Its week seven of our stay-at-home order in North Carolina. Most of us have moved from disbelief, fear and trying to make sense of it, to settling in even if it’s with reluctance. I felt overwhelmed and almost paralyzed with inaction at the very beginning. As a university professor I have taught classes online before but having to move a face-to-face class to online in a week’s notice in the middle of the semester was all-consuming. I have a high school senior who watched in disbelief as each senior experience was canceled. My 8th grader questioned the point of getting dressed everyday if we weren’t going anywhere and resisted any sort of structure I tried to design in her day.
While those first couple of weeks were intense, I must admit I have enjoyed the slower pace of life. Don’t get me wrong; I do miss going out, interacting with people and living life in the old normal. I have also enjoyed some aspects of being at home. I’ve cooked way more than I ever have in my adult life! I have also kind of enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed looking for new things to cook and having the time to cook without feeling rushed to get something together. I’ve been consistent in my devotional life and the time I spend with the Lord. I have been consistent about working out. In fact, I’ve consistently gotten in more steps staying at home than in “regular life.” Between Zoom calls and meetings and thinking outside of the box to get things done I definitely felt like I put in a full day’s work. But it has been refreshing to work at my own pace in my own comfort. I like going to bed when I want and waking up without an alarm clock. My house is also tidier as everyone has time to put things back where they belong. Yes, stay-at-home orders have produced a less than ideal living condition, but I am grateful for the time to reset.
I’ve talked to a couple of my friends who were saying the same thing, but they also said they felt guilty for feeling like this when there is so much death and despair going on in the world. My response is: If we are in a state of peace, its time for us to be prayer warriors! I know for me, its hard to be an intercessor if I am all-consumed with my own chaos, grief, illness and pain. I am so grateful for friends and family who prayed for me when I was too emotionally exhausted to barely pray for myself. On this National Day of Prayer, I encourage us all to express gratitude for what God has provided during this pandemic for us personally and pray for those who are not in that same space of peace.
Thank you of the enjoyable presence of the three other people in my house (even when we have gotten on each other’s nerves from time to time). I ask that you take away the loneliness of those who live alone and even loneliness that can exist living with other people. Heal the wounds of broken familial relationships of people living in the same house.
Thank you for the opportunity to work from home; protect those who do not have the same option and give them peace of mind.
Thank you for health and wellness; provide a super-natural healing for those infected with coronavirus, keep and protect those who have other health conditions.
Thank you for peace of mind; provide peace for those who are in fresh states of grief, struggling with mental health issue or struggling with addictions. Let them feel your presence and power.
Thank you for feeling safe and protected; cover and protect those who are living in vulnerable situations with no where to escape.
Thank you for my teenagers who, though they like retreating in their rooms for long periods of time, they also are not resistant to our family-time activities. Give patience, creativity and respite to parents of newborns, toddlers and younger children.
Give us all eyes to see your blessings, favor and protection even in this crisis.
It is, indeed, a blessing I don’t take for granted to be at peace during this pandemic. If you are in the same space, we don’t have to feel guilty about it. We do, however, have a greater calling to be intercessors for others who are too tired, too anxious, too sick, too grief-stricken, too worried, too broken, too scared, and too pained to pray for themselves.