As I write we are on week 8, I think, of social distancing due to COVID-19. We’ve already passed two projected dates of a supposed return to normal life; and we’re facing at least another month of shelter at home herein Mexico. As moms most of us have been working from home, taking care of all of our normal duties, perhaps figuring out the finances of our family’s next meal and needs all while homeschooling our children or walking alongside them through online classes for weeks as well as helping them to walk through this drastic change in their lives. A change that feels like it appeared over night not just for us but for the whole world, nobody saw it coming, we didn’t have a chance to prepare for it. As my already desperate 5-year-old pointed out a week or two into the shelter at home “Mommy, my teacher said it was going to be 4days mommy, 4 days. This is a lot longer than 4 days!” (Here in Monterrey the kids left school Thursday March 12 for a 4-day weekend and haven’t been back since.)
I don’t know about you but as a wife and mother I consider it part of my role and responsibility to be prepared, to plan. The planning, the attempt to foresee as much of the future as I can helps me keep our family running smoothly, helps our children have a routine that allows them to learn discipline and also gives them the space to be children. If I’m honest I want to control the environment around me as much as possible and while I may know that it’s never really 100% possible, I try anyway. Anyone with me? This desire for control is not new, nor is the recognition that I can’t really control it all. (Anyone else try to reason with a two-year-old in a temper tantrum or a 5year old adolescent who has no desire or intention to go to sleep. J ) But this time we are living in certainly brings it back. I think most people are there, from our little children to our bosses to the government leaders. We want to exert some control over this situation and this virus that doesn’t respect or care about what we want. We don’t know for sure how it operates, we don’t know for sure what can combat it, we don’t know for sure the best time or way to start opening up business, schools, public places, we don’t know who will get sick and who will recover. There are speculations but we can’t be 100% sure and that is terrifying.
How do I as a wife and mother absorb that knowledge, that fear, that lack of control and not transmit it to my husband, to my children? How do I continue to work, plan, and provide for my family when we don’t know what next week will look like? God has brought to my attention twice during my devotions in a matter of days this passage from 1 Peter. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade -- kept in heaven for you who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5.I may not know what will happen next week, I may not know when or if life will look “normal”, but I do have hope. Hope in my Savior who knows the future. Somedays it may seem hard to remember that. Some days seem like they will last forever and hope, and peace seem far away. Some days the unknown of it all can threaten to overwhelm me. But on those days, especially on those days I need to look for truth. What truth is that? The truth that my hope isn’t in knowing the future, my hope is in knowing Christ.