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September 11, 2020

Hope for the Weary Parent

By Andrea Werner

Back in March, I remember thinking to myself, “We’ve got this. A few weeks of quarantine, ending the school year virtually – not a big deal. We’ll be back to normal soon!” I’m not sure where I got that idea, but it’s what I told myself. Perhaps you had a self-proclaimed timeline of when all this would be over (No? Just me? Ok, cool). Either way, we all now know there is no timeline; there is no set end-date. There are many unknowns, many questions left unanswered, many plans left undecided. 

In the last several months, I’ve heard many moms express that time at home with little people is growing harder with each passing week in this upside-down world. I can relate. In the beginning my days were marked with eye-catching crafts, long afternoons playing by the pool with my kids, colorful lunches, activities, and entertainment. Fast forward six months, and I’ve resorted to a box of broken crayons and some paper, just enough time by the pool to avoid heat-stroke, and more time in front of a TV than I care to admit. Bad attitudes, sibling fights, boredom, and the constant question of whether we will see ANYONE or do ANYTHING fun, fill our days. 

“My patience is unending, my grace is unconditional, and my words are sweet as honey” …said no parent, ever, during this pandemic (or maybe at all!)

We are weary. We are worn out. We struggle answering the many questions from our beloved children because we just. don’t. know. Our routines are different, which makes parenting in general…different. Many days I have found myself operating from a depleted supply of, well, everything necessary to be a “good mom.” Maybe you can relate. Maybe, like me, you are up to your tired eyeballs in discouragement and exhaustion. We don’t understand why things are the way they are. 

A dear friend of mine has said the following phrase to me many times over the years: “I’m getting good at not understanding.” Perhaps it’s time to enter into that mindset. Getting good at not understanding isn’t easy, but it brings freedom. 

Freedom from having to have all the answers.

Freedom from the pressure we place upon ourselves. 

Freedom from needing life mapped out before we can take a step. 

Freedom from needing God to provide in a certain way before we can trust Him.

Parents, I believe now is the time to redirect our focus. Let’s purpose to fix our minds on our calling instead of all that we do not understand. Ephesians 6:1-4 is a beautiful road map, especially in a time of such chaos: 

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise—so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’ Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Obedience. Honor. God’s faithful promises. Bringing our children up in the “faithful instruction of the LORD” – this is our calling. When we remember He has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), we can stop striving to operate out of our own ideas, strength, and pride. 

The days are different. But our God is not. 

The questions are many. But our God knows all. 

The same friend who teaches me to rest in my lack of understanding, often reminds me, “Andrea, do not forget the Lord. Remember Jesus!” A simple, but profound statement. 

When I remember Him, I remember His call on my life. 

When I remember Him, I remember the responsibility of raising children the way HE desires for me to raise them. 

When I remember Him, I remember where my help comes from (Psalm 121:2). 

When I remember Him, I am renewed. 

As a body of believers in this church, we really are all together in this. Good IS ahead for us! I believe this with every fiber of my being. I have clung to those words in the darkness and in the bright light of day. I even started the first day of 2020 by tattooing “good is ahead” on my arm. (Well, I didn’t tattoo it on myself, someone else did…but you get the idea). I had no idea how often I would need this reminder this year. Maybe you need reminding of it, too.

May this be our focus: God Himself promises good for us! For our children! Let’s take our need to understand and lay it at His feet. Let’s take our weary hearts to the One who has plans to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11). 

Good is ahead, Grace family! Good is ahead. 

 

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