I feel angry this morning because I am remembering what it’s like to snuggle two toddlers, and how baby soft their cheeks are when you give em a kiss. And yes, mine are exceptionally adorable – probably more adorable than yours. (I’m a grandmother, I’m supposed to believe this!)
I’m very angry at this virus – not the Governor, the President, China, not even those imbeciles who are so defiantly out walking around, perhaps unknowingly infecting others. (Okay, that might have sounded a little angry). I’m angry at this evil virus. And it is just that – EVIL, because it has taken PEOPLE away from me – people I LOVE!
I’m afraid my anger at this EVIL virus has done away this morning with any creativity left in me, mostly because I miss Lyla & Owen, but also partly because I can’t believe I even KNOW people who think this is all a big government hoax, and that the hospital I work in is ……. empty?
Also, I’ve had a lot of people who genuinely love and care about me express how much sleep they are losing as they worry about me.
So this morning, I am setting out to dispel some falsehoods about the COVID-19 virus, and instead, bring you some truths, and some Truths that will hopefully set your mind at ease, allow you to stop worrying about things you have no control over, and perhaps do even a little more than that. After all, it’s almost Spring, and since I’ve no flowers to plant – this is…. Well, it’s even better.
Let’s start with the falsehoods:
- Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital is NOT, I repeat NOT empty. I don’t believe any other hospital is empty either. It might LOOK empty from the outside because there are empty parking structures, but that is only because we are not allowing visitors because we HAVE TO get control of the spread of this virus.
- Physicians, Registered Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Critical Care Technicians, and all other hospital staff are NOT sitting around playing poker. (And you can ask my sons – I would not play ANY card game, even if I got paid double what I make now. I don’t “get” card games, never have, never well, and I’m simply not interested in learning any card games. I’d rather watch paint dry). And by the way, Beaumont would never pay me to play cards, trust me.
- I am not forced to go in and out of my patient’s room without a mask, and I am not wearing the same gown all day, in multiple rooms, even if it’s soiled.
- Worrying about all of this stuff is going to solve everything, or at least something.
- Complaining about what I don’t have is going to make me feel better.
And the truths:
- There is less personal protective equipment (PPE) than we are used to having.
- There are also way, way, way more rooms requiring PEE than we are used to having.
- You can only prepare for what you expect. We did not expect this.
- I do NOT believe that our hospital administration is out to get us and purposefully putting us at risk, and I DO believe they are doing what is humanly possible, given the current circumstances.
- I have a phenomenal boss who fights hard for ALL of her staff, some things are beyond her control, and I know she cares so much that she loses sleep – probably a lot of sleep. I’m not going anywhere else.
- This virus IS evil. I know it is. I’ve seen up close and personal what it’s doing to the sickest of the sick.
- Hospital staff HAVE died of this virus at multiple local hospitals.
- I might get this virus. And, I might die of this virus, leaving both of my adult sons without any parent, and my grandchildren may never remember me. Have I thought about these things? Absolutely. I’ve thought about it enough to discuss my end-of-life wishes with my legal medical decision maker, provide all of my account numbers and passwords to my children, and even clean my house so it’s not dirty if I die. (Yeah, I’m also one of those people who scrubs the floors on her hands and knees.) I have two very close friends who work in the hospital, who I’ve told I want by my side should the time come.
- I have an N-95 mask at work that I use all day long, in multiple rooms. Yes, this is true. I put it in a paper bag with my name on both the mask and the bag, and it is returned to me in the morning having been UV Light cleaned. I do not understand this, or know much about this, but I’m also one of those people who assume the best intentions. Maybe you think that is naivety, or even stupidity – but I can’t worry about it. I trust that it’s okay.
And most importantly, the Truths:
- God prepared ME for this. I look back over the course of three months, and see MULTIPLE ways in which He was preparing me – right down to the number of thank you cards I would enjoy sending to the Army of prayer warriors, meal makers, Scripture senders, mask sewers, encouragement givers, song senders, and Promise reminders I would be blessed by – on a daily basis!! If you don’t have an Army of friends like this – you need to get one. Ephesians 5:18-20 says, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- God allowed this. He is Sovereign. He does not sit back and wonder what His next move will be against satan. Satan can’t do anything without God’s permission, and God oftentimes gets sick and tired of our sin, and He allows us opportunities. That’s what this is, by the way – an opportunity to repent, to pray, and to turn back to Him. Every single day I have an opportunity to choose – will I spend my precious TIME complaining? Pointing fingers? Blaming? Or will I hear that still small voice of the Holy Spirit calling me to repent, to pray, and to lean in closer than I’ve ever leaned. I want Him to turn this thing around, so I’m listening to His voice. I want YOU to hear Him too. I wish so much people would realize how effective prayer is, (and how ineffective fear, worry, complaining, and finger pointing is).
- God is sovereign over my life, and over yours. Psalm 139:15 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” This virus can’t take me out before the date God had written in His book for me to come home. The very same goes for you. Period. End of story.
- There is an unseen Army of angels that protects me inside every one of my COVID-19 rooms. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11
- This is a broken, fallen, screwed up world, but I don’t belong to it. I have walked through difficult life circumstances in the past, and I am certain there are more in my future. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” I have peace – an indescribable peace.
- I don’t belong to this world. I’m just passing through it. “Philippians 3:20, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (If something happens to me, I’ll be doing hornpipes and jigs on streets of gold. Please, throw a party).
- If GOD chooses to bring me home during this pandemic, it will not be by means of this virus, even if I contract it. It will be because of HIS sovereignty, and because He wants me with Him. I trust Him with that. And should that happen, here’s a favorite verse of mine: Isaiah 43:2 says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you BY NAME; you are MINE. When you pass through the waters, I WILL BE WITH YOU; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep you over. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” With all of my heart, I believe this.
- God is in control. We might feel like we are in control when we plan trips to visit our children, plan a family dinner, purchase a plane ticket for a trip months from now, but it is God who decides every single one of our steps. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” God has allowed this virus to give us an opportunity to recognize and admit how very little control we have. In a sense, you’ve already submitted to that Truth just by being in your current circumstances.
- You do not need to be scared, anxious, depressed, or unsure. You can have a complete peace like you’ve never experienced before, despite your current circumstances – whatever they are! Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- All of the eye rolling, mockery, and laughing in the world will never excuse you from bowing your knee. Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.