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  • Katie Smith


There's an unseen darkness that pushes your weight into the cushions. A fog that feels unliftable. With nothing "to do," with the despondency and nausea seeping into the covers, the heavy weight pushes you back into the mattress. Those first steps, feel impossible. The darkness tells you everything is pointless. No pleasure exists with illness, mental or physical. No food, drink, pastime, or activity presents enjoyment with such a malaise.

You see a tunnel: an endless dark cylinder of uncertainty. (Will this last a lifetime?) The funnel is clogged with hair, dirt and grimey sickness. Not only have you lost that youthful joy of watching the water spin into a tornado, round and round, down the drain, but now you're side-swiped by a disgusting web of lies stealing all the joy from that initial curiosity.

You don't have the energy to clean the drain, BUT by pulling just one nasty hair, one lie, the rest comes with it. You must redirect your thoughts like you would redirect a frustrated child. Focus on what is true, good, what can be counted with thanksgiving, even if that exists in the most basic elements of life. You are alive. You are loved. You are blessed. When the lies entangle you though, this rudimentary practice is easily thrown by the wayside.

Instead of listening to the whispers of what was taken, what was lost, what went missing, you begin to see what has been erased from your life for your own good. Erasers are beneficial, not harmful, because they take away the erroneous fog of falsehood. We can see more clearly and hear more clearly after the fog of illness. It's a true awakening. We have our correct prescription lense in place.

COVID, in my case, could have taken my entire life, but instead, COVID took my strength, energy, and stamina. COVID took my ability to move quickly, to raise my voice, and to multi-task. I cannot frantically fuss in a frenzy anymore. Should I have ever rushed? Jesus was never in a hurry, was He?

As I came home after a two weeks isolating at home and another week at the hospital, I was no longer able to increase the decibel of my voice or the efficiency of my character correctly. I don't presume to achieve perfection at this or to have flawless interactions with my little people, but I think there was a serious need to recalibrate my natural instincts involved in day-to-day living.

We all want to walk, talk, and interact with peaceful poise, but it takes stripping a person out of their old shell, of what they think they "know" is best, in order for them to see how they can be made new in the likeness of their originally, perfectly intended design.

"We do not lose heart, though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day"

(2 Cor. 4:16)

Moreover, COVID took away much of my pride and miscalculated confidence. While we may throw out the "biblically correct" gratitude: I'm just blessed because God made me this way: I can independently achieve more than the average Jane because God knew I needed to be able to do it all. I just have a strong tolerance for pain, gain, and continuing to remain, thanks be to God, He keeps me going when life is hard. God has just really blessed me with all these gifts.

In reality, we think our strength, circumstances, or capabilities are gifts that we "need," "deserve," or will just always have. As the only female in my household, it's easy to subconsciously believe I have a different kind of strength. My strength is needed to keep our world running. My strength, the strength of women, wives, and mothers runs deeper because we don't get sick days, we don't get real vacations, and our tolerance for pain, illness, and emotional stability must be higher than our counterparts.

As no one else in my home suffered much from the virus, I was pushed down to see my sin. We think our research, our preparedness, or our man-made inventions will give us safe, secure hope for a future of ease. Yet, COVID took this pride of mine and laid me low. Not only was I blindsided by the trampling and debilitating illness, but my inability to "bounce back" kept me from putting that subconscious pride back on a pedestal. Feeling feeble, faint and frail left me pondering how I ever took so much pride in my strength before now. I didn't earn it. It was given to me by an unseen Father, and it was His, so He had the right to take it away for my good.

In truth, COVID opened my eyes to see that comparing strength, ailments, or trials is not only unproductive, but also completely wrong. Our bodies are all so different, we literally can never know how someone else is truly feeling or how we would feel in their same shoes. We cannot and should not juxtapose one person's fight internally with another person's fight externally. Healthcare statistics are more or less comparisons; comparing one situation, person, outcome, etc. to another. In essence, statistics use data to mathematically create theories of probability. While stats help create a baseline from which to wrap our minds around potential outcomes, comparing uncertainties or differentials is unwise and dangerous.

We are inaccurately comparing diagnoses these days without a truthful baseline. This "virus" shows the world that we will never have all the answers to eradicate the world of hardships. We cannot tell someone what will happen to them based on averages or comparisons. We must humble ourselves to see that we can make the most informed decision possible, but pray....and trust that some of us are destined to journey through a dark tunnel in order to eradicate our pride and fear all together. Otherwise, we will lose sight of what is true in the midst of a dreadfully clogged drain.

Once we begin to sit thankfully in every moment, we will receive the right lense to see that fun funnel again. We will be given new eyes of a child. Every day will feel new; every moment a gift.

COVID took from me as much as it gave me... to be continued.

~Carefully Careless

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