When this quarantine first became a thing here in this New York/New Jersey region, my initial reaction was one of relief. I was so glad to have my spring break extended. I was so tired in so many ways of what had become my daily routine (especially the commute…man). Then as things escalated, my anxiety grew so strong; I think that’s when the worst form of my insomnia started. I couldn’t stop checking the news and my soul was so desolate/weary/etc.
But now. Now I am so grateful to God for bringing me to where I am currently. It took some struggling to get back to the place that was familiar but a memory; I came back to a spiritual state where I experienced true peace. How do I know this only comes from God? I’ve tried so many other things, and they eventually faded away into emptiness. Even though I still fall into my very human ways/thinking, the foundation of my being is more stable right now. I attribute it all to making it a habit to spend time in worship; no matter what, just making it a priority to reconnect with God. There is a spiritual realm, and it is real. It would be great if I could see it sometimes, but perhaps God just needs to teach me to trust.
I think this coronavirus situation that the whole world is going through is proof of how Christianity is truly the only way. By this I mean that it has to be accepting Christ not just as a friend, or what have you; it must be acknowledging that He is our savior, that it can only be through Him that our problems of this world are resolved. I’ve been seeing proof of so many people focusing on other things right now: what they advertise and talk about is not gospel-like, but just creates conflict, or takes attention away from Christ. I’m not saying I’m any better than them (even if to be honest, I may sometimes feel arrogant). But I do have a responsibility.
I now know the effects of holding onto a watered-down or mixed gospel. For example, I think it’s naive to claim that it’s okay to be involved in New Age practices like yoga, transcendental meditation, etc., while still calling yourself a Christian. Even a few years ago, I thought yoga was harmless. And I’ve heard from an ex-New Ager that the enneagram, which is very popular in Christian circles, was actually created through automatic writing. I won’t go into detail, but it was created through spiritually dark methods. I used to think the enneagram was harmless too. However, now that I’ve seen so much evidence, straight from the source of those who know what goes on in the spiritual realm, I just can’t involve myself in those things anymore.
I even took a modern dance class last semester. All I really need to say about that experience is that it left me feeling very heavy in my soul. Not a good sign. I just wanted to learn how to dance better, but I guess when it comes to the arts, there’s a particular kind of spiritual darkness. Once you know the truth, you just become so much more sensitive, and you can feel it within you. Several years ago, I never had this kind of discernment. So many things that I thought were harmless to my soul, looking back, I just know they are definitely not.
What I forgot at that time, and even in this moment as I’ve been writing, is that we as children of God, as His witnesses, are called to be the light of the world, to cast out the darkness. This is one important part of my role here on this earth (that I’m becoming more confident of, gradually) that I still have difficulty trusting will be enough. I become deceived, just like anybody else, and think, “what power do I really have? How am I supposed to overcome this? Why did He call me?”
But I’m so glad that God has never left me, and He has perfectly arranged the relationships in my life so that I will always have someone to guide me, to remind me. All I have to do is use the authority and power that He gave me, and tell Satan off. It’s so simple that it almost seems ridiculous to me. Can it really be that simple? Yes, believe it or not, it can. Just call on the name of Jesus Christ. Soon enough you’ll see for yourself.
I really hope that many will listen to the voice of God calling them right now. I personally ignored it many times and chose to do my own thing, because I thought I’d be fine, or that I’d be able to handle it. Every single time I get stuck in that mindset, I’m proven wrong. It doesn’t feel so great to be humbled like that, but I need it. I know that everyone who has been feeling that tugging on their heart, that persistent urging that they just can’t ignore, they must be experiencing the same thing. God is calling all of us to return to Him. He stripped so many things away, which may have left so many of us feeling so powerless and just clueless as to what to do next. However, I see this as God simplifying our lives once again; He is reminding us of what truly matters. At the end of it all, we realize what is truly important. I just wish many would listen to His voice and finally admit that they need Him.
I also may be living in a sort of bubble, but I’ve been observing that God has been protecting and providing everything to those who are His children. We still have our health, we still have a roof over our heads, we still have enough to eat. Maybe there are those who can’t say that this is the case for them. Maybe then they have their own issues with God that they need to figure out. That may sound very harsh or closed-minded, but I truly believe that there is more to this entire pandemic and its timing than many realize.
I also caught myself doubting if this was spread through animal-to-human contact, but rather, if it was manmade and part of a conspiracy. That led to a downward spiral, for sure. Yet once again, in this revived state where I feel much more stable and less concerned about what the news says, I don’t even think about things like that. Falling into that kind of mindset is just one of the ways Satan tries to deceive us. He tries to distract us from what really matters: our worship that we give as an offering to God. If he can’t keep us from worshipping, he’ll try to keep us from focusing on God’s Word. How petty of him, honestly. Just because he got kicked out of heaven, he’s gonna try to drag us down with him? Ugh, can’t even.
It’s also amazing how even though I’m aware of the many ways that I am still a sinner (but washed clean by God!), and that no matter how hard I try, I will make mistakes, God still loves me. I am made pure; white as snow. I still have this peace inside my heart even though I felt like I didn’t deserve to be forgiven for everything I did/do/will do. Nothing is perfect as long as I see it through my own eyes. I need God to renew me.
It’s strange how making such big mistakes may initially make me feel as though I’m such a failure, so unworthy of His renewal of me, yet the result has often been one where I sincerely repent. I immediately become humbled and remember that I am not God. I am not the master of my life, but God is. I am not in control, but He is. I don’t have all the answers, I can’t be perfect, but He does, and He is. It takes extreme measures like this to get me to admit how imperfect I am and let go of my pride, but perhaps God knows this and He uses this because I just won’t listen otherwise. Deep down, I truly do want to obey. I just forget. I just become distracted.
Please keep speaking to me, Lord. I feel like I’m in a good place right now but I also want to feel an even deeper connection with You. I can finally remember that it’s true: nothing else will make me happy except being with You.