It’s March, a brisk, cold winter morning greets my alarm and my eyes open. I take a deep breath in and slowly release air from my lungs. I watch my warm steamy air break through the coldness around me and I am reminded that we are in Canada. I pray, “Lord, give me strength for today.” 

Daytime would be spent beside my mother-in-law facing terminal cancer, then we’d rush back to begin school/work at 5pm; 8am in South Korea, and we would maintain that rush until 3am, sleep for a few hours, only to start it all again. Two teenage dramatic, emotional girls and a 9-year old playful, stubborn boy at my side for 3 months while my husband gave his heart and time to be by his mom’s side. I witnessed the healing power between a mother and child, and the healing power of God’s love. We were given days for her to live, and she remains with us today. In this time of COVID-19, God answered our prayers and gave us the gift of time. 

The restrictions from COVID-19 prevented us from seeing my mother-in-law in the hospice anymore. We decided it was best for me to return to South Korea with the children. We said our good-byes and my husband remained in Canada. My heart was heavy.

I was grumpy. Eight hours in meetings with teachers, students and parents stressed about Distance Learning. Arranging daily Skyping with Grandma, washing hands, wearing a mask, keeping social distancing. Preparing meals, dishes, laundry, homework, learning, playing, and keeping the cat alive! 24 hours, 7 days a week. No breaks. God taught me to love, he gave me patience to stay calm, to breathe and love well. 

In the storm, a friend reached out and I joined her writing journey entitled “A letter to my daughters”. I was reminded of the power of motherhood, family and faith. In this time, God spoke to me and gave me time to love myself. His presence kept me going strong. Knowing, seeing and feeling God beside me gave me strength to endure. 

My husband landed today in South Korea. After almost three months apart, he will be in quarantine for two weeks. Tears roll down my face as my kids cry for their dad. The world has changed, and God’s love gives hope. Love drives out fear, and I trust that God has a plan.