By Susan Seay, Crosswalk.com
Imagine a child refusing to go down a scary slide at the park while gravity’s pull is winning over their weak grip to the sides of the slide. That’s the best way I can describe what I looked like trying to maintain control of my life during this pandemic.
My normal mother load includes parenting, homeschooling, work, relationships, and self-care. Every day, I wake to a full to-do list. The day-to-day needs of my family keep my days full.
When you add a deadly virus to the mix, my list increased exponentially. COVID unleashed a host of additional responsibilities on my already full load. In order to keep going, I had to shift things a bit, by figuring out what things I was letting go.
There’s a difference between letting go and having things ripped out of your hands.
COVID took so many things from all of us during the past few months. Many lives lost, jobs ended, cancelled events and travel. Not to mention school and church closures, and the financial impact each one of these changes represents.
Trying to figure out how to make it through this crisis became my daily focus. The weight of it all left me exhausted. The combination of worry and exhaustion revealed my need to let go.
Here are 3 things that I decided to let go of, for the better.
1. Let Go of the Expectation for Things to Return to Normal
Normal is the word used to describe the moments when life is in a comfortable routine. Familiar patterns make life easy. We would all rather stick to our normal way of doing things.
COVID came into our lives like a flash flood. The swiftness of raging flood waters left our normal way of life changed in its wake.
The virus confronted our comfortable routines. During the quarantine, I found it hard to work at my same pace. I needed more rest, exercise, and food breaks than I had in the past.
You would think with almost all activities on hold my productivity would skyrocket. Instead, I needed time to accept a new normal.
New routines to help me prepare for the difficult days ahead. In the midst of change, simple things don’t always feel simple. But in the end we often find our new routines offer a much needed change.
Be encouraged by God’s Word in Isaiah 43:19 : “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
When we experience a lot of change in a short period of time, we can feel lost, like we are in the wilderness. Be encouraged that God can do a new thing, including making a clear path through the wilderness for you. Sometimes that path involves creating a new normal.
Photo Credit: ©Getty/WestEnd61
2. Let Go of Busyness
COVID set in motion a global time-out. Around the world our collective pause unleashed a reset felt in nature and in our souls.
News reports shared images of the canal water in Venice as it ran clear for the first time in years. Other reports of clear skies over-crowded cities. The usual distractions were no longer available.
With stores and malls closed due to COVID, that put an end to quick trips to the store to “pick up a few things.” No running around at a hectic pace, to mask our feelings of discontent and uncertainty.
Quarantine helped me to slow down and be more present to the everyday ordinary moments. Those moments that I often take for granted. I now had time to take a leisurely walk through the neighborhood, instead of only for a workout.
This was my chance to read through the stack of books on my nightstand and reach out to friends and family for an unhurried conversation. I welcome the new pace as I let go the fury of hurry.
1 Samuel 12:16 says “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!”
Stillness allows us to see God at work. Resist the temptation to allow hurry to run your days. You might miss a glimpse of God at work.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Aldomurillo
3. Let Go of Trying to Remain Positive at All Times
I watched my kids try to cope as one after another their plans were cancelled. Suddenly the only way they could visit with their friends was through phone calls and virtual gatherings.
Spring break plans: cancelled. Graduation party: cancelled. Birthday party: cancelled.
This left me as the CEO of fun and entertainment for the family. I tried my best to keep everyone happy, but eventually, exhaustion kept me from continuing to playing that role. Over time, the kids got bored.
They watched too much TV and played a lot of games. Way more than our usual ‘TV and games only on the weekends’ lifestyle. As I let go, I remembered that being positive all the time isn’t the goal.
The goal is trusting that even on hard days better days are ahead. This created space for me to answer honestly when asked how I’m feeling. And it also released the people around me to be honest with their feelings.
When surrounded by uncertainty our outlook on the future can turn it into a feeling of “look-out!”. Uncertainty makes us feel vulnerable.
Instead of running to hide when we feel exposed, we can embrace the moment as an invitation to listen to God more than our fears. God’s word puts uncertainty in its rightful place.
From God’s view, there’s nothing uncertain. He knows all and He’s always prepared.
As we move forward, COVID will still be a reality. Let’s continue to let go as the scripture says in Hebrews 12:1-2, of all things that hinder us from a passionate of purpose only found in Jesus our Lord. As we look to Him our confidence grows, despite our circumstances.
No matter what challenges we face in the days ahead may we release the weights that hold us back. As God changes our definition of normal, remember that his plan is perfect and we can fully trust Him.
When temptation fills your heart and you want to rush the process, remember God’s timing may not match your timeline, but God is always on time and never a moment late. Allow this truth to keep you in the challenges to come.
A positive mindset is not about being happy all time. It’s about keeping a hope-filled posture towards the days ahead.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Marcelo Silva
Susan Seay is an international speaker and host of the Mentor 4 Moms Podcast. Join her for weekly episodes full of practical advice for high capacity women. She is highly skilled in helping you to make difficult decisions with ease. To find out more, grab her FREE guide “12 Things Intentional Moms Do Differently” via her website: SusanSeay.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.