Written by Cherie Olivier on August 3, 2020
Even though I don’t have school-aged kids, as an adult I still have always looked at the end of summer and start of fall as an opportunity to reset, course correct on my goals, and finish the year strong. This year, however, everything just feels weird.
We are supposed to be buying notebooks and backpacks and new shoes and shiny pens and bright colored markers and labeling all the things.
We are supposed to be getting those last-minute physicals for school sports, dentist appointments, hair cuts, and eye exams taken care of.
We are supposed to be, maybe, going on one last family trip somewhere before summer ends.
But a lot of us are not doing what we are “supposed to be doing,” because 2020 hasn’t been anything it’s supposed to be.
Remember in January’s blog post when I wrote about Menuha? And how my prayer was that we would all find joy in something this year? Man, who knew at the time how much we would need to be praying for help finding something to delight in?!
It can be so easy to compare this start of the school season with years past. Let me give you some advice: don’t do it!
Whether you are sending kids to school, homeschooling them, trying to figure out how to take care of them and supervise their distance learning while working from home (or out of the home, and that means also trying to figure out childcare), don’t compare this year to what you might think of as happier years gone by!
Comparison is the thief of joy. We hear this said mostly when we talk about comparing ourselves to others, when we look at picture-perfect social media feeds of influencers and friends and compare their highlight reels to our behind the scenes hot messes. But this saying also applies when we compare difficult and confusing seasons of our lives to happier, simpler times. Don’t be so focused on thinking about how things were better last year that you miss out on what is GOOD this year.
There is joy to be found in this season, but we won’t see it if we are too busy mourning what we think our lives should look like.
I’m NOT saying don’t be sad. I’m NOT trying to trivialize very real hurts that have happened to so many people as a result of COVID-19. I AM saying don’t fall into a comparison trap that will keep you in that pit of despair.
We all need a little help finding perspective these days. When you feel the temptation to compare what life looks like right now to what you think should be normal, ask God to show you what is GOOD in your life right now. The Lord wants to grow you, heal you, and help you. He wants to be the source of your joy, if you’ll let Him.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.