I’ve resisted writing about the current moment because I’m very confused about how I’m feeling.
I think we all are tangled up in a mix of gratitude, guilt, grief, and growing anxiety. This is a massive disruption in our normals and it takes time to understand what we are currently living. I feel like I’ve been working through the stages of grief and am just now (about a month or so) beginning to accept this as the “new normal” for the current season.
At first I was in denial– the news doesn’t seem that bad. Why are people buying so much toilet paper? And why are we being told we can’t go out! Then I went into full research mode which helped for a bit, trying to wrap my head around this sudden evil that has swept across the world. I was angry that all my plans were cancelled, exciting new opportunities are being deferred, and the world is suffering in such a unstoppable way. Then I ate a lot of chocolate.
Now I’m limiting my daily dose of news because the news is the same: we are in the middle of this, we have to stick with this new routine until this passes. I keep praying that it will pass…. I cannot process any articles of news that would like to suggest otherwise! I need to hug and see the people I love again, this calendar year. I just need to believe it will happen.
But there are tiny moments where I can see good emerging from this terrible ordeal.
Mostly it’s just the willingness to keep my focus on what is in front of me, trusting God for the day, rather than getting overwhelmed by an uncertain future. The biggest takeaway we all should gain from this is that we have little control about what comes next in our lives.
Not in any imaginable scenario did I see this being what our Spring looked like. After this we may all become incredibly prepared for the potential “next time” but chances are this won’t happen again while we are living. We won’t see the next thing either because the only one who knows our future is God and for some reason He has decided not to share all the details with us.
I’ve had to say sorry to God for thinking I had my life figured out. I’ve had to turn to Jesus for a fresh dose of faith as we all weather this storm.
I see that my family can be more fulfilling than I thought.
Sounds funny coming from a lady who is a SAHM/Homeschooling Mom. Isn’t this already my jam? Didn’t I get enough of these people before this hit? Well, yes. And being more together isn’t all wonderful. I’ve left the house alone and walked and walked on many days because I was over the people.
Yet, I see that a switch in my attitude has occurred. I was there but also busy like we all are. Working from home, trying to keep our house nice and clean, busy with activities, up early to fit some me-time in, and a calendar filled with extra appointments. The coming, going, working, cleaning, and all the options made it harder for me to dial in and have a good attitude towards my kids.
Now than I literally have no other choice than to engage them or go crazy: I’ve chosen to engage. At one point I had real anxiety over the idea of not being able to leave my house. I felt deeply that I was missing out on the world if I was stuck home with my kids.
I am gifted with the realization that I can find real joy in the simplicity that comes with being stuck in a Groundhog Day existence. I miss our friends, I desperately look forward to the activities and get-togethers that will be apart of our normal again but I see that attitude matters a lot more than your actual circumstances. My attitude needed adjusting and it only took a global pandemic for me to get the memo.
My kids are resilient people.
The have played with each other with new passion, not once complained of being bored, and have been understanding that being home is a necessity. Really, I’m impressed. It could be that our life was closer to this than most, so while things have changed, this is not too wildly different than what they were already used to, but either way they are great examples of positivity in a difficult situation.
I’ve been praying, praising, listening to sermons, and dialing into what God wants to say in this unprecedented moment of upheaval. I don’t believe God sent this virus but I do believe God redeems evil for good whenever possible. If you are a follower of Christ, I believe God wants to say something to you through this difficult time. He doesn’t let us face hard things without a purpose.
I’ve been reading the Psalms and over and over the Psalmist prays for God to hear and God to have mercy. I think if we pray those things over our communities God will hear us and He will have mercy on our world.
Also this year our pastor talked about Sabbath. I think God wants us to use this as a forced Sabbath. Realign our lives away from insane anxiety, hustle, and disconnection. Dial into God and family– and don’t rush back to all the things once this is over. Re-evaluate and choose a more healthy pace for life.
The outdoors offer sanctuary.
Creation has ministered to our home as the options of what to do in a day have been so severely limited. We sit and listen to the birds. We’ve planted things. Enjoyed our chickens. Walked miles and miles. But I’m so thankful for outside. Something about being out breaks the chains of claustrophobia that can come with living life through a “stay at home order.”
This has once again been a lesson in how differently Brent and I process life. We’ve had a few rough moments but God is speaking more understanding in my heart for our differences. I pray I can continue to grow in this because for me our differences can make married life hard. We both offer good things to our home but we both have to be willing to see that… perspective is everything. I’m thankful for our chance to grow together through all of this.
What are you learning through all of this? Not all my realizations have been good. I’ve been upset, sad, and overwhelmed by this situation too. But, there is good to be found if we are willing to look for it.