Written by Laura Frances
My kids are homeschooled, and I often feel this disqualifies me from complaining about the upheaval of the current pandemic.
We were already homebodies, already used to doing work from the kitchen table. Our daily schedule really hasn't altered much at all.
But still, my work as a writer is suffering.
I'm finding the reason is this: my mind is too full. How can I create when my thoughts are crammed with what if and when will it end and how can we know what to believe? How can we focus with so much buzzing around in our brains? Even in idle moments, when I'm crocheting in front of Masterpiece theatre, the questions are still whispering.
And perhaps, I'm mourning a little.
Our family moved back from Japan in early March. We'd been anticipating the move for over a year. Imagining what the welcome back would be like. Envisioning our new home and daydreaming about family grocery trips to our favorite stores. (Hello, Aldi. We missed you.) About yard sale shopping for furniture and decor and browsing antique shops for resale items ( << something we loved to do before!)
None of those have yet come to pass. We're in limbo.
Because of all this, I'm finding it difficult to get absorbed in the story I'm writing. And perhaps there's a bit of self-imposed pressure too.
Build up your online income incase jobs are impossible to find.
Get the book done as soon as possible to help your family.
Friends, we can't live like this.
And I'm not referring to the pandemic. We can weather any storm with Christ at the helm. We may do it on our knees, weak and tear-stained, but we shouldn't be afraid of that. That's the place where faith grows.
But it was Christ himself who instructed us not to worry. (Matthew 6:25-34) I know, easier said than done.
I was talking with my kids the other day about prayer. What is it we're after when we pray? What is the real purpose in presenting our requests? Certainly He knows all our needs and anxieties in advance. He sees the entirely of the current situation from beginning to end, and not just in terms of the world or the US, but individually. Each person. Our intimate fears and concerns.
So we aren't going to Him to inform our Creator of something he doesn't yet know. And we teach our children that prayer isn't a formula for getting what we want. They aren't magic words spoken to a genie.
What is it then?
In a word: PEACE.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
It's his peace we're after. Peace that guards against doubt and fear. Against worry and panic and the whispered lies of the enemy. His peace steadies us when the world around begins to crumble. It's a reminder of our hope, of the glory of eternity that waits after these troubled days are done. And it helps us wait patiently for God's answers.
This is where I'm heading, and I would encourage you in the same direction: Pray continually. Keep an open narrative going throughout your day. Sprinkle gratitude into every aspect of your wild schedule.
Thank Him for food and shelter and health. Thank Him for health care workers and scientists and leaders.
Thank Him for bird song and gardening and the beauty of spring flowers. For electricity and provision and coming rain.
For the patter of your children's feet and their innocent giggles. For the chaos of family and long talks at night.
We could go on, if we try, thinking on things to be grateful for. And this is where my mind is now, searching out the good despite the shadow of uncertainly. Clinging to peace so I can be a light in dark places.
Praise is a powerful weapon. Wield it well.
Maybe then the words will flow more freely. When we've readjusted our focus on the Source of all things, creativity can then be unleashed unimpeded. Or maybe some of us aren't meant to write in this moment. It's okay if you need to pull back and rest.
I know it's crazy right now. I know for so many of you, your life is turned upside down and your patience is wearing thin. I know you weren't prepared for this, and for some of you, the virus has struck home.
I'm praying for you.
Will you pray for me?
Laura Frances grew up a shy thing, always daydreaming. She is now the author of the Slave series, a clean, dystopian story. Residing in midwest America as a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, and writer, Frances strives to convince others through the art of storytelling that they can do the things they think they can't.
You can follow her at www.laurafranceswriter.com