As we emerge from COVID-19 restrictions, we may be doing some evaluation. What do I have to show for this season? What did I learn? What did I accomplish?

These thoughts have haunted me. Some people feel anxious to be seen without their masks and when I judge my journey, I feel trepidation about being seen at all. Do I really want the world to see my body that’s gone a year without the gym? Do I want them to know I didn’t get stuff done in the absence of social obligations? That should have freed up a lot of time. Where did it go? When people ask what I’ve been up to, what will I say? How can I impress you with the way I account for the last year?

For some of you, you were heroes. You worked extra hours and experienced a slam while the rest of the world experienced a standstill. You never got to dream about what you’d catch up on during COVID. I was in the group that dreamed of what I’d get done. The slightly delusional group who thought we’d find a way to use this time to our advantage and come out better than ever! Books written. Closets organized. Crafting with kids.

But here we are. Time is up. What do we have to show? Some of us lost our marriage in the middle. Some of us are struggling with our health. Some of us are in debt. Some of us lost people we love or watched a loved one’s mental health unravel. We don’t feel ready for a reckoning.

But this is not a reckoning because it’s not the end of your story.

But this is not a reckoning because it’s not the end of your story. If it’s been a sad, hard chapter, that’s okay. If you have nothing to show for it, but a mess, God understands. Some things had to be let go in my life for other things to survive, and the cost is still being paid. For this, we need grace. As we pick up the pieces, we feel sweet relief and stress. How will things will play out from here? Many of us are exhausted and none of us have done this before. Because we’re all beginners, beginning again, I pray we can lavish each other and ourselves the grace we need.