And So It Begins

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Waiting. It is not something I do well. I am still, and always have been, rather much of a Type A personality. I need to be busy, to be productive, to keep my mind stimulated.  I enjoy social activities and being around friends.  I don’t sit still well.   I will admit that I am doing better with down time now that I am retired. But it has taken me almost 15 years of retirement to get here. I am learning to be patient (without being cranky along with it).

In the early weeks of the pandemic before the complete shut down, I went grocery shopping and visited craft stores to tackle new projects to keep myself occupied. Then I switched to online ordering with curbside pickup and ordering to-go meals that offer either curbside pickup or home delivery to avoid interaction. I have watched more TV in these last few months than I have in the last several years.

As the pandemic continues, I go out less and less and find myself to be in almost complete isolation.  I have been very compliant with all the new rules and regulations I wear my mask; I wash my hands, I sanitize everything frequently.  I don’t go out often because I am considered high risk. I am well over 60, I have several underlying health conditions which are known to be problematic to COVID-19 patients.  I have really done my best to keep to myself with only a once a week drive (sometimes with my friend Barbara) to pick up some paper work for a prison ministry in which we are both involved; but that is a no-contact little trek unless I have my friend with me.  I have not put myself into any circumstance that would expose me to danger, or so I thought.

Imagine my surprise, when I got an email from a health provider informing me that an employee of theirs had been exposed to the virus and therefore all the patients seen within a two week period were possibly exposed and they were advising us to get tested.  I was fairly sure I didn’t have the virus as I had no symptoms, but one can go two weeks or more without symptoms and still be contagious.  So began the waiting.  I needed to schedule a test and wait for the results.   While I was waiting, I had to be in complete isolation.  No physical or in-person social contact at all. Not even with my daughter. This is hard waiting.

When I told my daughter about the need to be tested, she immediately started checking out testing sites and got me registered for one for the next day. I went and waited in line for only about 20-30 minutes, but thinking about what was to come, that was long enough for me to come remarkably close to having a panic attack. Finally, they allowed me to pull my car forward, only to find out I had to administer the test myself. Now I know people who have had the test given to them and it requires an exceptionally long cotton tipped swab, not the little 4″ version they provided to me.   I did my best to get far enough into the nasal cavity, but I was quite sure the test would not be valid. At any rate, I had several days to wait for a result from the self-administered test.

In the meantime, my daughter convinced me to call my doctor. And the doctor’s office response was to make an appointment for me to come in and have the doctor perform the swab correctly. So, I was waiting for the first (mostly worthless) test results and waiting to go see the doctor to have it done correctly. This is not a comfortable procedure. I had to wait in the parking lot, because doctor’s waiting rooms are pretty much a thing of the past now. We had a virtual visit, then the doctor came to my car to perform the swab. Then began the next time of waiting, this time waiting for the new results.    

I do not like waiting; I think I’ve probably mentioned that before. Along with the waiting, there is fear knocking at the back door of my mind, trying to gain access. I do not want fear in my life. It is no way to live. I have lived in fear in the past and I will never allow fear to gain a stronghold in my life ever again. No matter what the test results yield.  The bottom line for me is that I must wait. Wait for appointments, wait for results, wait for shopping deliveries, wait for food delivery, wait for repairmen, wait for this pandemic to end; wait, wait, wait. 

However, there is another type of waiting, the good kind of waiting, the most important waiting I do.  That waiting is to wait upon the Lord. Why should we wait upon the Lord? Psalm 27:14 says: “Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”  So, we wait upon the Lord for he gives us courage and strength. And Lamentations 3:25 says ” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” I particularly love this verse as it reminds me to take time to seek the Lord and wait upon his presence, for He is so good to me.  Sometimes I become impatient with waiting.  It seems like we are waiting a long time for Jesus to return.  More than 2,000 years of waiting, that seems like a long time doesn’t it?  Then 2 Peter 3:9 comes to mind.  “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

And so, it begins, the waiting with faith in my heart.  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” When we have faith, when we have Christ in our hearts, when the love of God dwells within us, waiting is so much easier. Thank you, Lord for being with us in our times of waiting and for loving us unconditionally.  Come, let us wait on the Lord together.

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