Fixing Her Eyes in 2020
What have you found hard?
The emotional impact of this year has been so varied for everyone, and even for me as an individual, there have been many ups and downs which in itself has been one of the hardest things to manage. I am the kind of person who loves routine and I love having balance and harmony in my world, but this pandemic has brought with it some instability and a sense of vulnerability into my life and emotional world which has been at times, very difficult to work through.
What has surprised you?
That when human beings are forced to change and adapt, that they can! Who would have thought how easy it would be to work from home for so many of us? How many businesses would adapt and thrive? How resilient and creative we can be when the pressure is on? Many things that have happened because there has been no other choice, would never have happened otherwise. It has inspired me to be more disciplined in thinking outside-the-box.
What have you learned about yourself?
There are two quite major things that I have learned about myself in this season. Firstly, that I am 100% an introvert. I could work from home and have minimal human contact for the rest of my days and be very happy. This realisation surprised me because I always assumed I had more extroverted tendencies, but the peace that came into my world while being in lockdown and being by myself was very good. Secondly, that I need to learn how to say “no” and manage external expectations a lot more. I realised quite quickly that I have been over-extending myself for a very long time, and having everything cancelled brought with it a lot of physical and emotional benefits that I would like to take with me as the world starts functioning again.
What have you learned about God?
I think having a clearer picture of God outside of the church as an institution has been such an incredible learning experience that would never have happened if we hadn’t had to close our doors for this period of time. Of course, I have always known that he is bigger and greater than the local church and our liturgy and practices, but having a short season of communing with him in my own way and in my own time, has instilled even more awe and wonder and devotion into my spiritual life. It was hard at first to not have a Sunday service to attend, but eventually it forced me to be more creative in how I worshipped Him and experienced Him in my daily life.
What is something that has brought you joy this season?
In January I moved into my own place, and so living alone and having my own little nest to create has been one of the greatest joys of this year. I have been able to renovate and spend time appreciating my house plants. It has been a season of delightful simplicity, creativity, and of just “being” in my own space.
Ella is an assistant Pastor and radio presenter. She is passionate about good coffee, early mornings, farmers markets, and creative expression.