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Silver Linings – You’Ve Come A Long Way, Baby!

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Ayanna Clarke

BY AYANNA CLARKE

I’m calling this my “Post-COVID” installment.

Not because of any cessation in the effect of the pandemic – not by a long shot! We are still to obey every safety protocol. Prevention is still paramount!

I’ve dubbed it this way because, in large amounts, we have moved on with everyday life. There are many new “normals” we must incorporate, deal with, pay close adherence to, but, by and large, we still cope with the everyday usuals that have always existed. Somehow though, as I re- engage myself in what used to be my normal life, I can’t help but look at the ways I have changed.

I no longer see things the way I used to. My appreciations have changed, my circles, entirely dissimilar – I am certainly not the same person I was in March, and I dare say, many of us share that same testimony.

How have I changed you may ask? Well, let’s not focus just on me. I fully believe that the experience we gained during the previous months have forced us all to:

Be more decisive in our choices

Tolerate nonsense less

Become more mindful of our resources

Pursue goals energetically

Cherish true connections

In the past few weeks, I have actively mapped out a plan for the rest of this year, into 2021.

This means less time for the frivolous and more effort spent in embracing the change. To mention a few shifts – I’ve become a more conscientious tutor, and a more enthusiastic worshiper; fearlessly rectifying all areas of my life, shining light on hidden places, enclosing open and vulnerable spots and, in general, just managing this new “Ayanna” that has suddenly emerged somewhat like a phoenix. Conversations with others have proven that this change in persona is widespread. The thing is, not only do we have to get used to who we have become, but we must also be prepared to reintroduce ourselves to the ones we connect with in this “post- COVID” era we now find ourselves in.

If I tell you it is easy, I’d be misleading you all. For one, many will probably not expect the change. They will perhaps assume that you are the same. And herein lies our lesson.

The weight of embracing change is enormous. That is true for all change, particularly the internal and private. Perhaps it is because it thrusts us into a personal new normal, ushering us to a place of discomfort first, before yielding any benefit. Any worthwhile change is singular, and individual long before it affects anyone else around us.

Christ himself felt the pressure of that change in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Father,” He prayed, “let this cup pass from me!” I believe He was intimating:

I feel the change and its weight is almost unbearable!

My normal has shifted and I have shifted with it, but I still need strength to fully embrace it.

I’ve become something new and in order to perpetuate and complete this new change I’m going to need your help!

Don’t fear embracing who you have become – I don’t. In this way, I have stepped into the experience of Christ. And His experience assures me that because He is with me and in me, I can leave who I was, and live out who I have become.

Our journey into silver linings has done three things. It has taught us to:

see beyond the price of hard times and hardship

change our point of view to recognizing the benefits of the less immediate

look for individual effects in corporate events

And now we know that embracing change takes determination and trust in a bigger plan. Back in Gethsemane, Christ won in a battle of wills between what was comfortable for Him, and what was necessary in order to accept change.

Celebrating the idea that you have indeed come a long way brings you to an individual openness and honesty about yourself and your situation that can be uncomfortable but liberating. It frees you to be different, and affect change around you in a way you didn’t think was possible.

God Bless You this Week!

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