I don’t know about you, but I finished my first week of lockdown feeling like I had just emerged from a washing machine set on a fast spin.
My husband asked me on Friday evening if I was ok, and I had to answer, “No, I am not ok”. But I couldn’t really say why. I couldn’t even articulate to myself why I wasn’t ok.
It has been a strange week for sure. Unprecedented times. History in the making.
In many ways my week had been very easy. Neither myself or my husband are working on the frontline. We don’t have to self-isolate from each other or from our children. My husband and children are healthy, and here with me. We are blessed with a back garden! And the sun has shone. And my 4 boys have got along pretty well all week!
I arrived into this week eager. Groceries had been bought, I was ready to hunker in and hibernate a bit. My introvert tendencies were having a field day! I was looking forward to having the children at home. I had planned our schedule. Discussed it with everyone. There was agreement and anticipation of the new daily routine. Even excitement.
And it started off well.
But somewhere in the middle of Tuesday things started to fray at the edges as far as my epic routine was concerned and I trundled through Wednesday, stumbled through Thursday, and…kinda ground to a halt on Friday.
So what happened?
I can look back and easily see where I went wrong this week. I could make lists of what hindered me and what I neglected. But is there more to it?
We are trying so valiantly to keep our normality. Keep school going, keep music lessons going, keep afterschool activities going – Thank you Google and Zoom!
But maybe we need to allow ourselves to pause. Give permission to the emotions that are bubbling under the surface. The tension. The worry over loved ones. The fear for our economy and businesses. The fear for our hospitals, and doctors and nurses.
Perhaps we need to allow ourselves to mourn and grieve for what is coming. The threatening dark cloud that is poised over our land.
Perhaps it is ok not to be ok.
Perhaps it is ok not to be getting through my to-do list this week.
On Friday evening my youngest son came to me to tell me that he is not liking homeschooling. Normally, we would shrug it off. So an 8 year old boy doesn’t like school. Newsflash!
But I could see the emotion behind it. The trembling chin. I had seen the signs of anxiety throughout the week. He was struggling. His little world was being upended. School for him is hard. And now it has collided right into his living room. His safe space.
So this week I will be making some changes. Little things – to make it feel less like school. We may not get everything done. But that’s ok.
This morning we gathered in our living room for our own little “church service”. We had told our boys that if they wanted to read a Bible verse or give out a hymn, they could. My 10 year old very sweetly said he wanted to read John 11 v 35, the shortest verse in the Bible. So he stood up and read “Jesus wept”. And he had a thought to share on it!
“Jesus didn’t come from earth, but while he was here he felt pain.”
How true is that! In the moment of pain He felt pain. He knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead. It was all going to be fine, but it didn’t stop Him from feeling the emotions of the time.
It is tempting to think we should be ok about everything that is happening.
God is in control. And He is.
So we shouldn’t worry. But we do.
And that’s ok.
We don’t have to be ok with everything. God understands our fears and doubts and worries. We can bring them to Him. We don’t need to feel guilty that we are worrying.
“He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust” Psalm 103 v 14
God is still glorified when we go to Him with our worries and fears and sadness. We don’t have to have it all sorted out, filed, and organised in our heads before we come to God.
We come, our messy selves, into His presence.
Come to Him with all the emotions this week has thrown up. He can handle them all.
And we can experience the blessing of knowing what it is to come under the shadow of the wings of the Lord God in whom we have come to trust.
Psalm 103 v 13-19
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children – with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.”