When Loss is Gain by Yelena Ross
I am a Stay At Home Mum or a SAHM as we are apparently known as! With two little ones as my companions, conversations never really get beyond the world of a toddler. As much as I enjoy the playful chat, by the end of the afternoon I am just about hanging on, overcome with exhaustion and desperate for Daddy to come home.
Being a SAHM mum can be lonely, isolating and overwhelming at the best of times. To counter the loneliness I used to fill every day of my week with activities, playdates and mummy meets, all carefully planned around nap schedules and feeding times. I was in a good rhythm. I felt supported and encouraged by other mums. My little girl was happy, also very much enjoying the routine and structure to her day. Happy kid, happy mum! Then, just as I was emerging from the fog of having a new-born baby, Covid 19 hit. The joyful anticipation of sharing him with everyone I knew, and anyone who would show a glimmer of interest, were never realised. Routines and activities, playdates and mummy meets all stopped. Loneliness and isolation set in. These feelings only intensified when my husband returned to work.
Covid-19 has robbed me of so much earthly joy: Sharing and introducing my new-born (now 9 months old!); Spending time with family and close friends; Watching my little girl play with her cousins and friends; Letting my grandparents hug and enjoy their great-grandchildren. It’s hard. It’s frustrating.
Yet through all the disappointments and heartache there is God. The Sovereign; Reigning; Ruling and Gracious God. Through this pandemic I have gained a new and greater joy: In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.” Ecclesiastes 7:14
God is the one who has given me all the things that bring me joy. Recognising that God is the giver of all gifts leads me to thank him for his gifts. I have begun to appreciate all the small things that I didn’t even notice before Coronavirus:
The smiles from strangers in shops; The feel of a handshake or warm hug; The gift of hospitality; The freedom to travel or to buy whatever you want whenever you want; Sitting in a café or restaurant or going to church. The seemingly “small” blessings are not that small after all. They are gifts to us. Gifts that give us opportunities to glorify God.
Covid-19 has reminded me to thank God for the small forgotten things - The gift of friendship I have with my husband. The birds in my garden and the sound of their song. The texts of encouragement. Good home coffee and the rhythm of music. All these ordinary but extraordinary gifts - My locality, technology, chats with strangers in shops, the amazing relationship I have with my family and the gift of their closeness, involvement, and support in my life.
Do I still find it hard? Yes! I still experience loneliness, isolation and being overwhelmed. Yes, I still struggle to understand why Covid-19 had to come at all. But I am not alone. As I read God's word the bible - He speaks to me. As I listen to songs about God's greatness - He comforts me. When I hear the sermons at my online church - God strengthens me. In my isolation I am not alone, God is with me. He has provided me with a church family and friends and He has blessed me beyond measure. I have plenty to be joyful about while I eagerly wait for “normality” again.
It's hard to find the time to read my bible when I am overwhelmed with isolation and loneliness - Having two kiddos takes care of that! They don't understand my needs or comprehend my struggle, the demands just keep coming.
During these times I have found music and song to be a great way to minister to my troubled heart while I try to keep going with the needs around me. When I start to feel paralysed by all that's going on, I listen to songs that help steady my heart and focus my gaze on Christ.
It has also been really important for me to hear God's word, the bible, preached on a Sunday every week. They point me back to God who gives me perspective and comfort in the midst of this pandemic. I am so thankful that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.
God has given me many joys but he is my greater joy!
The songs and sermons that have both supported and encouraged me can be fond on the links below. The songs are from 'Cityalight' and the sermons are from my local church in Carrigaline. I hope they bless you as much as they have and continue to, bless me.
I Will Trust My Saviour Jesus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB9eXtwfAAg
God is For Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPZnFLhltzQ
Living Life in a Fallen World https://www.carrigalinebaptist.ie/sermons