Silhouette of woman standing alone in a field at sunrise

A world in quarantine changed us all, I think, in big and small ways. We’ve heard about wild life returning, the clearing of the skies, people singing on balconies.

Personally, I find it hard to articulate the subtle changes I sense in myself after months of forced seclusion. Stopping for a prolonged period was, at times, boring, frustrating, and lonely.

But quiet fostered reflection, leading to a better understanding of myself and my loved ones. When I lost my job and stopped going to church services, when special occasions were celebrated at home and visits to stores, malls, banks and even gas stations stopped… well… this cessation caused new clarity of mind, a side effect of silence and stillness.

What is life is really about?

Who am I and who do I want to be?

What do I value?

I found that faith in an unchanging God anchors my identity and gives me hope.

I realized I’ve been shy about sharing myself with others, and maybe I’d like to change this.

Returning to work has been as jarring as being laid off; the freedom to focus solely on family, home and hobbies for months eased me into a gentle way of living that went unnoticed and unappreciated until it was gone.

The challenge, now, is finding balance. How will life look and feel if, in this slight re-acceleration, I hang on to lessons learned, allowing some of the peace I’ve been marinating in for months to influence me as I strive to do a good job in the workplace while giving the best of myself to those I love the most?

The future still seems unnervingly uncertain in a hundred different ways, just as it did months ago, when all this began. But if I’m going to hang on to just one lesson it’s that taking life one day at a time and living moment to moment reduces anxiety. I’m going to let go of tomorrow’s unknowns for the certainty and simplicity of now.

“Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.” – Joni Eareckson Tada

Holly Dickson-Ramos is a freelance writer living in Ontario, Canada. She has published articles in Faces, Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide, Country Woman, Momsense, Purpose Magazine and Teaching Librarian. Calling Out: Prayers for those in Isolation is her first book.

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