I held my breath.
The whole nation waited for the 4PM announcement—would the Prime Minister and the health advisor really say it? New Zealand shut down hard and fast, closing borders and ordering one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. Could it actually end?
"We did it."
And with that, lockdown in New Zealand was complete.
Of course, it was a process—not immediate. We were allowed to travel between suburbs, then regions; we expanded our bubbles, then hung out in large groups—and oh, it was heavenly to have a professional barista making my coffee again.
But something was different (and it wasn't just that I had to pay attention to contact tracing).
I was different.
I went to meetings—and was exhausted after three hours. I hung out with friends—then went home and crawled into bed. I made new plans for the week—and then scratched them off my calendar because it was just too much.
One night, it hit me hard.
What is wrong with me? I used to be able to do all of this—and more!—before lockdown.
That’s when the image of a butterfly came to mind. Not hundreds of monarchs in some National Geographic special. But instead, one little butterfly with weak, wet wings—fresh out of its chrysalis.
For me, lockdown was a series of disappointment and even grief. Even in the midst of enjoying time at home, I also felt like I was dying a thousand deaths a day. Oh, I heard plenty of sermons on resurrection. I knew the caterpillar-to-butterfly metaphor. I understood there were good things coming—that I would be transformed.
But as I crawled out of lockdown, God kept reminding me that it was okay to not be okay. It was okay to be weak. It was okay to feel as useless as a butterfly with wet wings. Because that was not the end of the story.
So whether you're in the middle of lockdown—or learning to live beyond it—give yourself a little grace.
Have the same gentle care you would for one of those butterflies crawling out of a literal chrysalis.
Because you, my friend, are worth it.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
-2 Corinthians 12:9
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