Living your best story: fulfilling God’s good plans for your life in every page.
If you were to describe your life of quarantine right now, what kind of movie would it be? Swiss Family Robinson, Castaway, Lord of the Flies, Groundhog Day or some tragic comedy?
I think for many it feels like we are living in a strange science fiction film where an invisible virus quickly spreads across the globe and shuts down travel, trade, and individual lives. Wouldn’t this be a great movie? But to live it? Who could have imagined?
These are strange and uncertain times. Maybe you are living in a nightmare of lost wages, little food, and too many rainy days. There is a reason that movie producers put stressful situations in dark and rainy settings. Our mood shifts, our fears are heightened, and we seek shelter. We know we do not want to be outside where the winds are howling, the thunder is booming, and lightning is striking. Those are the times the music is queued, and we know something pivotal is happening; possibly even scary.
We might as onlookers hide our face in our hands or under a blanket to avoid a scary scene. But in this situation, there is little place to hide. While home should be a safe refuge, many are finding these quarantined days overwhelmingly difficult for their mental and emotional health.
For you, there may be toddlers crying and throwing fits. For others, you are so isolated and lonely that you are losing hope and sinking into depression. Perhaps you feel inadequate to meet the educational needs of your children.
God is on our side!
Let me assure you that God promises more than that for you! As God’s people, we have an imperishable hope(I Peter 1:4) that will withstand anything life throws at us. While we long for the sun to shine and freedom to be restored, God has allowed us all to be in these times, places, and world events. He is for us and with us, but we often forget how powerful it is to have God on our side. No matter what happens, as believers, we win!
As a mom who has lived through the days of changing endless cloth diapers, washing burp cloths by hand due to not having a washer, being stuck at home most days because we only had one car, and having to be frugal with a small budget to feed us, I can understand the real weariness that this time brings. There were times when my husband worked a part time job in the evenings to be able to afford the special formula our son needed. Those were some lonely and isolating days. There were meltdowns, parenting mistakes, and hopes deferred. Time felt like it was dragging on at times as I rose each day to the same routines. At times, I cried and whined to my husband about being so inadequate as a mom…and eventually a homeschooling mom of 11 years. Satan is the source of all those lies, and I had to learn to fight the pull to believe them. I had to confess it and start again. I had to find time for myself to be in God’s Word. I have met enough women with all kinds of situations to know that it is not easy, but it is essential. There are solutions and ways to find a minute or ten to be with God; to ask Him to defeat the lies playing in your mind; to restructure your day and habits (stop scrolling and picking up your phone); to train your children to find their own quiet rhythms in their days. It is possible with some work.
Bad moments don’t have to lead to bad days.
Motherhood is hard enough in the “normal” scheme of life. But throw in being in charge of your kids’ education when you had no plan to do so, being banned from playing at parks or visiting friends or church, and having adults working from home and kids not understanding why these adults keep locking themselves away in their rooms? It’s stressful to just type it, let alone live it. We know these days are hard. It becomes harder as we grow physically tired from all the daily demands on us without a break. Have you lost your temper with those you love? Feeling overwhelmed and like you are failing? Then pray, confess it, and ask those you hurt for forgiveness, and then start again. Don’t let a bad moment ruin a whole day. If you are constantly struggling with something, then pray and look for a new way to do it. I think good teachers would agree that your relationship with your kids during this time is more important than finishing all the worksheets perfectly. You are in charge, so don’t feel bad about doing what you can and leaving the rest when your peace and the family’s peace is on the line.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
God prepared for us in advance the things we are to do to glorify Him and live an abundant life. God knew that you would live through this pandemic. He knew you would be schooling at home. And He prepared you for it. He gave you the kids you have and equips us all to meet their needs. We don’t always allow Him to show us how though. There is a spiritual battle going on for our families. Satan would love to see families fighting, failing, and fleeing. You must choose to put on the armor of God and stand ready in the battle. You are in it. I’m sure you feel like you are in it up to your eyeballs at this point. But you are His handiwork, created for good works that He PREPARED you in advance to do. With His help, you can win! Do you believe that today?
If you were a character in a movie, who would you be? Will you rise to be a hero or sink to be a villain of your own reel? How will your movie end? If you trust God and believe the truth He says about you, you will be strengthened to be the character who is victorious and lives in hope for the future. He has already prepared the good works for you to do. He gets the glory when we live our best stories.