You better not say it! Please don’t say it! How about this, let’s forget we ever experienced it?

Covid-19 that is, and now after 365 days, hopefully, we can all exhale. With our masks on of course! We made it – or at least some of us did fortunately, yet still unfortunately. When I reflect on last year, I can’t help but feel a deep sinking feeling in my stomach. It was like we were living in what was a nightmare. And just to keep it real, things didn’t go left mid-year, they began with a resounding bang of utter chaos, with the passing of the late, great Kobe Bryant that had everyone in disbelief. Makes me think Kobe was doing more than just making winning plays, but perhaps he was also holding the entire world together. Once he left, it was like watching an old scab be picked at, irritated, and eventually completely infected – everything got worse. People were passing away left and right (celebrities and those closest to us), we witnessed the horrific police brutality of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among many others, and watched as the entire world became sick all during the most stressful presidential election in all my 32 years of life.

Talk about a STRUGGLE. But as I look back on everything, reflecting on bits and pieces at a time for my own mental sanity, I acknowledge the residual effects that 2020 will forever have on us. Families missing out on important memories, children being introduced to a whole new way of learning, loss of jobs/layoffs and let’s not forget the complete cultural shift and introduction to “social distancing.” However, I am reminded that even in the midst of struggle and trials, that there is great opportunity for growth, positive change, and INNOVATION! I watched as my immediate family, 26 members strong, rediscovered the true meaning of family time. After weeks and months or not seeing one another, we relished in the moment on Christmas day to play games, sing, and dance, without any regard to our cellular devices or what we were missing online.

Especially given that our lives have become consumed with any and everything virtual – events, meeting, work, class, meet-up…heck even dating! Advanced technology was born that addressed the urgent need for businesses to continue to thrive. Talk about getting creative! I witnessed some of the most innovative creations, strategies, and opportunities come during the most inopportune time, which contradicted many notions of what we’ve been told can’t​ be done.​

I watched friends, in moments of despair and the need to generate income, start businesses and unify with other entrepreneurs to create a support system during the uncertain times. It was a beautiful thing to see! Though I am sure it wasn’t an easy decision to make, especially for new entrepreneurs, I was proud to see them take that leap of faith and even more honored to witness their success. In moments like that, it reminded me that God’s hand was and is ​ over everything. He sees the things that we are​    struggling with, the tears we cried last year, the loneliness, and the worry that laid heavy on our hearts then…and even now. God has not forgotten about us.

You see, even in the midst of a “social distancing” order which has required us to disconnect, isolate ourselves, and spend more time separated from the world, he somehow created space for community. I’ve personally witnessed families reunite, marriages be rekindled, and hearts be restored. But most of all, I watched many reconnect with God. I noticed how people began to pray and go to God when they needed him the most. I believe that the community of believers expanded as God began to perform miracles on those that were sick. Though I may have started this reflection in hesitation of “the big C,” known as COVID-19, I can rest assured that even during storms, when we commune with God​        and trust in him, that he will grant us his perfect peace. That is the REAL big C!