The last few weeks have been nothing short of confusing; Nothing lesser then antagonizing to my once, calm spirit.  I hear the radio. I see the press conferences. I soak in the conversations that my family and friends, who, from across distant phone lines send text messages and flood social media inboxes expressing with wonder and concern the gauge at which to measure our seemingly endless surplus of worry. 

I venture out into the world now so infrequently it feels as though I’m but a stranger behind the wheel of my very own car. I shared a few smiles with strangers in the grocery aisles today before  I realized that my smile was hidden beneath a surgical, paper mask. Could they tell? Did they see the light in my eyes expressing the relief I felt to be in the presence of humanity ( if only for long enough to catch my fate of disease or death)? Such a strange paradox of emotion. Hope in one hand, death in the other.

So much has changed. For so many of us. Our children have become our full-time students. Our careers  are now within our kitchen walls or have simply evaporated. Our church services echo through our tv screens with worship that feels lonely -albeit necessary. Our neighbors wave from across the way and through windows but our calendars feel vacant from warm hugs and coffee dates. Our very need for physical interaction has been stripped from our freedoms. 

In the middle of every fear, every outburst of emotional angst or frustration filled with tears… there is a still, small voice that whispers to my cynical side…”but what if…”

But what if this is my chance to send a few messages. To reach out to people I never would have given a second thought to before? What if that mom over there could use a pick-me up text? What if I went out of my comfort zone to reach out to her?

What if my inability to be out in public calms my impossibility to “be still.” What if I really don’t need to wander the aisles at Target this weekend and feel inferior to my inability to keep up with the latest Magnolia styles. What if all this is teaching me that I really don’t have to keep up with the Jones’? What if stuff, really is just…stuff. It doesn’t give me peace. It doesn’t satisfy my soul. What if I just learned to be content with my home, my place, my solace. 

What if this time with my children inside the walls of our home teaches me to know them more? To learn the hearts of these little humans who are gone for so many hours every week. Whom at one time would never have left my bedside. What if they’re feeling such stress from all of this that they just need to sit next to their mother at our little kitchen table while I drink my morning coffee and chat with me about barbies? Maybe they just need to feel love…safe? What if that is why they’re here? 

What if my church has been mobilized to my home not to constrain my faith but to expand my belief? Perhaps the church isn’t the four walls of a building but the people who make up the hands and feet of Jesus in every corner of the world. Am I practicing Salt and Light in the community closest to me? Or am I hiding my light under my very own pity party of a bushel.

One thing is for sure, I may not see the end. I may feel every emotion just as much as the next woman, but I can’t help but wonder…If at the end of all of this, this virus, this pandemic, this emotional, frustrating, confusing, stressful season…will I be proud of the way I handled what was gifted to me? Did my words, my writing, my attitude reflect the character of the person within? Did I allow refining of the rarest kind? 

What about you? What if all of this was just a glimpse at the person you are to become? What if at the end of all this, you wake up stronger, smarter and more confident in your purpose and place in this world. What if you are the light in someone else’s darkness? Together we are bound by this very strange season.  United in hope is where we stand; Dare I ask you on the other side of this page…What will you gain from this moment in time? How will you impact the world, your neighborhood, your home? What if?

Are you in need of resources for your young family? Here at the Pregnancy Help Center,although we are currently closed for walk-in appointments, our baby boutique resources are still available to you during the Covid crisis. We are conveniently located close to St. Elizabeth’s Mercy Health hospital and Akron Children’s hospitals in Boardman, Ohio, and only a short distance from St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Youngstown, Ohio. Contact us through our website to let us know how we can help. No child should be without necessities. We are here for you. Contact us here now!