I’ve got three kids in their 20s, and they are anxious about this pandemic and its long-reaching effects.
I mean, who isn’t?
Is there a mom out there who isn’t struggling with the capital-T trust thing in general, while also combatting worry and anguish for her kids?
Between calming their fears, easing their disappointments, and managing concern for their health and well-being, we are running on superwoman fumes.
It’s a lot. It’s not easy. All we can do is search for where the hope is.
My oldest, who’s 26, had a mini-meltdown last week while he and his brother were home to celebrate Gramma’s 80th. He was frustrated and stressed out because he felt the rest of our family wasn’t taking the virus seriously enough. He admonished all of us in a heated confrontation.
In the moment, we were somewhat defensive—a reflection of our stress. We took offense to his finger-pointing, asking him to focus on uniting us instead of dividing us. As he stormed off, my husband followed him and spent an hour letting our son vent while he just listened compassionately. While that was going on, I spent the same hour consoling his fiancé, who was in tears over her stress of coping with our son’s heightened anxiety.
Our middle son, who’s 24 and the kid who deals with high anxiety in general, was fine until he saw his brother implode. Then, he saw a headline about how this pandemic could have fatalities in the range of WWII casualties, which led to anger over clickbait, panic-inducing media coverage. While talking him off that ledge, he got a text from his roommates saying every store in his community was out of toilet paper. They needed him to bring some when he returned home the next day. Trying to process how people are hoarding stuff and choosing “me” over “we” is a lot for all of us.
So, the next day my husband and I planned a day of pampering for everyone. Talking about the pandemic was off-limits, and we would only focus on being together, enjoying the sunshine, and appreciating what was in front of us. We went to our peaceful Amish community, the first stop being our favorite crystal shop (yes, we are a woo woo crew). Observing each big pick out crystals according to their emotional needs, knowing how much comfort they were already experiencing, was a balm for this weary momma.
These small moments of joy are where the hope is.
On Monday, I watched my daughter deal with terrible anxiety about her friends who are out of work, friends who are out of the country, and how in the world she could save the day and help them all. She struggled to take deep breaths as she attempted to work on her work projects; the look on her face proved it.
It’s a lot to take in as a mom. All my kids have a deep faith and believe God is in control. I mean, so do I. But it’s not a piece of cake for any of us to tip the scale in favor of faith over fear in these unprecedented times. We are nurturers by nature, and our hearts bleed over all the suffering. Although, we know capital-T trust is the only way through.
I told my kids we all have an opportunity to sign-up for the FREE global masterclass called, “How to stay present in the now.” We have ample opportunity to practice taking our anxious thoughts captive and surrendering them to God’s love and protection. If our minds insist on straying from what is right in front of us, a healthy way to spend our daydreaming is to look back for proof of all the ways God has already led us through trials and tribulations. It won’t take us long to find evidence of God’s steadfast love or to realize most of our worries never became a reality. This fruitful remembering is where the hope is.
It’s not easy being a mom of stressed-out bigs. It’s not easy being bigs ourselves.
Just think how many bigs and biggers are out there dealing with health crises, financial burdens of epic proportions, homeschooling challenges, and heart-wrenching disappointments among countless other difficult scenarios.
It’s not easy. We are all doing our best. And we will get through this TOGETHER. It takes the world village to care for the world village. That’s where the hope is.