by Katie Baccus

2020 has been one for the books! I looked forward to this year with much anticipation for many reasons, including the final chapter of Family Nurse Practitioner school. I was set up to finish my clinical hours, coursework and graduate in May! When COVID first rolled around mid-March I was in clinic 2-3 times a week at the Andrews County Health Department. We were hearing rumors of this crazy virus and laughing…being from conservative West Texas, we were all convinced it had to be political, right?!

However, within just a few days our worlds turned upside down. We had to switch gears into full disaster mode with little time to prepare. If you know me at all, you know I operate on the “proactive not reactive” spectrum. For example, I was one of the lucky few who finished their clinical hours for school because I front-loaded my semester (Thank you LORD for this opportunity)! This was complete shock and shook me off my axis as each day was different. I also work in the Surgical ICU at Covenant. Our administration was working diligently to stay ahead of the COVID game and keep caregivers safe and informed. We knew we had a job to do for the community and it was humbling to see so many of my coworkers and leaders step up to the challenge.

The one thing I don’t think anyone could have prepared for was social distancing. The concept was not a hard one to comprehend and practice in the beginning, but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the repercussions. Not being able to gather with friends, my family or my church family…OUCH. This was and is hard for my extroverted self. Community is so important to my spiritual and mental health, as it is for many people, and my anxiety was spinning out of control. Satan knows how to attack, and he is good at his game. BUT OUR GOD IS BETTER, and His goodness is apparent through the work of this church and its people.

I thought about our Heart to Home lessons on the Fruit of the Spirit, specifically joy. Joy is not situational or a fleeting characteristic, it is a result of a heart rooted in the unchanging and steadfast love of Christ. It was easy to see joy through the work of my friends like Holly Robbins and the Linkers as they worked diligently to provide masks to support so many and keep us safe.

The online worship provided by Gary Moyers and the leadership at Broadway was a way to connect with my patients on Sundays and enjoy time in the Word with Austin at home. The many, may prayers, calls and texts from my family at Broadway reminded me that we are not fighting this alone. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I was already pretty fond of my Bway family. I am anxiously awaiting the day we can meet again!

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