Someone once told me, “Someday, you are going to have a faith crisis. You will doubt God loves you, you will doubt that He wants good for you, you may even think He has forsaken you.”
I laughed it off, and said “You’re crazy. Just because it happened to you doesn’t mean it is going to happen to me.”
But it did.
After two years of having been exposed to thousands of people who had covid and did not know they had it, the dreaded virus came to our home.
As you know, I have lived with my best friend and her family (rent a room) for almost six years now.
We have six people in a large farmhouse.
When covid came to call, one by one we became symptomatic. I knew right away when I had it because the smell in my nose smelled like burning rubber tires. Two days later, I lost my smell and taste.
Every symptom on the list displayed its ugly head in my body. Probably the worst initial symptom was the fainting when I would stand up.
My daughter brought me a box of soup, two healing bath salts bags for my covid muscle pain, peanut butter crackers, Boost shakes and a large bouquet of flowers and a card. A drop and leave, she said. Same thing I did when she and her house had covid several months ago.
I didn’t get out of bed much in five days.
I had no strength and felt like I was dying.
It sounds gross, but for three days of that five, I did not take a bath nor brush my teeth. I was that out of it.
Mama called. Friends messaged.
One week later, I felt like I was getting better, and my smell returned such that I could smell breakfast.
(I had burned my toast one morning because I could not smell it, and that is when I realized that my smell is my number one sense.)
But the weekend before I was to return to work, a stomach virus component of this Delta variant ravaged my insides.
Hanging off the side of my bed, as my bestie checked on me, I started praying out loud.
“God, are you trying to kill me? Do You hate me that much? All I can pray right now is My God My God, why have You forsaken me? You would understand that prayer, because even Jesus prayed that,” I said as I wrote, being so tired of being sick.
My bestie grabbed my Bible and said you have not read your Bible in a month. “You need some fresh air,” she said. We went to the porch, (which I have now named “The Healing Porch,” because of how God touched me out there.)
Fighting nausea, as my smell returned and breakfast was cooking, I struggled to run out the door, afraid I would hurl before I made it outside.
It was almost like being pregnant again.
Three days later, I sat on a chair in a side “covid” hall, waiting to be seen in the ER. It was just me and a girl halfway down the hall, stretched out on three chairs she had threaded together. She couldn’t even sit up.
Dear Jesus, please don’t take me out yet. I want to see my children and grandchildren. I love them so.
One of our deputies was on a ventilator. (His memorial service was this week.)
God help us, Lord. Please, I prayed.
Later, I was told that covid is also a weeping virus. It messes with your emotions.
One IV bag of anti-nausea meds and two hours later, I was sent home on seven days of steroids.
“You are one of the lucky ones, though you may not feel like it now,” the doctor said.
I only had a little congestion, and would heal quickly with the steroids to blast the inflammation.
There are people in this life that God has gifted as lifesavers. My bestie is one of those people.
She read the Bible to me every day, and played Rick Warren’s series on how to pray.
After my prayer about God forsaking me, I thought God would surely strike me down. Instead, a silver thread of mercy came down from heaven, a strand of hope.
It took a few days, but I reconnected with God. And had numerous revelations about my life “pre-covid” versus “post covid.”
Thinking back to my life patterns, I realized I was a person who was often critical of people, things, and situations. Instead of glorifying God, I was all wrapped up in my own negative emotion.
The Saturday after I returned to work, I was off and spent the whole day in my garden. The Florida humidity is a great healer for respiratory and illness of all kinds. For about six hours, I talked to God, out loud, not in my head. I sang worship songs. I confessed sins (everyone has em). I watched the squirrels and talked to my “happy peppers.” First time in my life my peppers have done well.
That day was a turning point for me. I had a few conversations I needed to have with various people. Apologies or whatever was on my mind. God reminded me it was ok to do that.
Rick Warren says that at the beginning of your day, you should have worship time with God, where you just focus on your blessings and God’s goodness, and not your problems or the issues in the world at large. Then pray over your needs and prayer requests at lunch. He admits being “over” people sometimes by lunch. That’s a good time to ask God for help, he said. Then in your mid-afternoon bathroom break, confess your sins. “That’s what I call taking out the trash,” he said. And at night when he comes home, he says you know your blood sugar is low. You don’t want to bring your work day home, he says. So he has an antique milk jar on his front porch to remind him to drop his troubles at the door. He prays and says I will pick them up tomorrow morning when I go to work. So he spends his evening with his family, minus the work thoughts. And ends the day the same way he started it, by reading a scripture and going off to sleep thanking God for the day. “Good night, Lord,” he says.
I share this with you here because I feel like being real is a good thing. I know there are those that will say to me that “you would never have had that faith crisis if you would have spent more time with God.”
And I would say, you are right.
I felt like God spoke to my spirit that Saturday.
Like He was saying, “I gave you a voice for a reason. I want you to audibly talk to Me like you talk to your one million friends.”
I cried and danced, I restored my tangled garden, both literally and figuratively. I feel lighter than I have in years, like a boulder has been removed from my shoulders.
I am so grateful for God’s love. For His mercy. For living to survive covid. I have lost so many friends this year to this horrible virus.
If I can share anything to make someone else’s load lighter, or to infuse hope, I am going to do that.
Thank You, Lord, that though I suffered, You restored, renewed and gave me a new birth.
P.S. Besides focusing on my blessings and following his prayer model, which has helped so much, I have also spent much less time on social media and reading news. Instant mood boost ☺️