As I sit in isolation and social distancing in the middle of a global pandemic, I find myself looking for any smidgen of hope. You might be there, too.

This virus is already close to home to me. My pastor, Andy Lambert, whom I dearly love, and who lives less than a mile away from me, is hospitalized as we speak with COVID-19. It’s no longer in China, Italy, Los Angeles and New York City. It’s here.

To encourage you, I’d like to share where I’m looking for the hope we all so desperately need right now.

For hope on the virus, I look at the medical experts. I’m doing what what they’re telling us to do: ie.,WASH YOUR NASTY HANDS. STAY THE HECK HOME. Our most vulnerable are at stake. We haven’t seen my dear father-in-law in person in weeks as he is in a nursing home memory care unit. He doesn’t understand why we aren’t there, and although it breaks our hearts, we follow the rules to protect his life. It matters!

For hope on economic stability, I look at the financial experts. As an accountant, heck yeah I’m worried about what our retirement looks like now. I’m doing what they’re telling us to do. We need jobs when we come out of this. We need a strong economy again. It matters!

These are things that will make even the most glass-half-full people be afraid and start to think negative thoughts. This is where I find myself today. So I thought I’d share some of my personal fears. The details of your fears vary from mine, but I know you have them, too.

I’m worried to death about my daughter, Lindsey, an ICU nurse on the front lines of this life and death battle. This isn’t a picture of someone else — this is a picture of my firstborn. At the end of every shift, she has marks on her face from this mask, but whatever keeps her safe makes me feel better.

I’m worried to death about my daughter, Kaitlyn, who is also a nurse and is full term with my grandson. She is facing delivering a baby in a hospital that has COVID-19 patients in the building. They are still currently allowing my son-in-law to be with her when she goes into labor, but some hospitals are already making mothers deliver alone. I was there when my granddaughter, Kinley, was born. That isn’t even an option this go around.  She’s scared about bringing a baby into this craziness. She’s scared of laboring and delivering alone. She’s scared for her mama not to be with her. I share all those same fears with her.

I’m worried to death about my son, Daniel, who lives in the Los Angeles area. He had just started a promising new job that is now on hold with the rest of the world. Uncertainty around how he can make it swirls in my head, but right now I just want him to be protected as he isolates 2500 miles away from me. Gone are the days when I could keep all my babies under my roof and make sure they were all safe.

I’m thankful our other two, Joseph and Kelly, are hunkered down and doing well. Joe is a senior at Appalachian and finishing the rest of his semester online. Kelly is a first year 4th grade teacher, and although she is sad to be missing time with them, online teaching seems to be going well for her and thank God she’s still getting a paycheck.

Now you know where I go for medical advice during this pandemic. You know where I go for my economic concerns. If you read this blog, you won’t be surprised to hear where I go when I’m afraid . . . and this mama is afraid.

I go to the Word of God. When fear strikes my heart, I can’t always process clearly. Sometimes I can’t think of what to pray when I’m paralyzed with fear. During these times, I ask God to bring to mind all the verses I need to hear. And He’s faithful to give them to me. Here are a few I’ve been meditating on, and I hope they will encourage you, too.

Psalm 62:5-6,

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken

Psalm 46:1-2,

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea

I wish I could tell you what is going to happen. I wish I knew whether the doomsayers are right and a significant percentage of the population is going to die, or whether those who tend to have their heads in the sand are right when they say this won’t turn out to be a big deal. The truth is, people are dying and there isn’t an immediate end to that sad statistic. One of you reading this, and even the one writing it, might very well succumb to it . . . if we don’t die from this, something else will get us. Am I right?!

So won’t you join me in trusting the Lord right now? Isn’t that a whole site better than sitting there full of anxiety over something you have NO CONTROL over?! Although we need to follow the advice of medical and economic experts, the only One who can truly see us through this is God Almighty. 

Will you let Psalm 121 comfort you like it comforts me?

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Be encouraged, dear friend. Let’s all do our parts, heed the warnings, and be kind and helpful to others. We can trust an unknown future to a known God.

We’re all in this together and gotta stick together during this crazy time. Even if it’s from a distance.