For some, these days of social distancing mean complete isolation. They work from home, have virtual meetings with friends and co-workers, and stream online church services.
As a mom of five kids, this couldn’t be further from my current reality!
Over the past few weeks our reality has been shifting toward complete lockdown here in Poland, where we live and serve as missionaries. The Polish government acted very quickly: closing schools and launching me into the world of homeschooling three different grade levels in Polish (which is not my first language!).
Then the Polish government closed its borders. As foreigners, we are still awaiting our residency permits, which has forced us to trust the Lord even more during these times. We received word yesterday that the last flights to Canada and the United States would be departing this week. There is a weight to the reality of being physically unable to return to our homelands for a time, should anything happen to our parents.
An anniversary trip we had planned (including childcare for a week) was cancelled. We can now be issued a $10,000 fine for leaving our homes except for groceries, work, doctor visits, or essential COVID-19 relief.
Among these heavy realities, as a ‘missionary mom’ I have been struggling with not doing more to share Jesus with people during this time. While others engage in online Bible studies, church services, and relationships, providing for the eight people who currently live in our home has me at maximum capacity. It has forced me to re-examine the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
Am I loving the Lord my God with all of my heart?
It is so important during these times that we stay connected to our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. Spending time in His Word and praying daily gives me an eternal perspective on the current pandemic. He alone can speak Truth, life, and hope to my heart.
When I read the word ‘neighbor,’ I think of the people that live in the house next to us. The Lord is helping me to realize that this command is also to love my five children and my husband as I love myself. Living in close quarters with our families can be challenging. We need His grace just as much (or more) to love those in our own homes! 1 Timothy 5:8 reminds me that caring for my family is what God wants from me right now: “But if someone does not provide for his own, especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
The other day the kids and I drew pictures of rainbows and then we delivered them to our elderly neighbor who is a widow. She was so thankful she called to thank the boys and told me to give them a hug. We let her know that if she ever needed help, even groceries, to let us know.
Whether your battle during the pandemic is loneliness and isolation or crowdedness and weariness, God’s grace alone can sustain you!
So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9
Polish Language Branch Leader – Wroclaw, Poland