I did everything I was supposed to do.
That was my heart cry when everyone–despite being fully vaccinated–came down with COVID in our home. Everyone, that is, except for me.
I’m a nurse. I know how to protect myself. I know how to protect my family. So why did they all get sick, despite everything we all did right?
I cleaned so much during the three week rampage my fingernails separated half way down the beds. I felt violated. I felt afraid. I was a basket case.
Now, everyone has recovered well. No one was hospitalized. Some have a lingering cough and fatigue. Overall, we have much to be thankful for in comparison to others who have been forced to take this journey of battling COVID-19. But this isn’t a post about vaccines. It’s not about masks or mandates. It’s not about sheltering in place or six feet of separation.
This is a post about feeling helpless against an unseen enemy.
Isn’t that how we’ve all felt since early 2020, that we are running from an invisible terror, wondering if and when the indiscriminate monster is going to find us or our family members? We play and re-play the worst scenarios in our minds of hospitalization and even death. (Note: this imagining is much worse when you are a nurse on the front lines of the pandemic.)
Truth be told, none of us asked for this or any other season of hurt. None of us are guaranteed another day on this earth. This is just how it is to live in a broken world, where the unseen enemy prowls like a lion waiting to devour. The pandemic has just made the reality of our mortality more pronounced.
But God is all about stepping into the broken places with us.
In my novel Before I Saw You (on sale all this month on all e-book platforms), protagonist Jaycee Givens didn’t ask to be surrounded by the horrors of the opioid epidemic. She didn’t ask for an unexpected pregnancy. But with the help of friends like Sudie, her friends at the coffee shop, kind health care workers and others, she was able to see God in the midst of her overwhelming fear and loss.
I’m guessing there is a Sudie in your life, or a coffee shop-like place where you can go and know you are not alone. Maybe it’s your church. Maybe it’s a friend at work. Maybe it’s a neighbor. Maybe it’s an old, faithful dog who presses the curve of his back against you as he sleeps. Maybe, as I discovered while taking a simple nature walk around our little back yard last week, it’s in the simple wonders of creation.
Goodness and God are all around us, in the midst of our pain, in the midst of our fear, in the midst of our shame, in the midst of our losses, even in the midst of this pandemic.
May He bless you and bring you peace, dear friends.
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