Hope Anyway

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Hope Doesn't always make sense, hope anyways.

My good friend Emily said these words during one of the hardest parts of her story last year. I am clinging to them now.

We are in an unprecedented crisis in our country. Our world has literally been turned upside down. For me, and many other military spouses, this feels all too familiar. The uncertainty, the lack of information, the constantly changing guidelines, and immediate major change of plans are all things that our military is used to.  Our family's life has been uprooted before, however, we had immediate resources available to us at that time with clear structure on how to proceed. The uncertainty and heartache surrounding this current crisis is devastating to say the least. 

Yesterday, I watched my son process his world being shattered for the second time in his life. Everything that he loves... sports, his friends, his community, school... gone for the immediate future. Our Governor closed school for the remainder of the 2019-2020 year. Our district is now scrambling to find ways to meet the needs of students using distance learning opportunities. Our teachers and administration are amazing! They are working their tails off to try and do their absolute best for the students in our district. They are as heartbroken as we are. Our kids became their kids. They know and love them for all that they are, and all they can be. They see potential in them that we may tend to miss. 

One of the pieces that makes this hurt so differently, is that it was a decision that our Governor made; this wasn't an act of God such as a tornado or hurricane. I applaud her for doing all in her power to try and keep our kids and communities safe, but dang this still hurts. Some of you may be reading this thinking, but you're so blessed! That's another reason why I cried last night. The ramifications of this crisis are going to be devastating for so many families in more ways than one. Our children have known heartache, but have led a very privileged life overall. We are fully aware of how incredibly blessed we are, but being blessed does not mean that we don't feel pain, sadness, or grief when things we love suddenly disappear.
A few weeks ago, I cried when I realized how few years we had left with our kids at home. This was our final year in elementary. I cried because I felt like I've failed. I felt like I hadn't done enough and there just wasn't enough time to fix it. I lamented that my children didn't know the Bible the way that I did by their age, that we spent so much time going to practices, games, and events, we would rarely see each other on certain days. I hated that I felt like I had missed out on entire seasons, years even, with my kids thanks to my anxiety & depression. I had spent so much time trying to numb my own life, I was missing theirs. 

And now, here we are...smack dab in the middle of the biggest pandemic facing our country in the last 100 years. We are home. We have no where to be but together. We have meals, we are safe, have steady incomes, are able to help our friends and neighbors, and we are currently healthy. I can see hope springing up.

I fully believe that in the midst of grief, anxiety, despair, uncertainty, and desperation hope can be found. We can find it in new life circumstances, trying new things, in serving those around us, and finding what we thought was lost forever. 

There is hope in this. 

Last night I made a list of all the things I want to teach my children during this season and some things I want to learn. I added doing their own laundry (they know how, but we need a better routine), and learning note taking/study skills, but I also added things like the story of King David, a regular yoga practice and learning to paint with watercolors. I asked both kids to make me a list of 5 things they each want to learn about. I said "it can be anything: a city, a point in history, an experiment, a person, how to make something, a language, whatever you are interested in learning more about". I want them to know that I value what they are interested in during this stage of their life. This has not always been something I am good at. And for the first time, we truly have the time to devote to this. I have not gotten a response yet but I'm interested to see what they come up with. "Homeschooling" my kids was never something I wanted to do, and this is coming from someone who grew wanting to be a teacher! I am so grateful I will not be doing this alone. I need the instruction and plans their amazing teachers will be providing. I also know that I need to be truly intentional with this time with them and make the most of this opportunity. 

So today, I will choose hope. I will choose to be grateful for the resources we have been given, the opportunities we have, and how God is going to move in and through this time together. No matter how out of control this situation seems, there is hope and we are not alone in this. While we can't all go grab a cup of coffee together (how good does that sound right now?!) we can still be there for each other. Please reach out if you need help. And if you can be a help to others, do that...

...and wash your freaking hands. xoxo
PS: My friend Emily, makes the most amazing handmade soaps. You can find her www.livesimplesoap.com . Seriously, best soap ever. 

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