Hello. How’s it going?

What I’m about to tell you is going to sound kind of crazy. And even after I finish saying it, I’m not really sure you will believe me. If you do believe me, I’m not sure you will fully be able to grasp all that I’m saying.

Later today, while you’re at work, you’re going to discover the virus you have heard so much about over the past few months is now in your county. Yes, you knew new cases were popping up around the country. Yes, you assumed this would happen, but today – it will happen.

When you hear about it, you will feel nervous and unsettled, kind of like you’re in a strange dream, but you will keep teaching your preschoolers art and whispering to the teachers things like, Did you hear? School is called off for two days. They’re going to deep clean. I wonder if anyone else has it? What do you think?

You will wonder what this means for you, and on your way home from work, will decide to make a quick detour to Dollar General to stock up on some more items. You will grab a couple jars of Prego, some Knorr noodles, spaghetti, and a few other things you think you may need – in case you are in the house for a week, or something like that. The shelves are fully stocked, as they always have been. You pass shelves filled with toilet paper, Lysol and Clorox wipes and think nothing of it. Why should you?

The kids will come home from school excited. They will run through the front door and their bags will be thrown off their shoulders in anticipation of a long weekend. Did you hear? School is out for two days. It’s like Thanksgiving break. And somewhere deep down, you will feel a little excited, too.

What you don’t realize, is this is the first day of your new normal.

On Tuesday, school will be called off again. And on Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. Each day school is called off you will all feel a little excitement for the unexpected days of rest, but in your pit – you will also recognize the reason and feel an anxiety beginning to fester.

That weekend, life will carry on like normal. There are slumber parties, Birthday parties, and even an overnight planned for the kids with the grandparents so that you can have a special date night with your husband, and the house to yourselves – what a rare treat.

But your anxiety will continue to rise. You will start to question these activities that you’ve never second-guessed before. Things like, is it okay for our daughter to go to the movie theater? And should we go out to dinner? Thoughts of can the kids still go to their sleepovers? And what about the Birthday party? will begin to flood your mind.

You will fight these thoughts tooth and nail. You will remind yourself you can’t live out of fear and that life must go on as usual.

But that is where you are wrong. Life must not go on as usual. You will cancel your trip to Indiana, and sadly – you and your sisters will decide to cancel your sister’s baby shower as well. This year, you will not be going to Florida for spring break.

Life as you know it must take a pause. It’s time to come indoors, with your family, and take a break from your usual activities. You can still go outside, but it’s important not to be close to other people. Not only for your safety, but for their safety, too. It’s important to think of what’s best for everyone right now, not just what’s best for yourself.

Will it be hard? Sometimes.

Are you going to miss things? Yes.

Will the kids be going back to school? Probably not.

Will you see the preschoolers again this year? I don’t think so.

Will your husband and kids be home with you? Every day.

Are you going to miss the quiet? Sometimes.

Will you long for the hugs of your parents? And to see the faces of your friends in person? So much.

Will you discover virtual hangouts are more fun than you ever imagined? Surprisingly, yes.

Will you feel sad sometimes? Anxious? A little stir-crazy? And sometimes will you break down and cry? Yes. To all of it.

Are you going to wipe the calendar clean and begin to see beauty in the white space? Will you rest? Finally? Yes.

Will you see inspiring acts of kindness rising up all around you? In your community? Your city? The nation? The world? So many.

Will you see heroes where you once saw ordinary people? Everywhere.

Will your relationships with your spouse, and children be strengthened? Will you see their relationships being strengthened as well? Thankfully, yes.

What about your relationship with God? Will that grow? Will you seek Him in your days? When everything else has been stripped away, will you find the time to meet with Him? To sit with Him? To talk to Him? I believe so. Yes.

When everything is stripped away, will you return to the things that matter? Will you see the good that is mingled with the pain? I hope so.

If I would have told you five weeks ago, on that day when you walked out of preschool and stopped at Dollar General, that your world was about to drastically change – I’m not sure you would have believed me. And even if you did, you wouldn’t have fully comprehended what that meant.

Five weeks ago, my world drastically changed. Only I didn’t know it.

And even today, I still do not fully understand. I don’t know what the future holds, or when my children will return to school, or my husband to his office. I haven’t gone out in public, other than for a walk, in weeks. I am living day by day. As are you. We are all in the same boat. In the same place. Doing our best with what we have been given. Making the most of it. Some days are harder than others.

But it isn’t just me. It isn’t just you. It isn’t just my family. Or your family.

We are in this together.

It’s all of us.

We are in this together.

We are unified toward a common goal. We are making choices to benefit not just our loved ones, but everyone.

We are in this together.

This isn’t just your city, your state, your country. This is happening everywhere. This is the reality for the entire world.

We are in this together.

And together – we will come to the other side.

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I would love to here what you think. Please feel free to comment below.