Through Change, One Thing Always Remains the Same...

Do not yield to fear, for I am always near.
Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God.
I will infuse you with my strength
and help you in every situation.
I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 TPT

This is a scripture that often comes to mind when anxiety and fear rear their ugly head and in the past six days there has been much opportunity for this to happen, yet strangely I feel the strength and the peace that this verse speaks of.

One week ago, today we were in California getting ready for our flight home after a week of adventures at Disneyland, San Diego Zoo, and Legoland. When we left on this trip, COVID-19 had barely hit North America and there was never really a question of whether we were going on this trip or not. There really wasn’t much concern. I have learned that I need to make decisions out of wisdom and love, not fear, in the past five years since Mikail went home.

When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic the day after we arrived home, I really had to remember to practice this whole thing of making decisions out of wisdom and love, not fear.  You see, Mikail died of a community spread disease. The likely-hood of him contracting IGAS at school is extremely high, so for me to send Olivia to school after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, was really difficult, yet I knew that keeping her home would be out of fear. Was I afraid that she would get COVID-19 at school? No not at all. I was more afraid that she was a carrier, from our travels and would endanger someone else. Wisdom told me that it was safe to send her to school. She had no symptoms.

It was only on Friday March 13th that the recommendations for self-isolation after travel outside of Canada came out…and our dates of travel were not included. Yet, that night I felt achy and had a sore and red throat. No cough, but the thought of making decisions out of wisdom and love and not fear was still in the forefront of my mind. The thought of being out and about and possibly having COVID-19 and passing it on to someone who’s health is vulnerable, did not sit right with me.  We are strong and healthy and can easily kick this, should we have it, but not everyone is and I would hate to put anyone else in danger.  I know what it feels like to lose a child due to a community spread disease. I would not wish that pain on anyone. So, out of love and wisdom, I used the self assessment tool provided by AHS and it instructed me to call 811, which I attempted nearly 80 times before I got through in the wee hours of the morning. My symptoms weren’t of real concern, but because we had traveled outside of Canada, we were instructed to self-isolate and wait for a call from our Public Health Nurse to be tested and we were…and now we wait to hear the results...yet I feel complete peace about this.

As I reflect over this past week, I know how easily fear can creep in. When I went to pick up groceries the day we arrived home, and saw people buying excessive amounts of food and toilet paper, that panicked feeling of we better stock up easily entered my mind. God reminded me that only 14 days worth of groceries was necessary.

When it was recommended that anyone arriving home from outside of Canada March 12th or later, should self isolate for 14 days whether they had symptoms or not, fear spoke and said You arrived two days earlier, what makes March 12th THE date? Two days earlier and we are safe and not endangering anyone? How do we really know? We don’t, but God reminded me that we have done everything that AHS has recommended.

When scrolling through social media filled me with anxiety, I removed the Facebook and Messenger apps from my phone and removed or muted Instagram accounts that did not bring me a sense of peace or lifted me up. I know how easily I mindlessly open these apps on my phone when I am already anxious and they only add to the anxiety I am already pre-disposed to. In limiting my use of social media, making a list of things I’ve been wanting to get to (but haven’t), and setting out a routine for our family for the coming weeks or months of school being cancelled, peace returns.

I am reminded that THIS is our new normal and we will get used to it. Things are changing quickly, but one thing remains the same: God.

He is here with us.
He is for us.
He is faithful.
In Him we have peace.

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