These last few days, as my family and I have struggled to adjust to new routines and the reality that Easter likely will not be celebrated in the grandeur that we have come to love, I have often found myself wanting to just “abandon ship.” The waves of uncertainty and fear, coupled with the ever-pounding waves of stress that flow from trying to balance work and school routines at home, has often become just too much to bear. I miss the calm “sea of life”—our family’s daily routines of getting up and going out to conquer the world. And more than anything, I miss our family’s ‘normal’ Sunday routine of going to Mass, even the ‘Sunday morning hustle’ of getting everyone dressed and ready to go and all the stress that comes with it—I miss it all.
I will be the first to admit that over these last few weeks, I have lamented more than once that all I want to do is “abandon ship!” and just return back to our ordinary family life. Of course, I know that this is just not possible. Given the pandemic and the dangers that returning to life as “we knew it” would bring to the most vulnerable among us, abandoning the ship we are on would be really wrong.
Saint Boniface once shared, “The Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship, but to keep her on her course.” In these last few days I have found these words to offer great comfort as I work to steady our ship. As my family’s domestic church continues to be pounded by waves of stress, anxiety, fear, and the sadness that often arises out of our longing to receive the Eucharist again, I have come to know that staying the course is where God needs me to be.
I have also discovered that steadying this ship, although difficult at times, has also become a source of great joy during these uncertain days. Finding small delights in our daily life—spending more time with family, learning new things, finding new hobbies, and intentionally reconnecting with God in our everyday lives—have become the ways by which our ship has stayed on course despite the stressful waves that pound it. Having to find new ways to keep our domestic church ship on course has, in many ways, become a great blessing to our family. The challenges that the waves bring have pressed us to spiritually reconnect with each other and God in ways that we hardly could have imagined during times we sailed through steady seas. And most importantly, travelling through these uncharted waters has refocused our sights on the ‘promised land’ ahead. How beautiful Easter morning will be when our ships rest again in the joyful hope that Christ has risen!
No matter how hard the seas become, mothers, we will all be brought safely home.
I know the feeling of wanting to “abandon ship!” Thank you for the encouragement and for helping us mothers to refocus in these difficult times.