We were sitting smack in the middle of what felt like the hardest thing we’d ever done and I was so torn up inside as the end was nearing and yet it was still so far away.
It was the beginning of summer last year and we’d come so far, but there was still so much to get through.
As we are deep into this quarantine right now I’ve found myself remembering these feelings quite a bit lately.
There’s a deep longing for the quarantine to be over and yet an urge to continue to hunker down a bit longer. I’m sure if you’re anything like me you’re feeling a bit uncertain as to what the days ahead might have for us all. I’ve been feeling a strong prodding to talk with you about our re-entry following all of this.
I’m sure it will be given to us in much smaller steps than just a mad rush back to life as before and each of our re-entries back may look quite a bit different. But we can be certain there will be a day coming when we all will go back to our schedules and lives as we once knew them.
Because that’s how life is following something hard.
There’s the return home after the loss of a loved one . . . walking again following the surgery . . . even going home after delivering a baby, there’s always some kind of re-entry and there will be a season of it for all of us following this pandemic too.
But there’s something of grave importance to remember – there will be some after-effects of what we’re emerging from as well as some grieving that we will need to create some space in our lives for.
Because life is going to be different.
Some of us may have to go through a greater deal of grieving than others, but we can be certain we will all experience some level of loss.
The things we once took for granted will become treasured and the shelter of safety we gave little or no consideration for will now be assessed before we go about our lives whether we are traveling or just attending a large gathering.
I think we will find that our decisions will be made from a place of safety rather than convenience following all of this.
Because some of us will return to jobs with new procedures and others of us will hit the streets filling out applications and looking for a new place to work.
People will look for new homes and search for renewed purposes because days as life-changing as these always have a way of changing us forever.
And even though some of us may not like what our lives will be met with as we crawl out of our hiding places, I’ve learned there’s always something sacred to be found on the other side of a hard & holy season.
You see, it’s easy to think getting back to life means doing life as we did it before, before the pandemic crashed into our lives. But perhaps there’s a better life ahead of us than the one we abruptly left behind.
Maybe, the things we once crammed into our days and counted as important have lost a bit of their meaning now as we value a greater need for connection and authenticity.
Perhaps, what we once thought was filling our empty spaces was actually enlarging our vacancies and leaving us feeling depleted. You see, a year ago as we were walking through Joe’s cancer we had no idea how different life after his cancer would be . . .
We didn’t know that PTSD could follow his treatments, because we didn’t know how much it all affected us. We had no idea what we were walking through was taking away things as simple as walking, being able to jump or the sensation to feel things he could touch. We didn’t know some of his nerve endings would forever be different . . ..
Because what we discovered was going through something hard always comes with a cost.
We humans have a strange way of believing we will come out of everything better or stronger.
And in some ways we honestly do.
It’s just it happens in much different ways than we once measured strength as we figure out what better actually looks like.
So, as we are walking in this thing right now, I hope we can remember to pay attention to what life is writing upon us. That we aren’t so obsessed with getting out of this thing that we miss what God is trying to teach us as we’re walking “through” it.
I love what David penned in Psalm 23 – “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will FEAR NO EVIL, for you are WITH ME; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Friends, our present struggles are our story, the story we’ve been handed to share with our world.
This life that is writing upon us right now, may it become a story in history which furthers the gospel and glorifies God . . .♥️