Give thanks to the God of heaven. For his lovingkindness endures forever.
I am not okay. I am healthy. Our incomes are stable. My children are adjusting to distance learning like champs. And most days, if you interact with me via Zoom or FaceTime or even on an old-fashioned phone call, I am sure I seem like my normal self. But, if I am being honest and transparent with you and myself, deep down I am not okay. Actually, you don’t even have to go that deep down. I burst into tears listening to a song on the radio that should have in no way, shape, or form caused me (or anyone for that matter) to cry. A simple request to join a Zoom call for an organization I love dearly caused panic to rise in my chest and my heart to race uncontrollably. I have racked my brain trying to figure out what is wrong with me. The only thing I can determine is that I am, like so many others, grieving. I am sad that our school year ended so abruptly without any closure or goodbyes. I miss face to face interactions with my friends and family- things that two months ago I would have never believed could be taken away indefinitely. I am heartbroken for families that have suffered due to this virus- either their health or their financial stability. It all just feels so heavy and overwhelming, doesn’t it?
There’s one thing that this pandemic has made crystal clear: my hope cannot be in the things of the world. Even the good, beautiful, holy things. My hope must rest in Jesus alone. The world will crash around us. Things that we could never imagine changing can be gone in an instant. But, God never changes. He is constant and his love for us is unwavering. He is always present and will never leave us or forsake us. That’s where our hope must lie.
Because of this absolute truth, I am confident that we will all be okay. I have found that gratitude is an incredible antidote when I am feeling sad or anxious. During this time of such profound change and uncertainty, I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal to help focus on the goodness around me. I am thankful for the precious gift of uninterrupted time with my family. We’ve learned new games, built pitching mounds, and baked new treats together. I am thankful for my neighborhood. I’ve seen incredible acts of love through birthday parades, surprise Easter egg hunts, and gifts of toilet paper left on porches. Finally, I am thankful for our schools. They are feeding thousands of kids every week, providing chromebooks and internet access to families in need, finding innovative ways to stay engaged with families while still delivering a dynamic curriculum to all kids. If you are struggling, I challenge you to look for at least one thing to be thankful for each day. Finding even the smallest items can help shift your perspective.
Finally, it’s okay to not be okay during this time. But, we don’t want you to walk through this alone. You are loved and we are here to pray for you and assist you however we can.
Mental & Emotional Health
Our emotions are important- they help us survive, thrive, and address/avoid potential dangers. Acknowledging them can help us manage and attend to our needs in a positive way. Check out this video from Jordan Cienski, a mental health professional here in San Antonio, on some helpful tips and encouragement to process through emotions during this pandemic. Click here to view the video.
If you are struggling with emotional health issues during this time and would like to talk to someone or want information on counseling, please contact Mike DeFrees at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Ministries Zoom Meet Ups
We are enjoying our weekly Zoom meet ups with your kiddos! These fun, engaging video calls give us all a time to see friends and hear bible stories and play games! Click here to get meet up times and weekly curriculum.
Join an evening bible study via ZOOM. We are currently offering studies on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights at 8pm led by church pastors. For more details and to connect you can click here. We hope you’ll join us!
Sunday Nights @ 8pm – Deeper Dive in Proverbs led by Chris Nikkel
Tuesday Nights @ 8pm – Study Through Daniel led by Scott Austin
Thursday Nights @ 8pm – Spiritual Practices led by Mike DeFrees
You can learn how to use Zoom here.
Covid-19 Needs and Assistance
The Park is still gathering the needs of our community. We have created a way for you to request assistance. If you have a need you can click here.
If you are able to offer assistance to others you can click here.
Stay in Contact
If we can pray for you, please contact your parish pastor directly or send us an email at email@example.com.
If you are experiencing any hardships during this time, we want to be there to support you. If you have questions or needs we can help with, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org