Quarantine Diary: Courage

I told a friend last night that it is annoying how this moment can yield two different experiences.

For my kids, this is the best time of their life. They get to be home, they get to be with their parents all day every day, and they don’t have to go to school (although, school has come to them via the Internet and their new teacher, me).

For me, I wrestle with fear, boredom, and overstimulation. Being with the same people all day every day makes me cranky and easily frustrated. The noise that comes with my kids overwhelms me easily, while sometimes it is easy to ignore. I’ve started watching neighbors walk by, trying to figure out who they are, what they do, and if they should befriend my husband because they have the same sense of style (what else is there to do besides play friend matchmaker?). The reality of sickness scares the hell out of me, and when I started sneezing a few days ago, my gut prompted me to panic. Turns out I was just sneezing.

Deep breaths.

On Saturday, I spent half of the day outside timing my boys as they did sprints for nearly an hour. We threw a football back and forth, and I taught them how to hold it right so it would spin on every throw (special thanks to my brother for the technique). We laughed together about how funny it looks when someone trips and falls, and we snuggled in exhaustion after a long day in the sun. We celebrated Finn’s birthday with a birthday parade the day prior, and we ate two helpings of cake because quarantine means indulging a bit more than normal. We enjoyed the noise, the together-ness, the love. Some days are hard, others are not.

While these days are long and arduous, I am not here to write to give everyone a piece of encouragement. I just can’t muster it most of the time. I drag myself to my Bible to just keep reading. Do you ever do that? Opening the page feels like lifting a weight: heavy and complicated, even though all you want to do is just read. I’m praying before I sleep so I can sleep. I’m praying when I’m reading the numbers because there isn’t anything else to do. My only encouragement in this is that Jesus is my Jesus, and I have Him. He is consistent. He is faithful. And if I sneeze tomorrow and fall into a virus slump, I will have Him. I keep reading the Bible because I love Him too much to quit. I just read with no agenda, not even a pen in hand. Like a still lake, I float in the words and let them sink into my skin. I don’t have it in me to thoughtfully analyze every bit of Scripture because it isn’t the comprehension I crave. It’s Him. Nothing else makes sense but His persistent love.

Deep breath.

For the time being, I’ll keep writing and wringing my hands. I’ll float in the Scripture waters and let them keep me afloat. I’ll pray, and then I’ll call the people I love. I’ll stare out the windows at my neighbors as they walk by. I’ll stay home. I’ll find a peace that one day this diary will close, and I won’t have to write about it anymore.

Published by Janelle Delagrange

Wife to a graphic designer, mom to three young boys, and writer of the soul.

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