I have had a terrible week this week. Things have seemed to pile on each other non-stop. In the past month I have battled COVID-19, grappled with the guilt I have felt over bringing it to the family I am currently living with, I am struggling to love my job, I am struggling to trust the county I work in, and my family is having a spiritual battle. Life right now is more than hard; it is grueling.
On January 9th 2021 I tested positive for COVID-19. By January 11th the entire family I currently live with contracted COVID-19 from me. Later the husband of the family had to be taken to the hospital. He had 6 PE’s (pulmonary embolisms) and COVID-19 pneumonia in one lung. It was a miracle right then and there that he was alive because he shouldn’t have been. No one was allowed to see him and for 4 days he battled death. He is now home and getting better little by little. You can find his amazing God story here:
For 4 days I watched his wife pray consistently to God and not just praying for Karl to get better, but for her to continue to trust in him even if Karl didn’t make it. It was 4 extremely tiring, anxious, and tough days. She never lost faith in the Lord. No matter what could happen, she continued to believe. Such power and faith coming from one person.
However, I am a helper. I like to help and be of use. I want my loved ones to be well and when they are not I cannot help my own anxiety coming forth. I feel horrible for not being able to do anything for my loved ones even though I can’t do anything. I physically feel their pain. Furthermore, I was feeling guilty. I brought COVID-19 home. It was me. I caused this.
The feeling that I put someone in the hospital that was battling death was earth shattering. Karl is alive and has an amazing story, but in my mind I could have found a new job. I could have lived off savings. Many people, even the family, even Karl said “Don’t feel guilty, God is doing something great.” Yes I believed he was and is, but I still felt guilty. I prayed a lot.
In August my life kind of blew up and I had to decide whether I was going to continue to work at my school, who decided to go back in-person, or find a new job. While I worked out my life the family I am living with accepted me into their home. Without them…well I don’t even want to think about what could have been. I prayed. I heard the Lord say stay. Stay at this school. This is my place for you. I walked into that school on Day 1 and felt such relief. This was where I was supposed to be.
Teaching this year has been more than tough. Frankly I hesitate to walk into the school building everyday. I am a teacher. God made me to teach, yet everyday I struggle to love what I do. I have developed severe migraines, one had me in the ER, my stress levels are through the roof, and my anxiety keeps me up at night. I haven’t slept well in months. I am exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically. I have cried at least 3 times a week and y’all I don’t cry. I am not a crier, but I am so overwhelmed. Then COVID happened.
COVID-19 hit hard. I did everything I could to stay safe at work and it wasn’t enough. Yes, I can trace COVID back to my job. I had been expressing my concern about the increase in cases in our county. After I contracted COVID I was pissed. When Karl contracted COVID from me I was furious. I wanted to yell “I told you so”, but by this time I felt like no one would listen, I mean they hadn’t been for months. I was so tired of fighting and feeling like I was the only one who cared.
Why am I sharing this with you? Why am I sharing this depressing story of my current life? Why is this important? One thing, I still believe. Through it all I still believe I serve a righteous, loving God. I still believe my God is good. I still believe.
Yes this year has been more than hard. I have been beaten black and blue. I will have scars from this year for the rest of my life, but I think of the song ‘Scars” by I Am They. One part says:
“Darkest water and Deepest pain, I wouldn’t trade it for anything,
‘Cause my brokenness brought me to you, And these wounds are a story
you’ll use, So I am thankful for the scars.”
My brokenness brought me to you. How true is that. We, humans, forget God when life is good, but when life is hard we cry out to him. We tend to never thank God for his blessings. We assume we deserve them, we expect them to happen, but not the hard difficult things like death, a broken heart, etc.
I remember John 16:33 which says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We are told by Christ himself life will be hard, expect it! Oh yes I have had trouble, am still experiencing trouble. But here is the thing. Christ has already won the war. The enemy can only make us doubt this by placing horrible things in our way. The enemy is trying to get us to doubt God's love.The enemy can only create mini battles that don’t change what has already been done. Christ has already had victory! This week has only reminded me of how much God truly loves me.
When bad things happen we focus on the bad, which causes us to overlook the beautiful things that are happening. This week was hard. In the past month I have battled COVID-19, but I received a much-needed break from work to be refreshed, so I could have one day of no hesitation to walk through those school doors. I grappled with the guilt over bringing COVID to the family I am currently living with, but their love for me never once failed and never did they once blame me. Through their love, I feel no guilt anymore. I am struggling to love my job and through that struggle I have formed more real relationships with my coworkers, and have been able to be a light to them in their struggles. I am struggling to trust the county I work in and I will continue, but a friend once said” Don’t doubt what was said in the light during the dark times.” I was told to stay in the light, so in the dark I will stay. My family is having a spiritual battle, however I will trust in the Holy Spirit that lives in each member of my family, which if you think about it in of itself is amazing. My whole family believes and serves Christ. Life right now is more than hard; it is grueling. I don’t know what the Lord's plan is, but I do know God is never failing. He has proven that again and again.
Suffering will continue for we live in a fallen world filled with sin, BUT God knew it would be hard so he gave us the best weapon for the battle called life. He gave us Jesus Christ. This week isn’t the only time I have experienced hardship. As I have gotten older and as I look back on my life I can see how the Lord has used those moments to better his Kingdom and how those trials have molded me into who I am. Only through him will we find peace and through him I have found peace.