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  • Sarah Beth Dippel



My husband is with dad out fishing. A fishing trip I should be on—a fishing trip where I should be competing my Cutt Slam challenge. No, yesterday my back decided it didn't like me moving around and screams out sharp pains when choosing to do anything besides lay flat.

This Tuesday, we should be loading up the cars and driving Jake down to Laramie, Wyo, to begin his freshman year of college, but UW changed the move-in dates until September, maybe. I had reserved an Airbnb, which, of course, has a strict no refund policy. UW is among the many schools that won't have fall sports this year, football included.

I could list the other dozen or so things that haven't entirely gone as planned this week, but I will spare you the details. If I'm being honest, each of them is a disappointment. Plans were made, expectations were set. I could dwell on the things lost: money, experiences, opportunities, memories, but that is not how God wants us to spend our lives.

There is nothing wrong with mourning the things we've lost this year to the pandemic, but I've seen these losses shake people to their core. The things of this life are uncertain and transitory. We are not guaranteed a fishing trip, fall football, or a normal freshman year. Most importantly, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. We have this moment, and we can spend the moment blaming others for decisions we disagree with and being angry, or we can decide to use this moment to live and love.

This pandemic life is far from over. We can spend the rest of our time being sad, disappointed, angry, and resentful, or we can choose joy. Joy in the loved ones we have near us. Joy in simple moments. Joy in the unexpected. Joy in a God that loves us and is with us in our suffering, loss, and disappointments.

Today, I chose joy in rest, in knitting, in reading, in the sacrifice and suffering.

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