Many of us have grown weary of coping with all that goes into managing COVID-19. It seems to come in waves of muscling up the strength with “I’ve got this, here’s what I can do to keep going.” Then it wears out and feels hard all over again. Or perhaps the strength was coming from a hope that this will all be over soon and is wearing thin because we are still having to maintain our life-altering changes.
I have found that the shared sentiment of “This is hard,” and now the “This is STILL hard,” goes a lot farther than one might think. I am grateful for that too. What an isolating time. Literally! We are all there, and that is both comforting and hard. Even the most introverted of introverts are finding that they are surprised at the increased need for connection.
Recently I came across two different writings that encouraged me greatly and I wanted to share them in the hopes that they will be uplift you as well.
This was written by my friend, Katy, to specifically encourage moms, but I think is applicable more broadly as well: “We are all treading carefully to stay the course. It’s like we are all learning to swim a new stroke and don’t have the strength to help anyone else who might be learning. We are swimming for our lives and our strength won’t hold any more than we are already holding onto. You have your children to care for, to protect, entertain, and do normal things like discipline and train. You are doing all of that, and I imagine you are doing it better than you even think you are. But, with them constantly around, you don’t get much of a break, so emotionally, you are worn out… These past few months have been good practice at putting one foot in front of the other – over and over and over and over! That’s what trust is. It is taking the next step – in the dark. It’s hard and it’s frustrating and at times it’s scary. No one said it would be easy and that we would willingly and happily enjoy trusting. I don’t like not having control. But, we have all been put in a situation where we either choose to trust, or we run ahead and fall flat on our faces. I know some days I step carefully and other days I throw caution to the wind and run ahead of God, only to find myself back on my knees.”
I was reading on SheReadsTruth.com a devotional on Ecclesiastes 3:1–15 that: “Life and death are not respecters of each other. Mourning and dancing—they don’t always take turns. Not in my story, not in yours, not in our world. While people celebrate weddings and first steps and the sweetness of life, the broken world continues to break our hearts, sometimes at the very same time. The tension is there—wondering when to celebrate and when to cry. Often the best thing we can do is acknowledge that tension and do both, seeking the Lord as we navigate the complexities of this world. We must never stop mourning brokenness. It is right to mourn. And we must never cease to celebrate life and beauty. It is right to dance. Because of Christ, life comes from death. Because of Christ, we will dance again.”
I love the analogy of a new swimming stroke. I hope that will give you grace for yourself and your friends and family as you continue to manage yourself and do the best you can to connect and reach out. But also cut yourself some slack as you might not feel as able to do all the things you were once doing just to “keep on keepin’ on” these days.
I believe the mourning and dancing captures much of the back and forth emotions as we continue to ride the waves. So I encourage you to “just keep swimming” (read in your best Dori voice… swimming, swimming…). If you happen to find yourself stuck in a rip current and could use some extra support, know that our therapists are available for telehealth sessions to throw you a line. Give our office a call (302-738-6859). We are here to help.