As parents, this is an interesting time to believe in God. A lot of our cute verses and tips don’t work when the entire world is spinning out of control and we have few answers for our kids. I found myself reeling yesterday over some hard new and more hard news and I did the opposite of what I know.
I started clinging for control.
I started worrying that Ron would lose his job. Or that he might never get a paycheck again. And that I needed to bring the income. Or maybe people I love would get sick or worse. I started scheming, controlling, twirling in my brain over how to make this all work within the grasp of my hands. And it’s so weird (or not that weird) that a migraine rose up for the first time in many days. I tried to take all of it on. Hmmm… stress does impact the body :).
Around the time I had exhausted my brain with overthinking and worrying – a timely phone call came in. Our school Creative Director, Scott Werntz, called. I was surprised to see his name calling and picked right up. Partly, because I’m an extrovert trapped in my home and was like – “HELLO? Scott are you there? Want to chat? About anything? Hello?” And mostly because I am just a fan and would answer his call every day of the week. He’s on of my heroes at the school.
He proceeded to just say that they had split up the list of family names and each staff person was calling to check on us. I was shocked but not really shocked knowing the heartbeat of our school. I was tempted to say “We are great!” .. but something in me told me to be honest. I told him what I was feeling. And the truth about changes and hard stuff. And his simple response got me.
He said, “Don’t forget – God will provide for you.”
He later shared with me his life statement for 30 years, “He is the One who gives us our assignments, and our assignments will be provided for with exactly what we need.”
He said this with assurance and boldness and joy!
Scott was right. God has provided for my family in the past. Why would he stop now? It was a statement I would so quickly say (with assurance) to another friend – but somewhere during this Covid-19 I stopped believing it for us. So, this is where my faith gets real. Do I believe all the things I’ve written? Do I believe all the things I’ve said to you and to my kids? Am I living each day that I believe his promises are actually promises?
I do believe Jesus is a good God. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I do believe Jesus is our provider and protector. (Exodus 14:14)
I do believe that He will give us strength when we are weak. (Isaiah 40:29)
I do believe that He is our God and is with us – even now – even this. (Isaiah 41:10)
I do believe He will never leave or forsake us. (Deut 31: 8)
I do believe that we trust Him in everything (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Side note….And if we went down another path and if I was even more honest – I think these weeks have brought to surface things I thought I deserved or “needed” in life that I actually don’t. Maybe perhaps HomeGoods or hair dye to name a couple? I am honestly coming face to face with a few things I thought I deserved and it’s so interesting to me that Easter is coming and we get to remember what we actually deserve. And the price he paid for our sins.
So, this afternoon, it was time for me to get my worry back in check (as I’ve had to do many times during these weeks). And literally surrender it all back to God again. That’s not to say, I will just sit here and pray and expect money to arrive in our mailbox. Or that I won’t wash my hands or try to cut costs. I will still do my part to help our family navigate through each new trial.
However, there’s a difference between trying to control it yourself and letting God lead. I get to choose peace or panic. Both trickle down to my kids.
After that little mindset shift – I just spent a few minutes on others and I’m ending the day settled. Thanks to Scott for one giant reminder and thanks to the Lord for reminding me to join his bigger story.
When I follow His nudge – I GET to be involved in what He’s up to around the world. He knows the cries of your heart and and mine! He uses ordinary people like me to love on his people and provide in the small and big ways. I surely want to be that kind of able and willing follower. Lord, USE ME to remind my neighbors that you are real. Bring to mind who needs a call, a free book, soup or a hug. You know what we have to give – may we use it for your glory! You know every need. Lord, let me worry less about ME. You’ve got me. Use me to love others and draw others to you.
Just a few simple things that worked to turn my heart around today…
- Nurses – I really wish I could send every nurse something but I had about 20 Treasured Studies on hand and thought I would bless that many with a free one and a handwritten note from me thanking them for their work. It helped my heart to write every one of those.
- Birthdays – I made a list of every child and friend I could think of that was having a birthday in April and put them on my calendar. I bought silly string and a box of candy from the dollar store and cleaned them thoroughly after :). And will be driving by to let them know they are not forgotten. We will find a way to spread joy to those whose birthdays feel lost in the shuffle.
- High School Seniors – I wish I could literally throw the world’s largest prom and graduation at this time, or fix all of the hard things for these seniors – but I just texted one. I reminded her that feeling sad is OK and that she will NOT go uncelebrated. I reminded her that her friends needed her to provide hope.
As Andy Stanley says, “do for one what you wish you could do for all.”
Lord, We trust you with our lives. We trust you with your big big plan. We pray for those that are hurting and so badly wanting answers and control. We do not understand COVID and all the pain. We pray for protection for our families, front line health care workers, grocery store clerks and anyone else going face to face with the virus every day. We pray for our kids – that they will know you in a very real way. We pray for our leaders. Give them wisdom. We pray for your wisdom. Show us how to lead and love well. Bring to light areas that need reconciliation and mending during this time. Heal our hearts, our families and our nations. We love you. Amen.