But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23
Which of the “9 fruits of the Spirit” is most evident in your life currently?
I was asked to think about this question early last week and immediately my mind went to one of my favorite passages in the bible:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
On February 26th, 2020 I was sitting with one of my good friend at our university and we were talking about what we were going to do over spring break about our material asceticism. This unit called for us to exam how all the clutter, material and, stuff in our lives was distracting us from what was really important. I never got the chance to go back to that spot and sit with my friend to discuss what I had learned; following this day COVID had hit and everything went to online learning. To this day, I thank my professor who pushed me to see the reasons behind why I was buying such stuff (clothes I didn’t need, jewelry, subscriptions etc). It was all a distraction.
When COVID hit my world was pushed off it’s beaten path. I remember it being March 7th and I was having the night of my life. Then a week later I get an email saying all in persons classes have been canceled for the semester. Here are some excerpts of my journaling from that time:
March 6th 2020:
It’s amazing how everything can change in one week. On March 9th, I was concerned about my family becoming estranged over a wedding. There are tensions between the two “powerhouses” in my family that for some reason aren’t getting resolved and our first reaction is to avoid. In the following days I was cleaning out my closet, selling my bed, and building a new one with my mom. I wasn’t concerned that Creighton wouldn’t go back to face to face learning. Then the news came.
March 20th 2020:
Matthews 6 25:34
Today, has been the biggest low since starting this social distancing…. Creighton has canceled graduation and I officially had to call the bank and tell them I wouldn’t be able to make my car payment this month…. My heart is hurting.. My reality for the next month is looking bleak. I’m trying everything in my power to stay positive but today it’s nearly breaking me. I’m uncertain about what my future will look like for me. I don’t know how things will turn out.. This isn’t how I wanted to end my senior year. I’m scared. I feel lonely even though I’m not alone.
The Lord says do not worry, and I’m going to try my best not too. I do have faith that everything will be okay. Today, though, was unbelievably hard.
March 24th 2020:
“Those who contribute the least will suffer the most..”
Privilege…. There has been no talk of the homeless population as the vulnerable (thus far). We talk and talk, and have discourse and discussions about being a community and this needs to be a community based solution but you are only part of that community if you are contributing to the larger society and if your contribution is recognized and accepted. So, that leaves the homeless to once again suffer in silence.. Suffer alone. Get left further behind (or die because they don’t have access to healthcare/obviously can’t afford nor drive to a hospital and that is another issue for when they arrive: will they get tested? Or will the providers’ unconscious/conscious(maybe idk) assumptions get the best of them and turn them away? Probably) in a fucked up system. What about the undocumented? The migrant child? Where do they fall? They contribute to our society. They don’t deserve to not get anything just because they weren’t born here. They won’t be able to file for unemployment. What happens when they need to go to the hospital? Will they get turned away too? Or worse will they get treated then reported to immigration and immigration waits to see if they live or die to make the trip up… That is really fucked up.
I can’t even begin to think about mourning. We only get to mourn the bodies that the media represents. We aren’t going to mourn the homeless, we aren’t going to mourn the undocumented, and we aren’t going to mourn minorities. Those bodies don’t count in mainstream America. But yet America is the greatest place to be right? Right?.. This virus is ….. I don’t know… All I believe right now and all I feel is that we are not the greatest nation. We are a broken nation. Divided by beliefs and prejudice that run deep in our history. I’m angry and I’m defeated.
March 28th 2020:
TFT: Terrible First Time
I started taking up practices in the morning to help with my pain. I stretch, I do yoga and most importantly I try to mediate. And during this meditation I focus on breathing and hoping that my pain will subside eventually.
It hit me this morning when I was having coffee and staring at my mom for the 20th day in a row that this could go on past April and we aren’t even in April.. I’ve noticed that it is taking me longer to I know that I feel scared for the future, for the unknown. For my sanity. I swore today that if I heard my mom open one more bag of almond nuts I was going to scream bloody murder. I never realized how much I enjoyed being around other people when it was by choice, when it was structured by a common ritual or I don’t know. Now, all I want (as selfish as it may seem) is the choice to have the house to myself again. My solitude.
Thinking back to that time of my life I can’t imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t found Christ a year earlier. If I hadn’t gotten the tools and resources to not only search within myself and the Spirit for peace but through meditations and daily pray. I’m not saying that from March to now this fruit has been evident consistently and I’m not saying that it hasn’t been hard as rocks to try and maintain. However, I found that when I tried to seek comfort and peace in the material world or in other people around me; I was left disappointed; comforted for a short amount of time but ultimately I found that this world does not know peace. This world is chaos whether it be on a global, personal, relational or whatever level. When I sought out peace in Christ, when I brought all my worries, my fears, and concerns to Him in pray or in conversation that is when I found peace. It is a daily practice for me and something that I am still trying to cultivate and maintain but I feel at peace in my heart and my mind more so than ever before.
While writing this piece I thought about which fruit I could cultivate more in my life; the one that immediately came to my mind was patience. I struggle with patience because I believe that I want everything to happen right now. If I send a text message; I expect a response right away. If I apply for a job I want the process to happen much faster than it is right now.. My patience and it’s connection to time and feeling like there is never enough time or something is going to happen to ruin it so it needs to be done yesterday; is part of learning how to trust His timing, and having faith that everything will work out for itself in due time.
Thank you again for taking the time to read my post💜.
Until next time,