Reflecting on Blessings

 By Brenda Rivas, Communications Manager

“God is in the business of blessing us more than we can even understand.”   

--Cory Driver, ELCA minister of word and service

In searching the internet, one can find endless quotes, verses, poems, posts, and more about blessings. Many of us cover our walls, both in our homes and on our social media sites with words reminding us to “count our blessings” and focus on gratitude. But that is often easier said than done with all the negativity and fear that surrounds us. It is so easy to fall into a trap of despair or anger when we’re stuck at home, when we find it harder to engage in our usual distractions.


As an introvert, I actually enjoy being home alone. I’ve been taking this time as an extended refresher. But even an introvert like me has things that they miss, people that they wish they could connect with in person. I get frustrated at the fact that with all the restrictions it becomes more difficult to travel and I miss moments like celebrating my father’s 70th birthday at home with my family. I get discouraged when I can’t just stop by a friend’s house and spend time with them because of the risk. I don’t want to complain or sound ungrateful because it has been comforting to see family and friends online or over facetime, still those moments don’t always feel complete.


While I spend time catching up with loved ones online, I find myself thinking about the one or two friends that I haven’t been able to hear from at all over these past six months. One special person that I really miss is one of the lovely residents from the Immanuel Courtyard retirement community. For those who have visited the Nebraska Synod office, you will know that we are located in the same building as many of the residents of the Courtyard community. And you probably have spent time greeting or talking with the lovely ladies that used to cut through the offices on their way to the dining hall or to get their mail.


I truly have missed Betty’s weekly visits and especially her laugh. In all the time that has passed without sharing a conversation or a smile, I realized how much of a blessing she has been in my life. It has been over eight years since I lost my grandmother, and spending time with my octogenarian friend brings some of that comfort and wisdom I was missing back into my life. And that makes me wonder who else God has placed in my life as a blessing that I failed to notice before we were driven into physical distancing.


Going forward, none of us knows when we will be able to reconnect with others in person. There is no way to determine when we won’t have to physical distance from those that we have been missing. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m going to continue to reflect on the relationships in my life during this time I have alone. I’m going to continue to look for those people that are among the blessings God has bestowed upon me, so that when I am able to see them in person I can enjoy those moments even more. That is why today I want to say- Thank you Lord. Thank you for the blessings you share with me, both the ones I know of and the ones I don’t.


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