For many years, I have journaled my prayers, thoughts, questions and experiences. I’ve never shared any of these writings. Actually, I’ve joked with Noah that when I’m gone from this earth, he should promptly burn all of my journals. Lately I’ve been thinking that maybe there’s reason to hold onto the journals. Maybe they will give my grandchildren or great-grandchildren a glimpse of my spiritual struggles and joys. Some entries are not “pretty”. They clearly show my junk. They also reveal my desire to follow Jesus and understand more fully who God is calling me to be.
As I’ve journeyed through Covid-19, I have continued to journal. Some days I was too sick to write. Some days I didn’t want to write. Yet, through all of it, God journeyed with me.
I should say that these are my thoughts and prayers – not Noah’s. Yes, we were sick at the same time and sometimes we voiced to one another some of the same sentiments. Yet, I don’t write for him.
The Psalms express the emotions of humanity. We hear the cry of the heart in these sacred words – the pain of suffering and the joy of praise. They give us “permission to express our own words of anguish, anger and praise. With this permission in mind, I share portions of my journal as I journeyed through Covid:
July 10 – Holy Lord, thank you for this day. . . Noah just left to get tested for Covid . . . Lord Jesus, protect us – keep us dependent and reliant on You.
July 11 – Holy Lord, thank you for this day . . . Noah and I are in quarantine for at least 14 days. We are both sick – similar symptoms . . . Lord, may this time be a time to draw closer to you in all the ways I can. Help us to be wise. Lord Jesus, it’s going to be a lot of time in stillness – self-imposed – may I sense your presence and peace in the midst of quarantine.
July 13 – Lord, I’m just having trouble thinking clearly. Help me hear You, O Lord.
July 15 – I’m just so tired, Lord! My chest feels tighter today – my lungs are getting a workout with Covid.
Scripture for day – Psalm 56:8 – “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your record?” (NRSV)
“You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear entered in your ledger. Each ache written in your book.” (The Message)
O Lord, what a great Scripture for today. This is a great reminder that you know how we feel. Thank you, O Lord!
July 18 – Holy Lord, it’s been 3 days since I have written in my journal . . . Noah and I have been so sick with Covid. We are still not on the other side of it but I pray we are moving towards it. There have been a few times that I have just cried – that I thought I would not make it. I’m probably being a little dramatic . . . I just feel so bad. So does Noah. Help us, Lord, to get energy. How long, O Lord, how long will this last? Help us, Lord, help us to recover. Give us your healing power. Thank you, Lord!
July 25 – Holy Lord, it’s been a week since I’ve written anything in my journal. Every day Noah and I have had fever. It’s been such a journey and we want to be on the other side of it. . . . Lord, help us keep our eyes and heart on you and you alone. Thank you, Lord!
July 29 – Noah and I are moving forward in the Covid journey. We pray the meds start to help with our breathing. . . I’m praying we will soon feel better. Cognitively I pray for return of my concentration so that I can do all the things I’m called to do. Thank you, Lord, that you have been with us through this entire ordeal. Help us, Lord, to continue to trust you.
July 31 – This is the first day since July 10 that I’ve sat at my desk to write in my journal. My handwriting is not good because I’m so shaky. My breathing is still not good. My concentration is not good. Just help me take it one day at a time.
Colossians 1:11-12 – We pray that you will have the strength to stick it out over the long haul – not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy . . . (Message)
Thank you, Lord, for these words!
August 2 – I sat down yesterday to write in my journal for my 60th birthday. I was reading James 5:13-18 and my breathing was getting faster. Noah checked my respiration rate and my blood pressure . . . I spent the afternoon in the ER.
I wasn’t scared in the ER – more wishing Noah was with me. He had to just drop me out at the ER. I kept hearing a phrase from my prayer time on Friday – “filled with all the fullness of God” – (Ephesians 3:19)
August 7 – Today marks 4 weeks since Noah and I were diagnosed with Covid. . . It feels so long ago – I think because we’ve been so sick. Noah’s back to work. I’m trying to get that way.
It’s been a journey. Some days I sensed God’s presence so close that I felt as if I could touch Him. Other days I wondered: “Where are you, God? Please make this go away! I’m so OVER this!”
No matter the emotion, God knew my struggle and “caught my tears”. Even if I felt alone, I was not alone. My heart aches for the number of lives that have been lost to this horrible virus. As I write this post, I am praying for my friend who is currently on a ventilator.
I don’t know why some people have few symptoms, some are very sick, and some lose their lives. The only thing I know for sure is that God is with us – in the pain, in the sorrow, in the joy.
Thanks be to God!
Note: This post is the first of three related posts. The other two posts are forthcoming.