The circuit breaker, a blessing for my family
Sim Chen Xing // June 11, 2020, 11:48 am
I don’t come from a picture-perfect family.
We’re an average middle class family who have our arguments. My parents’ relationship isn’t the best, and it’s also strained the relationships between my siblings.
So when the circuit breaker kicked in and we were told to work from home, I struggled with the prospect at spending an inordinate amount of time with my annoying family members.
For context, my mum and I had been praying for a miracle for a long time. We wanted a breakthrough for how our family relates to one another.
After trying a million and one things like organising family gatherings, photo shoots and other activities, we figured that there is absolutely nothing we can do to bring the family together.
We were on the verge of giving up, and only God could help us.
But when the circuit breaker kicked in, we decided to brave the storm and start doing what we could.
My mum made it a point to cook every dinner during the circuit breaker. For lunch, she worked out a schedule with my dad to determine who would buy food and the like.
Yes, there were still arguments, but the “rocks” required some grinding to smoothen out their rough edges.
As for me, I tried to grab every opportunity I had to draw closer to my parents.
By God’s grace, my dad is beginning to open himself up to the family. Over the course of the circuit breaker, my dad has:
- Learned to binge-watch Netflix with me.
- Begun to express himself through a blog.
- Taken the initiative to care for the plants that I’ve planted.
- Started sharing with the family (well, me, at least) about the things he cares about.
And my mum? She’s beginning to open up on her struggles with dad. She’s also praying that God would change my dad’s heart for the better.
Thank God, I also had the opportunity to watch some Christian films with the both of them.
We reflected on the lessons we could learn from these films as a family, and talked about some things we could do to improve our familial relationship.
Truth is, the circuit breaker has given us the opportunity to grow closer as a family.
Yes, the restrictions of the circuit breaker meant that there were things we could not do as a family. And certainly, the rough edges within my family still have not been completely smoothed over.
Old habits still remain, and it’s a pain to put up with them. But for all the inconveniences of the circuit breaker, it also gave us the opportunity to bond in ways we never thought possible.
For instance, even though we attend different churches, because of the circuit breaker, we began a routine of gathering on the couch to watch online streams of Sunday services together.
Now I can truly say that as a family, we’ve begun to look out for each other (and have meals together!).
Because of the circuit breaker, we have also successfully taught my grandma and my extended family how to use Zoom so that we can continue staying in touch with one another.
Through this period, God has opened my eyes to the potential growth my family is capable of achieving if we rest in Him.
As Singapore marches out of the circuit breaker into the first phase of reopening and rebooting, it is my prayer that the habits and routines that my family has started during the circuit breaker will remain.
And I thank God that He continues to shape and bless our families, in the good times and the bad.
THINK + TALK
- How was like to live with your family in the circuit breaker?
- Did you learn anything new from the extended time with them?
- What is one area in your family God might want to move in?
- Lift up each family member to Him in prayer.