You cannot always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.” Wayne Dyer  

Since this Coronavirus/Covaid-19 pandemic started in mid-March, I’ve been blessed to work from home and other than an occasional grocery store run, I haven’t actually been out of the house much at all and considering that I take the Shelter In Place directives seriously, I’m not going to be out there aimlessly wandering. But, last week my humidifier stopped working and needed to be replaced. I ordered one online hoping to receive it in a few days and discovered, it had to be picked up in the store. Yikes!! I hadn’t been around people in damn near 7 weeks and now had to leave the comforts of my home to go to Walmart. So equipped with – my face mask, gloves, wipes, and hand sanitizers– I ventured off to Walmart.

As I drove to the store, I found comfort in knowing that all I had to do was to go in, pick up the humidifier and head back home. After arriving, I stood in the growing line outside, on the marked red line distanced 6 ft behind the customer in front of me. The line moved fairly quickly and once in, I sanitize my cart, grabbed the humidifier, picked up a few other items and proceeded to check-out. I managed to find a line with no one in it and unloaded my items on the conveyor belt while reminding the customer behind me of the 6ft rule, thanked the clerk for being an essential worker, and was out of there in 35 stress-filled minutes. YAY!! The trip was successful and had gone as planned. But had it?

When I got home I began feeling like my chest was tightening and experienced shortness of breath. I immediately made some tea and laid down focusing on my breaths. I didn’t know what was happening and was actually a bit scared. As I laid there and gathered my thoughts, I realized I was having an anxiety attack. An anxiety attack? What the hell? I had heard of them but had NEVER experienced one myself. It freaked me out. Eventually, after a couple of hours, my breathing returned to normal and I deduced that the anxiety was probably triggered by the stress of having human interactions coupled with all the stressful preparations necessary just to leave the house-masks, gloves, wipes, etc. The next evening I told my BFF about my Walmart adventure and she confided in me that she had also gone to her local Walmart and had the same exact experience when she returned home. Was it irony? NO!! It’s the reality of our new normal.

Although our panic attack didn’t actually have anything to do with Walmart per se. The shopping experience showed us both how easy it was to give in to these feelings of worry and anxiety. In actuality, our anxiety was attributed to the “stressors” of being around people and having to be vigilant at ALL times to ensure- that others remain 6 ft from us when we’re on the same aisle, in the check-out stand, and while waiting in line. This new-normal will inevitably be stressful for us all. Yet, how do we proceed? We already know about physical protections washing hands, using sanitizers, wearing a mask, etc. But what precautions should we take to protect us mentally? What precautions can we take to ensure that we don’t succumb to anxiety? We simply FALL BACK ON OUR FAITH!!!!

When I planned my trip to Wal-Mart, I had taken all of the physical precautions but realized that I hadn’t taken any precautions to prepare myself mentally. But how? What was I supposed to do? How could I have prepared? Then it dawned on me, all I needed to do was to simply remember 3 of HIS Instructions: 1) To not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7); 2) To”Cast all your anxiety on HIM because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7); and 3) To understand that “anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” (Proverbs 12:25). If we follow HIS instructions, we can then FALL BACK ON OUR FAITH!!!!

Indeed, these past few months have been tough ones and people everywhere are looking for hope and encouragement in the midst of worry and anxiety. So the next time you leave the house, remember that our HOPE is in a Savior that cares for us and WHO wants us to replace our fear by placing our faith in HIM. As we adjust to this new-normal, know when we go out into the world, we are empowered by HIS assurances and all we need to do is just RELAX and FALL BACK ON OUR FAITH!!!!

SHIP TALK: Have you experienced anxiety because of the Virus? Did you have anxiety attacks before? How are you handling anxiety?

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14 Replies to “FALL BACK ON OUR FAITH”

  1. Tracey, I am so glad that you are better. It freaked me out. Now we know and have to a) stay prayed up b) be more trusting of HIM and c) repeat a & b SEVERAL TIMES DAILY!!!

  2. Good write up Val! I too experienced an anxiety attack for the first time which landed me in the hospital. It is truly amazing how your brain chemistry can take you there! However, if can keep our minds and hearts stayed on God, we can overcome this condition and live our best lives. Thank you for acknowledging this condition as it can get real and faster than you know. Peace and Blessings to you and the family.

  3. Thanks Sackie!! GOD is a GOD. We just need to remember as we grab our gloves and mask, we certainly need to put on our armor and pray while we are out.

  4. Awesome reminder Sis… This new normal is a bit overwhelming, however, this too will pass. I believe this is going to be our normal for a long while and I know that my Lord and Saviour is in the fixing business. I most definitely will remember to all back on my faith when feeling anxious. Thanks Val great blog!

  5. Yes, hand washing is just a small part of this virus. The only way this can be combatted is through prayer and patience.

  6. Yes Linda, this new-normal is going to be quite interesting. I know the next time I go out, I am going to mentally prepare myself by praying and being cognizant of the moment.

  7. Great blog!! Thanks for the reminder to keep your hands washed, and put on the whole body armor..

  8. I had a similar experience. I hadn’t been out at all. My children have really stepped up meeting our needs as both of us are considered high risk. I needed something from the grocery store and since it’s only a few blocks from my home, I decided to go. Entering the store I felt like I was in a scene of the Twilight Zone. Everyone had on masks. No one was making eye contact. We all were just taking care of our needs as quickly as possible and checking out. Shields had been placed at the counters to protect the workers and customers. After arriving at home, my heart was racing. I had followed all the rules but the anxiety of our new normal was overwhelming. For me, I’m learning during this time to trust God and lean more and more on His promises.

  9. This pandemic is exposing just how nasty and inconsiderate some people are. My Walmart trip reminded me that I needed to prepare metally/spiritually for every outing I go on. Reminding people to stay 6ft away is daunting within itself….you keep adhering to those precautions.

  10. Amen. We are so busy preparing for the physical precautions and forget about the mental/spiritual. I am going to reverse that order! Prepare spiritually and then physically. I am going to fall back on my faith.

  11. Same here. Amazing how quickly we have reprogrammed. Every time I get back to the safety of my home, I feel like I have inhaled a germ and anxiety kicks in. Hot tea, shower, and I hate to admit but anxiety and FEAR! How do we protect ourselves from the fear? Prayer and meditation brings me back. I hadn’t been out in 3 weeks prior to this past weekend. The next time I go out it will be with the full armor of God. I will come home knowing he has protected me.

  12. This is a great topic Val. You have shared your experience to help people be aware of human contact. Like your opening statement said, we can’t control what going on outside. Because I am an essential worker and have to have human contact, I try not to let anxiety get to me. I witness it daily at work the lack of responsibility and concern of others. For instance, the customer who wiped his nose with the tissue then used it to touch the credit card keypad, or a young man failing to exercise the 6ft rule who was standing do close to me I could hear his music in his headphones. People like that will give a person an anxiety attack, but I pray. I cannot allow anxiety to deter me from going out when needed (and trust me, it’s only for work and a store run). So like you, I arm myself with all of the safety precautions, I wear my mask made of cotton cloth, I keep hand sanitizer in my purse and car. I have an ample supply of gloves, disinfecting wipes, alcohol wipes, and Lysol spray in my car. We all have to learn how to deal with the new normal, and once EVERYONE practices what is needed to flatten to slope of this pandemic people’s anxiety might subside.

  13. The blog was beautifully written. The “new normal” had indeed been difficult to adjust to. However, I find myself praying and meditating often. This was a great devotional for me this morning and I will remember when I begin to feel anxious to just fall back on my faith. Thank you!!!

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