I don’t know about you, but I’m loving all the hope I’m seeing in my newsfeed, words of encouragement, reminders of principles & promises of God that never fail, and stories of God’s love and mercy woven into the lives of families across the globe. Isn’t it so true that we don’t know what we had until it’s gone…
Thanks for joining us for Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United and our Guest Laura Woodcook. Last week when scrolling thru my newsfeed, I saw this post and asked Laura if we could share it with you on our blog. What a very thought-provoking, heart-stirring, mind-boggling time this is…wherein the heart is in dire need of the warmth of encouragement, assurance and victories of all kinds. So enjoy this for it’s sure to squeeze your heart with encouragement, especially if you’re a parent with a school-aged child trying to balance it all.
On Friday, March 13th, I received text messages from my daughter Abby all day about the rumors that were circulating the high school. Would the schools really close because of the Coronavirus? That morning she was reassured by teachers that this wouldn’t happen. By 7th period, all students and parents were notified that the school would be closing for two weeks.
If that wasn’t enough to process, the “stay-home” order was soon issued. I joked that I had been training for this my whole life, or so I thought. Why do I say that? On the surface, this looked to be the perfect introvert situation, but honestly, I was very emotional. Every time they extended the reopening of school, every time the government pushed back when social activities would resume, I could see my extroverted daughter’s smile slip.
For weeks my emotions felt right on the surface, ready to spill over, but I continued to be my family’s cheerleader. I put a smile on my face. I encouraged each of them. I came up with ways to occupy Abby and my son, too. I introduced her to my favorite romantic comedies. I helped her rearrange her room. No matter what I did to try and encourage, reassure, I still felt so emotional, so much so that I felt a little crazy. What was wrong with me? I wondered. I get to stay home! I love being home!
It wasn’t a fear thing either. Throughout the day, I’d see posts from other moms that seemed to “have it all together.” Family projects. Amazing functioning routines. I felt like I was barely holding it together.
At one point, a couple weeks into this crazy reality, I accidentally broke my son’s favorite mug. That was my undoing. I’m not an emotional person, but after weeks of these emotions strangling me, I sank to the floor and sobbed. It was about so much more than the mug. I was mourning. I was mourning the loss of my familiar routine. Yes, the getting up at 6 am that I complained about, I missed it. I missed the dropping off and picking up at two different schools; again, something I’ve been known to complain about. I missed church on Sundays. I missed Starbucks tea with my friends.
I love routine. I hate change. I was mourning the loss of it all. I was grieving about not being able to go to the beach over spring break. I grieved all the things my kids were missing out on both at school and at church. I felt so relieved to finally let it out. See, once I realized what I was feeling, I allowed myself to grieve and cling to God’s hope.
It’s been more than a month at home now, with no real promise of when this will end. But I’m doing better. I’m a private person. I don’t use social media to share more than surface stuff about myself, but I felt like I should say something. Even if it’s just a reminder to myself in the future…or maybe I’ll question my sanity and delete the post…but I just want people to know that there are many different ways to process this craziness.
We are all different, with different personalities. Be you and survive this craziness in the strengths God gave you! Don’t focus on someone else’s strengths. Support and encourage that friend that seems to have it all together, because believe me, not all days are perfect for her. Cheer her on so she can continue. If God puts someone on your heart, let them know. It’s a way for them to hear “I see you” from both God and you. If you were or are grieving like I was, please allow yourself to grieve and then find peace in God’s hope. Life will not be the same once we’ve conquered this time; it will be more beautiful. We will appreciate the simple joys of life so much more!