Hey there, stranger!
Wow, a lot has happened since we encountered one another. I am still trying to get my head around all that has been going on in my life, and all God has shown me in the last 6 weeks. All I can say is, I am glad to be on the other side of it. I am still brushing the dirt off, but I am grateful for all I have been blessed with and thankful for another day in this beautiful crazy life, even if it does smack me in the face like a ton of bricks from time to time.
This season has showed me much. Has anyone else besides me found themselves realizing that this season started in 2019, that this past 6 weeks have simply been the climax to a long-building story and you actually play the main character. Plot twist, it actually has been all about you!
I don’t know about you, but COVID-19 stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought that 2020 was going to be about conquering some personal goals I had set; completing two books that I have been working on, finishing some home improvement projects, losing those pounds (always seems to be a carry-over goal for me), getting a few certifications, serving more at church, having longer and more structured quiet times, going on a girls trip, not missing a birthday or celebration for or with my people… the list goes on. You get the idea. I’m sure we all had only knocked one or two things (if any) off of our 2020 goals list. Little did we know in the first quarter of 2020, we’d have to go into survival mode and all ambitions would be sidelined as our little worlds came to a screeching halt.
Most of you following this blog are my personal friends and family, so you already know this next part, but some of you were not on my emergency prayer warrior list, so allow me to enlighten you. A few short weeks before the COVID-19 breakout, my youngest daughter began to have inconsistent daily seizures that were mostly accompanied by a low grade fever. Jade’s seizures were terrifying and as she continued to have them everyday, the seizures seemed to be getting worse. She was turning blue around her lips and they were lasting anywhere from 5-9 minutes, all looking different and happening very sporadically. As my husband and I searched for answers and finally got some tests scheduled the COVID breakout happened. You know what that means, all healthcare appointments cancelled and we were left without answers.
Now, if you don’t know me personally, if we polled my friends and family on their top 10 words to describe me, the words persistent and motivated would definitely be in the top percent of results. I did what I know to do when I need an answer when my head is spinning and facts are not adding up – I fasted – and my quiet time goal (longer and more structured) was getting fulfilled. I went to the Father for answers. I prayed harder, cried out, worshiped, and spent every hour that I wasn’t working in the Word, researching and talking to God and those in my circle that I swear have a direct line to God as I searched for a remedy for my baby girl.
One morning during my quiet time the words “air quality” dropped in my heart. The other word that would likely be on the list my for my close family and friends when naming my qualities is that doer. I can get things done. Yep, I got on task. That very day I informed my husband of the word I received and I had our home’s air quality tested. In just a few days I had results back that showed severe counts of mold spores in our home. The process of discovering the location of the mold and remediating the mold from area identified as the source began immediately. This was week one of COVID. Remediation included evacuating our home in the midst of Alabama’s Shelter in Place order being passed. Six weeks later, as the COVID-19 pandemic declines, we believe we have completely remediated the issue, are back in our home and Jade is on the mend.
For many this season has looked different. The one theme that is consistent for all is that we have all been stretched and had some growing pains during this season. Whatever your vice or idol is, if you have been paying attention during this season, God has exposed that thing you hold too tightly, those habits you need to kick, your distractions, how your time is spent, and what you put ahead of Him and His agenda for you; He is likely using and in some way removing it or making it very uncomfortable duting this time as He draws you in during this season and forges you into the person you need to be for this next season, for your next step. We should all look different after this season. I challenge us all to examine what this season has shown you, and make a plan for how you will keep hold of the new and keep off the old as the sun rises on the dawn of a new day post COVID-19.
May 2020 continue to be the year of God Encounters. May you encounter Him in a fresh new way that fans the flame inside of you to be the best, brightest version of yourself that is a beacon for Christ. If you haven’s slowed down in the strange season, take a moment, breathe deep, get up your courage and ask God to show you what it is He wants you to see in this very strange season. It’s a season of quick returns, my friend, go all in, ask the hard questions, and ready your heart to hear the answers and the courage to do what He asks of you for your next steps.
You are not alone. We are in this together.
“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8