We Are Better Together

During my sabbatical, I have invited Family Therapist Sandy Brannon, who is a regular part of HCC, to write this week’s HCC Blog.
A few weeks ago, the women in our small group were able to get together as a group for the first time since the pandemic hit. I asked everyone to take a rapid COVID test. Why? Because I am immunocompromised. My oncologist told me I had a bullseye on my chest for the coronavirus, so I’ve isolated at home. However, at the beginning of the pandemic, our small group started meeting every week on zoom instead of our regular biweekly meetings. They were a lifeline for me. 
As a marriage and family therapist, I also moved my practice online. The hardest situations that I saw were those who had loved ones in care facilities in lockdown. The more support clients had around them in terms of friends, family members, financial stability, and faith, the better they fared. The same was true for their loved ones in the care facilities. One facility rigged a “hugging door” with stretched plastic across a free-standing door frame. Four holes were cut in the plastic for individuals to reach through with their gloved arms and hands to hug their loved ones on the other side. The need to “be” with one another is a strong motivator.
The worst part about isolation is that it can make us wonder, “Do I matter? Does anyone see me? Hear me? Do they care?” Those are the same questions humankind asked before the pandemic and will continue to ask. Children ask those questions regarding their parents, Spouses and friends ask it of one. People in crisis ask it in Ukraine, Africa, and next door. We ask it of God.  
We are wired for connection with both God and others. Do you feel seen, heard, and cared about? Do you communicate that you see, hear and care about others? Where does God fit in the equation for you?  
God tells us: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)  He’s on it. You’re on His radar. And he cares. Deeply.
If you are isolated, take advantage of opportunities to build relationships with others through small groups and volunteering when an opportunity arises. Build your lifeline with connections that matter. You’ll be stronger for it, and so will the people doing life with you.