Parents, it’s ok to feel the way you feel

Here in Illinois we were on our first official day of e-learning when the governor extended the shelter at home order until April 30th. While this wasn’t a surprise, we hadn’t even found a “new normal” before we learned that this is going to be a long stretch of families living, working, learning, and resting together under the same roof 24/7. 

Today I want to share with other parents and Christian educators that the continually changing mix of emotions we are experiencing is normal. I walked out to one of my favorite spots yesterday to offer a few words of encouragement in all the chaos.

What I told the  United Methodist News Service about letting our college kids process their feelings applies to adults, too: “Letting her be sad and disappointed and upset about the unexpected change in plans, I think, has been most important.”

My social media feed is full of all kinds of tips for cleaning and complicated crafts that assume I have time to do these amazing  things and that if I did have time that they would bring me peace and well being. Amidst all the “how to make your own epoxy coffee table aquarium” videos, I also see helpful  articles about adjusting our expectations while experiencing fear and trauma. I’m giving myself permission to feel what I feel, do what I am able to do, and to not feel guilty about what I can’t.

Next week is Holy Week, yet we don’t need to wait until then to begin practicing resurrection by acknowledging the ways God is with us in this scary and uncertain pandemic. We practice resurrection by looking for hope in the midst of uncertainty. We can feel the way we feel, do what we are able to do, grieve the loss of normalcy, and live in faith that God is with us through it all. Thanks be to God.

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