It was 4:30 pm on Monday evening. Monday. Just beginning week two of my daughter’s freshman year of distance learning high school. Week one was hard. But I had hoped by now that with a week under our belt we would have a fighting chance on this Monday. To my disappointment, I went downstairs and found my daughter staring blankly at a google classroom on a screen. After eight hours in on her distance learning Monday, she was lifeless. She seemed to be growing numb as she hunched over her desk staring into a small square screen. And as her mom, I'm sure this doesn’t feel dramatic.
“Tatum. Tate! What are you doing?” No response. “Tatum, at least look at me baby. Are you still doing work?” She shrugged her shoulders with a slight nod up and down. I’m the mom that would prefer a reaction. Cold nods and shoulder shrugs scare me a bit. Until they don't and then they just make me mad. I also know my daughter and eight hours of “school” on a computer had her fried.
“Tatum, you’re done. This is not okay. You are not okay. We will tackle it tomorrow. Tatum! Give me something here." What had started out about concern from my daughter had now become a little uncertain for me, and I suddenly wasn't feeling okay. And then, tears. Big tears began to roll down the cheeks of my baby girl's face. I pulled her up out of her chair, and we crawled up on her bed. I held her as though she were just a toddler in my lap again. “It's so much Mom," deep felt discouragement was felt in her words. "It’s long, it's boring, I hate it, it’s hard. But I want to do good in high school.” Oh my heart. It melted, felt helpless, broke a bit and then swelled with pride and admiration for my daughter’s desire to do the right thing.
Sometimes the hard thing and the right thing are the same thing.
Giving up had crossed my mind. But in that moment I knew this was just harder than we had assumed, but we had determined from the start to trust the Lord and give our best.
We must not entertain EVER giving up. When we RESOLVE then we are not derailed.
I cannot protect my kids from discomfort. I would pay them a disservice if I did. I cannot protect them from change or challenge as hard as it is for me to stand by and watch. But sometimes the hard thing and right thing are the same thing.
Distance learning isn’t going anywhere anytime soon here in San Diego. I could wish things were different all day long. But I would just be exhausted in my wishful thinking. For now, it’s "the thing." It’s hard. But in my forty- six years of living every hard thing presented to me has actually propelled me to a new level in this life and in my faith.
What if the next thing is presented to you in this hard?
It is in the “what the?!?” moments like a freshman year of high school done from a chair in your bedroom staring at a screen for eight hours that you find gifts and tools and open doors to becoming the person you were created to be. This doesn’t mean we have to like it. Most often we didn’t even choose it. But when it comes, which it inevitably will, we do have a choice. We can run away and give up trying to escape. Or we can receive the loving embrace of one who cares for us like our mother, get out of the bed, wipe our tears and lean into the hope that God will use this for our benefit. And we will come out better for it.
I have never done anything great without discomfort and doubt. There will be these moments in each of our lives, whether you are 14 or 44. But they do not have to derail you. They can fortify you. Because sometimes the right thing and the hard thing are the same thing.
In my six week Significant Life group I will be sharing more tools and offer next steps to develop this fortitude as you pursue the call God has on your life. We will establish this mindset and create the values that will steer your home and relationships toward a life that never gives up. Spots are limited. Save yours and join TODAY.