The Road Ahead
Nothing feels right about today. It’s a beautiful spring day. The birds are singing, and the skies are clear blue, but this is far from a normal Saturday in Miami. My usual non-stop schedule of meetings and places to be, has been drastically altered this week as the country has virtually shut down due to Covid-19. It’s been a week of adjusting to new social norms of distancing and creating space between others. My kids are having to adjust to their new normal of online education. My wife and I are both adjusting to our new normal work routines, as we worry about our economic future, which seemed so certain only a month ago. Most of all, we have all had to learn to be patient with each other and recognize that we are all scared and hurting in our own way.
I admit, when the house grew quiet and everyone had fallen asleep last night, I was hit with overwhelming wave of anxiety as I began to truly grapple with how life has changed over just the past week. This was not the normal anxiety that sometimes keeps me up on a Sunday evening as I contemplate all that needs to be done in the coming week. No, this was the kind of anxiety that can only come from having all that you held as certain in your life, turned upside down. It is the type of anxiety thar robs you of perspective, making it difficult for you to see that there is indeed a road ahead. It is similar to driving through the mountains on a foggy day, when the road ahead is obscured, and you find your foot more on the brake than on the accelerator, out of fear that you will go over the edge.
Thankfully, today is a new day. The anxiety that gripped me last night was melted away by the warmth of the sun that greeted me as I walked out the door. I looked up to see the bluest sky, filled with clouds that would normally pass unnoticed in my schedule filled days. As I paused, I heard the birds singing as if to get my attention, while squirrels chased each other through the majestic oak trees that fill my yard. God was at play right in front of me, in a moment I would most surely have missed before. How many times have I walked by God without noticing God’s steadfast presence?
As I paused to soak up God’s warmth, I was filled with gratitude for a new day embraced by God’s love and steadfast care. While I suspect the road ahead may be obscured by uncertainty for some time to come, I know the day will come when the fog will lift, and the road ahead will become clear again. With God at my side, I know that I will once again find the courage to take my foot off the brake and travel on my way.
Rev. Lisa LeSueur
Rev. Lisa LeSueur is the Pastor of Congregational and Staff Care at Coral Gables United Church of Christ and a member of the Board of Directors of the UCC Mental Health Network. She serves as the UCC Florida Conference WISE Mental Health Coordinator and the Suicide Prevention Initiative Coordinator for Nami Miami. She lives in Coral Gables, Florida with her wife and their two children.