Friday Southern California Edison delivered a letter that said in 5 days I would lose power for 2 DAYS. You read that right. 2 days with no power. I opened the letter after work on Friday evening. I was speechless. When I called customer service however, I found my words. I said, “how can you give us only 5 days to prepare to lose all the food in our fridge, to find a place my kids can do remote high school, to find a place where I can work remotely and to find a place to stay that has power? And since it’s covid, that means a hotel I can’t bunk with friends.” Needless to say I was frustrated. Exasperated was a better word.
Have you found in this season of Covid, and this week waiting for the outcome of our election, that small things seem bigger? We are right on the edge some days. Other days not so much. But some days, right on the edge. I honestly felt that day I was in a good place. One setback, showed that wasn’t true.
Setbacks have a way of exposing our true state of mind. Setbacks also teach us what needs to change. You see, my being upset about 2 days with no power is reasonable. As exasperated as I was, I did not respond in anger to the customer service woman at SCE. (She actually deserves a gold star for how kind she was). Tears aren’t a sign of weakness just an effect of being pushed over the edge. However, the tears flowing so quickly showed me the state of my mind. And, although I was not mean to the customer service woman, internally I felt anger, hopelessness and defeat. My heart wasn’t right.
Last night I took the time to talk to my kids about Friday’s events. I told them that in this season, we may think we are fine but setbacks arise and we realize differently. I apologized for not stopping and praying before acting. I reminded them that Mom is human. Lastly, I told them what I was going to do to make sure I don’t spiral so quickly next time. Here are my takeaways from this setback:
- Pray before I act and pray whenever I feel overwhelmed
- Have grace for myself when I feel exasperated – it’s going to happen from time to time and some days I will handle it well, other days, not so much
- Learn from every setback – communicate that lesson to my kids
- Don’t hesitate to reach out to a friend to gain perspective
Next time you face a setback, see it as a learning tool and a measurement of where your state of mind is. Setbacks are always going to come. How we deal with a setback is a sign of our growth and maturity in Christ. The grace we extend ourselves is also a sign of that maturity. We are in a tough season. It’s not ending anytime soon. Let’s learn and grow in the midst of this.
Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: “‘When people fall down, do they not get up? When someone turns away, do they not return? ~ Jeremiah 8:4 NIV
Dream Big! Pray Big!
P.S. SCE sent a note on Saturday changing the times. It’s now only 4 hours total. Much more manageable. Whew!