What will our world look like in just a few short weeks? It’s the question I’m grappling with as I sit to write. In the past few days, we’ve seen all schools shut down, dentist offices close, food shortages. This is a monthly publication so by the time this article is out and being read, weeks will have passed. Day change literally by the minute.
We’re mid-March as I write. My oldest son turned 15 this week, and for the first time in his life, restaurants were shut down, so going out to eat for the big day wasn’t an option.
My second son has a birthday in a few days as well, and I can’t help but wonder what his big day will look like. Life has looked so different in such a short time. No one really imagined this when we were making our New Year predictions about a new decade and what 2020 would look like.
There’s an underlying fear that can’t be denied. If our economy cracks, how does that affect each one of us? The virus feels like a giant unknown, with more questions than answers. We sat down with the kids when the seriousness of the virus in our country became apparent.
“We aren’t scared, but this is serious,” is how we started our speech.
We’re used to family meetings, but not one like this.
“When can we go back to school?”
“Will we get sick?”
“Will the government shut down our business?”
It was just a few of the questions they voiced aloud, while their dad and I struggled to answer them well, without increasing their fear. The truth is that we didn’t have any real answers to any of their questions. The unknown looms larger than the known as I write this.
Even last night, as I closed my eyes to fall asleep, my husband said “It’s the weight of not knowing that’s starting to take its toll.”
I reached over for his hand, not wanting him to see the tears beginning to well up in my eyes. He had said exactly what I had been feeling all day. I want to stand strong, walk around unfazed, be the beacon of hope.
But it’s been a long week. The weight of owning a business with over a dozen employees asking us how long they’ll have work has played its toll. We don’t have answers for them, either.
The words written by a woman who suffered deep loss a few short months ago said it like this:
“I’m learning shepherd Jesus, who’s acquainted with the valleys, not afraid to walk it with us.”
The image of the Jesus I know and love walking with us has shaped my view of the past few weeks.
“I can be honest with Him, because He’s holding me …. He creates passages where fear tells me I’m in a dead end. He is Life when the planet is gripped with a fear of death…. He says to come to Him when weary and burdened, not after.”
Maybe the best thing I can relearn during this time is Him.
It’s been quieter in so many ways over the past week. No running here and there. No juggling of after-school events. No figuring out how to get to all the places. There’s been beautiful moments with our family we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to enjoy. I’ve kayaked in the bayou behind our neighborhood with my boys. When this is all over, I’m praying the blessing will loom much larger than the burden.
The blessing of being all together in one place when we ordinarily wouldn’t be.
The blessing of health that we often take for granted.
The blessing of being able to go to work.
The blessing of time together.