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Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – Psalm 105:4 NIV
Especially when our strength fails us, we can look to the Lord and find encouragement.
I sometimes wonder what I did to bring upon myself “Long COVID” fatigue and brain fog, which I still suffer from, almost five months after the original date that I tested positive for COVID-19 on September 1, 2020. Was God testing me?
The one thing I know from having spent far too many days bedridden is that suffering can be humbling.
When we are down, we appreciate even more the good days that God gives us. He teaches us lessons and patience through our periods of illness. He reminds us that we should not take anything for granted. Every moment we have is a gift from God. Amen.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5: 6-7
After it had been 17 days after I first found out that I tested positive for COVID-19, I began to experience what is called “long haulers” side effects of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a malicious disease that can attack the heart, lungs, and even the brain.
Global studies revealed that I was not alone in my long haulers symptoms. There are real, long-term symptoms of COVID-19, well after the fever goes away.
I had experienced a dry cough, shortness of breath, pain in my right rib cage from coughing for three weeks, nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and severe depression during the third week of my illness.
A doctor prescribed me a low dose of an antidepressant. I didn’t even realize that I was depressed at first. All I knew was that I didn’t feel like myself. COVID-19 can negatively impact the brain.
I had spent many years in school cultivating my knowledge. It seemed like a cruel and unusual punishment that COVID-19 had impacted my mental and physical health, and that it hit me so hard.
It was humbling to admit that I needed an antidepressant for the first time in my life to get back to a healthy balance.
What does it mean to cast all of our cares upon Jesus? Does it mean that all our problems go away? Certainly not. It does mean that Jesus has gone through far more suffering than we have ever seen. He knows our pain. He knows how to heal us. He reaches out to us daily and asks us if we want to be healed. We just need to take Him by the hand and accept His gift.
It is by grace we have been saved. It is not of ourselves. It is the grace of God. God’s grace heals us. We just have to trust Him. Amen.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrow; smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. – Isaiah 53:4-5
I have many sorrows sometimes.
I had never felt as overwhelmed as I was when I was recovering from COVID-19. After I tested positive for COVID-19 on September 1, 2020, I hadn’t felt like myself. I had been exhausted and angry. I had lashed out. I had yelled and cried and had meltdowns. It wasn’t normal.
COVID-19 is a malicious disease, and its long-term effects are not fully understood. Many “long haulers” like me have experienced depression, fatigue, and loss of appetite, well after the fever has gone away. I didn’t fully understand what was happening to me at first, and I was scared.
But the Lord has given me strength to seek professional help. He lined up many friends, family, therapists, counselors, and doctors to help me.
My church prayed for me. God knows the beginning and the end. He knows about suffering more than anyone else. He knows how to help me and whom I should ask for help. He won’t give up on me. Amen.