I wonder how many of you were waiting with anticipation to hear Boris Johnson announce the government’s road map for easing lockdown. As a family we listened to the plans that had been put into place, eagerly awaiting the news when we’d be able to visit friends, take trips to the cinema/theatre and (arguably) most importantly hug loved ones. From a selfish point of view, we were excited to hear that potentially, the third phase of easing would coincide with our delayed (since last May) holiday on the Norfolk Broads!
Whether it’s just me or more widely felt but knowing that there is a plan to ease restrictions has caused a sprig of optimism to burst into life. There are milestones that we as a nation are working towards, and whilst we won’t be able to enter the next level of easing until the previous has been judged a success, I find it hugely encouraging knowing that there is light at the end of a long tunnel.
As followers of Christ, the Bible gives believers their own roadmap. Not out of lockdown, but rather out of the burdens of sin. Not to a June 21st future where all lockdown protocols are ended, but to an eternal life with our creator which starts now. The Bible recognises that along the way that we will get it wrong. We will make bad decisions, mistakes or flagrantly breach what we have been told and taught. And yet, there is always a path back.
As we enter the next 4 months of lockdown, can I encourage us all? There will be bumps in the road, still frustrations and annoyances to endure and further delays (I’m sure). We may have to acknowledge that our Norfolk Broads holiday will be in May 2022, not May 2020 as originally planned! But if we are considerate, and mindful of all we can do to make this a success and remain steadfast in the Hope God has given us, we stand the best chance of getting to where we all want to be sooner, rather than later.
This month we’re praying for Helene, our Relational Counsellor at Sunbury Manor who joined east to west 18 months ago. Helene plays a massive role at school and is also a valuable source of resources and support for the wider team, especially around the area of grief and bereavement.
Prayer Requests for students being supported:
Please pray for all those children and young people who’ve found lockdown challenging, but haven’t been able to either voice this yet, or let it be known.
Pray that they would find their voice to externalise these feelings and tap into their inner resilience and calm so that when they transition back into school, this can be done as well as possible.
Pray that children and young people would be able to normalise their experiences over the past year, recognising that children, young people and adults have felt similar emotions to them and that they are not alone.
Pray they’d be able to filter out phrases such as 'we are all worried', 'the return to school is scary' etc. and can replace them with 'we are going to be ok', 'school is making sure everything is as safe as possible ', so that they can see that the world is inherently safe again, and not perpetually dangerous.