None are excused from the challenges of this season. The wealthy, the healthy, the married, the single, the successful, and the impoverished are collectively walking through one of, if not the most challenging time in a generation. Increased weight lays on the shoulders of those in leadership positions as they seek to determine the best course for those in their sphere. For those special people that call themselves educators; grief, uncertainty, and adaptability demand their attention. For those medical personnel that are the very ones that fight this pandemic daily; anxiety, exhaustion, and caregiver burnout run thick in their presence. For the parents that can’t find a moment to themselves and are struggling to meet the umpteen needs that arise within an hour, the mundane, insecurity, and human weakness call for one to expend every last drop of energy and patience. For the single person at home, face-to-face human connection has ceased altogether. Though in many different forms, this pandemic has brought a halt to our preferences and routines that once helped us lead the life we desired and valued.
Just four and a half months ago we walked into 2020, pondering, discussing, and naming what he hoped or expected the year would have in store for us. Some of us chose a specific word, goals, and desires for how we hoped this year would look different. We identified some ways we wanted to take initiative in our lives and shape our lives to align with our values, priorities, and desires.
The current pandemic infuses our homes with tension and our hearts with grief. But for those willing to see, this time brings with it the gift of perspective. It is a magnifying glass for our lives, so to speak, to help us better appraise what is most dear to us, what is most challenging to us, and what is creeping in unwarranted and stealing precious moments from us. Insight that we did not have just a few months ago has been given. Complacency and busyness no longer plague our society and hinder our growth. Our busyness has ceased, our culture has shifted, and we have this small moment in time to evaluate our values and priorities and implement some necessary changes to lead the intentional, value-driven life we desire to lead. In assessing our different areas of development (physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, and relational), what are the areas that need evaluation with your newly gifted magnifying glass?
Have you found yourself in a cycle of over-eating, emotion-eating, slothfulness, or maybe just a few too many alcoholic beverages? Do you have a sense that your emotional health and strategies for coping could improve? Have you put off spiritual disciplines or seeking Christ altogether because of a past hurt or because it’s just not convenient? Have you had a hard time taking control of your spending, Starbucks attendance, or seeking therapy in retail? Have you noticed that your relationships are rocky, your friendships are surface-level, or your parenting could use some attention?
Yeah? Me too. Never has your social calendar been so free that you can focus more on your exercise routine. Never has your insight been so clear on what flusters you the most. Rarely is it so apparent that the world offers little and Christ is the only hope. There are few opportunities to curb your shopping and eating out habits. And there is no better time to commit to authenticity, break through the painful patterns, and create beautiful community.
This season brings, along with it’s pain and grief, an opportunity to hit the reset button. It won’t be easy to align your days to how you imagined and desired them to be long ago when you chose the path that you are currently on. Mamas, in the midst of the trials, grief, and fear, I challenge you to use this opportunity to improve in the areas you long to be stronger.
Walking the path and pressing “reset” with you,
Tiffany Raley, M.A.