As the Deer – A Reminder of Hope

As the deer
Baby deer in Bowser, BC

It is time for a holiday. Time to slow down, relax, and refresh in nature.

My husband and I travel to Vancouver Island every summer for a 2-week vacation. Time to let go of the frantic pace… the ringing phones… the never-ending emails that bing in a clamour of attention… release the stress and the busyness of regular life as a solopreneur, Mom, wife, and Nanna. As a professional writer on vacation, I am free to write for myself and let my creative juices flow.

This year, we missed our regular anniversary trip due to the pandemic. Like many others, our lives have fundamentally changed. My husband is an essential worker, so thankfully, his income remained steady. My business ground to a halt in March… no calls … no emails… no requests. I quickly made financial decisions to reduce our expenses and settled in to wait. With my eyes glued on the TV and following Dr. Bonnie, we quieted… waited… and watched. I kissed my grandkids goodbye and walked to my home with tears streaming, wiping my face as I walked the lonely path to my house. What would happen?

As an extrovert, I sank into loneliness.

Of course, I kept in touch via phone, facetime, and zoom. The world fell away, and as I entered into survival mode. I took up baking and cooking. I wish I could say I studied, but I didn’t. Each day felt like I was slogging through mud. The days went by, achingly slowly.

I followed all the rules as set by Dr. Bonnie; I stayed home except for grocery shopping. Once it was safe, my bestie and I visited on her front porch, 6 feet apart, in the rain and sun. We wrapped up in cozy blankets for cold, rainy days huddled under her front porch. Together but apart. My husband actually very much enjoyed that I was home. We spent the days together when he was back from work, and I spent the days mostly alone when he worked.

I did not fear… I followed the rules and rested.

I rested in the knowledge that God is bigger than a pandemic. He is bigger than COVID – 19. I leaned on my Jesus and put my faith in Him. I felt and still feel that I am to be cautious and not fearful.

My husband and I were planning a 25th Wedding Anniversary Vow Renewal. We had found a place for an outdoor reception, and I booked time to try on wedding dresses. I started talking to caterers and planning food, music, and our vows. I scoured Pinterest for ideas for decorations, and we were happily planning a huge celebration. I made calls to beloved friends and family to save the date for 2021.

And it came to a sudden halt.

My wedding dress shopping day with my best friends was cancelled. I was so disappointed and sad. The plans we discussed for a trip down the Oregon Coast? Nope! So we wait and see and hope.

My phone started ringing again in May, and I landed a few projects. Business is different now. I don’t meet clients face to face. I miss the personal interaction, the getting to know you… the hugs… the tears… seeing their faces shine with renewed confidence. My circle is small because I have little grandchildren, and my husband and son are essential workers. I limit my face to face interaction to protect my family.

I write this from my office away from home at a little cabin at a tidy resort on Vancouver Island.  While Andrew was out walking today, I took my Sophie for a walk and came across a baby deer. I followed the deer, and while I quietly watched this beautiful little deer prance, an old chorus filled my mind and reminded me of hope everlasting.

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after Thee
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship Thee
You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship Thee

This little spotted deer reminded me that under all circumstances, I am free to worship. That my Saviour is watching me… that although my world has changed… He hasn’t. God IS my strength and shield. He is my protector… come what may… pandemic or no pandemic. I can walk my journey with hope and faith in the future.

Songwriters: Martin J. Nystrom As the Deer lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

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