These days of COVID-19 isolation have been long for parents. Especially for parents trying to work from home. Especially for parents with teens desperate to be with friends. Especially for parents with children who have special needs. Especially for single parents wearing all the hats and married parents who already felt their marriage was strained.
It can feel lonely and hard. It is disruptive in every sense of the word.
It can be hard to remember that you are not alone.
It can be difficult to know you are not forgotten.
In the midst of your long days, you may even struggle with who you are in the midst of this. You probably do not feel like the parent you were in February. But that doesn’t mean that who you are has changed.
I recently heard songwriter Ellie Holcomb on the “That Sounds Like Fun” podcast talking about this concept. She recounted the scripture from Matthew 4 where Jesus is tested in the desert. She points out that the first words Satan says to Jesus are, “If you are the Son of God…” Twice he taunts Christ, with an assault on his identity as the Son of God. He attacks the core of who Jesus is.
I think that may be Satan’s primary attack on us, too. “Who do you think you are?” “What is your identity?” “Why do you keep failing?” “If you were really a good parent, then …”
If you’re like most moms and dads, you don’t have to look far to tally your shortcomings. If you knew my kids’ bedtimes or what they’ve been eating during COVID-19 (or even before!), you’d know just a few of the items topping my self-doubt list.
Yet, that’s not who God says we are. He calls us beloved. In Christ, we are redeemed, adopted as children of God (John 1:12). This is our identity, no matter our circumstances.
I have framed the lyrics from Lauren Daigle’s “Who You Say I Am” in my office. This song wonders aloud: “Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?”
I personally need to know who my Creator says I am, because I cannot trust who I say I am most days. I’m too distracted. Too anxious. Too emotional. But I am more than the sum of every high and low.
You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing/ You say I am strong when I think I am weak/ And You say I am held when I am falling short/ And when I don't belong, oh, You say I am Yours/And I believe.
Who you are has not changed. Our God has not changed.
If you are in Christ, you can rest safely in your identity as a child of God. If you haven’t figured that out yet, I invite you to take on an identity that is not only secure, but it is who you were made to be.
COVID-19 has changed all of our circumstances except for one. God holds us in His hands. You are seen. You are known. You are loved.