I was visiting an old friend that I hadn’t seen in years. It was in the days before the coronavirus crisis, and her kiddos were asking me about the animals we have on our farm.
“We have donkeys, and dogs, and chickens, and cats, and one duck.” I said.
“Why only one duck?” they asked.
“Because the other ducks got eaten.” I answered.
At this point I noticed the look on my friend’s face, her eyes big as saucers, she mouthed silently, “We don’t talk about sad things!!!”
I quickly added, “It’s a happy farm. The animals are happy. Everything is awesome.”
I didn’t stay long.
I realized later that I was that mom.
Before PANDAS disease.
Before life fell to pieces overnight.
I did my best to keep my girls from hearing about anything that could upset them, or make them sad, or afraid. I balanced the bubble on my magic momma wand…until it popped.
Since then? I see things differently.
I was the stressed-out mom that thought I had to get everything taught in a certain time frame or life would be ruined. Then my daughter lost a years’ worth of work, erased overnight by a disease that attacked her brain, and I realized that checking off a curriculum wasn’t as important as teaching them to love to learn.
It’s a gift. No amount of grinding my own wheat flour and making my own bone broth and elderberry syrup and doing everything “right” is a guarantee that my family will be healthy and strong and impervious to devastating disease.
We had it all. And then we didn’t. Just like that.
Everything is Awesome Bubble Life?
My girls are growing up on a farm, and, no matter how hard we try to prevent it, they’ve seen sickness and death, sometimes violent ends (roaming dogs slaughtering guineas, snakes swallowing chickens, owls snatching favorite kittens…) These are the realities they’ve had to learn to process and deal with at a young age. They know it’s ok to grieve the death of your rescue bunny one day, and rejoice over the birth of a baby donkey the next.
They’ve learned how to love, and how to let go, and to cherish the moments in between those first and last breaths.
It’s horrific, and it’s deadly. It’s causing mass destruction, of finances, of freedoms, of lives….and we’re left reeling in its wake.
So, we’re faced with a choice.
We can “not talk about sad things,” and pretend everything is awesome....
We can fight over who's right and who's wrong, lose friendships and lose faith in one another...
Or we can face the future and all it’s monsters and trust that no matter what happens, no matter how difficult, no matter how horrific, no matter what the cost, our God is still in control, and He works for the good of those who love Him….in all the things.
Even the sad things.
Maybe, especially in the sad things.
Because no one needs a candle in the daylight, but in the dark…
In the dark, everyone looks to the Light.
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16