Today we hear from Jennifer Mee. Jennifer shares her perspective on 14 days of quarantine in the same house as, but isolated from, her husband and kids. How does she manage? Keep reading to learn from Jen’s perspective.
Unexpected Blessings of Quarantine
Last week I was tired. I love our ministry and all that it involves, but I honestly had a day where I weepingly asked God between big gasps of air, “How?” I know it’s in His strength, not mine…
I know that His strength is made perfect in my weakness, but for real! I remember thinking His strength must be getting really perfect because I’m all weak over here! Up to the last minute of packing, I was organizing lesson plans for the english class my husband would substitute for me and giving instructions for the homeschool days I would miss. My husband and kids dropped me off at the airport early Thursday morning with only a slight niggling inkling of the huge storm that loomed over us.
I loved every minute of the weekend conference. The rush of walking into a huge conference room filled with 6,000 women worshipping Jesus and hungering for the word! The fun of going to the bathroom (mom of three kids) by myself! Being able to stand and chat with friends I hadn’t seen in 14 or 15 years! Being blessed with the immense privilege of praying alongside women who thirsted for Jesus, for forgiveness, for assurance, for freedom from guilt… It was ALL so exhilarating! And sleep? Who needs sleep in a weekend like that? And there was coffee too! I felt SO refreshed.
Then came Sunday. I attended a local church service with a friend who would take me to the airport. The service was subdued and a local doctor addressed the congregation (and was livestreamed) with advice and precautions concerning the current virus. I think that was the first moment that I realized, something happened while I’ve been gone! In just three days of less internet connection, the world epidemic exploded in North and South America. The airport was nearly empty, the plane was 3/4 full. The atmosphere was somber as the flight attendant told some people seated near me that Colombia was closing its borders at midnight and if we didn’t land before then, we might tank up and turn back around.
Thankfully, we landed at 11:30, and Colombia did allow citizens and residents (of which I am one) in for the next few days. The president asked all persons entering the country to observe personal isolation and quarantine for 14 days upon entry. So I didn’t get to hug my kids. I didn’t get to kiss my husband. We set up a plan to avoid contact in the house knowing that I could be carrying the virus for up to 14 days without symptoms.
Did I mention that during that conference, I was in contact with SO many women? We were all blessed by the messages, under conviction and crying! As I prayed with one woman in particular, I remember kneeling over her as she sobbed uncontrollably. As I prayed into her ear, I felt her tears on my hands. As I beckoned another volunteer to come pray for this lady as well, I remember feeling her tears splash onto my shoulders and arms as well… So I was definitely “exposed.” But gloriously so!
My first thoughts upon entering isolation were, “What about homeschool? What about all the things I need to do? What about…?” And almost instantly I remembered the stack of new books I had just purchased at the conference, the Bible study I wanted to start and last week’s feeling of exhaustion. And I felt peace.
So this week, God has answered my anxious, gasping prayer of last week in such an unexpected way. Yes, I came back from the conference in Mexico, barely sliding under the door of the closing borders, so to speak, renewed and exhilarated after being “on the mountain with God.” But instead of jumping back into ministry and the whirlwind of missionary life, I have an obligatory rest. It’s like God said, “Sit down.” So I sat.
I have time to reflect and process the things I heard and learned in the conference. I have time to pray (so much time to pray) for the many friends and family (the whole world really) affected by this pandemic. I have time to just be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
And I am so grateful every day that I wake up without symptoms, for a warm, dry house to be quarantined in, for hot water to wash in, for the food in our pantry, for the safety in our neighborhood, for the love and health of friends I am chatting with, for internet that has reunited me with friends because of this virus, for internet that has enabled me to continue discipleships with girls and teaching English classes, for music and games and crafts that keep my children happily distracted from the world’s troubles.
And I pray that if the day comes that I wake up with symptoms, I will continue to be grateful for all of those same things. And if I make it through the 14 days without symptoms, my plan is to continue practicing social distancing and wise precautions for as long as government and CDC recommends it… but after these 14 days, I will hug and kiss my kids so gratefully, I will play with them on the floor and color and paint with them. I will read books with them on my lap and snuggle with them to watch a movie on the couch. And I will kiss my husband until we almost can’t breathe. Because those are the things I miss the most.
So as I continue to spend time in this God-ordained rest, I feel like it’s a prolonged visit on the mountain with Him. I want to soak up every minute of this blessing! And my biggest prayer is that when I come down off the mountain, I will look and smell a little bit more like Christ. That His strength will be made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). That others will see HIM.
2 Corinthians 2:15 – “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
March 20, 2020