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A Step Back

A Step Back

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been at a loss for words. I was told 30 minutes before my shift ended that we were shutting down the childcare I work at. That all childcare centres would likely be closing. In that moment I felt so many different emotions. Confusion, disbelief, some excitement, and a huge sadness washed over me. The main thing I felt was shock. I wasn’t sure how to process the information. I started thinking about what this meant for me, for the children, for the parents, and for our community. The excitement I felt came from the realization that I would have three or more weeks to do whatever I wanted (to an extent).

To be whoever I wanted.

My mind started racing thinking about all the things I could accomplish during this time. One of the first things that came to mind was, “I will have more time to write!” I felt that this time off work would motivate me to sit down at the desk and write every day. Writing, a passion I’ve held since I was a child. My outlet. My escape. This was my fantasy, but something completely different happened. I woke up on my first day “off” and found myself feeling lost. Feeling sad. Feeling empty. All the work, all the passion I have for my job, and all the love I feel for these children was put on hold. Without warning. Without a choice, I was told to stop. To stay home, and to wait it out.

I knew I needed to get these feelings out, but I was afraid of how much pain would follow. I turned on my worship music and decided to give it all to God. Standing in my living room, eyes closed, my arms high in the air I worshipped. When I didn’t know what to do, I chose to praise God.

When I opened my eyes, I found myself on my knees, overwhelmed with emotion, tears streaming down my face. I asked God to carry the weight. I felt a sense of brokenness, a sense of helplessness, that I hadn’t felt in a while. But I didn’t want to carry it. I knew I wouldn’t make it through these weeks if I tried to do it on my own.

Now I’m left wondering how many of you feel like you’re doing this all alone.

How many of you are carrying this weight?

I can imagine that many of you have felt similar things as me over the past few weeks. You feel like your life has been put on hold. Maybe you had to quit your job. Maybe you were told to work from home while also taking care of your three children. Or maybe a career dream has been ripped from your hands due to the current circumstances. Regardless of your reality, that sense of helplessness has probably surrounded you as well.

No one wants to feel helpless.

No one wants to feel alone.

For lack of a better word, feeling helpless sucks.

So what do you do?

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? When there’s nothing to do?

Do you turn to God?

Over these past two weeks I took a step back from writing. I realized that I needed to focus on my relationship with God, with myself, with my new reality. I could have treated this like a set back, but instead I decided to just take a step back. I took a step back because I needed to regroup. I needed to breath. I needed to adjust to my new normal without any extra pressure. I needed a new perspective. But what I needed more than anything was God’s presence.

I don’t know how long this will last, or what life will look like once this is over, but what I do know is that no matter what happens God will be there. He was there before this started, He is at work throughout this season, and He will remain after it ends.

Right now, life may appear out of our control. But life was never meant to be in our control, was it?

Over the past two weeks I took a step back, and it’s brought me closer to God than ever before.

When everything is closed, when work shuts down, when friends are at a distance, what remains?

What never changes?

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Set back or step back?

Kerstan Cooper