We Are In This Together
Updated: May 21, 2020
There were several circumstances in my life I thought I would never make it out of. One that sticks out more than others happened during my senior year of high school. I was overwhelmed with caring for my younger siblings, going to school, and traveling back and forth from Southern Illinois to Chicago for my parents' trial. I had passed the point of being given adult responsibilities years prior, while still having to live with a lack of autonomy and authority. I remember sitting outside the courtroom, thinking I would have to testify. I was full of anxiety and fear, not knowing what to expect or whether the pain would end. I tried to read as many psalms from my Bible as I could. Needless to say, the trial did not go as we wanted it to and it shook us to the core. Family fought. One brother ran away. I wept. I could not wrap my head around everything that happened and continued to happen in my life. All seemed hopeless. Unfortunately, this was not the first or last time hopelessness would appear.
As I look back on those difficult times, I remember a song from the Kirk Franklin "Hero" album called, 'Afterwhile.' The chorus says:
After a while, after a while
This too shall pass
After a while
Scars will heal, you'll love again
It won't hurt you after a while
It won't hurt after a while
This song carried me through the grief in my heart I did not know existed. With everything going on recently, I began to play it and sing along to it. As it played on repeat, I prayed for everyone who may be much less fortunate than me, struggling physically, emotionally, or financially to survive the pandemic. I am blessed beyond measure! But I don't want to laugh it off, minimize the impact, or tell people, "It's no big deal. Just pray." This time creates a great deal of uncertainty for many, much like the uncertainty I felt being a 17-year-old "kid parent" with big mountains, little faith, and shaky hands. No matter what happens, we are in this together.