What Would You Have Me Do, Lord?

I have found myself asking God this question every morning. Amidst so much chaos, what would God have me do to help someone else? I feel like anything I can do is too small to make an impact. Of course prayer is super important, but so is taking action. Here are some thoughts I’m having right now about how to help others during this time.

Helplessness

I have a feeling I’m not the only one who feels helpless in the world’s current situation. Sure, I know what to do to keep myself and my family alive. But can I make the virus go away? Can I give people their jobs back? Can I keep someone from dying? No. I wish I could, but I can’t. And it’s sad. It makes me feel sad. It makes me feel scared. It makes me feel despair. And then sometimes I worry about getting the virus myself and I can’t sleep at night. Which of course fuels more anxiety.

Life is Hard Right Now

I think it’s safe to say that life is harder for all of us right now. And some of us might be feeling shame or guilt, especially if we have experienced a death, come down with the illness, or lost our job. We may feel, my life is actually okay, how can I feel sad? Well, the reality is, your feelings are your feelings and you don’t need to judge them. In fact, it’s more helpful to everyone if you feel them, and accept them. This video is helping me process through this:

I love at the end how they talk about how we can come out of this mess with post traumatic growth, and that while thinking up worst case scenarios we need to balance them with best case scenarios.

One Small Act of Love Can Make a Huge Difference

One thing I know to be true, is that even though we can’t solve all the big problems going on, there’s is a lot we can do and we can’t let our despair and feelings of helplessness distract us from that. For instance, I have been the recipient of a few letter from friends recently and I can’t tell you how much it made my day! I think right now is a good time to also initiate contact with people. If you feel lonely, take responsibility for that feeling and reach out! Don’t worry that you are bothering someone. It’s their job to let you know know if it’s not a good time. Chances are, they will feel so blessed that you took the time to call them and saved them the mental anguish we all experience when initiating social contact.

When I asked God what I could do, I felt like He told me to write. So I am writing this post but I think I should write some letters, too. I also received an answer to prayer in an email – I get emails from Jennifer Fulwiler on a regular basis and she sent a free e-book about taking action right now in small ways to bless others. She mentioned a man who got his neighbors together for a social distancing party where they all sat 6 feet apart. I thought this was absolutely brilliant!

Ideas for Helping Others Right Now

  • Listen. Just listen. Ask someone how they are feeling and validate them.
  • Call an old friend.
  • Write a letter to a lonely aunt.
  • Call your Grandma.
  • Check on your parents.
  • Check in with your kids about how they are feeling.
  • Initiate a video chat.
  • Send a package to someone.
  • Send a video of yourself singing or playing an instrument.
  • Draw a picture for someone.

You are a person, too.

While thinking of all the ways to help others, I think it is also important to mention: don’t forget to help yourself. This time we are in is emotionally exhausting, if not physically exhausting. Ask for what you need. Don’t expect anyone to give it to you. But ask. If you are lonely, make a call, if you are tired, take a nap. If you are agitated with your kids, tell your partner you need a break. Don’t try to tell yourself, I’m fine, I shouldn’t have XYZ feeling, I’ll just keep on truckin’. This is a time to take responsibility fro your feelings so you can better support others.

So tell me, has anyone done something for you recently that lifted your spirits? What are your ideas of things we can do for others, even if they feel really small?

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