A few weeks ago, life was normal. We went to a coffee shop with friends, invited 15 people over for a grill-out, went shopping at the nearby mall, and attended church service with almost 1,000 other people.
Today, we can’t do any of the above. Suddenly, a world-wide pandemic happened and our city (along with many, many other places all around the world), went into lockdown. I can’t leave my house unless it is for essentials. I can’t invite friends over. I can’t go to a restaurant and dine-in. Public gatherings are banned and places are empty.
Suddenly, the economy is shaking, futures are uncertain, and panic is rising. There’s a shortage of supplies and some things are impossible to find.
And here I am, about to have a baby. Any day now, we will welcome our second child and our first son into our lives. Right in the middle of a lockdown and pandemic.
Has it been hard for me? YES. Being completely vulnerable, I’ve had multiple breakdowns where everything felt too much and all I could do was cry. I’m saddened and shaken by what is going on around me, and I’m also dealing with quite a few disappointments about how my last few weeks of pregnancy, my birthing experience, and potentially the weeks after his birth will be. It’s not what I had pictured and several things I was really looking forward to are now completely gone.
The reality is, every day has been a battle of the mind. Everyday has been a choice to choose peace over fear, gratitude over complaining, and hope over despair. I’ve tried so hard to keep my heart and mind in the right place. Sometimes I’ve won, sometimes I’ve lost. Many times I’ve told the Lord, “My heart feels so weak right now.” And you know, many times I’ve felt Him come around me, breathe peace, and it’s as if He whispers, “I know. And it’s ok.”
Now isn’t the time for me to pretend to be strong. I mean, come on, I’m 38 weeks pregnant – that’s a hard time anyway to be strong, let alone when the world is in a chaos like never before. It isn’t time for me to try to hold myself together and put up a strong front. It’s the time to be real, honest, and process it all with the Lord.
And that’s where I’ve been. These last few weeks I’ve been more honest with the Lord and myself than I ever remember being. I’ve poured out my heart and emotions to Him and anyone who would listen.
And now, day 4 into our city’s stay-at-home order, I feel a peace I’ve never felt before.
The sunshine looks brighter. The sky is bluer. My daughter’s laughter is sweeter. And I’m feeling a deep gratitude for the life God has given me and the family He has blessed me with.
Am I still afraid and concerned? Yeh, I am. I won’t lie. But I’m grateful for this time and choosing to find the beauty in the stillness, the peace in the storm, and listening for the voice of my Father amidst the noise of a world gone wild.
If I could say anything to you my friend, I would say this: it’s normal and ok to feel fear, confusion and to be overwhelmed; after all, you are human. What isn’t ok is to let it take over your heart and mind. God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear and He has called us to set our minds on things above. He has given us the strength and weapons to fight against the enemy and to come out victorious.
The world may be falling apart right outside my door. My city may be under lockdown. But I’m determining this: No one or no circumstance will lockdown my joy. Nothing will take away from me the preciousness of this season and the beautiful experience of welcoming our son into the world. Try as hard as he may, the enemy will not be win this battle over my heart. I will come out of this victoriously. We all will.