of my life. And I’m only 22. If you’re at all older than me, even by a year, that percentage is even smaller. AND just to reiterate my point. If I die on this day, April 23, in the year 2083, I will have lived on this earth for 31,194 days (85 years, 4 months, and 28 days). If I look back at that 78 day quarantine back in 2020, it would only have been 0.2% of my entire life. My point is this: although this seems like it has gone on forever and that it will continue to go on forever, it won’t. And we cannot throw our lives away as if this is the end all be all. Because it’s not.
Looking at MLK’s quote, I think it’s pretty applicable here. Maybe you can’t fly right now (you’re not alone. I don’t think there’s many people who would consider themselves flying right now). Maybe for you, flying would look like a hand given diploma in May with a full time internship this summer that, fingers crossed, would lead to a full time position this fall. Or maybe flying looks like a completely planned out future, no wondering, no questioning. Maybe that’s what flying for you looks like and you just simply can’t fly right now. Life isn’t always flying, so learn to run.
Maybe running looks like a diploma in May (maybe not how you wished you would get it, but still a diploma) and a summer job contrary to the one you thought you would have. Or maybe running looks like your planned future, the dates a little adjusted. If you can’t run, learn to walk then.
Maybe walking looks like getting that diploma in the mail while sending your resume to different jobs not knowing which one will work out for this summer, if any. Or maybe your walk looks like a somewhat planned future, with some big question marks. If you can’t walk right now, crawl.
Maybe right now, that just looks like getting that diploma in May with absolutely no sight of summer. Or maybe the crawl looks like putting your plans in the Lord’s hands while pursuing the things you wish to pursue, not knowing how things will turn out, but knowing you will indeed have a future. Whatever your situation looks like, whether you’re flying, running, walking, or even crawling, keep moving forward. Keep pursuing things. Don’t quit. Don’t give up.
Take a look at that scripture again. I’m sure you’ve heard verse 13 thousands of times. But I really like verses 11 and 12. In verse 11 Paul says he has learned in whatever situation he’s in to be content. Y’all, strive for that. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be fearful anymore. I don’t want to worry, to wonder, to doubt my situations anymore. I want to be content in all my circumstances. If Paul did it, I can most definitely do it. And so can you. He goes on to say in verse 12 that in any and every circumstance, he has learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I think a lot of us are in the latter categories. We hunger and we need. We might not have a physical hunger, we might, but it’s more than just that physical hunger. I think a lot of us hunger to go back to how things were. We hunger for a future. We hunger to not be alone anymore. We hunger for life. The same goes for need. Maybe right now, you’re in need of a lot of things. Maybe you’re in need of emotional or mental stability. Maybe you’re in need of a physical community. Maybe you’re in need of a job. Whatever your hunger, whatever your need is, Paul gives us that secret in verse 13. He says he has learned that secret. But y’all, he didn’t stay quiet and keep that secret to himself. The secret is Him. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Declare that sentence over yourself. I, _____, can do all things through Him who strengthens me. If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving forward. Do so with Him by your side. It’s the only way. Your life isn’t over. You have a perfectly good life both now and once this is over. Don’t forget that! What are you waiting for? Even if you gotta crawl, girl, get moving and live your life!!
**I do want to point out that if you really feel as if you can’t live your life right now or you’re feeling completely overwhelmed and feeling as if this is actually the end all be all or you’re feeling as if your life has completely unravelled and you don’t know what to think or do or say right now, you’re completely understood and have every right to feel that way. There is nothing wrong with you. There is NOTHING wrong with you. This is a wild ride for all of us. And I’m a big adrenaline girl who loves wild rides, but this ain’t it, chief. So if you’re feeling at all uneasy, you are completely valid for feeling that way. I hate it for you if you’re feeling that way because I know how tight those chains of fear feel. But fear IS a liar. So please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need an ear to listen. I don’t always think I’m the best advice giver, but I will always listen!! You are loved. You are valued. You are important. And you are strong! Virtual hugs to you.