A New Normal By Jillian Stewart

I am a junior in college and I am back and forth between Memphis, TN, and Chattanooga, TN. I am documenting family and close friends during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, April 21, 2020.

Children in my neighborhood paint the sidewalk reminding people to be happy during this time. This was right before Easter Sunday.

A lot has happened in the past few months that I would have never imagined. The world seems more dim and ever changing like the weather. Life has slowed to the pace of the must dos and what do I do now? Nothing is happening and yet everything has happened. And I think it is custom to not see the good, beauty, or happiness in the days spent in quarentine. 

I have made it my goal to try to see the beauty of the pandemic. Finally, our nation is trying to come together to fix something and I think that is something to celebrate. I know that the loss cannot be overlooked, but perserverance is something that is a beautiful thing. 

Easter Sunday I live streamed Transformation Church’s service and struggled to feel connected. This would be the first time I have not physically been  in a church for Easter in my life. I was sad and dissapointed that I couldn’t worship with others or be asked about my post church plans. However, as I watched, the lights on the stage grew dark only to silouqte one man. He then began to sing a ballet of a pop song called “The Middle.” It was beautiful and simple. The lyrics said, “why don’t you just meet me in the middle? And that’s where we are, some place in the middle of death and ressurection. I think we are closer to the light and hope that will come. Moving forward I plan to be expectant that a great day will come when the last COVID- 19 pateint is treated and sent home and life goes on normally. 

The middle is not a place to be discouraged, but to be expectant of what the future brings. 

Meet the Storyteller

Jillian Stewart is a Junior at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga studying Communication with a minor in Religious studies. She is passionate about telling others stories using visual media and writing. She enjoys anything creative, working out, and traveling to new places. Contact her at bcv184@mocs.utc.edu.

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