I stood in my bathroom fixing my hair. I wasn’t going anywhere—at this point our state was in a stay-at-home order and had been for well over a month—but “getting ready”, especially after a morning run, felt normal and normal was needed.
I was listening to a podcast about grief when the person being interviewed said, “This is a lot like 9/11. Nothing will be the same again.”
This statement unleashed something in my heart that had been buried since the start of the pandemic. And suddenly it was coming out through uncontrollable tears.
September 11 was a coming of age moment, and truly nothing was the same after that. This feels very similar, only this time it is a parenting coming of age moment. Much like then, no one has experienced this before, unlike most other parenting challenges, there isn’t someone who can say, “Been there done that. Let me teach you how to get through this.”
Within no time, schools were closed, e-learning was a thing, and now, as a mom of three, I had to figure out how to do all the things—hardest of all, work from home while helping the kiddos with their e-learning. Up until hearing the podcast interview though, I hadn’t thought more about my 9/11 and COVID-19 association.
But once those tears began to fall, I knew I had to take a closer look. There had been zero time to process. No time to sit and reflect on what we were just thrust into. As a community, and society at large, we were learning as we went—building the plane as we flew it.
As an adult processing through my own emotions and feelings, I was also leading my children through this very strange, very uncertain, and rather unexplainable situation. I felt this weight—how was I going to lead them while I’m walking through this with them? Up until this point in their lives I had been through everything they had experienced, at least to a degree. After all, they are only 8, 7, and 4. But now, this was brand new to all of us.
Trust God with Today
In Matthew 6:33-34, Jesus says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
He says this after he has declared God’s love for them is greater than the birds that fly in the air and yet those birds receive from Him all they need each day.
In this current season, this Scripture seems more relevant than ever. Never have I been faced with a situation where I have no control over tomorrow. Someone else is making all the decisions—when/if my children can go to school, when/how I can eat out, even down to how many rolls of toilet paper I can buy.
Did I trust God today with tomorrow? Could I set my concerns aside to seek first the Kingdom and have faith that He will take care of me even more than He does the birds of the air?
The truth is none of what we are experiencing is a surprise to Him. And while I feel out of control, He is entirely in control. I had to make a choice and trust Him with today—to trust Him at His Word that He cares more for me, my family, and this community we love more than anything else in the natural order.
If I didn’t believe Him in this how could I possibly lead my children through it? And truthfully some days are easier than others. And there have been times when worry has overtaken my trust. But in His gentleness, He brings me back. Every. Single. Time.
Believe His Grace is Sufficient
As the days wear on and all the togetherness is just too much, I’ve been reminded over and over that His grace is sufficient for me. I have to believe I’m not the only parent who is just worn out at times, right?! No matter how much we love these little humans or the big human we’ve made a covenant with, sometimes emotions and feelings take over—it’s in those moments I am reminded that though I feel weak, though I feel like I can’t make it another hour in the day—can someone please NOT need me for 5 minutes?—I cling to
2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Again, we have nothing to compare to. Unlike other seasons of life, where someone has gone before us and we can glean their wisdom, we don’t have that here. No one has lived in a pandemic of this kind. We can’t rely on anyone else’s experience or learnings. I cannot do this—whatever “this” is during a pandemic—without the sufficient grace of my Savior. And that, my friend, is a good thing.
Rest in His Presence
Even Jesus got away to pray. To be alone with the Father.
Even Jesus took naps—remember the disciples freaking out as he snoozed on the boat in the middle of the storm?
I cannot be the human God intends me to be without Him. And being with Him means time alone with Him apart from all the other things that need me—family, work, friends…
I’ve removed social media from my phone and closed the tabs on my computer for periods of time. I’ve added fellowship with believers in new ways—video and voice apps.
I’ve snuck away in the morning hours before the rest of the house wakes to read His Word, pray, journal, and just be in His presence.
My four-year-old is wild. But she’s also wise. There are often times when I will ask my other kids where she is. And it’s not uncommon to find her curled up in her bed napping on any given afternoon. She knows when she’s been running in the summer sun too long and her little body needs a rest.
We need to do the same.
Focus on the Essential
In the early months of the pandemic a friend said to me,
“This is a global experiment in what we have truly deemed essential.”
I can’t help but think there is much truth in that statement.
For me, the difference between this current season and 9/11, is the faith I profess. In 2001 I was a 20-year-old young woman without a Savior. I was full of fear. My faith had been in what I thought was an invincible country and government.
In this season, as I walk with my children through this very strange and uncertain, I am utterly grateful for the perfect love that casts out all fear. I wonder what that season of life would have looked like had I known that Love then. In this season, it means trusting Him at
His Word, accepting His grace believing it is sufficient, and resting in His presence. The essentials.