It is time.
This week two years ago the UK went into lockdown 1.0.
There are similarities between now and then: beautiful Spring weather and rising Covid-19 cases. In our naïve optimism we thought that it would all be over in a few weeks if we all stayed home and followed the rules. Two years on as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, we are faced with the global threat of nuclear war and escalating living costs nationally. Watching the news briefly this morning left me feeling more concerned than two years ago. There is no naïve hope left.
The relentless hard slog of the past two years has broken so many individuals, families and support systems. In the past week I have heard three such stories:
First, for one group in my extended family life has reached crisis point. Those involved and those trying to support have reached the end of their tether. Options look limited and bleak.
Second, a presentation at work by the CEO of the Children’s Society which gave heart breaking statistics about child well-being in this country, alongside how funding for children and youth services has been consistently cut over the past decade.
Thirdly, a conversation with a friend who works for Social Services. Her workload for is going up at the same rate as fuel prices because more and more families are beyond their capacity to cope. There wasn’t enough support before the pandemic. Now the situation is beyond dire.
Before Covid-19, there was brokenness in all areas of society before Covid. It feels even worse and there are no simple short-term solutions on the horizon.
Despite all the discussion in recent years about healthy emotional wellbeing, the gap between what is desirable and what is attainable has widened for so many. Ironically (or rather tragically) as we have become more aware of the implications of trauma and the importance of good mental health the resources to support that have diminished either due to government cuts or because people’s own resilience and capacity has run out.
The world of well-being has gone boom and bust at the same time.
The persistent nudge
Since the summer of 2013 God has been nudging/pushing/shoving me to write my story of hitting crisis and feeling that there was no way out physically, emotionally, financially or relationally. How I desperately wanted God to air lift me out but instead chose to meet me in my mess, take my hand and walk me forward every so slowly, achingly slowly, one miniscule step at a time over what felt like broken glass. He stuck it out with me when I felt utterly abandoned and alone.
I have struggled for eight years to write and share that story. At first it was too raw and painful then as the trauma began to be healed my story felt too small and insignificant in the face of other’s bigger, more traumatic stories and unfolding world events.
I am well aware that I write from a place of privilege as a first world, straight, white, cis gendered female from a well-educated, middle-class background. I write about being a less abled woman who her struggled with her mental health since adolescence.
God has shown me several times that my story is like one beam from a lighthouse. The light turns a full 360⁰, encompassing all stories. Mine may only be one shaft of light but it is still a unique perspective giving light and hope to some, hopefully you.
Nudging me yet again as I wrestled to write even this post, God reassured me with these words last week: "I will turn your brokenness into beauty"
A day later on Facebook I ‘happened’ to scroll past the well known story of the Cracked Pot.
My hope and prayer is that through my words God will make the broken areas of your life beautiful too.
On a practical note, I aim to write and publish a chunk or chapter every two weeks. Apparently by writing down and sharing your goals you are more likely to achieve them. You, dear readers are most welcome to encourage/remind/nag me to stay on track.
You can also help by:
2. Leaving constructive feedback. e.g What resonates with you? What bits aren’t clear or irk you?
I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you and I would welcome your thoughts, comments and stories along the way,