Dear Student, How Are You Holding Up?

Faith Reyes

May 12, 2020

Dear student,

It’s been months since the last time you went out of your house. How are you holding up?

The world as we know it has changed drastically. How we wish we had prepared for this. 

It came with barely a warning, and things happened so fast. Some classes were canceled, with no definite answer on when they would resume. For some, classes still happen online, but it’s difficult because of the current situation. 

How do we remain strong in the midst of this crisis?

Some of you are facing difficulties in dealing with the season. Your resources are depleting, but you know you need to study well. Aasa na lang sa free data ng Messenger para maka-catch up sa mga na-miss mong klase.

The first few weeks were okay—until tensions started rising at home. You are not used to being with your family 24/7. In the middle of catching up with requirements, you also have to help with the chores. More than ever, you feel like you have to be loving and patient with them.

Or maybe you are carrying a responsibility at home that you didn’t ask for, but you’re left with no choice.

Life is tougher now. You ask yourself, “How long can I last?”

Maybe you were that student who was doing well until things began to get difficult. You decided to take a break from social media because you couldn’t stand the chaos anymore. You’re trying to focus your mind to study and be productive, but you can’t help but worry about this crisis and its effect on you and those you love. You want to finish your requirements, but you are too preoccupied to do so. This pandemic has ruined the plans you’ve been making and holding on to.

“Why is this happening in my generation?” you ask.

If you’re a student trapped in this crisis, we want to let you know that you are not alone. 

Never did we dream that we would experience this in our lifetime, but we find ourselves here now, in the season that no one wanted. The pandemic is exposing the imperfections of the world—including the anxious voices in our heads.

The world offers many ways to deal with this, but Jesus simply invites us to come to Him (Matthew 11:28–30).

Our world has become complicated as it scrambles for answers. Though the battle that we are facing is beyond us, Jesus offers us this promise—in the middle of our distress, we can come to Him and rest in His presence.

Aside from finding rest in Him, one of the greatest comforts in life is realizing that Jesus knows our deepest pains and fears. 

COVID-19 did not give us a chance to bid goodbye to the life we used to have. As a result, we grieve for the things that we lost and the things we should have had.

Grieving while fighting hard to finish the academic year is not an easy thing to do at all. That’s why it’s no surprise that many of us struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is a pandemic in itself. It makes living difficult. It blocks our creativity. No wonder productivity is so hard to achieve when we are anxious: our hope for the future gets blurred.

To feel fear is inevitable in this season. That’s why we can always trust in God when we are afraid (Psalm 56:3), and He can deliver us from our fears (Psalm 34:4). He is our powerful, reliable, and unchanging God.

In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

The Hebrew word for peace, Shalom, means “wholeness.” This is our hope in our brokenness: no matter how broken we are in this season, we know it is temporary.

This peace is what Jesus has granted to us beyond our understanding. Because He suffered greatly for us, He can fully understand our grief. Because His body was pierced and broken, we can be made whole in His suffering. Because He conquered death, we can find peace even as we live in this anxious world.

To our dear students, no matter how bleak the future is, may the truth that comes from His word drown the lies that torment your mind. May it inspire you to hope again.

One day you will look back at this time in history, carrying your story of how Jesus won the battles for you, and how you fought even though it was hard.

While we are living in this present time, take courage! The battle is not for you to fight on your own. Walk with people who will push you to fight the good fight of faith, whether in life or academics, in this difficult time.

While you’re still in the middle of it all, remember Him and this promise: Jesus has overcome the world for us.

You are an overcomer.

 

 

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The Author

Faith Reyes

Faith Reyes is a campus missionary from ENC Pioneer, is married also to a missionary, has an adopted dog named Toffee and is a zero waste advocate.

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