Looking for the silver lining…

Jenga. You know the game, a neatly structured tower, strong and secure. Then piece by piece it is weakened, wobbly, just waiting to come crashing down into a heap of a mess.

That is how my life feels right now, except this time it is not just me who is feeling this way. It is all around me. Everyone I talk to has concerns, financial, emotional, stressful and overbearing concerns. Our world is changing around us, we are no longer allowed to meet with friends, go to work, go on vacation or to events, go to church, send our kids to school, find supplies in stores, the list goes on. We don’t know how long this will go on, two weeks, two months? Longer? So how can anyone see any silver lining here? I urge you, take a closer look. Notice how people are encouraging one another, notice people finding creative ways to connect through the online world, notice kids and parents having time freedom to spend as a family, notice the great outdoors that is not as of yet “canceled”. Notice people taking care of our elderly, notice everyone working together for the good of the masses.

If my life were a jenga tower right now it would have more holes than solid walls. It would look as if the whole thing could come tumbling down at any moment. But it isn’t. Because my life is not in my hands, or the hands of this government or this country or even this world. My life is in God’s hands and He is navigating this storm. He is letting things fall in and out of place. He is faithful to his children.

Due to this pandemic, I am forced to stay home in isolation (we have minor cold symptoms and have therefor been self quarantining for 6 days). This has let me catch my breath and get some things done around the house that needed to get done. My kids and I have spent hours bonding, going for walks, baking, cleaning and watching movies together. Time that would have been spent running around from one activity to another is now free. Watching the boys play outside, make drawings, play with their legos has been a silver lining. “slumber party in the living room” is now my 9 year old’s favorite thing.

I have also been forced to miss work. I am a single mother of 2, I need to work. For the last few months I have been trying to figure out how I could work from home so that I can be available to the boys more and have flexibility in my schedule. My boss is a very understanding person and had said he would look into a way but had not done so yet. Now he was forced to figure out a way! Today was the first day I was able to work from home. Granted I only got 2 hours in due to homeschooling demands, and internet issues, but still that is two hours of paid work that I didn’t have last week! Silver lining. And how great is God that he gave me a job that even offers that kind of possibility? Bookkeeping, who knew it would be such a blessing in my life.

The house. It was put on the market the last weekend in February. Trying to keep a house ready for showings with two kids at home is a challenge. Not going to lie, it’s been stressful. But there is interest in the house and the market is good due to low interest rates. Silver lining, I am sure it will sell pretty quickly.

The next house. My parents found a house to buy that is just 4-5 min. from my brothers house. It is perfect for my boys and I when we move, complete with a big back yard and newly remodeled kitchen! Silver lining, knowing the next step.

Loneliness. Oh man, this is a hard one. I have often had struggles with loneliness over the last 18 months, but all of that seems mild compared to what I feel now. I love people, I need people. I need hugs and shared laughter and company on walks. Day 6 of being alone with my kids has been hard. I cry myself to sleep, hating this weakness in me. I get jealous of my friends who, yes are also self quarantining, but at least they have a partner in this chaos. Someone to share the load, to help ease fears and take care of the kids so you can take a breather. Someone to wrap their arms around and let them cry on their shoulder. So where is the silver lining in this? I am not quarantined in a house with an alcoholic abuser. Silver lining. My life right now would be filled with so much tension, anxiety and fear, if I was still in my prison guards grip. My heart breaks for those I know who are facing this pandemic while also facing the pandemic of evil in their home. And I know that I can get through this. That is one benefit of being a trauma survivor, we are well versed in survival mode.

My Ex. After two months of back and forth I finally have a signature agreeing to a new parenting plan and the go ahead to relocate! This is bigger than all the other things. I won’t go into detail the amount of navigating, tension, anxiety that went into this process. I am now free to submit this relocation to the court and can be on my way (barring any complications of course). The timing of things getting serious with his girlfriend has been a silver lining. He has someone else to feed his narcissist hunger, he is letting me go. At least for now.

So yes, I have my moments of tears and frustration but I also am deeply grateful for the ways that God is at work. And it’s not just in my life. I bet he’s at work in your life as well.

There is a huge learning curve for this homeschooling/work from home thing. A balance that I have not found yet. But I will. There is stress with trying to move, not sure of when that can or should happen, dealing with the courts, loosing income and trying to stay healthy, but we will overcome this as well. Because these boys of mine and I, we are strong. We are filled with faith. We are listening to God’s voice and His calling. Silver lining.