Puzzlingly Hopeful & Inspiring

It has been 55 days since my last blog post…the world has changed a lot since then.

I’ve been grappling like so many of us with what this all means for our lives moving forward. The scale and scope of this unfolding situation is beyond anything we have ever experienced. A week ago we were on Spring break and I was contemplating how we were going to finish the year strong; yesterday at 4pm we got news that we would not be going back to school for the rest of the year.

Could I be honest? I was upset…let’s be real I was beyond upset. If I would have known that the last time I’d see my seniors as my kiddos was on March 5th, that day would have looked a lot different. Regrets? You bet…but I’m thinking now more than ever on how I can still forge meaningful connections with students beyond the digital canvas.

Since the end of last week I have been puzzling. Puzzling over what is next and what could be my role in this whole picture. Then I have also literally been puzzling…

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Prior to this week I only had the edge done. Over the course of four evenings from 7pm to 11pm, this is the progress that has been made. During this puzzling marathon I’ve gotten to call family and friends, put them on speaker phone and visit for hours freely. I’ve cried with family, laughed at the old times with friends, and have began plotting our next adventures when this nightmare passes.

I’ve been journaling almost non-stop these past two weeks and I’m still grappling with the flood of emotions that this has stirred in me and those closest to me. Yet, through my time at the puzzle board and through the numerous phone conversations I’ve had over the past few days, I’ve been deeply moved and inspired.

What has been so encouraging for me is that the Lord is putting together this puzzle of our lives and he has seen it completed. We are called to be patient and ready pieces for the work he is preparing for us. When he stirs our hearts to call someone, let us do it! When he stirs us to reach out to a neighbor we do not know to help in this time of need, let us do it without fear!

Though we may be physically isolated from each other it is my prayer that this trial stirs in us a renewed joy in genuine human connection. As a society we have traded true connection for a counterfeit version found on our social media feeds. Over the course of the next few months we have the opportunity to connect on a level that previously many of us found little time for and I’m looking guiltily at myself.

Moving forward I plan to use this time for more writing and sharing through this blog. I’m eager to be used by the Lord in whatever way he inspires, let our hearts be open to receiving his joy, comfort, and strength. Always feel free to reach out friends if you need any support or help!

Take care, Anthony

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