When I was in college I would frequently call home and pour my heart out to my mom, sharing with her all that was happening in my life in that completely unfiltered way that you can talk with the person who potty trained you. These phone calls usually took place at night and my mom would patiently listen as I vented frustrations about professors, roommates, boyfriends and the food in the cafeteria. And, inevitably, they would end with my mom saying, “Everything seems worse when you’re tired. Try not to overthink things or make any major decisions tonight, especially when you are feeling emotional.” Sometimes I would roll my eyes at this, knowing that she couldn’t see me, but I still listened and took comfort in her advice.
Last week I found myself in quite a funk. Like most of the world, our lives have come to a screeching halt and we’re all just trying to do our best to figure out this new ‘normal’. And as one day rolled into the next and the next and the next, I realized that I was questioning and doubting and feeling frustrated about so many things in my life that were actually completely unrelated to the Corona-virus. Should I still try to write that book? What did that text from that person really mean? Is my family conspiring to drive me insane by using up every glass in the house all in one day? Should I start a new business?
As all of these thoughts competed for space in my mind and began to go into a downward spiral, I remembered the words of advice my mom would speak to me on those phone calls. Don’t over-think things right now.
Try not to make any major decisions when you’re feeling emotional.
Everything seems worse at night when you’re tired.
And suddenly it dawned on me that this season in our lives is kind of like one long nighttime. We’re weary and fearful and overwhelmed and facing so many unknowns and spending a LOT of time inside of our homes. For some, this means a lot of time alone. For others, it means more togetherness than you thought possible.
So, dear friends, may I pass along my mom’s advice to you?
If you don’t absolutely have to make a decision right now, I want to encourage you to wait until life gets back to normal. If you are finding yourself over-analyzing relationships and family dynamics, I want to encourage you to remember that everything seems more dramatic when looked at under a microscope. And, let’s face it, being homebound with our loved ones non-stop makes us all feel a bit like lab rats in an experiment.
If you are tempted to quit a job, start a business, start homeschooling permanently, stop homeschooling permanently, move to a new city, buy a farm, quit pursuing your dream, join a commune or make any other major life decision just…wait. Because, if it is in fact the right decision, it will be made even clearer once our lives return to their ‘regularly scheduled programming’.
Instead, in this strange ‘nighttime’ season, let’s all just take a deep, collective breath and let it out slowly, releasing the anxiety that threatens to overtake us. Let’s help each other maintain some perspective and not slip into a posture of over-thinking every little thing in our lives. Let’s remember that the enemy of our souls would love nothing more than to use this time when things feel dark to manipulate us into thinking that aspects of our lives are worse than they actually are.
And, when we find ourselves waking up to the dawn of life returning to normal, let’s remember how we felt in the weariness of night. Because it’s in the remembering that we will be able to see more clearly the difference between the night and the morning and make choices based on truth and not simply our feelings in the moment.
My prayer for you in these days is that you will have the clarity to know what is true and that you will be filled with peace even while we live in this season of so many unknowns.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3
Love to you all,
P.S. This is dedicated to my amazing mom! I still call her for advice and feel so grateful to be on the receiving end of her wisdom and love. She also reads and comments on every single thing I write. Love you Mom! xoxo