While teaching my Berry class I encouraged my students to add the phrase “For Now” to many of their sentences. We are not allowed on campus “For Now”. Graduation has been cancelled “For Now”. Starbucks is closed “For Now”.

I, like many of us, have experienced “For Nows” and “Forevers” in our lives. When my husband and I were separated due to his military training or my going to school in another country, we found resolve in that it was a “For Now” moment in our lives. We have also found strength in who we are, our love for our children and every moment we have been together is a “Forever”. Sometimes I have even mistaken a “For Now” for a “Forever” and vice versa.

So, being that there appears to be a lot of “For Nows” and “Forevers” being tossed around, I thought I’d share with you some of what I call the dos and don’ts when applying these words.

Do use “For Now” when thinking of how long I cannot give my 80-year-old father a hug. It is only “For Now” that gathering to celebrate birthdays, worship, attend graduations, or to simply celebrate it’s Friday night is discouraged. “For Now” you might be finding out that your third grader is better at math and knows more geography and history than you. And yes, “For Now” no one knows what you are, or are not, wearing beyond the point of your computer camera.

Don’t use “For Now” when saying I love you. Resist the temptation to say “I will not use Duc tape to confine my kindergartener during conference calls … “For Now”. Don’t say I will continue to believe in, and pursue, my dreams “For Now”. “For Now,” do not use an emergency as an excuse to make time to cherish the gifts in your life because you always have the time to treasure all that you have been blessed with.

Don’t “Forever” think that if you have a fever it must covid19. Don’t accept this moment of our lives as the definition of how we will interact, and work, with each other “Forever”. Put aside the images that we will be hiding our smiles behind masks now and “Forever”. Dismiss the lie that the hurt you feel will be “Forever” and will never heal.

Do “Forever” see your tomorrow and know that it awaits you. Do know that “Forever” there are those waiting to give and receive your embrace and love. Births, new beginnings, successes will be celebrated “Forever”. Accept that our lives have been changed but, that our lives are always changing because we are “Forever” learning and experiencing life. The stars, the Lord, your influence on this earth (and in the hearts of so many) is “Forever”.

There are so many times when a “Sometimes” or a “Never” might also be appropriate but for now, know you are not alone. Personally, I will seek something much greater than the “For Now” burdens, I will seek faith “Forever”.