Letter to a Friend: Keep. Going.

*Another in the series of “When text messages and FaceTimes become letters.”

Dear Friend,

I got your text, and I know there’s a lot going on right now – COVID, BLM, the business climate and constant financial instability, and school starting. And I totally identify with the mixed emotions you’re feeling:

– Tempered confidence about the economic recovery mixed with anxiety about school uncertainty and the continued spread of the virus.

– Thankfulness about the financial planning you did while the economy was booming, but now a healthy fear about how long those reserves will last as your business slowly recovers.

In all, I just wanted to write you today because I know that we all need encouragement at various points – me included. And Pastor’s message from today has got me thinking about how vital encouragement is, especially in a time like this.

To start, COVID: You’ve done an amazing job keeping your family safe as best you can. I absolutely understand that base level of stress that sits with you day in and day out as you try to navigate healthy, socially-distant choices while also acknowledging that life has to still be lived. You’re doing an amazing job in a really hard season – with yourself, with your family, with your neighbors and friends. Keep going.

BLM: I love that you continue to charge ahead with regard to Black Lives Matter. This was important to you long before our current events, and I’ve always loved that you’ve taken an action-oriented approach as best you can as a supplement to your reading and study. And I love our continued discussions on the topic. You continue to teach me how to personally address this topic, as well as how to teach my kids about the realities of systemic racism. Thanks for your leadership there. Keep going.

The Business Climate / Financial Instabilty: You did a great job saving while the economy was strong. You and I both talked extensively in 2018 and 2019 about how the booming economy was eventually going to turn negative – as all bull markets do. Yet, even though we knew some type of correction/recession was coming, nobody could have predicted COVID and its effect on the economy. But you did your best to save during the good times so that you could weather the downturn. So great job with that. But I also know that you’re concerned about whether or not your reserves will last long enough for your business/income to recover. That’s stressful, and I want you to know you’re not alone in that stress. I feel that same stress every moment of every day. It’s hard, for sure.

But know that you are not alone in your stress about finances. We’re a whole group of friends (and a whole nation, really) who’s finances have been battered and bruised by this pandemic. Keep going. Keep showing up every day at work, working your butt off, and trust that God will provide in this season. I know we’ve talked about how God doesn’t promise that we get to keep all our material possessions amidst hard times. What God does promise is that He’ll be with us in good times and bad, in times of plenty and in times of want – so take heart in that, and know that we will stick with you no matter how finances play out in this season. Again, just. keep. going.

Finally, School Starting: I totally hear you on the ups and downs of school. I know the district and school leadership teams are doing their best in a really, really tricky situation. And I know it’s super hard for you to plan for the school year with things changing seemingly every day. But I just want to encourage you that you’ve done your due diligence on this. You’ve done everything you can to set your kids and your family up for success this school year. But you (and me too!) have to give the rest to God – that means giving the logistics of our kids’ learning up to God, giving the safety of our kids up to God, and giving the logistics of juggling work with remote education up to God. You’ve done everything you can up to this point. Now it’s time to trust. And maybe even try to practice a bit of amor fati.

All said, I just want to tell you you’re doing a great job. You have a lot on your plate, but you are handling it all so well – as best you can. Just know you don’t have to be (nor will you be) perfect. But you’ve done a great job so far. Keep going.

-KGC

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