He puts poor people on their feet again; he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope, Restoring dignity and respect to their lives— a place in the sun! I Samuel 2:7 (The Message)
Counseling during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge. Yes, EVERYTHING during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge. Every mental health problem has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, marital problems- you name it- all have been made worse for many reasons. People feel cooped up, irritable over small things, and unable to do many of the healthy things that they might have normally done in the past.
Recently, I had the chance to suggest a bit of homework to a client. I said to her, “Imagine six months from now. It is July, 2021, and millions of people have been vaccinated against the virus. Hopefully, you too will have been vaccinated. The social shutdown is diminishing, and life has become closer to what we used to recognize as normal. What are the two things that you will make sure that you do?”
I wanted her to see that there is not only hope, but that she will have a regained sense of control- a sense that she does not currently enjoy. We need to remember that we have reasonable and realistic hopes that we can fulfill. We need to keep them before our eyes, and not lose sight of what can, and eventually will be.
So, I have my little list (actually, it might be a bit long, but that is OK!). What might your list look like?
Prayer: Father, we have hope, that blessed life-giving attribute that you have endowed us with for our good. Thank you for the excitement of such hope, Amen.