This too shall pass—but you shall not

We had to quarantine for another COVID case last week. The good news is, now everyone in the house also has natural immunities.

It’s still pretty easy to manage. I’m not talking about the virus itself, but dropping off the face of the earth. The forgiveness to cancel last minute, free grocery pick up and the ease in rescheduling appointments. I think everyone I know had it or had a family member with it this past month.

Since it was my husband who felt horrible, not me, I was out of excuses, trapped at home and compelled to finally mop the floor. I’ve been trying to let the robot and the floor work things out, but they were at an impasse.

A season in the past

It made me think of the season where I was mostly alone, before the pandemic, when my husband frequently traveled. I spent an inordinate amount of time cleaning floors. It was the one thing in my life I could bend to my will, so I ruled.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/nile-598962/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=620397">Nile</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=620397">Pixabay</a>

I spent my energy mourning what would never be again, a full and busy home, by doing stupid things like hanging out with a dust mop and talking to base boards. It was a season.

It passed.

It’s easy in the middle of something (especially illness) to think you’ll die in that state. Of course, you might. But more than likely, things will eventually change. Grandma was right. This too, shall pass.

Weirdly, there were some lovely things about having a too big, too empty, and tidy house to myself. I learned to appreciate the season I found myself, learned to be Gandalf to my heart, “You shall not pass; find things you love here first.”

Since I learned to sit in that season instead of focusing (with Balrog intensity) on the future, I’m able to look back without regret that I didn’t enjoy it enough. Which is how I’d previously lived my life. Before then, I was usually so eager for the next stage that I missed the one I was in. And in every new stage, I regretted not enjoying the previous one more.

The season you are in

I actually don’t know if I ever want that clean of a house again, but if the season comes, I will try not to run past it.

It’s never more apparent to me that when I float the Boise River: when you are hot, you want to be cold, and when you are cold, you want to be hot.

This isn’t complacency for things that truly need to change. And it isn’t being pretend-cheerful about tragic seasons, such as the heat wave in Europe taking lives last week. It is thanking God for the fleas like Corrie ten Boom learned to do. We have a heat wave headed for us this week and it seems there is no way I can be cheerful about our planned outdoor birthday party in 105 degrees. But I’ll try.

I remind myself this principle because there are elements of my current season that I’m tempted to hurry through. One of them is unwarranted alertness in the middle of the night. (The first draft of this came at 3-4 am.) I normally use sleepless nights to pray, but it makes more sense after a few hours to just get up because laying still without sleep can make me achy. Prayer is what most of my friends (and probably a lot of women my age) say they do instead of sleeping at night. Perhaps I’ll miss this time someday when I’m sleeping soundly.

Finishing well

Many years ago, when we were going through a tough time, a friend called me and encouraged me to know that someday I would look back on that trial. She said it was my choice how I persevered, and that hopefully I would look back and say, “Nope, the enemy didn’t win that one.” More than just learning to sit and rest in your current season, a better idea is to finish well.

Most people have more intensity promising than following through to the end. Our sermon last week was in Ecclesiastes 7 and verse 8 says, “The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” It’s easy to be proud when planning, but patience sees the end.

Are you in a season you’d like to hurry through, but you shall not pass?

2 thoughts on “This too shall pass—but you shall not

  1. Amy Mccormack says:

    Hilarey – I LOVE listening to your beautiful voice reading your blog to me! What a great way to begin the week! Thank you for your honesty and understanding about women’s seasons of life. So relatable!

  2. Angela Cooper says:

    Isn’t it too true that it’s so hard to just ‘be’ in the moment, season or circumstance. It’s only in the distance of it that one can appreciate it fully. Best not to feel bad but strive to learn to see our moment’s gift. Contentedness is truly a gift from above. Whenever I can truly be present in a moment, I am thankful. I love your thoughts. Ironically, I’m listening to ‘7 years’ by Lucas Graham talking about how fast our life goes by!

Thanks for joining the discussion!