I wish I had a fun, anecdotal story to share, but not much has changed since my last article, other than heading into the beginning of my summer break, the rise in the temperature outside, and maybe my outlook on things. I have become exponentially more grateful for a few things that I realized I had taken for granted.

Do you ever find that when some things are taken away, sometimes you realize you took those things for granted and oftentimes that produces more gratitude for whatever it was you had, when you had it? Has anyone else uncovered things that they have taken for granted over these past few months? I most certainly have.

I have taken for granted hugging. I wouldn’t say I am a big hugger, but I enjoy a good hug, especially getting a hug from someone I haven’t seen in a while. There have been many studies done on the benefits of hugging and that tells me right there that I should’ve been more grateful for hugs before covid-19 temporarily discouraged the hugging of people not living in my house. If you haven’t researched it, hugging is known to reduce stress, and less stress can strengthen the immune system, which we could all benefit from right about now. I think doctors should be recommending hugs during this pandemic. I’m only kidding, but it makes me think I should stop taking hugs for granted.  

I have taken for granted well-stocked grocery store shelves and even more - simply having enough money to buy food. I know millions are struggling with knowing where there next meal will come from. I hardly gave a thought to the blessing of walking into a grocery store and having access to whatever I wanted or needed, when I needed it and without limits on certain items like meat, eggs, bread, and (how can I not mention) toilet paper. I’m also super grateful for all the grocery store employees working to keep the shelves stocked and getting everyone in and out of the store in as safe a manner as they possibly can.

I have taken for granted celebrating birthdays together. Although I love some of the creative ways people have been celebrating their loved ones birthdays during this quarantine like, birthday parades, Zoom birthday blessing parties, and gift deliveries, I miss the good ole days of cramming people into one space, enjoying good food together and helping celebrate my friends’ or family’s birthdays.

I have taken for granted traveling. Currently, traveling is discouraged and I think even banned to certain areas, still. If you can travel to certain areas, you are required to quarantine for 14 days, so what is the point? Being unable to travel freely has made me grateful for all the trips I have taken pre-pandemic, but it hit me recently that a summer trip that was being planned back in February with some of my closest girlfriends is not happening. Even though the planning was in its beginning stages, I was so looking forward to this trip. It was going to be a place I had never been to before; and quite frankly, a place I had been dreaming of visiting for a long time. On top of that, I was going to be experiencing it with some of my favorite people. I’m giving myself permission to be a little sad about it and then I will look back at all the amazing trips God has allowed me to go on and remain hopeful that I will go on more trips.

I have taken for granted being able to worship with others at church, most importantly. Occasionally, I would remember to thank God for this freedom because I know that not everyone has this freedom. My gratefulness for this blessing has increased greatly during this time. Yes, I know that God does not live in a building and His presence is poured out to whoever seeks it, but I also know that God created us for community. We thrive and grow when we do life together. It encourages my faith and encourages me to grow in my relationship with God. I can’t wait to be back together again, but while I wait I will keep praising God in the midst of this ever changing world.

It is comforting to know that He never changes. I don’t want to put my hope in anything else.

Romans 8:24-25

For in this hope we were saved. 

But hope that is seen is no hope at all. 

Who hopes for what they already have? 

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Uncovered Hope
by Bethany Gomez

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