I could say that I’ve started this post many times and couldn’t stay with it. But I haven’t, exactly. I guess I have done so in my mind, but that’s as far as it went. To be honest, I haven’t wanted to write about this at all because words make it more permanent than I ever want it to become.
But wording also allows me to get it out there and then walk away from it—at least on some level. I’ll take any level of escape at this moment, however short-lived.
There aren’t words to describe what the past four months have been like. There are plenty of words that apply—loss, disappointment, confusion, frustration, challenge, fear, bewilderment, pain. But they don’t fully paint the picture this season has presented.
There’s another word a lovely friend reminded me of today: growth. It’s a good thing I already knew that growing is typically painful, because otherwise that word might have come as more of a shock. But she’s right, and I can see it in those moments when the fog briefly clears and I catch a quick glimpse of a more seasoned me. I’ve heard wisdom is hard-won, and I’m telling y’all right now I sincerely hope I’ve gained some.
We lost my father-in-law in March, and I feel like our family hasn’t even really had the space and wits to grieve here in the surreal we’re groping our way through. It’s hard blinking foggy in the middle of whatever-day-it-is and remembering Papa is gone. A big part of me is glad he doesn’t have to slog through this mess, because he would be dumbfounded. But I miss him.
There are plenty of reasons to be grateful, and in brief moments of clarity I find hope in recalling good gifts from the Father’s hand, blessings I owe to the never-failing love of the Giver of all good things. I am grateful to the friend who stood in the gap for me this morning, who spoke life into my aching heart and reminded me of what I am (a glow-stick) and what I’m here to do (shine the light of the Former and make people smile).
Sometimes we need someone to help us remember how to live when all around us seems dead.
I’m tired. I’m over being preached at, shamed, ignored, misunderstood, and maligned because of my viewpoint on this ever-pervasive virus and my firm belief that we as a people are being played—not only regarding the mandates and restrictions surrounding the virus, but by the racial unrest being stirred for the purpose of keeping us so focused on our differences that we don’t notice what is happening under our noses by powerful people in meetings beyond my reach and above my pay grade.
And crazy as it might sound, I fully believe that this will all come with a price tag many are not expecting. And while I recognize that such poor treatment certainly puts me in good company, I’m just plain wearing out. It does no good to whine, of course, so lately I’ve been praying more and talking less. Eventually I will likely just shut up altogether because who am I? Only the “experts” get to opine, however indecisive or wrong or narrative-driven they may be.
It falls to me to keep my mouth shut, wear the mask, accept the information provided, and accept my fate without complaint. And so I stay home.
Thankfully, home is my favorite place to be, but it sure has a different feel when I’m here because going places is off-limits without masking. My hope is that I can continue to grow and somehow emerge from all this wiser and more grateful than before, that I remember the good and leave behind the disillusionment of being shamed by people I loved. Ultimately, I trust in God’s power to preserve the lessons in positive ways, to galvanize the good and let the hurt fall away. I have to believe that’s possible.
A profound glimmer of light has emerged from the handful of people who have come alongside and held my arms up through this dismal season. I can’t imagine making it through without my tirelessly uplifting husband, my beautiful mother-in-love, my beloved children and grandchildren, and our amazing school staff. There are others—they know who they are—and God is reminded of them all daily in my prayers. I will likely never be able to fully express how much our connection has meant to me, but I am praying God blesses them as only He can. Their kindness and encouragement have been a beacon lighting my way back out of the dark, and I will ever be grateful.
This has been a dark season, but I haven’t lost hope that there’s light yet to be found and shared.
I am a glow-stick, after all.