I don’t think any of us expected things to go the way they have over the past few months. We have learned new words and experienced new things: global pandemics, markets crashing, national lockdowns, social distancing, infection rates, and so much more. The world has drastically changed since we visited America in December. Many of you are aware that our family made the decision in late March that we would stay in Uganda, our home, during these unprecedented times. Through much prayer and discussion, we felt this is where we should be. So far, Uganda has still managed to prevent massive spread of Covid-19, and we are all so thankful for this! As with many people around the world, we are processing the gains and losses during this time. There are many blessings and things to be thankful for. But there are also everyday losses that we feel because life isn’t normal and it’s a bit more stressful with extra restrictions.
We have had our share of ups and downs, gains and losses throughout this time. Each day comes with new challenges, frustrations, joys, blessings, and many other emotions swirling around in our hearts and minds. We have enjoyed the slower pace of life, but we have missed spending time with discipleship groups and church leaders. We have enjoyed homeschooling Adalyn (most days), but Adalyn really misses her teacher and her friends. We have enjoyed family time with bike rides, walks, games, and watching TV shows together. We have missed driving and being able to move freely.
One thing that we have all wrestled with over the last several weeks is that our flights to the U.S. this summer have been canceled. We are mourning the fact that we don’t know when we’ll be going back. There are events we will miss, people we want to see, items we were hoping to buy, churches we wanted to visit, places we wanted to travel, memories we wanted to make and share, etc. And our family is processing these losses on a daily basis.
As we process how we are doing each day/week, we all have different emotions each day and we experience the losses at different times. One day I am thankful for delivery options becoming more available with WhatsApp, but the next day I feel stuck because I don’t have time for a 2-hour walk to/from town to pick up something I want. Adalyn misses her friends and playing with them every day at school; she misses going to the swimming pool; she misses dates with us in town for lunch or milkshakes. But at the same time, she’s loving the family time together and gets upset when Leland needs to leave to do some work. Leland has also been struggling with what to do during this time. With ministry opportunities so limited due to lack of movement and no gatherings, he and the Mission have had to be creative with how to help. It’s been a learning experience for all of us.
One thing we have all had to learn is to have more grace for one another. We (and everyone else) are handling the changes differently. And we are all doing things we need to do in order to stay sane, so I pray that as we continue to figure out all the ramifications of life after Covid-19, we have love for one another, we have compassion for one another, and we have patience for one another.
We are in this together, so let us mourn the losses together and let us celebrate the blessings together, however messy and different that looks for each of us.