An Open Letter to the Anxious Mom

Dear Anxious Mom,

I think we would all agree that “regular life” is stressful. 

Between the sports practices and homework and laundry and playdates and grocery lists and errands and work commitments and kid commitments, it’s hard to keep it together. 

You would think that when the world comes to a screeching halt, we would take a collective sigh of relief. But we haven’t.

All of the things that were so stressful aren’t happening anymore, and now we have no idea what is going on. The expected chaos has turned into a fretful uncertainty, and that sends the Anxious Mom into a proverbial tailspin. 

I get it. I’m living it. 

And I’m not living it by myself. 

My kids are living it right along with me.

Nothing feels normal

This whole COVID-19 coronavirus has sent our world into uncharted territory. 

Anxious moms don’t like uncharted territory. We like routine. 

We can handle minor shifts. But we don’t do “I have no idea what this day is going to look like” for an extended amount of time. 

If you are like me, unless we are traveling on school holidays, we flounder until we get into a groove just in time to go “back to normal.” I like normal. 

Now that nothing feels normal anymore, I feel fragile. 

I am not working and I’m not okay. My daughter’s gymnastics season is over and she’s not okay. My son’s senior year is basically over and he’s not okay. My college son’s semester has been changed from a lab-type setting to an online setting and he’s not okay. My husband works for a church that isn’t having services—it’s not okay. 

When we just have to manage us, we can generally muscle through. When no one is okay, we have a hard time managing anything. 

That is where I am.

Do I trust God? 

When I get to this point, it generally comes down to just one question: “Do I trust him?” 

I want to respond with a loud and confident YES! But, more often, I am like the father who brought his son to Jesus and asked if there were anything he could do for him. 

Jesus responds, “If I can? Everything is possible for him who believes!” 

To which the father says, “I believe. Lord, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23–24).

That is me! 

Questioning God, who has an unbroken track record of faithfulness in my life, if he is up to my mess!? 

His response to me is the same as it was to the father in Mark 9. He asks me, “Daughter, if I can? You know I can.” 

Psalm 94:19 says, “When my anxiety is great within me, your consolation brings joy to my soul.”

Joy in our souls is not dependent on our circumstances. So find the blessing. Remember the faithfulness. Talk with your anxious kids about how God has been faithful before so you can trust him to do it again. 

Grieve whatever it is that is lost right now. 

Some people are losing their lives to COVID-19. But that does not mean we cannot grieve our seemingly “lesser” losses: jobs, senior years, athletic seasons, school/church/work friends, sources of income, etc. 

It does not make us selfish to say, “I am so sad that this is not the way that I thought/planned/expected.” It makes us normal. It makes us real. 

To the mom who is anxious today 

You are not alone. Our worlds have been rocked. 

The world was rocked the day that Jesus died—everyone thought it was all over. 

Three days later, it was rocked again when the stone rolled away. And nothing has been the same since. 

This same God, who raises the dead to life, will redeem all that is happening in this season. 

So, anxious moms, calm your heart with these words from our Savior: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).