40 min
By: ENC Leaders

Episode 3: The Wasted Year

The disruption that the pandemic caused has left us with losses in every aspect of our lives. How can we grieve and find meaning and hope in what we have lost?

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Show notes:

3:12 – Why does this season feel like a wasted year for most of us? 

  • We were hit with a pandemic and the disruption has left us feeling lost and stuck. 
  • Many plans were cancelled or postponed—plans to celebrate, plans to travel, plans to pursue opportunities, plans to be with people, even plans just to go outside of our homes—and to plan for the rest of the year is difficult, because we don’t know when this situation will end. 

7:07 – What’s your #COVID19happened story?

  • Being stuck at home can be fulfilling for some students, but for others, it can lay a heavy burden because of household tensions.
  • Graduating students, in particular, were looking forward to meeting an important milestone, but their celebrations had to be cancelled.
  • For some students, the future of their education has become uncertain.
  • 2020 is extra challenging for people from the south of Metro Manila, because of the Taal Volcano eruption that happened last January. After just two months, they’re forced again to stay at home because of the pandemic. 

11:34 – How can we move forward with everything that’s happening around us?

  • “For Millennials and Gen Z, this is the first culturally disruptive moment they have lived through. A culturally disruptive moment is where everything we take for granted about our everyday life is significantly changed… We shouldn’t see this pandemic as a problem to solve, but rather a grief process to enter.“ – Benjamin Windle, The Problem with Pain
  • We are entering the process of grief. How we’re going to handle it will not just be through “positive thinking”—we have to go through a process of grieving. 

The Six Stages of Grief (DABDAM)

  1. Denial & Isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance 
  6. Meaning (newly added by David Kessler)

Grief feels like something was taken from you without warning. 

14:44 – Why do we rationalize grief? 

We have a tendency to skip the process of grief—by rationalizing things or distracting ourselves to cover up our pain. But when we don’t face what we’ve lost, it makes it harder to go through the process of grief.

15:31 – How do we find meaning in our grief?

  • There can be an additional step in our grieving process—meaning.
  • There can be meaning in our grief.
  • Grief reminds us of our position in this world—that we are humans and we experience pain.
  • “Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” – C.S. Lewis 
  • “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis
  • Our pain reminds us that the world that we are living in is imperfect, but we can look forward to what God has prepared for us, and that’s what gives us hope. 

17:40 – How did COVID-19 disrupt our psychology of “meaning-making”?

  • In psychology, meaning-making is the process of how people construct, understand, or make sense of life events, relationships, and the self. 
  • Our brain is wired to attach meaning in order to make sense of our experiences in life. 
  • The sufferings caused by COVID-19 disrupted our sense of finding meaning in our situation, because this crisis is new to all of us.
  • This calls for a new adjustment to the way we make sense of the world. It also calls for a new lens of faith and looking through the lens of God and Scripture. 

19:17 – Is 2020 truly a wasted year?

  • Looking at this year with a new lens, a new faith, and a new belief system, as well as putting ourselves in a position where we can uniquely experience the grace of God will help us move forward in our grieving process. Then, perhaps, we can say, “It is not a wasted year.”
  •  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
  • “This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.” – Hebrews 12:27
  • One thing that is unshakeable is God and His purposes. The metaphor of a “Rock” is used to describe God, because it signifies stability and security.
  • Sometimes, we feel like we need to “curate” our emotions before God. But 1 Peter 5:7 says that we can cast “all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” 
  • We can come to God with all honesty and vulnerability.
  • It’s also important to talk to trusted people about what you’re going through. There’s something about being in a community that can be so healing.
  • This season isn’t a waste when God redirects our hearts and our agenda. We will see, in the future, that God has used this season to accomplish something that He could have not accomplished any other way.
  • Opening up to God and to others may not change our present circumstance, but it may change us and it definitely helps us know God’s character deeply this season.
  • As God deals with us, He also reveals His character that He is a good Father. Knowing His character helps us stand on His promises, believing by faith that He works together for the good of those He loves.
  • “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16
  • In the presence of God, we don’t need to pretend to be strong.
  • Adjusting our lens and focus from “my life is on pause” to “this is the life I need to make the most of” makes us realize that God is still continuously working in our lives. Let’s not just look back on the things we missed or look forward to the days when all these things will be over, but let’s start living in the present and see what God is currently doing in our midst.

33:34 – What is the role of the Holy Spirit?

  • This season is a whole new way of getting to know the Holy Spirit.
  • The Holy Spirit is our helper—our friend, counselor, comforter, advocate, and teacher. All these things are the exact things we need right now. 
  • The opportunities that we feel like were robbed from us are the very things that the Holy Spirit can provide. 
  • The Holy Spirit is at work in our lives. As we learn to listen and obey the Holy Spirit, no matter how small, it can create breakthroughs in our lives.

37:25 – How can we still honor God and make disciples? How can we still change the campus and change the world?

  • We may be on lockdown, but the Kingdom of God is never on lockdown.
  • “Change the Campus and Change the World” is not boxed by the physical campus. Our own version of “reaching Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria” can, at this time, mean reaching our own homes and our batch mates and friends online. 
  • We can ask the Holy Spirit to guide us on creatively sharing the gospel wherever we are and whoever we are with, and to faithfully disciple and shepherd the people He entrusted us with. 

Other resources mentioned in this episode:

  1. The Promise of Pain by Benjamin Windle
  2. The Sixth Stage of Grief by David Kessler

Today on Campus is hosted by Jello de los Reyes and Dave Estrera. They are joined in this episode by Faith Reyes.

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