‘Being apart now is the only way I can prove how much I care for you’
By Ann Marie Bantigue
The world is struggling amidst the pandemic. Our country has to struggle in between the virus outbreak and natural calamities. Unfortunately for us, here we are in the middle of it all. They said that COVID-19 has brought everyone into a standstill – the world stopped. But I beg to disagree on this notion. The world didn’t stop, we did.
Because of the lockdowns and restrictions imposed, we were kept away from our families, friends and loved ones. I, myself, had to inform my employers of a possible exposure to the virus three times and had to be tested once. Fortunately enough, I tested negative. We were isolated for months on end, and most of us have to struggle in seclusion. But you know what should give us hope?
It’s the fact that ALL OF THIS WILL COME TO PASS… just like any challenges do.
If there’s something that this virulent disease has taught me, it’s all about hope and faith. Hope that a brighter future awaits us all, and faith that God never forsakes his people. I know that the pandemic here abroad (I’m currently based in Canada) and in the Philippines are different in some ways.
The government responses are different, the people’s actions are different, and even the lockdowns and restrictions imposed are different. But the similarity of it all remains the same: we are dealing with the virus and we have to take care of our health as well as our loved ones.
A little bit of sacrifice of not seeing each other for now will save all of us in the future. Personally, I’m a bit sad to celebrate the holiday season without seeing my family. Sadly, new restrictions were set last week here in our province due to the rising number of new corona cases. This will be the first Christmas and New Year that I can’t spend with any family member in my 29 years of life. And it’s depressing! But what keeps me going is knowing the fact that I am staying away for the good of everyone.
Hope is not about wishful thinking alone, it’s more about acting on it. Our small acts of abstaining from get-togethers are giant steps to heal the world if combined. Despite the isolations, seeing kindness from everyone also lifts the Christmas spirit. It is not about physically spending time together right now, but rather more on remembering each other through simple text messages and virtual connections. Sending gifts and donations also show that the holiday feeling is being celebrated, albeit from a distance. Hence, the season is not put to waste.
The entire year has been tumultuous for all of us. But God never failed to remind us that we are all together on this one. Though some of us have lost loved ones, jobs and opportunities to travel, we were able to reflect on what’s more important.
Losing the ones we loved made us realize to treasure more time with the living; the jobs we lost made us see that we can lose what we have on earth, yet God still provides a way for us to have food on our table and shelter above our heads; and staying at home made us realize how much we have missed and taken our families for granted all these years. Even if the pandemic has brought us to lose some, we have gained the realization that there is more to life that we need to prioritize.
I believe it is also important to note that after all these months, we are still alive while more than a million succumb to the virus already. It is something to be thankful for despite the challenges and the hardships that we had to endure. The situation keeps on changing so fast. It gets worse, then better, and back to worse again. But as long as we continue to hold on, as long as life goes on, as long as we are in this together, things will become better again.
To the person reading this, I want to tell you that you did a great job for surviving this year too. You worked so hard to get through this. We all worked so hard to get through this. And the time will come that this will be a thing of the past where we learned valuable lessons about life and health. Happiness is a choice, and I hope that we can find happiness in the little things despite of how delicate our community’s status is right now.
Now that we are coming to the end of 2020, here’s my wish for everyone in the world: I pray that 2021 will be better for you and your family. Whatever you have lost this year, may God bless you with more than you deserve for the upcoming year. I pray that we will all be healed from whatever that burdens us: be it health concerns, failed relationships and personal troubles. Cheers to a healthy and prosperous 2021 for all of us!
And to end this note, I hope you’ll all rest your worries. As God says on Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you HOPE and A FUTURE.”
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!/WDJ
As God says on Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you HOPE and A FUTURE.” (Ferdinand Macalisang photos)