At first, I thought 2020 was just a bad dream. As if surviving narcissistic abuse wasn’t bleak enough, we’ve found ourselves trying to survive a pandemic.
In the beginning, it seemed like another TV show, but after watching people being shot in real life, it began to felt like we were stuck in a plot twist from the Handmaid’s Tale. Things really got surreal when I read about a company named Gilead selling the drug Remdesivir for some astronomical sum.
But I took courage in the fact that at least I wasn’t alone—until my husband of thirty years moved out. That was very rough, but at least I still had my faith. And even though there weren’t any church services in town, I still had my favorite go-to online class that I’d been following for ten years—until the teacher started becoming politically against social justice.
When he recently insinuated that those who are supporting Black Lives Matter will be getting the Mark of the Beast, I wanted to laugh,—only it’s not funny—because people’s lives are at stake. I believe Jesus stands with the marginalized—not smug, know it all teachers. To be honest with you, nothing much shocks me anymore. Besides, I’ve spent the first half of 2020 stunned and waiting for the murder hornets to arrive.
As it turns out, everything I used to rely on for security and sanity has been interrupted. There is nowhere to gather with my soul sisters and pray and hug and discuss these weird world events. I’ve not only been grieving the loss of my marriage, my country, and my social support circles, but now I’m questioning some of my spiritual beliefs. And I've been doing it all by myself. For a people person and Enneagram Two, it’s been rough.
I’m glad I decided to plant a garden for the first time in years. Of course, half of the things I planted never came up, but my fridge is full of zucchini.
I’ve spent a lot of time reading and sitting in my garden talking to the petunias and God.
Something that thrills me and gives me hope every day is the bird population in my backyard.
Last year I read an article in the Scientific American about how the bird population has been plummeting for fifty years. Yikes! That’s almost as long as I’ve been on this earth. And yet, my back yard still has robins, hummingbirds, doves, song sparrows, purple finches, goldfinches, lessor finches and white-crowned sparrows, scrub jays, bluebirds and juncos. They’re not all here at the same time, but these are my seasonal friends.
I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I take a lesson from these birds. They joyfully take a bath when I turn on the sprinkler in the summer and they smack their beaks when I set out seed in the winter. They have no idea where the food or water will come from tomorrow, but for today they frolic, and sing, and fly as high as they can.
I realize that even though I am now alone, I am not a victim. I can make my home a place of comfort for me to write my stories and fix up my backyard to possibly entertain with some social distancing. Today I found a birdbath and put a little solar fountain in it. I hope my feathered friends find it refreshing.
The birds remind me of the words of Jesus, “Remember the sparrows—how the Father loves them and sees them when they fall.” One of my favorite songwriters from the nineties was Rich Mullins. When he read the words of Jesus in Matthew 6, he said, “Jesus told us that we can dress like flowers and eat like birds.”
Flowers and birds are both a form of extravagant beauty offered freely from the Creator or if you prefer—the Universe. They are a reminder that we are worthy of beautiful scents and music and we are never alone—even when the only people we see are on the computer screen. Each day of this pandemic, I’m finding my needs are met—often by a mysterious and unseen hand. I’ll share more in future posts, but for now, enough about me.
How are you faring in pandemic land? How are you getting along with the narcissistic people in your life? Please tell us how you are surviving in the comment section. What comforts are you finding in these hard times? What brings you hope?
I’ll tell you what, I’ll put everyone who shares in a drawing for a free autographed copy of my Memoir, Chasing Eden.
Next week, I’ll share how one novelist has kept me sane in pandemic land.
Meanwhile, I’m sending up a prayer for your health, peace, and freedom!
In case you’re interested, here are a few of my recent stories on Medium.