As much as we all might have wished it, turning the calendar page from 2020 to 2021 did not lead to the end of conflict and difficulty. Not for me, anyway. There’s good news and bad news about that.
The bad news is that hard times are continuing. The good news is that the story’s not over yet and things will get better.
Covid’s got a hold on me
I was fortunate to avoid any great personal impact due to the worldwide pandemic for almost all of 2020. Then, on December 8th, my dear father-in-law was struck suddenly with Covid and passed away. As awful as this was, our situation made it even more complicated.
We’d just moved to Germany, still living out of suitcases in a hotel, and barely out of a two-week quarantine. The country was in lockdown, holiday closures were in effect, and an unaccustomed amount of snow continued to fall into the landscape. All this, while trying to accomplish a monumental list of logistical tasks made more difficult by Covid restrictions, tasks that needed to be done before leaving to attend the funeral in the States.
By the grace of God and the help of many good people, we were just able to complete the necessary items and get on a jam-packed plane out of Munich on January 2nd. The sad occasion was made joyous, however, in the time spent with family and our faith that death is not the end.
And Covid isn’t letting go
After a week in the States, we returned to Germany to begin our second period of quarantine. Eight days in, my husband began experiencing viral symptoms. We got tested and confirmed positive for Covid, resetting our quarantine.
He was very ill for several days while I cared for him, and then I got sick—positive for Covid—putting us into our fourth quarantine. Not a fun time. And meanwhile, we’ve spent nearly two entire months in isolation in a new country, new neighborhood, where we’re meant to be starting a new chapter of our life.
My husband hasn’t been able to go into work at his new job. We’re still living out of suitcases in an empty house because the movers can’t bring our household goods until we’re out of quarantine and return a negative test result. And some pesky problems have arrived, like faulty heating in the house during record-breaking cold and snow and pipes bursting under the street in front of the house, shutting off the water supply and churning up a mountain of red mud.
And my writing computer went kaput.
Still, blessings abound
The challenging situation has been made bearable by the help of so many good people. Near-strangers have brought groceries to our doorstep to sustain us when we can’t go out. People we barely met before leaving for the funeral have provided blankets and space heaters to get us through the cold snap and Covid chills.
Despite the difficulties, I’ve managed to write and submit four stories to editors during this time and make some good progress on outlining my next novel. I can’t wait to get back into a good writing routine and finish some of these projects I’m very excited about.
I believe that in life, as in story, conflict builds character and leads to a glorious conclusion. That’s what I’m holding on to. Come what may, and love it.
How about you? Has the pandemic brought new challenges into your life? Opened up new blessings and opportunities? Tell us about it in the comments.