In 2019 I ended my last day of work at an amazing job on a Friday. On the following Saturday, I frantically packed up my life to escape the worst and scariest experience of my life; emotionally, verbally and leaning towards a physically abusive husband. With the help of my family coming to my rescue I moved all my belongings, myself, and my son 200 miles back to my hometown to stay with my parents until I could get us back on our own again. That Sunday was a blur, as was Monday, which was a holiday, and I began work on Tuesday. I never took the time to breathe. I never took time to just be still. I was afraid to be still. I was afraid I couldn’t make it through. I didn’t want to reflect or think. I wanted it all to disappear. So I kept very busy all the time from then on.
But keeping so busy caused me to be exhausted and to struggle with setting aside quiet time with God; something that used to be my lifeline. I never went a day without it before. But catastrophe hit and I didn’t want to be quiet. I still had my faith and I wasn’t angry at God, I just didn’t want my mind to think about what had happened, what I had escaped, what would have happened if I had stayed or why it ever happened in the first place. I had so many questions but I chose avoidance.
March of 2020 rolled around and another catastrophe hit which forced me to do nothing but slow down: the Covid-19 pandemic. I was out of work and quarantined at home for 6 weeks which provided plenty of time to think and be quiet. So I chose to take that time to rest, breathe, and get back into the groove of my daily quiet time with God. And although I am still struggling to get back into that groove like I used to be this pandemic has helped me realize how desperately I needed this time to just be quiet, to slow down, reflect, and to enjoy the quality and quantity of time.
God’s word tells us in Psalm 46:10 to be still; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says to rejoice ALWAYS, to pray without ceasing and to give thanks no matter what; 1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all our anxieties on Him BECAUSE He cares. His word also offers comfort in Psalm 34: 17-18 that He hears us and delivers us from our troubles and that He is near the brokenhearted; Deuteronomy 31:8 promises that God goes before us and will never leave or forsake us; Isaiah 41:10 says we should not fear because God is with us, He will strengthen and uphold us. Matthew 6:25-34 is certainly a wonderful set of verses to comfort us and remind us not to worry during this particular time in our world. Lastly, Hebrews 7:25 states to draw near as well as James 4:8 which adds the promise that He will draw near to us.
I wish I had taken more time to be still and get closer to God this last year because 1) God commands it and desires us to get close to Him and 2) I know it would have helped me heal in a healthier way than I was choosing. So, despite all the uncertainties of what is to come with Covid-19, I am thankful for the quarantined time I had because I was able to slow down and choose to be obedient and be still and quiet, to listen to God’s commands and to take comfort in His promises. I allowed one catastrophe to disrupt my quiet time but God used another kind of catastrophe to help me get that quiet time back.