A New Perspective on a New Reality

Yael Eckstein  |  August 26, 2020

Yael Eckstein wears mask in new world of pandemic, with Israeli flag in background

The summer season is winding down and back to school season has begun. Here in Israel, school will start next week. Even as a child I enjoyed this time of year. There is something magical about it. It is a time of new beginnings, a time to set new goals and set our sights on making an extraordinary year.

Yet, as is probably the case in most schools around the world, back to school will look very different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In Israel, children from 5th grade and up will attend school just twice a week and learn remotely from home three days a week. Younger children will attend school every day but in small, isolated “capsules” and with many rules and restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

A New Reality

At first, when the reality set in about what this year will look like, I couldn’t help but feel stressed. How would our family adapt to this new situation? How would I be able to continue working during the day if my children come to me in need of assistance with their studies? What if they have too much free time on their hands?

I decided to pray about my worries. Afterward, God gave me the presence of mind to recognize that while I cannot change the reality, I most certainly can change my perspective – and that will make all of the difference.

‘Plans to Give You Hope’

I began to focus not just on possible solutions for our challenges, but on exploring positive aspects of our situation I may have overlooked. I realized that having my older children at home is an opportunity to spend more time with them as their teenage years go by way too quickly. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home on many days, and when I do, I can spend my lunch break with my children. When my husband and I are not available to help with schoolwork, we can enlist friends and family who can help. And we can make good use of the extra time our children will have by getting them more involved in housework and cooking, which will strengthen our family unit and teach them more about responsibility.

Implementing my plans may not be easy, and every plan will probably not be as successful as I would like. But I am also fully committed to keeping a positive attitude. Throughout this school year that will be different than any we’ve experienced before, I will remember the words of the prophet: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s plans are better than our own, and I will choose to trust in Him.

Many of us are facing challenges right now, and all of us are confronted with a different reality than we are used to. However, as people of faith we know that God’s love has not changed. His might and majesty still reign. May we see His abundant blessings in any situation, no matter how challenging it is, and trust Him for a blessed future.

With blessings from the Holy Land,

Yael Eckstein's Signature