On the eleventh of March, breaking news reached the televisions of millions worldwide that would change society as we know it. The World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. Early morning lines wrapped around the grocery parking lots, and our family members’ smiles were now being covered. While life was being tossed a curveball, these Forsyth County residents were determined to swing hard in the coming months to help one another. Businesses like Joyce Farms opened their doors to the public, as grocery stores were rampaged and meat was scarce.
The Unexpected Guest
Only one week away from their planned April wedding, the NC Governor had just ordered a statewide lockdown to be in place by evening the next day. “Josh and I have said from the beginning that no matter what happened, it would always be about each other and us getting married,” said Nancy. Scratching their original plans, they gathered immediate family members for an intimate wedding at their venue by that same evening. They both agreed that even though their plans were a little derailed, they still “felt so much peace and joy in being able to still have [their] ceremony.” As an only daughter, and with plans to celebrate with 300+, they joked, “COVID wasn’t on our guest list but showed up anyway.”
~ Josh & Nancy S.
The Best Surprise
As quarantine orders were “restricting” life’s daily routines, Catherine and Ben were met with another surprise that made fighting through the coronavirus madness worth every early morning grocery run and those extensive sanitary wipe-downs. Life was being made! Not only were they now expecting a child, but they were also being faced with the objective of moving and having to plan emergency surgery within weeks apart. As Catherine craftily puts it, “what a year this week has been.” However, “through all of this, [I have] learned what truly matters most.” She is grateful to have seen the “world slow down a bit,” and experience the strength behind Americans when they come together to support each other.
~ Catherine C.
A Breakfast Cereal “Birthday Cake” Special
Cynthia was in mid-preparation for her daughter’s second birthday party when the quarantine orders began rolling in like hotcakes. Speaking of cakes, Cynthia was met with closed bakeries and already raided grocery aisles with her daughter’s birthday only days away. Determined to make her birthday as special as she could, she creatively stacked breakfast cereal bars with peanut butter “frosting” and garnished with sprinkles. And her daughter thought it was fantastic! Cynthia expressed, “I’ve been reminded during this season that we can always provide ample resources and experiences for our child and other loved ones, but what makes them truly alive and grow in ways that matter most is simply the time we spend with them. Even something as silly as watching my child happily eat a breakfast bar ‘birthday cake’ showed me the importance of cherishing each day for what it’s worth.”
~ Cynthia P.
A Passion Project
Rather than just re-posting about the current world dilemma on social media, Hannah decided to step up to the plate and take action to make a positive impact. With a lifelong dream of owning a clothing and jewelry business, she decided it was time to start small by handcrafting earrings to raise money for the International Justice Mission and the Innocence Project. However, she wanted her business to be more than just selling beautiful products; she wanted it to be “a place of encouragement for absolutely anyone,” extending hope in the midst of chaos.
~ Hannah E.
After months of planning their dream wedding, COVID left Stephanie and Timothy with slim pickings. Timothy’s parents were not about to leave this exciting memory behind and started revamping their backyard with DIYs. Within 24 hours, they had transformed a typical backyard into a beautiful, intimate ceremony location. The happy couple thought, “It looked just as good as, if not better than, most actual wedding venues!” Following the NC Governor’s ordinance limiting groups to 10 people or less, they sent a mass e-mail to the original guest list, inviting them to participate in a drive-by celebration after the ceremony. Not expecting many to show, Stephanie and Timothy walked out their front door to find a line down the neighborhood street. “It made the day that much sweeter and us feel so loved! In hindsight, we wouldn’t change it, and it ended up being the sweetest day,” said Stephanie.
~ Timothy & Stephanie A.
Each one of these inspirational storytellers concluded that their faith was the ultimate guide to sustain them through it all.