As a mom raising children in South Africa I had expected to face the many challenges that our country presents. I’ve tried to protect them as much as I can from the reality of the dangers we face living here. It’s my prerogative as their mom to protect their innocence for as long as I can. But as time passes and they grow up I can feel the facade crumbling. They have seen the informal settlements as we drive past and they’ve seen beggars at their car windows.
I knew I would have to face up to explaining the reality of crime in SA one day too, but not in my wildest dreams did I think I would see them living through a worldwide pandemic of the scale we are now facing. My fear has been building for many months now, I had guessed it was only a matter of time before the virus arrived on our local shores. It’s terrifying having our schools closed, having to stock up on food, isolate ourselves and now enter lockdown. It’s even harder having to do that while hiding my fear from my children.
And so I’ve found myself behind closed doors in my bedroom quietly sobbing as the immensity of what we are facing pushes down on me so hard that I sometimes feel I can’t breathe. There is no precedent, nothing we can look to to give us courage and strength. The only place left to find hope is in God, and it’s to Him that I now turn, often finding myself thinking of a verse from the Bible that I used to use to calm me during exam times at school. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6.34)
So while it’s still always ok to have a cry and feel scared and sad, remember it’s also important to gather yourself up and be strong again. For your children look to you in times of trouble, and the coming days, weeks and months are guaranteed to be such times.
Stay home. stay safe.