One Week In: Social-Isolation, Home-school, Home-church and Life in a Covid-19 World

It's only been a week of officially homeschooling and two Sundays of worshiping with our church family via Youtube, and I've already felt the gamut of emotions; some holy, most utterly depraved. My motto, as March 12, when the schools officially announced their closure to prevent the spread of Covid-19, has been "these are hard days, and sweet moments", and indeed, they have been.

After the announcement of the school closure, Brad and the elders at our church had a scrappy 48 hours to make the decision to likewise cancel church and move it online. That weekend was slightly overwhelming but also kind of exciting. I love change (weird, maybe) so I saw this all as a fun challenge and one I was eager to adapt to. That enthusiasm lasted all of three days before I was yelling at my kids, weeping "I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be!", fearing the very worst for our finances, our health, our kid's education, the longevity of our church, and the security of our nation. I told you I ran the gamut!

I'm not proud of how I've reacted at times. Of my temper towards my unwilling students/kids, of my lack of faith as if God were not still on the throne, of my clear excessive love of material goods, vacations, etc., only visible when they're taken away. And yet, this has drawn me closer to God, who never asked for perfection in his followers. Jesus said, "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick", and this pandemic is revealing new layers of sickness in me that I didn't know existed. My deep love of control, my self-reliance, my lack of trust in Him. 

I've also seen this pandemic bring out beauty that I would have missed. The things we have taken for granted all of our lives are now precious. Visiting grandparents, healthy kids, fresh groceries, Whatsapp, the Psalms. Receiving news from a friend, or visiting grandparents in isolation through the window, our favourite local cafe delivering milk to our porch, or the hope in Psalm 91... they're almost too beautiful to be true. 

Oh, how I crave a pint at the local pub with my friends, or a long walk with my family in the neighbourhood, stopping every few steps to greet neighbours with hugs and lively chat. Oh how I'd love to hug my relatives, especially the older ones. I think with tears in my eyes about how glorious it would be to stand and sing with our congregation at Eglise du Plateau and listen to sound teaching shoulder to shoulder with the church I love - and instead we can only connect online through videos, words and pictures (though we are still under sound teaching and joyful worship, I must add, simply via Youtube). 

And yes, I long for my kids to be back at their excellent public school instead of in my constant pedagogy and care. Sure, we're doing fine with homeschooling, but I'm not a teacher, nor have I been trained as one. Not to mention, our kids attend an all-French school and my French is nowhere near their Francophone teachers. Imagine me, an Anglophone who has learned French only by ear, struggling through teaching my six year old to read in French. I, myself, have never learned to read in French. I am able, but it's not a strength of mine, and certainly not to the point of teaching another, but here we are. Lily is writing thousand word English book reports, Oli is learning multiplication ahead of his grade-level and teaching himself Arabic on Youtube, and by Jove, Chloe is reading in French! It's not a disaster, God is gracious and kind, and we are afloat. 

Through this week I've seen my heart attach to temporal, fleeting things and am reminded regularly why those things make terrible gods. Control, comfort, money. I'm grateful to believe in a God who is worthy of my respect and my worship and my trust, especially in times of great peril and fear. As Christians, we don't believe terror will never befall us - Jesus was the most moral, perfect being who ever lived and look at how hard his life was - ending in a brutal death! But we believe that in it all, God is good and with us, and one day, a perfect life does await us if we trust in him. 

I guess you could say that this week I re-learned the gospel, so thank you Covid-19.


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