For the past couple of months, I would get stressed out when I listened to or watched constant news coverage about COVID-19, numbers of deaths and infected persons, business closures, job losses, possible food shortages, etc. Even now, I sometimes think, “Wow, I can’t believe we’re going through this” because I never imagined seeing anything like this occur in my lifetime.
However, things may be getting a little better–Illinois has allowed restaurants, businesses and stores to re-open on Friday. Indiana has allowed some of their stores and restaurants to open back up; this past weekend, I went to a Goodwill store in Indiana which had re-opened, but their restrooms and dressing rooms were closed to the public. All (or most stores) are requiring everyone to wear face masks and to practice social distancing, which is the new “normal” for now.
I made up my mind that I will not allow fear to control me in regard to this virus or anything else; I’m still wearing my masks and practicing social distancing, but I don’t watch the news reports as much. If negative thoughts pop up about work, my hair, my personality, etc., I use God’s word to rebuke and reject the thought. Although I’ve made the decision to not let fear dominate me, the enemy is attacking me with fear and anxiety. At first, I wondered if it was just me worrying about such and such; I started to realize it wasn’t me when 1) the fear just comes out of nowhere; I’m not having a fearful thought and 2) the Lord has been telling me that it’s an attack from the enemy. The attacks have been happening so much, I started questioning if God was on my side. I even wondered if there was sin in my life that I wasn’t aware of; whenever I’d ask the Lord what was going on, He’d tell me it was the enemy and He didn’t reveal any sin (I’m not perfect, but I’ve been trying to repent or ask for forgiveness whenever I mess up). I would use God’s word to come against any lie or accusation that the enemy would throw at me and it helped; but there were times when the Word or even pleading the pleading of Jesus didn’t seem to work.
At times, the attacks feel overwhelming—I start feeling warm and then the sweating starts. Sometimes I feel a sense of dread; most times, the fear feels as if it’s trying to smother me (I feel like I’m struggling to catch my breath. I have been to the doctor and he couldn’t find any problems). In addition, I would hear (and still do) the enemy say telepathically, “Shut up,” “Die,” and “I’ll kill you.” I didn’t understand why God was allowing these attacks and would become upset with Him. The Lord kept reminding me that He is on my side and the enemy is using bullying tactics to keep me from fulfilling my purpose; the enemy also wants me to fall back into my old ways of thinking and behaviors but because I am saved by Christ, I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). But still, I would get so angry and frustrated, I would curse at the enemy and tell him what his future looks like. I am learning that when you keep your focus on the enemy and your circumstances instead of God, you’ll end up feeling powerless and hopeless. I am remembering to call on the name of Jesus (and continuing to use His Word) and He helps me whenever an attack occurs.
Here’s some positive things that occurred during these challenging times:
- Last Saturday, I saw a rainbow after a thunderstorm; in the bible, God promised that he wouldn’t destroy the world by a flood and the rainbow was a symbol of His promise. I believe God is telling me that He will keep the promises He made to me (I have been struggling to believe a particular promise He gave me for fear of misinterpreting what He said).
- I’ve been doing a little landscaping by removing a few dandelion plants by their roots. The crazy thing is that their roots are so deep and grow in so many different directions so I can’t get to the main root. But digging in the soil and discovering earthworms, caterpillars, and other little bugs has been so relaxing! I planted grass seeds in one area that I dug up and I already see a blade of grass sprouting already!
- I took a walk around my neighborhood and really enjoyed it! I drive everywhere and it was interesting to walk past the homes on my street and notice little details that I don’t usually notice because I’m driving—flowers in a front yard, the color of a particular house, etc.
- I decided to make a fabric covered box for storage and wanted to use a thin, flouncy-type fabric. The Lord brought the word “fabric” to my mind and I wasn’t sure why but then a thought came to me: this fabric is too thin and spots from the hot glue may show through. I tested a small area of the thin fabric and sure enough, the spots from the hot glue peeked through. I used some purple and red fleece fabric (they were actually snuggies I bought from a thrift store). It’s not perfectly neat but it’s good enough.
- I’ve been going to the park and taking drives to nearby cities.
- I made my first YouTube Video about my experience with spiritual warfare; I believe the Lord wants me to do more videos to share the gospel so the next video I will do will be about how I came to Christ.
Hang in there and remember that God is with you; He will never leave you no matter how difficult life gets.