It has felt like an eternity.
But it’s only been a few weeks since I began my self-isolation. It’s a time of uncertainty for all of us. No one knows when the Coronavirus will run its course and what our lives will look like after it is over. But one thing I know for sure, is that it is giving us all more opportunities to pause, reflect, and to hand our worries and despair over to God. God will not let us down when we need Him. He is there for us. Trust in the Lord, and He will alleviate our fear.
Many of us are doing this self-isolation by ourselves. I am one of them. I can honestly say that the first few days were filled with fear and despair. The unknown can be frightening to anyone. But there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. I choose the former. There are so many things you can do by yourself, that maybe you wouldn’t have opportunities to do otherwise. When you’re feeling lonely, find a comfortable place and pick up your Bible, choose a book, a chapter, or a verse and read it. You will find solace in His word.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
That was one of the first Bible verses I read during this isolation period. It was a powerful one that has stayed with me. It has proven to me once again, that I am not alone. I know that not only am I loved by my family and many friends, but more importantly I am loved by God and He will help me persevere. I am a child of God. He will take care of me.
While we all may already realize that, I think it’s vitally important to remind ourselves during these days of uncertainty. Our emotions may try to take over our rational thoughts. As Pastor Miles McPherson recently told us in his message on March 22, we need to identify our negative thoughts, write them down and even say them out loud, so we can rationalize if they are truly legitimate. Those actions may give us solace.
Prior to the Coronavirus, many of us were already struggling with certain emotions or concerns, but now they may appear to be magnified. If we’re alone, we may not have anyone to discuss our concerns. So that’s when texting or calling a friend can be a valuable gesture to not only express your love, but to receive it as well. We need to find what soothes us and gives us some peace of mind. For me, it’s putting on calming music and reading a good book, the Bible, or even writing. Also scheduling a time and place for prayer. I pray when I first wake up and just before I go to sleep at night ~ and countless times during the day. But find what time works for you.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When you give your fear to God, you release yourself from the anxiety. Instead of dwelling on the negative or the unknown, stop for a moment and focus on some of the positive aspects of what’s going on right now. Families are becoming more united and spending more quality time together; friends are reaching out to help each other; people are going for walks and taking in so many senses. Feeling the air blowing through our hair, smelling the fragrance of a blooming Jasmine or Gardenia, and seeing small animals scurrying about can bring us such joy. We feel less anxious when we live in the present moment—practicing mindfulness. We can find solace by paying attention to what’s happening right now. So often, we’re in such a hurry we don’t notice the beauty around us. Now we can be grateful for our surroundings and take them all in. We can also find so much joy by cuddling and playing with our children, or even a cat or dog. We have more of a chance to give them the attention that they may miss out on when we’re not around.
Staying at home also gives us opportunities to tackle projects we’ve put off in the past. Being productive can bring about real feelings of pride and accomplishment. Not only that, but when we busy our minds with something productive, we are more single-focused and less distracted by any negative thoughts.
These moments we spend at home give us all an opportunity to look inward and to God and find comfort that this too shall pass.
Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.