"Sometimes I am hanging onto this hope by my fingernails."
"No carrots in the fridge and who’s eaten all the chocolate? Queuing for the bathroom, needing to upgrade the internet, lively discussions over mealtimes … these are all some of the issues our household is facing due to lockdown. Our three grown up children have returned from university to live and study at home for the next few months.
Our children (19, 21 & 24) are fairly independent adults and now living back with mum & dad. I love having them with us, but it is a challenge to respect their independence and for things to run smoothly as a household. There are a range of views as to how much chocolate we need in the house, when the day starts, what is a funny film (we agreed the Madagascar is hysterical), how much we like lentils and so it goes on. Days are filled with compromise. There are positives. We’ve been able to enjoy a lot of family time together; painting a giant rainbow and playing games in the garden. I’ve also joined one of my children’s online lectures, sorted some stuff in the attic and just had a bit more time and I am very grateful for the opportunity to do these things.
However, there are other, deeper frustrations, disappointments and difficulties. We have concerns for our parents in their late 70’s and early 80’s who all live a 4+ hours’ drive away and some in our family have chronic health conditions. My work as a home tutor has ended and there are uncertainties in my husband’s job. I am also sad about not being able to gather with our church family. These are insignificant in the global scale of loss and suffering in our world but they still stress, upset and discourage me.
As somebody who loves to plan and prepare for the future the uncertainty is also emotionally challenging for me. There are many things I don’t know – how will I manage with weeks more of lockdown? When will we see our parents again? Will our children return to study in the autumn and will my job restart? … So the concerns and worries crowd in.
I write very much in the midst of these issues. Not sorted but struggling and living with them. However, there is a level of reassurance and comfort - that God is in control and will bring good from this pandemic. This is not based on my ability to cope, or an assumption that we’ll come through unscarred. Sometimes I am hanging onto this hope by my fingernails, leaning into God’s promises and what I know is true about God. God is in this, he has got it sorted, he knows what is coming, he is good and he is in control. I have seen him at work in difficulties our family has had before. We haven’t liked them, would never have chosen them, have been broken by them and have seen them as unfair. But God has been there.
My confidence for the future is based on what I know God has done in the past – not just for us as a family but in sending his Son to die for us. ‘He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?’ (Romans 8:32)"
Contributed by Heather, a member of Grace Church Wakefield.