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  • Erin Howard

A Pandemic, Anxiety, and God’s Faithfulness

Oh church- How I miss your smiling faces each Sunday!

Singing to an empty sanctuary is as equally necessary as it is heartbreaking. The Howards definitely count it a blessing to continue to serve in worship each week, regardless of the approach. So when Pastor Henry asked if I wanted to write one of the weekly blasts, I was delighted to write to you about not only my experiences over the last few months- but hopefully some encouragement that we can do hard things.

As an essential worker in our community, I feel like I entered the “hunkering down” world quickly- checking temperatures and screening people in mid March- with minimal knowledge of the impact our world would see from this pandemic within weeks. Before the shelter in place started, I began running a low temperature and had to go have a COVID-19 test. If you have been paying close attention, you remember that during the Mental Health Series on anxiety, I shared my struggles with anxiety. This test was a trigger to my worst case scenario thinking. The waiting was so hard. The unknown and quarantining and not feeling well..... when others asked how I was, I didn’t know what to say. I wanted yell, and cry and make jokes to lighten the mood.

When I am worried, I try to remember the blessings I have, the good in the world amid so much bad, and that God is on my side. I have had to continue this gratitude practice as the pandemic continues, and it really is necessary to my mental health.

To wrap up this story time, as luck would have it, I had to have another COVID-19 test recently to get clearance to have my gallbladder removed. Two different tests for two different reasons, remaining confident in God’s faithfulness to carry me through it. May each of you continue to find comfort in the faithfulness God freely gives us, even through these stressful times.

Blessings to you all,

Erin Howard

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