Over the next couple of days, I would like to share some of my thoughts and ponderings of lockdown.
Like many of us I have not found this time easy at all, it feels like the rug has been completely pulled from under my feet, everything I have known and relied on seems to have disappeared. My children are not at school, instead they are distance learning. I cannot call it home schooling as on the few occasions they have needed my help I have had to turn to Google! Fractions were never my strong point and even less so now. Our church buildings are closed, I am working from home, trying my best to use this time wisely and my husband was unable to work for 8 weeks. Having all four of us at home together, although lovely at times was sometimes hard. Shopping takes much more planning and time. At first, we could not meet with our friends and we still cannot hug our loved ones because of social distancing! There has been days when I have felt such joy and enjoyed the change from the routine we knew, yet other days I seem to spend more time hiding in the bathroom, crying silently then wiping my tears, fixing the smile and coming back out to face the world again, probably looking a lot more certain and positive than I have felt.
I know that I am not alone feeling this way, I have heard many people saying that we are all in the same boat, but this is not true. We are all in the same storm but each of our boats is very different. And we cannot know what another person is going through. Another phrase that I am sure many of you have heard is ‘The Coronacoaster’ and from my own experience this really does help me to describe how I have been feeling these last few months.
I usually like to think of myself as a fairly positive person, this has not been the case recently and I have seen a side of myself that I didn’t realise was there. I have felt highs and lows like I have never experienced before. I have seen so many positive memes, read quotes and had conversations with people all looking for the silver lining. As well meaning as this is, I have not always found it helpful. I have craved honesty from people, for a recognition that not all is good, for the “it is ok not to be ok” to become a reality rather than a status on social media. We are human and it is ok to feel fear, anxiety, anger and the multitude of other emotions that we are able to feel, it is also ok to not be able to recognise or understand what we are feeling or why. I have become ever more aware of the power of words and to quote Ronan Keating “You say it best, when you say nothing at all” really speaks to me right now.
When I talk about not saying anything, this doesn’t mean ignoring the issue or crossing the road like the priest and the Levite did in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:31-31) but to see our own and each other’s sufferings, then instead of always rushing and trying to fix them we look to Job’s friends as our inspiration, who when they heard of his sufferings they came together, went to Job and grieved with him, they sat beside him not speaking a word, for they could see that his suffering was great (Job 2:11-13)
During all these wobbles and changes there has been one thing that remained steadfast and true, that is that God loves us and will never leave or forsake us. Now I know that in my heart and my mind, but in the midst of these feelings as the flawed human that I am, I sometimes took my eyes off of Jesus and allowed the doubts and the fears to creep in. I questioned my worthiness, my discipleship and how I serve, yet God kept bringing me back in to His presence, giving me signs and helping me to see Him as a light in the darkness that I found myself in.
For quite a while I thought these experiences were just between me and God, personal and part of my journey of faith, yet recently I was reminded that all we have is a gift from God, things are not ours to hold on to, we must hold everything lightly and share all things with others, for indeed they are not ours to keep but treasures to share. So over the next few days I will share my musings, they will be honest and raw at times, but I pray that in the mess of my words, I can share those treasures God has given, and that you too can find the peace and love that surpasses all understanding, even in the messiness of our lives.