July 28, 2020

by Beverly Markham, Associate Pastor
Especially for Parents of School-aged Kids (but also for everyone!)

"Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for God who has promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23
As the mother of two teenagers, these days it is hard not to be despondent. These are the questions that knock around in my head…How do we parent through this unknown territory? How do we make plans for stability when “the plan” is gone? How do I tell my daughter that having her senior year of high school in isolation from her friends is OK? How do I tell my son that he will learn the ropes as a freshman in high school while sitting at home in front of his computer? I’m sure you have many other questions that you’re asking too based on where you and your children are in life. I’d love to hear them. Email me so we can share! (beverly@alpharettapres.com)

It is easy to let these questions and the uncertainty of this time dominate, but, it does not have to. How we tell the story about our days makes a big difference. We have the power to tell a different narrative for this time that we are living through.

Here are some activities for you to work on to help create a positive narrative for this time…
  • Remember that God has been at work in your life since the beginning and has not abandoned you. God is as present and as loving and gracious and generous as always.
  • Remember that we are going through a transformation process from a place of comfort and stability (pre-pandemic) through uncertainty, anxiety, confusion and the desire to “go back” to a place of new certainty, new energy, new ways of being, excitement about this new place.
  • Look back on your life and remember another time when you were stuck with a painful experience and remember how you overcame that obstacle. It might have been painful, but you survived. You can do that again.
  • You can put your anxiety aside. It is OK not to know all of the answers. It is OK not to be anxious about not knowing. This might take some practice but try it. You will feel better.
  • In a crisis, a little bit of community goes a long way! Stay connected to your friends. I’m always eager to listen and talk. (beverly@alpharettapres.com)

Our faith tradition grew out of the stories of a people who lost everything and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years without knowing which direction they were going. They got so tired of their journey in the wilderness that they longed to return to slavery in Egypt! Today we celebrate their faithfulness, we read their stories as witness to God’s great faithfulness to all humanity, we remember how they survived, and we follow in their footsteps. We have a wealth of stories to guide us and give us hope. Hope is the final word during a time of wandering in the wilderness. It is a powerful yet fragile emotion, and I pray you are filled with it.

“So in the end I am left only with hope. I hope the nights are transformative. I hope every dawn brings deeper love for each of us individually and for the world as a whole.  I hope that...the intellect is transformed into faith, and the will transformed into love and memory -- into hope."  -Gerald May, The Dark Night of the Soul
God of hope, you write our stories from the day we are born. Narrate this present time when so much feels chaotic and undecided so that we might know the ending will be one full of joy and peace, hope and love, justice and reconciliation. In the strong and gentle name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com