Re-imagined examen on relationships and connection coming out of lockdown

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  1. Begin by resting in God’s presence.
    Perhaps place your hands facing up as a gesture of receptivity. Ask God to accompany you through this time of prayer.

  2. Spend a few moments in gratitude.
    Think of all the blessings and good things from your last few days. Try to think of at least 3 things you are grateful for and tell God about them. They may be small things: the feeling of the sun on your face, the feeling of clean sheets, stretching out or a really great breakfast.

  3. The world is slowly opening up. Take a moment to consider how you are feeling.
    What does this mean for you and your relationships? What does your gut say? Are you hopeful or anxious? Don’t judge yourself for how you’re feeling. You might feel relieved or excited. You might feel scared, apprehensive or even a bit resentful. Don’t try to analyse these feelings; acknowledge them, let them be and prepare to listen to what God may be saying to you in all of this.

  4. Start to consider how things will change.
    Think practically: maybe you’ll go back to work, perhaps you're looking for a new job or a new place to live. What will your average week look like when things open up again? What about church and seeing people in real life? How do you feel about that?

  5. Let’s consider how these changes may affect the relationships in your life. Start with your relationship with God.
    How will things opening up affect your relationship with God? Will you go back to church in real life? Will the commute eat into your prayer time? Will more distractions make your relationship harder, or more joys make it easier for you to feel connected to God? Remember God loves you unconditionally however much you might feel close to God, or not, in a particular moment.

  6. Take some time to think about how your relationships with others have changed over the last year.
    There will be some people you feel more in touch with or closer to than you did before the pandemic. Who are they? How has that affected you? Give thanks for these relationships and offer all that they bring to your life to God.

  7. Now consider the relationships that have felt disconnected lately.
    Think about the people you haven’t stayed in touch with as you might have hoped. Some relationships meet a natural end, others may just have been paused. There may be some relationships you have been avoiding. Perhaps being apart has helped you realise how important someone is to you. Do you feel like you’d like to try and rekindle some of these relationships, or let them go and celebrate all they have been in your life? Try to be really honest with yourself about what you’re feeling and why. Tell God about it.

  8. Then there is dating. How do you feel about the possibility of dating again?
    Is it something you want to pursue at the moment or not? Do you feel positive and hopeful or does it feel like extra pressure which you don’t need? Be honest about your feelings. You might feel a mixture of different things. Offer it to God. God can hold all of your thoughts and feelings even if they feel difficult. You are always a beloved child of God, unconditionally loved.
  9. Think through all the relationships, thoughts and feelings you have considered in this prayer time.
    Which have you felt most strongly? Pause and reflect on where you’re being invited to grow from that moment. Where do you need God’s healing? Where is there cause for praise and celebration? Listen to where God is speaking, and try (though we all find it difficult) to consider the positive causes for praise as well as negatives. What has been done has been done, what has not been done has not been done. Let it be.

  10. End by saying the Lord’s Prayer.