Adjusting to the Overwhelm

We can all agree this last year has been a complete doozy. But a different doozy then we have experienced before.

When I think about where I was at a year ago, it almost seems surreal. It was a new type of fear to live in. Adjusting to the unknown, trying to hold hope, but to also be realistic. The loneliness was hard to grapple with. The transition into motherhood was dark and isolated. It was hard to relate in a real way to people about things I couldn’t even understand. The tension of the world and the tension within me made me cynical and sad.

When I look back at my life before the pandemic, I am just in awe of the breakneck speed I was living at. I was busy all day, almost every evening and each weekend was usually booked. After living a year of things moving in slow motion, I can’t imagine going back to that. Especially now with a very active baby.

Now we are in this new phase of COVID world, where there’s a lot of hope juxtaposed by the hopelessness of the heartbreak in our country. We are all still very much in a grieving season. Grieving for lives, for connection, for peace. But in this season, we can still see the horizon. The illusive “normal”.

The Usual Overwhelm

Before COVID and since COVID, overwhelm has been a theme for my life. Even though there has been moments of thriving in the midst of it, I have been just moving from one overwhelming day to another for years now. As we move away from this craziness, I am learning we are moving to a new, different type of overwhelm.

I have often wondered what a “normal” transition into motherhood would’ve looked like for me. I have also wondered what this year would’ve looked like without pregnancy and being a new parent. I truly can’t imagine what those paths would have looked like, but I am thankful for the path God set me on.

Don’t Look to Far Ahead

As things slowly move back to a world without COVID, I am trying to adapt to the overwhelm that is coming again. I don’t know exactly what it will look like. I don’t know what I’ll be doing or what I will be overwhelmed with, but I know it’s coming.

I have taken comfort in Jesus’ words this past year to help get through the lonely, the hard, the good, the overwhelming days.

 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Matthew 6:33-34

My task is to just worry about today. Tomorrow’s overwhelm is it’s own problem.

Good Friday in 2020

This year Good Friday feels especially heavy.

I am a huge advocate for a good cry; for letting myself feel as fully as I can. I think emotion gives the world color and makes lightness lighter and darkness darker. Good Friday usually get lumped into the named-but-uncelebrated days of Holy Week. I don’t have any upbringing in the traditions of Holy Week and all of the events that churches take part in for this time of year. Even though I’m pretty much a novice in the practices that go with each day, I still have always found that letting myself free in how I feel makes Easter more meaningful.

The first time I watched the Passion of the Christ I was in high school. It was still a pretty new movie at that point, so it was a bit taboo for me to be watching. I was randomly with a friend this year instead of my family as usual. We were at a cabin in the mountains. Despite being in a different context then what was usually normal for me, I knew that I wanted to feel the depth of what the crucifixion was. Growing up in Sunday School, we were handed really cutesy watered down ways to explain what Jesus dying on the cross was like. Easter didn’t have much weight because of that.

I had heard my whole life that “Jesus died for my sins,” but I wanted to feel what that actually meant. I watched the movie, letting myself get attached to the people on the screen. I watched and let the gory scenes get to me. I watched and I let myself weep.

It is so good to weep. I’m not one of the people who feels so much better after they cry. I usually am stuffed up, have a headache, face is puffy beyond belief. I become a hot mess. But weeping brings us into such a thin place and that is such a great place to meet with God.

I haven’t watched the Passion since that year, but I intend to today as I feel like there is much to weep about in this world. With the global pandemic we are living through, there is so much that we can come to Jesus with and to weep with him in.

We have a God who weeps with us and meets us in the depth and height of our emotions. Good Friday can be a beautiful day to lay our sorrows and our fears and our sins at the cross and to feel the death of all of them with the death of our Savior.

Mourning the death of our Savior on this Good Friday adds to the meaning of what Easter means. I hope that the church can do that this year.