Wow, these past few weeks have been pretty crazy right? Social distancing, self quarantines, and state lock-downs have a sense of driving fear into our lives, leaving only the national news to stoke those fears. I could see how this could lead to anxiety, insecurity, and a loss of hope.
We, the McCormicks, have found parallels with this “new normal” to our first months in Mozambique. Really, our isolation from the COVID-19 is similar to what our lives looked like in the genesis of our missionary service. When we arrived in Mozambique, we knew no one and did not speak the language. We did not understand the culture or the food, it took all our energy to just try and normalize. We missed family and friends and only had contact via Facetime…when the eight hour time difference allowed. These hurdles relegated us to being together, just the four of us, all the time.
We did not have babysitters for date nights, parks to take our kids, or playdates that needed to be filled. There were not social obligations or school events to distract us from the loneliness and unfamiliarity. Amazon did not deliver the items we desperately needed, nor were there supermarkets to stock up on our favorite foods. And you know what happened…we found strength in our family.
We found activities to be more fun when it was all four of us. Meals were better when we all participated. We found that being stripped of obligations and expectations meant we had more time to read books to our girls, or play games, or just sit and watch the wind blow on the water. It was not uncommon for our afternoons to look like me sitting on the back porch (at times with a good scotch or cold beer) and just watch as my two, sweet daughters got so dirty playing in the sand.
I think this period gives us an opportunity to reconnect to that simplicity. To remember the family unit and the strength that comes when we are forced to be together. There is more than a little self examination which comes from it, but eventually, it becomes what make us better, stronger as a family. That is some silver lining to a scary time.
In Psalms 4:1 (the Voice translation), the psalmist says:
Answer my prayers, O True God, the righteous, who makes me right.
I was hopelessly surrounded, and You rescued me.
Once again hear me; hide me in Your favor;
bring victory in defeat and hope in hopelessness.
Home in hopelessness. I pray you are not finding yourself in a hopeless situation. However, if you are, I encourage you to find that which brings you hope, just one small thing each day, and carry that with you. Whether it is the promise of a spring bloom or the promise of the resurrection, hope is like a precious stone, guarded and kept close.
Good luck out there…and remember, if you need anything, all you have to do is ask.