I confess I have never ran a marathon–but I have done some “emotional” races that felt like one! A few years ago I was plunged into care-giving for my husband after his massive stroke. Like it or not I was signed up without much training for 24/7 care duty responsibilities. We as a global family have been unexpectedly plunged into a 24/7 unexpected lock-down–to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. As my time as a caregiver was unknown, so is this season.
The governor of Washington state moved our lock-down date to May 4. It is an arbitrary date–but it does give us some sort of an “end date”. I have not left my home for four weeks. I admit it is starting to feel a bit overwhelming. But God is good. My daughter mentioned to me that there was at least three weeks to go. That seemed like a lifetime at the moment. I thought–Lord, we need a second wind.
Second wind is a persons ability to breathe freely during exercise after having been out of breath. In other words, it is something that we need to push on through after exertion. It has taken determination not to leave my home.
So how do we carry on, when we want to quit? How do we get our second wind?
1. Recognize you need it! Admit you maybe out of breath (life, joy, peace, grace etc.)
2. Talk to the Lord about it. ASK for His help. (Remember you have not because you ask not)
3. Take a deep breath–as much as you can! Do whatever you do to bring in His Presence–and take a deep breath of His love and Life. Read Psalm 47. It is full of different ways to worship the Lord. Clap, Shout, Sing, –try something new. When was the last time you clapped your hands when you were worshiping the Lord by yourself? Haven’t tried a shout recently or ever??? Try it! It will begin to break the old and help you enter into the new. If you just listen to worship music and “worship Him in your hearts”–try to sing aloud! Dance is not included in this chapter–but it shakes off the old stuff and helps us enter into the new. Get your body moving!
4. Phone a friend. May be an old friend–or it may help you make a new one.
5. Try something new! Try dinner for breakfast–or breakfast for dinner. Eat dessert first. I started doing video chat (see #4). I’ve learned how to host a Zoom meeting. Invite a friend through technology!
6. Clean out your closet. Cleaning one area helps you begin to straighten out your mind!
7. Remind yourself there will be an end to this, remind yourself what is good about this season.
8. Keep a journal or diary of the good things you see God doing during this time!9. Remember what God has done. Build a memorial for His glory.
10. Choose not to grow weary in well doing. Keep your mind on the prize of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When I was in the middle of my care-giving experience I kept thinking, this too shall pass one way or another. After two and half years he joined Jesus, and my job was suddenly over. It seemed strange. I had to find a new identity, figure out a new life. God helped me. Others helped me. He will help us get through this season.
For those of you with children–take a deep breath. Let the little things go that won’t matter this time next year. Take time to read, play and pray with your children. Learn a new game together. Play a modern version on “hide the thimble”–hide something at night or after nap time. Maybe a treat, or a special game piece you enjoy together. Enjoy the treat or play the game after it is found! Simple ideas that can make you laugh. Ask your children to draw a picture of their favorite memory and really listen to their explanations. Fun things that will add joy and laughter to your day. Ask Alexa or Ok Google everyday for a joke. Make it a family time.
It is my prayer that we all receive God’s new strength and energy to continue running this race–no matter how long it takes. It will be worth it.
Jesus said “this too, shall pass”, so will Covid 19. We can do this.