I never anticipated that post pandemic conversations would call attention to a Christian virtue. And yet headlines, like this one, have made trust a recurring topic. When someone says, “I’m fully vaccinated,” can you count on them to tell the truth?
It all comes down to trust, truth-based communication. Trust means having faith. Trust comes when you are willing to rely on others, yourself and God.
You trust the driver will stop at the red light. You trust your friend will pick you up for church. You trust the doctor who reads the x-ray. And now, you trust the person who says, “I’m fully vaccinated.”
Statistics unrelated to the pandemic say that people lie about once a day. But psychologists say that right now, because there is no verification system or punishment for lying, some people will flat out lie about their vaccination status.
It’s not surprising, then, that social trust is low. What a blessing that our trust in God can be at an all-time high!
Trust in God is one of the most prominent themes in the Bible. Simply because we have lived so long, we have had multiple opportunities to, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart.” (Proverbs 3:5, The Message)
When we trust, fear goes away. And when we trust God, others will also celebrate a new sense of hope.
Check out this video to hear how God equips us in new ways in our later years.
Messaging during the past year has been strong. Fear of the invisible, but potentially deadly SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) has kept us home-bound and dramatically re-shaped nearly every aspect of daily life.
Fully vaccinated, we can safely visit a neighbor. While masked, we can shop for toilet paper at a fully stocked store. And finally, our hungry arms can wrap around those we love the most.
Flip the switch. Start living again.
And yet, many of us older adults are only creeping toward normalcy. We naturally cling to the routines that helped keep us safe; letting go will take time. The extended months of isolation might accentuate our age-slowed response. Anxiety that built during confinement can undermine our confidence to resume activities. We might hesitate to transition out of isolation while risks loom.
After being fully vaccinated, consider these suggestions to safely re-enter society:
Honestly assess your comfort level with in-person socializing. Identify elements that will allow you to feel safe while navigating beyond your house.
Break out with brief, in-person social moments. Intentionally reach out to your neighbor. Go outside to talk with a friend who is dog walking. Start with small moments of humanity near home.
Stay up-to-date. Check your church website to learn the current schedule for in-person worship and small group activities. Confirm which protocols are still in place.
Seek help if needed. Post-pandemic responses include anxiety, anger, depression and withdrawal.
Be patient with yourself and others. We have suffered social deprivation for more than a year. Initial contacts might be awkward; stretching social muscle will take time.
God has led us through the Valley of COVID. He has been faithful. He is still present and in control. He is preparing an eternal home for us, but our time has not yet come. Until then, safely step into a new normal. Discover fresh possibilities to learn, grow and serve. Let the promises of Jesus, which sustained you and me through these difficult months, fill your heart with hope.
Check out this video for simple tips on coping with change as an older adult.
You’ll find a bible study to accompany this video here