I’m Realizing What I Had, Now That It’s Absent

by | Mar 23, 2020 | #open2020, Real Life

Sometimes we don’t know how good we’ve had it until it’s absent. Until it’s not there anymore. As the saying goes, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” (Thomas Haynes Bayly). Whether that’s a person or a thing or a place, we all know how this feels. I think my heart is growing fonder through this COVID-19 experience.

Another saying comes to my mind: “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” This’ll date me, but when I hear this saying, a particular 80’s ballad by Cinderella with a similar title begins to play in my mind. I guess I just can’t help but be drawn to 80s music. (Did I really just mention the long-haired, harmonizing rock band on my blog? Let alone at the beginning of a blog post? I sure did. Cabin fever is setting in, folks.)

I'm Realizing What I Had, Now That It's Absent

Today I’m realizing what I had, now that it’s absent.

Maybe you are, too. I mean, it’s only been a week that I’ve been social distancing and self-quarantining at home, but I’m quickly realizing I somehow took numerous, everyday-type things in my life for granted. And now that they are are absent from my life because of the COVID-19 social distancing, I’m seeing what gifts they really were. Allow me to explain.

You may already know this about me, but family time is important. It’s my happy place. My heart swells when all five (plus our granddog, Freddie, so that makes six) of us are all together. All is well and life is good when we are together. There’s nothing like it.

But, now that we aren’t able to gather as a family right now, I realized over the weekend, that even though we get to be together often, I have taken this family time for granted. Not intentionally, no. But, now that our family time is absent, this momma’s heart aches. I guess I just wasn’t prepared for it all to come to a screeching halt, like it did this week.

I’m realizing just what I had in this season while it’s absent.

So, we got creative Saturday night! We all connected together over Zoom for 40 minutes. And, it was glorious! We were able to see and talk with each other as we gathered in front of our screens. Thank you, Jesus!

But, my family time isn’t the only thing I’m missing in my life in this season. It’s not the only gift I’ve come to realize I’ve taken a bit for granted, now that it’s absent. I’m thinking of a long list today, so I made one. Instead of looking at these gifts through a negative lens and focusing on what I don’t have now, I’m keeping it positive by thinking how I will appreciate them even more when they return to my life. (Hopefully they will!)

I want to do a better job of appreciating all the gifts God has blessed me with.

These gifts and blessings include:

  • Dinner out with my guy
  • Church, in person
  • Our Tuesday Trivia Nights at our local pub with friends
  • Real-life conversations with friends, in person
  • In-person Bible studies and small group opportunities
  • Lunchtimes with my God Squad friends
  • Extended family dinners
  • Relaxed shopping at Target
  • Chiropractor/physical therapy appointments
  • Spending time with those I love
  • Dinner out with friends
  • My BYOB and B evenings of encouragement
  • Our Coffee and Conversation gatherings
  • BSF in person
  • Conferences, meetings, gatherings in person

Goodness, I miss all of these blessings.

Maybe one reason God has allowed all this to happen is for me (us, maybe?) to realize how much I have taken for granted? Or how many blessings He’s given me that I’ve just considered normal, and I assumed they’d always be in my life? God, you’ve got my attention. I don’t want to take one more gift for granted. I don’t want to miss one single blessing you’re sending my way. Including now.

This virus has forced many of us to live in the moment. To take each moment as it comes. To live one day at a time. It has prompted us to reach out to others in creative ways. To turn to what we once new, and to be people less consumed with getting and more open to giving. This has opened our eyes to see what’s important and be less concerned about what’s trivial. And to appreciate every good gift.

My dearly loved brothers and sisters, don’t be misled. Every good gift bestowed, every perfect gift received comes to us from above, courtesy of the Father of lights. He is consistent. He won’t change His mind or play tricks in the shadows. We have a special role in His plan. He calls us to life by His message of truth so that we will show the rest of His creatures His goodness and love.

James 1:16-18 VOICE

I invite you to join me.

To join me in appreciating every good gift God has given to us. From the smallest to the biggest. I pray I never take any of them for granted again. And, if you’re finding yourself in the same boat as me, I’m praying this for you, too.

Thanks for journeying with me, friend. I sure appreciate you!

Much love,

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  1. Cindy

    It is my prayer that when we get to the other side of this, our priorities are new and improved, knowing what’s truly important and how blessed we are. I hope we don’t forget!

    • Julie Lefebure

      I’m right there with you, Cindy. I pray this has awakened us from our “slumber.” I still look forward to the day you and I get to meet in person!


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