Embracing my Fears, Deaths and Resurrections

By Meredith Skowronski, Executive Assistant to the Rector

For the past four weeks the pandemic has left me in a state of fear. My fears are many: fear for my loved ones who are elderly and alone, fear for my loved ones who are safe beside me, fear for my friends and family that I can not hug or hold but can only connect with over a video screen, fear for those on the front lines, and fear for our society and our nation. How will we recover? Will we recover? What will our new societal “landscape” look like once this battle has passed?

I admit: I have a lot of fears. And they are real. And palpable. They give me tension headaches during the day and keep me awake at night.

However, each morning I am reminded that some things haven’t changed. I still rise in the wee hours of the morning for my “God-time”, a time when I read and reflect and pray. A time when I listen to the song of the birds ushering in a new day and enjoy the warmth (and caffeine boost) from several cups of coffee.

This week, during that time, I’ve been contemplating Holy Week and the Resurrection and what these things mean for me, my life and the life of my family.

Fr. Bill taught us in his sermon this week that resurrection moments provide us with the opportunity for new life and new ways to love and that these resurrection moments are full of surprises. I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about that. We are living in a time where we are facing many deaths- literal deaths of loved ones from the virus but also the death of our former way of being, the death of many of our habits and rituals. It made me think: What is my resurrection going to look like after this pandemic passes? Who am I going to be? Who do I want to be?

And I realized: I have many more fears than I originally thought. Yes, I am afraid of losing family and friends, yes I am afraid of what our world will look like when this is all over. But I think, even more than these things, I am afraid of losing what I have found over these past four weeks- of losing the precious gifts and areas of new life and new growth that I have been blessed with in this time of forced upheaval and “death”. Afraid of losing my “surprise resurrections”. And I find myself asking, “Will I be able to stay right here, in this place, with my new life and new loves, when the world returns to ‘normal’”?

Will I be able to remain:

  • In the stillness and slowness and awareness of the present moment?
  • In discovering what truly matters most?
  • In a deeper and more vulnerable relationship with my husband?
  • In the joys of time with my family?
  • In activities that bring me joy that I never had time for before?
  • In having more reliance upon God?
  • In spending more time in prayer?
  • In having time to sit in silence and listen to the quiet whisper of Gods voice in my life?
  • In noticing the abundant joys and graces God gives me in the normalcy of the every day?

So many fears and so many unknowns. But looking at it through the lense of resurrection, these fears have given way to many new births, new loves and countless blessings. I have come to realize that, as Henri Nouwen claims, “the treasures I am looking for are hidden in the ground on which I stand.”

Fear has changed me, and I think it will continue to change me in the days and weeks and months to come- and for this I am profoundly grateful.