I never thought I’d be Covid +.
Life changed since the pandemic began. Movements are limited. Mass gatherings like reunions are prohibited. Masks become a must-worn. Physical distance is implemented. Many are obliged to stay at home. Travelers are quarantined before going back to their houses and swab testing is a requirement to secure a travel pass to far places. I, for one, became aware of my every movement. As much as possible, I don’t mingle with people (non-essential gatherings), would always wear my face mask and face shield when going out of my place, and have an alcohol spray wherever I went. Yet, unexpected things really do happen.
It was on May 24, 2021, when the result of our swab test came out. I tested positive and was immediately brought to Ligtas Covid Center (LCC) of New Washington which happens to be located in our barangay. One thing I’m thankful for is that I have my house companion who also tested positive and so we were allowed to stay in one room for our quarantine days. My first few nights were full of anxiety and fear. I would only sleep for 4-5 hours at night. Many thoughts were bombarding my mind, mostly negative ones. News about the severity of Covid and the impact it had on those who were infected will always flash in my mind, making me so anxious and uneasy. What if I develop severe symptoms? What if I need medical attention? What if I stay longer than the required 14 days? Looking at my human perspective, it seems that this is the greatest battle of my life and it almost made me give up. I’ve tried to gather all my theological learnings just to assure myself and give me courage. I would always walk back and forth, inhaling and exhaling, finding anything to calm myself. Having some friends calling me or sending me comforting messages in messenger or just checking on me would always give me relief and a sense of courage to fight off this virus that infected me. And it helped me process my mental health issues.
Days passed by, my senses of taste and smell slowly weakened. I can’t smell the soap but can still smell my peppermint oil. I can’t totally taste the bitterness of ampalaya but can taste the salty adobo. I remembering coughing due to the itchy throat and thanks to the nurse on duty, he gave me Loratidine to ease the itchiness which even helped me get long sleep at night. It came to the point which it seems I became dependent on Loratidine to give me long sleep at night. Though my eyes wanted to close to rest, my mind keeps wandering far off, and it often leads to a place that sends fear rather than comfort.
My breakthrough happened on my 7th day of quarantine. Though my senses of smell and taste are still not normal yet I know that on that day God healed me from Covid. I experienced a deep sense of peace and comfort as if God is telling me that He has heard my prayers and the prayers of the people who intercede for me. I felt a renewed strength, an unexplainable joy coming inside of me reminding me of how God is in control of my body because it is His temple. I prayed, anointing my head, my face, and my upper body parts, declaring that my antibodies have won over the virus which tried to harm me. The Holy Spirit then brought to my memory my 2nd night in the facility. I vividly remember that night that I drank milk and medicine, only to wake up the next day (Wednesday) at 2:32 am to visit the CR. Then went back to sleep at woke up again at 4:00 am to go back to the CR. It was on this second visit to the CR that I felt I’m flushing out of my body most of the virus which infected me. However, during that time I choose to be deaf to this revelation for I was too focused on my fears and anxiety. In His infinite mercy, God restored my body, allowed my mind to refocus and find value in appreciating simple things.
There are many lessons He taught me but these three I want to share.
- Take control of your mind.
Your mind is the battleground between positive and negative thoughts. What you think the most, what you feed your mind, determines what you become. Negative thoughts will make you dwell on your weaknesses and will just invite defeat to come over your life. On the other hand, positive thoughts will give you the courage to overcome your weakness and make it a stepping stone in becoming what God intended you to be. So, choose to dwell on the positive thoughts. So, what if I have Covid? Can I, at least, use it to be more empathic to the plight of many families who have lost loved ones because of this pandemic? Or to be an avenue wherein my testimony would point people not to fear Covid rather experience how the Living God we serve accomplishes His purpose in our lives by revealing to us that He is in control and that not a thing happens without His knowledge and approval? So, lead your mind to concentrate on heavenly things, not on earthly things (Col. 3:1-2). Rebuke negative thoughts and allow God’s peace which transcends all understanding to guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7). There is victory in Jesus’ Name!
2. Treasure the right people.
For me, Covid exposes two kinds of people.
- Those who possess Christlikeness. These are the people who embody the teachings of Christ. You can find them: Praying and interceding for the sick, affected, and infected; Sending encouraging words and tangible expressions of love; Reaching out to help the affected; Educating others to show compassion, charity, and care for those who have the virus and their families; Doing the extra mile of letting the infected person feel the love of Christ through them.
- Those who profess Christlikeness. These are people who say they know Christ but their actions show otherwise. They would: “Pray” for you but also gossip about you; Speak about the love of God and yet do not even extend a helping hand to the affected; Focus more on fear of being infected, making it an alibi not to help; Throw blame instead of encouragement; Not care at all about one’s situation.
As we have the right to take control of our minds, we also have the right to choose whom to trust. As Proverbs 18:24 says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Having many friends is not a guarantee that many will be there for you in times of need. Only true stars will shine their light when you are in the dark. I have found true gems in this dark journey and forever will treasure them in my heart.
3. Trust God’s Plan.
Most often than not, when bad things happen, we ask God “Why?” As His follower, we have this mindset that we are entitled only to receive good things from Him. Yet, looking at God’s perspective, bad things often lead us to enjoy good things. Through losing someone we love; we learn to value those people close to us. By being sick, we realize the importance of being healthy. When there are confusion, doubt, and fear, we are reminded that we are invincible only because of God. We might not understand why He allows things to happen, but one thing I sure do know, it is and will always be for His glory. “But Job replied, ‘You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?’ So, in all this, Job said nothing wrong.” Job 2:10 The road which tests us is the road that will help develop our endurance and faith. Travel it gracefully and joyfully for it will lead you towards the fulfillment of your purpose here on earth. When at the crossroads, remind yourself to simply trust God.
There are still many pebbles along the highway of life and each one has a lesson to reveal. I would continue my journey fixing my eyes on Jesus, who is always with me and who loves me unconditionally.