From the time that I was a child, I have always wanted nothing more than to change the world. Despite knowing its significance and its impact on my children, most days motherhood doesn’t fulfill me. That’s a truth that I have written about before and COVID-19 brought all of those feelings to the surface again.
Being a mother is the hardest, loneliest, most desperate, joyful, emptiest, and the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. I have never cried more, laughed harder, or been more exhausted than I am in this season of my life. It feels like no matter what anyone says, there is nothing that I am doing that will change the world.
My children have been at home, without escape, for nine months. NINE MONTHS. That is a full-term pregnancy, friends. I, like thousands of others, am in the throes of distance learning while simultaneously working and maintaining a business. My anxious heart is overwhelmed in ways like never before and I am desperate for normalcy. In the past nine months, I have experienced every emotion under the sun. Joy, confusion, aggravation, angst, depression, anger, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, fear, peace, happiness, bitterness…Much like the rest of 2020, things have felt like a whirlwind. Most days I don’t know if I’m coming or going.
In more recent months, I’ve struggled a lot with anger and bitterness. Scrolling, watching, and witnessing everyone else around me seem to find success and achievement despite the global pandemic. I can’t be the only one who has had to put their dreams, ambitions, and goals on hold, right? It didn’t seem like it. It seemed like everywhere that I turned, someone was publishing a new book, launching a new template, releasing a new product.
Is it just me? Am I the one slacking?
Yet, no matter how hard I tried to find a margin of white space to do something I wanted to do, there was always something more pressing to do. A Zoom meeting to oversee (because we know how much we all love Zoom right now), an assignment to check or turn in, a toddler to bathe, a child to feed, a nap to handle…no matter how hard I tried, it wasn’t happening. I tried waking up early, one or three of the children would wake up, too. I tried staying up late; one or two or all three would stay up with me unable to sleep.
The longer it went on, the more my bitterness and angst grew. I didn’t want to feel frustration toward my children. I wouldn’t trade the time at home I had been given with them for anything in the world. But, my spirit and my heart were weary. Months ago, I pre-ordered the book Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons. I didn’t even get a chance to crack it open when it arrived because, well, 2020. As the days turned into weeks and COVID seeped into every aspect of life, I felt compelled to read it.
The enemy of our souls wants us to be isolated and alone. He knows that when we’re isolated, we’re easy prey. Why? When we’re alone and vulnerable, we feel afraid. When we’re together and vulnerable, we become brave. A brave group of vulnerable people acting together in faith is not easily overcome by anxiety and stress.Rebekah Lyons
Reading this, I feel 100% heard and realize that the enemy is using this time, this sense of isolation and frustration and confusion, to keep me stuck. To keep me frozen and to keep me from walking forward on the path God called me to. Rather than choosing to stay hung up on what I’m not doing, I choose to intentionally and more diligently listen for God to show me what this season is meant to bring; asking Him instead, “Lord, what can I learn in this season?” Clearly, the world was changing but I wasn’t changing anything. Instead, God reminded me of something that I had read at a dear friend’s house a few years ago…
Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to do the dishes.
Maybe this time, this moment, this season isn’t for me to thrive within my business or find success everywhere else. Maybe, instead, it’s to be right here in the moment with my children. To be their gatekeeper, their intercessor, and their sounding board for a time that is as confusing for them as it is for me. Instead of continuing to find myself angry and bitter because life doesn’t look like I planned, I can choose to see it as an opportunity to be exactly where God has placed me in this season.
That’s exactly what I have decided to do. Will I continue to pursue my passions of photography and design and writing? Absolutely. But, in this moment…I can not change the world. Instead, I am responsible for raising the ones who may.