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We Cannot Go Back

Returning to normal.  We hear these words as we listen to the nightly news.  We hear them in conversation as we run errands or talk with neighbors, co-workers, and friends.  I, myself, couldn't wait for our two week quarantine to be over last year.  Days turned to weeks and months without an end in sight, of course.  You were there, too.  Over and over those words tailspin in my mind without a place to land. What is normal?  Returning to normal assumes a hope and expectation for what was.  The word actually means standard, typical or expected.  I could fall on the floor in a fit of laughter right now because never in my life has anything ever been typical and expected.  Either my sense of humor is coming back or my trauma is showing!  Hear me out though.

Might we ponder for a moment that we are not returning to normal but beginning again?

We cannot go back and I don't think I want to anymore.

I looked at the clothes in my closet that I hadn't worn in a year because of working from home.  I don't remember the girl that wore them.  She's changed...Me.  I've changed (also did your pants get smaller, too??)  I can't be mad at it anymore.  I was but I don't want to be stuck there.  I don't want to miss what God is calling me in and through.  There are some questions I think are important to ask ourselves as we do move forward to begin again:

What do we need to grieve?  
Is it people we lost, places we miss, or is it a major life change we didn't anticipate?  

What can we honor or celebrate?  
Did you learn to bake bread while sheltering at home or create silly Tik-Tok videos with your kids?  Did you connect with family in a way you hadn't before? Did you plant a garden?  Gratitude grows the best garden.

Another really important thing is prayer.  Acknowledge to God that you know he is working things out that you cannot see and ask him to help you hear his leading.  Even if you don't fully believe it yet, say it out loud.  We won't have all the answers and, rest assured, we don't have to!  He can handle your bad days and all your frustrations and everything in between.  Aren't you glad?!  Invite others into this space to speak life and hope into those tender spots.  You and I weren't meant to shoulder things alone.

Be reminded of God's promises.  When I read God's word, I pray it back to him.  If I'm not reading his word my heart becomes full of untruth.  When I fix my eyes back on Jesus, my longings and expectations (those ones that keep me looking behind me) are drawn back into being filled with His truth that always satisfies and never runs dry.

Here's some truth that I'm holding tightly to as we move forward into a new beginning, eyes forward, feet firmly planted but still a little shaky, nervous but doing it anyway.

See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

My prayer for us:
Heavenly Father, I want to acknowledge your goodness and your mercy.  Thank you for holding me together when I fall apart.  Thank you for celebrating when I celebrate and grieving with me as I grieve.  There are so many things I still don't understand but I know that you are with me, that you are for me.  God, you ARE doing a new thing!!  You ARE making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  I want to perceive your plans and your purpose for me as I slowly move forward into your light.  Let it spring up anew, even in the desert.  Overflow it with your goodness like I know you will because you love me so.  I trust you.  In Jesus name, Amen.

1 Comment

Robin Baker - June 14th, 2021 at 9:05pm

Elena Thankyou for this . We are all different coming out of this pandemic. I’m seeing some things in me better and stronger but also areas of complete set backs and regret . I lost my job and my dog and my cat and most importantly I lost my Mom . So I am emerging from this feeling very lost and alone . Thankfully I know my Heavenly Father will help me sort all this out . Until then I’m in a state of limbo waiting on His direction . Thankyou again sweet beautiful Elena for your honesty and openness to what God is going to do in all our lives .



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