how do we handle disappointments in this fallen world?

In a year of a worldwide pandemic, many people have experienced real loss, illness, financial setbacks, and other deep disappointments. If you’ve lost loved ones to this insidious virus that has circled the globe, or had significant setbacks related (or unrelated) to the pandemic, I am very sorry. Two of our relatives in Holland died from COVID, though they were older and vulnerable, it was still very sad. We know many lives have been lost, and some people have lingering effects from COVID. It’s all very terrible.

Healthcare for other conditions has been compromised because of the pandemic, too, and when a serious health crisis strikes, such as a stroke which affected our beloved family member, the care has been impacted by this dreadful COVID virus and the impact on health care system.

A few weeks ago, I fell and got a concussion. I hadn’t fallen for a few months, and the PT and other medical appointments, which began after a bad fall out in my garden last spring (and progression of the multiple sclerosis), were finally slowing down. I thought I might have the reward of having some time freed up before the holidays. But no, I had to fall on the sidewalk outside Big 5 the day after the US Election (which has been a fiasco as well). I hit my right cheek and chin hard on the concrete and sustained a concussion, a scraped and swollen knee and other painful sprains. I’ve had a headache every day since that fall, and concussions are certainly no picnic. My vision remains messed up. Just when things were sort of looking up, too. The PT who is also a brain injury specialist commented that concussions have many of the same symptoms as an MS flare up (when lesions are actively damaging the brain and spinal cord’s myelin sheath). So living with MS really is no picnic either. I used to enjoy a good picnic. My Mom packed the best picnics ever, so the way life has turned out is disappointing in contrast.

The day after my fall, we had some help arranged so I had to be outside for hours finishing the dismantling of my garden and moving raised beds in preparation for the barn that we had scheduled to be built last week. Despite the pain, I persevered, and that weekend, I helped ensure the spreading of the crushed gravel on the building site and pathways went well. So again, when I needed to rest, I could not because of the timing. Then the barn builders showed up on the long awaited day. I was so delighted this goal I’d worked so hard for was coming to fruition. They were supposed to build a quality barn in one day, and we’d put electric to it and insulate it, and do the finishing inside soon after. A friend offered me a noble fir tree that I could enjoy in the my new barn (my husband is allergic to almost everything). I was looking forward to cutting my tree and also moving my indoor succulents into the barn as soon as it was ready. I was most excited about having a quiet space to write soon.

However, pretty much everything that could go wrong the day of the build did go wrong. They arrived without the flooring they promised, substituting poor quality plywood instead without even telling us. One of the workers recklessly caused the wood to crash off of the truck onto the concrete sidewalk more than once, splitting many of the boards. Nothing seemed to go right, and it became apparent that the quality would suffer. While I felt for the guys who came to build, when their boss decided to call off the job and have them dismantle the part they started and refund the money, we felt relieved. Somehow in God’s sovereignty, that barn build wasn’t meant to happen that day. With tears running down my face, I told the workers what their boss had decided, and thanked them for trying. I felt so disappointed. My husband said I was inconsolable, and it hurt his heart. The reason I want the barn is to have a detached space to write and do the things I love, since my husband works from home now due to the pandemic.

I had a good long cry that day, then dusted off my soul and moved on. Maybe I’ll be grieving for awhile, but this year has been filled with challenges and disappointments, so it’s just par for the course. My husband and I have a contractor working up a bid to potentially build the cabin or barn in a few months. God knows.

Time with loved ones is very precious to us right now. The pandemic has robbed us of time with aging parents, and now two of my nephews were exposed to COVID so I just learned this morning our Thanksgiving dinner has to be called off. I had really been looking forward to sharing a meal with a small gathering at my Mom and Arie’s house this week. I am quite sad and praying that my nephews, my brother and anyone else they’ve potentially exposed won’t get COVID.

Prior to this morning, people have been altering plans anyway since our governor has threatened jail time or huge fines for anyone gathering with more than six people and no more than two households. This Marxist-oriented governor thinks she’s helping prevent the spread of COVID with her draconian measures, but the same governor has allowed her policies to devastate small businesses and she tends to support wild protests without masks while overstepping her authority and limiting churches. We need to do what makes sense to protect one another from the pandemic. However, her approach leaves a lot to be desired and if some other country would please take her as an immigrant soon, that would be greatly appreciated.

Our state has recently endured wildfires that ravaged many towns, destroying homes. Some of our hospitals report high numbers of COVID cases, and health care professionals are stretched thin and weary. Families have had to adapt to kids being home from school, and some people have lost jobs. Local small businesses are really hurting. We are praying for all of you who are experiencing these tough things. This is a year we won’t soon forget.

I told my husband I felt really disappointed about not having Thanksgiving this week. Especially because time with parents is rare, and with Arie’s health being so fragile lately, time is precious. Once again, this wretched pandemic is robbing us of time together. My husband hugged me, offering his love, and said, “I know, let’s have a holiday this week where we give thanks.” I smiled at his heart.

Because of our hope in Christ, we can still have joy. We can still have peace. I might cry a bit more to wash the windows of my weary soul, but my heart remains aware we have so much to be thankful for.

3 Replies to “how do we handle disappointments in this fallen world?”

  1. I’m grateful for your husband’s encouragement. It is a major disappointment to have Thanksgiving family time cancelled. My heart goes out to you.

    Know your barn, cabin, shed will be constructed in a way that honors you and will give God glory. Awaiting the day with you.

  2. Psalm 27:13. I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

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