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Shifting and Settling

Quarantine. Week 4

[An anonymous quote is circulating social media right and it goes like this …  Satan: “I will cause anxiety, fear and panic. I will shut down business, schools, places of worship, and sports events. I will cause economic turmoil.” Jesus: “I will bring together neighbors, restore the family unit, I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table. I will help people slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not the world. I will teach my children to trust me and not their money or material resources.” Credit for this quote is mistakenly given to C.S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia and more than 30 other books), but it appears to be newly written. Whatever the source – I like the thought behind it and what it implies — which is — do we lean in to fear and see all the scary and the pain or do we lean in to God and choose to look for the hope, the good, the helpers, the grace?]

This is hard. It is. And, I’m not complaining. Not even a little. I know where I stand in all of this. And, it looks pretty darn good. My husband still has his job. And, he’s home, working here. With us. We are healthy. We are home. Home and healthy. We are whole and we are together. Together and whole. So, I know how good I have it. But, still it’s hard. And, it’s okay for me to say that. It needs to be okay for us to say that. To admit it. What we are going through is weird and surreal … and not easy. Tension is up. Feelings are … BIG. Everyone is sensitive. New roles are being figured out. All the extra togetherness is being navigated. Hard conversations are being had. I miss my friends. I miss our neighbors. My stomach hurts all the time. I miss going to Target and listening to podcasts while I run errands. I miss errands. And, I feel straight up homesick for my parents. It’s just hard. I feel raw some days. I’m not all that nice some days. The feelings and uncertainty and fear of it all comes bubbling up and over … and some days it spills out and makes a mess.

But. Some days are really good. This past weekend felt good. We had a good weekend. It feels nice to be able to say that. And, now we’re more than halfway through Week 4. Isn’t that crazy? Something is shifting. I feel it, though I can’t quite place it. Do you feel it? Can you sense it too? Almost taste it? Things are snapping into place again. New places, yes. But snapping in, nonetheless. We’re falling into new routines, new normals, new schedules, new roles. The heaviness of it all is still there, yes, but we’re starting to be able to compartmentalize it a bit better. Move it aside enough to function. Things are shifting. We’re walking through the hard and finding our way back together. The dust and haze is settling. Slowly, slowly, it’s feeling less odd. Maybe I can be still for a moment. Why is that so hard? Slowly it’s getting easier. To be still for a tiny bit longer. To just sit. To watch the kids play in the backyard. To play games together. Workout together. Ride bikes together. Linger at the table longer than we normally do. Cook dinner together. Sit in our rocking chairs together on the front porch. Watch the sunset. Search for rainbows. Listen to a storm rolling in. The days are flowing again … moving quicker. Doing school-at-home takes up a lot of time but it feels more normal this week. I’m less lost. I see myself again. A shifting. A settling. Something NEW is emerging with the spring. I know there will be an ebb and flow as we navigate the next weeks and months. I know some days will be hard and others will be full of good. Some will bring tears and rain and some will be flooded with warmth and hope. Some will taste of bitter disappointment. Of fear and loneliness. Others will lift us with joy. Gratitude. Love. I don’t know God’s plan in all of this. I won’t pretend to understand. I don’t need to know. I don’t need to understand. I won’t trivialize the great loss some are feeling. The magnitude of the burden. Their very real pain. Their heartbreak. I will, however, continue to lean in toward God. I will pray and trust. I will ask Him how I’m supposed to grow in this time. What changes need made? What changes need to be permanent? I will allow myself to contemplate change in and of itself … how it takes time … and, if we all returned to normal life right now, at this point, would we be changed? Would we be different enough? Or, will this whole mess of a situation take longer because change and growth take longer? Transformation is slow. We are a forgetful people. Yes – I miss my regular life. Yes – I’m ready for this to be over. But … I don’t want to miss the lesson in it. The growth. I don’t want to rush back into the rush without first reflecting. Without the blessing of the change.

Isaiah 30:15 “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.”

Isaiah 32:18 “My people will live in safety, quietly at home. They will rest.”

Isaiah 43:1-3 (partial) “Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God.”

Isaiah 43:19-20 (partial) “For I am about to do something now. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland… Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed.”

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