“God, my God! Why would you abandon me now? Why do you remain distant, refusing to answer my tearful cries in the day and my desperate cries for your help in the night? I can’t stop sobbing. Where are you, my God?”
I don’t know about you, but my whole world changed 6 weeks ago. For me, coronavirus hitting its peak, lockdown and iso all coincided with one of the biggest changes I’ll have in my life… getting married. One day I was living with my mum, planning my wedding, and then the next, I was cancelling that wedding, replanning a new one, moving in with my husband and not being able to leave the house. A few weeks later I went back to work… in my home… which had only just become my home. That’s a lot of change, all at once for one person to deal with!
While there have been plenty of things amongst this that I’m so grateful for, it’s also sometimes felt like a whirlwind of things out of my control.
Maybe you’ve felt like that the last few months too. And maybe it’s hard to find God in amongst that.
Maybe you had plans that fell apart when coronavirus hit. Maybe your final year of school now isn’t how you imagined it. Maybe you really struggled being on your own for the school holidays. Maybe you feel like you can’t possibly handle one more day of online school. Maybe your siblings or parents are driving you up the walls. Maybe you’ve had a family member get sick and you can’t see them.
Maybe you feel like your whole world has become a whirlwind of things you can’t control and you’re wondering where God is, why has he abandoned you?
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
Constant change is exhausting and if you’re anything like me, you like to control things a little too much. Sometimes I struggle to hand things over to God and I hold onto them a little too tight. But if there’s anything I’ve learnt from this time, it’s that I can’t control everything!
I couldn’t control our wedding and honeymoon being replanned, I couldn’t control having to be inside all the time, I couldn’t control not being able to see my friends.
So I tried to learn the unforced rhythms of grace…
If I can’t control all these things, then what can I control? I can control how much I let God be in control.
When there are things happening in our lives which are out of our control, the best thing to do is to hand those things over to God, and focus on the small things that we can control.
And so, here are some daily habits I put in place while I was at home all day, everyday. And even though the world is slowly going back to normal, I would encourage you to think about what daily habits you can put into your life when you feel like the world around you is chaos to focus your attention back on God.
· Wake up at a consistent time each day
· Shower and get ready for the day. If you’re doing school from home, don’t stay in your pyjamas or trackies. Try and put on clothes you at least would wear on a mufti day.
· Make your bed!! I used to think making my bed was the most pointless thing and that my mum was crazy when she said ‘clear room, clear mind’. But honestly, she was right!
· Stretch. This might sound like a weird one, but hear me out. Each morning I’ve been finding a quiet place to stretch my body out, it feels so good for my body, but this is also the time that I chat to God. I put on some worship music and I pray. I thank God for at least one thing, even if it’s as simple as the sun shining. I then ask God for something (or sometimes more) that I need that day, sometimes it’s patience, peace, more energy, forgiveness… it can be anything.
Some of these things might sound really trivial, but what I’ve found is that when I have a clear space and a clear mind, I’ve been able to focus my attention on God.
And by focusing my attention on God, the chaos, the whirlwind, everything out of my control starts to feel a little less scary as I give it all over to Him.