The world pandemic has really helped me to see things differently: it pushed me to change my glasses to new ones. Not the glasses of gloom and depression, but those of gratitude.

COVID-19 made me lose so much for a season that I can’t help but praise Him for all I had before and will enjoy again! Never have I appreciated this much the freedom of being able to stroll the streets, visit my church, take my kids to the playground, and see my family and friends any time I want.

Life in Hungary has stopped in many ways. Yet, our house is not at a standstill. It’s impossible to have some much needed alone time, and the dishes and laundry keep piling up at an unbelievable speed. It feels like I enter the never-ending cycle of working online, cooking, homeschooling, taking care of needy kids, and providing fun and entertainment! But with my new glasses, I can see, because of the virus, I have a chance to focus on the inside of my home and heart instead of the outside world.

I finally get to see what many times I didn’t notice because I was too busy: children’s drawings, laughing together, hearing my daughter read, and seeing my son win a board game. Mind you, my glasses are not rose-colored, so I can see we all have our hard days. Kids and adults alike miss the company of friends and outside activities and become irritated or anxious. But we get to spend time with each other and have a chance to enjoy and cherish these moments. We have the gift of being able to appreciate what we already have instead of looking back and feeling we were too busy to notice our gifts.

For a couple months now, I have been enjoying the privilege of working with our International Branches at Love God Greatly. What an amazing group of women! As I kept listening to their stories, it dawned on me that their stories sound way too familiar to mine! We all get to do this new season of life together. We are all mourning something. We all struggle with missing something. We are all burdened by something in our new situation. Everyone I call will understand what I’m going through, and I can call anyone and encourage them with the same encouragement I received from the Lord. What other event could have brought about such understanding among the nations? What other way is there to create deep sympathy and compassion for someone living on the other side of our planet?

We have been given grace for this season and we face this season together and live it for His glory. If we fix our eyes on Jesus and ask Him for creativity, we’ll find something beautiful. We have a purpose, even at this time.

My heart is heavy for single people, especially single moms who now can’t get much needed help and support. Our church is calling single people and providing online community for them through Bible studies and home fellowships, so they would not feel so lonely. My kids have been writing to their friends and calling them and making funny faces on the video, showing them what they play or make. We send food to the people who need it, and it helps my kids learn to care about others and reach out to the ones in need. It helps us keep our eyes and thoughts at the right place: centering around God, not on us or our lives.

I encourage you to look to God and find your new purpose during this time! He’s waiting to meet you in new ways and He helps you see things in a new light! Come on, just put on those new glasses!

Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Viola Bolbas, International Branch Director – Hungary

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