Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Recently, I began to worry about finances. Certainly, I am not the only one. As a result of the Michigan Executive Order to stay home, many people have been laid off from their jobs as non-essential businesses have temporarily closed down to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I am amongst those people. Pursuing my passion is just part of what I do to earn a living. I also work a part-time job that I have not been to since Tuesday, last week.
During my own moment of fear and worry, I was reminded that there is no need to. I was advised by a mentor, to pay close attention to "keys" and on the following day, I was provided with one. My grandmother had mentioned to my mother that I should start making face masks since most stores were sold out and I own a sewing machine. My mother passed this message along to me. I wasn't exactly 100% on board but I thought it was worth a shot and (before stores started to sell out of the elastic to make them) I decided to obtain some for myself to try it out.
Confession: Although I have a sewing machine, I have never used it. It was given to me as a gift several years ago and, to be honest, I was intimidated by it. I have only used a sewing machine once in my life a while back when I spent time with my God-Mother in Missouri. I believe I was nine at that time and I was instructed on how to sew a drawstring backpack. I remember using a fabric with cats printed all over it. Without recalling what I learned more than 20 years ago and with no knowledge of how to work my machine, I sought out patterns to make face masks.
While I was slowly catching on to how to operate my sewing machine, I did not quite catch on to the pattern I was using and gave in. "This is not for me.", I thought. Two days later, a friend shared a post online with a different pattern. I was reluctant at first, but decided to give it another try anyway. When I came to this decision, I received my second key. Within a reading plan I received this message: Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, " I will never leave you; never will I forsake you." - Hebrews 13:5. This message shifted my perspective from focusing on learning a new skill in order to earn an income to learning a new skill for the joy of learning and having the resources to do so.
I caught on quickly with the new pattern and without any tutorial I became familiar with the very sewing machine that previously, the simple thought of trying to learn how to use would intimidate me. It was as though I suddenly had an inner knowing. Now that I had the challenging part figured out, I didn't know what to charge in exchange for the masks. Keeping in mind that my focus should not be on the finance, I turned back to where I received my second key and retrieved my third key. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. - 2 Corinthians 9:7. I thought to myself, "What is more joyful than the opportunity to find new ways doing things that I am passionate about?", so I decided to offer the masks for donations. The response I received from this was profound, to say the least, and I am grateful for all of the support I am receiving.
One thing that I have realized as a result of everything that is going on now is that there are so many things in life that are too often taken for granted. With this in mind, there are still many things to be grateful for and I aim to count my blessings daily, now more than ever.
Living during this time of COVID-19 madness seems to be more and more uncertain by the day, but if there is one thing that I can be certain of it is that, with faith, everything is going to be alright. It is difficult to say this to people who are on the frontline of this pandemic working tirelessly to treat those who are infected and witnessing people lose their lives to the virus. It is also difficult to say this to those who have lost a loved one as a result of this virus. These are exceptionally challenging times, but I believe that what we are facing right now can and will empower us.