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Gratitude and Growth

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, a plethora of emotions - joy, hope, grief, anxiety - have ebbed and flowed throughout the continuation of quarantine. Among the these emotions, I certainly have felt most strongly a call of gratitude for all of those healthcare workers and contributors on the front lines, a feeling of sorrow for all of those victims of this virus and their loved ones, and a sense of hope for all of us in America to grow and improve coming out of this crisis.

As an optimistic and forward-looking person, I want to focus on some of the highlights of this time in my life. What I am most grateful for during this pandemic has been my increased dependence on my faith to guide me and keep me grounded. I wholeheartedly believe I have grown significantly in my faith and gotten closer with God during this time. I can point to two main aspects of this crisis that have allowed me to deepen my faith and hopefully can allow people everywhere to draw closer to God. 

First, the very nature of this crisis - being a force that we are extremely uncertain about and unable to control - has allowed me to understand that ultimately God is in charge of our lives. This pandemic has upended how the world operates in ways that no one could have predicted and in ways that no one person can immediately fix. In this sense, I see the pandemic as a reminder that God has the upper hand in this world. No matter how much we wish to control our daily lives and no matter how often we celebrate our ability to carve out our own path in this world, God has the final say. I have reminded myself numerous times during this crisis that although I owe it to my Lord and Savior to do the most with my talents and be the best diplomat of the Christian faith I can be, I am living the life that God has chosen for me, and I can find peace in that knowledge. The uncontrollable nature of this crisis has reminded me to trust God’s path and find peace in His ways. 

Second, the unprecedented amount of time this crisis has provided for self reflection has enabled me to grow in prayer. This crisis has forced me to keep my distance and oftentimes be alone. In my lonely time -  sitting in my room, going for a run, picking up food - I have challenged myself to pray. Sometimes my prayers serve a particular purpose - for the health and safety of the most vulnerable people in our country, or for the happiness of my family as they spend more and more time together - but other times I don’t necessarily focus my prayers. Just saying the “Our Father” and praying some “Hail Mary”’s put me in constant communication with our Lord and puts my mind at ease. Praying has become meditative and soothing for me. When I use my free time to immerse myself in prayer, I stop thinking about the uncertainty of my life after college, the school work I haven’t finished, or the fun memories I am missing out on in my senior spring. These negative thoughts get put at the backburner, and I am filled with the Lord’s peace.

For the uncontrollable nature of the coronavirus crisis and the alone time it has forced upon us, I am truly grateful. By acknowledging the Lord’s ultimate control over our lives and praying to Him constantly, I have grown in my faith during this crisis.  

James Fadule is a senior concentrating in Economics and a member of the Brown Football team and sent us this post from Wellesley, Massachusetts.

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