Hi. My name is Bethany and I’m teaching during a global pandemic. This is by far my hardest year of teaching. This is lucky year number seven. And seven is the number of completion so my job is done, right? (I’m kidding, of course. Teaching has been my passion since I was a child. I can’t abandon it quite yet.)
Anywho, I’m a part of the Young Adult Ministry (YAMs) here at WBC. The other night Grace (you might know her… she’s got bright blonde hair and is obsessed with animals) asked the group a question. She said, “If you could use one word to describe your 2020, what would it be?”
Of course, my first thought was just internal screaming. But once I really thought about it, I shifted to adaptability. We all have had to adapt so much during these times. We’ve had to go virtual for church, small groups, teaching, and family gatherings. We all of the sudden had to wear masks in public and adjust to staying at home. Right after that, there was racial unrest, and then shortly after that we had an election!
I’m not going to lie, I felt despair. I felt lost. I felt like we were left to fend for ourselves. I live with my two cats and that’s it. I suddenly had so much time alone that Satan knew he could take advantage. I had so much time to think. Time to think about my mistakes. Time for my worst anxieties to grow and fester into full blown attacks. I tried to thwart these attacks by going on walks and distracting myself, but honestly, that was just more time to think. Eventually depression crept in and I couldn’t even enjoy walks by myself. And hardly anyone knew. I didn’t want my problems to be a burden and we were all going through this thing at the same time.
So, being a fixer by nature, I had to pivot.
I had to adapt. I threw myself into my hobbies. Made some quality quarantine art. Tried to be the best dang virtual teacher ever. Cooked and worked on some homemade cookie recipes. I literally tried to do anything that would bring a distraction to the hopeless situation I was in. In the end, I still felt lost. All of these things I was trying to do on my own did nothing to comfort me in my current situation. I just wasn’t that great at adapting, I guess.
But here’s the deal, I made a mistake (more on that in a minute).
Recently, at YAMs, we started reading The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer. Oh boy, if you want to stretch your brain to where it hurts beyond belief, this is the book for you! In the book, Tozer talks about God’s attributes. There is one that really stuck with me: God’s eternity.
*Disclaimer: It is impossible to understand the fullness of God. Our attempts are feeble at best. Tozer makes this very clear in his book.*
Tozer says that God is eternal. He is eternity. He is outside of time. Our creature limits do not apply to Him. We earthly beings live on a timeline that begins and ends. But God is with us in the past, present, and future simultaneously. He is with me now as I write this post. He is with me 7 years ago when I started teaching, and he is with me in my future that is unknown only to me.
So often this year, I thought God was not in control. (This was my mistake.) I’m not proud of this statement. I was buying into Satan’s lies. I thought that 2020 was spiraling out of control. And let’s be honest, MY control.
But reading and processing God’s eternity has really changed my tune. How could the God that is outside of time, outside of our limits, ever not be in control? He sees literally everything from all perspectives. He sees the entire picture. He painted the picture. I am in awe of this, and will strive to be for the rest of my earthly days. Although I in my little tiny mind may not comprehend all of God’s decisions, I can find peace in knowing that I don’t have to. I have faith that He knows what He is doing and all of His plans will come to fruition.
I hope this blog brings you some comfort and clarity. You are not alone and you are not in control. (Thank the Lord for that.) I tend to write down little nuggets of wisdom that God shows me throughout the year on post-it notes and stick them around my house. This time I think I’m going to have “God is eternal” made into a giant banner to stretch across my living room. You know, just to make sure I never forget that again.
Oh, and one more thing, bonus attribute: God’s infinitude. His love, mercy, and grace are never-ending. So, the fact that I made a mistake for almost an entire year is completely covered by His grace. He will never run out. Our sin is finite, but God is infinite.