• Lindsey Norine

A COVID New-Year

“COVID Positive” were not the words I had chosen to define the new year. I sought to begin 2021 with lofty ambitions of “intentional rhythms,” “engaged presence,” and “soft responses.” But the words spoken by the nurse on the phone last Monday pushed everything else aside, rudely asserting themselves front and center.

Cold fear flooded my veins as I thought about hugging my 92-year old grandma two days earlier. We waited responsibly to see her until two weeks had passed since Christmas celebrations. We had eaten breakfast together, sitting a couple feet apart as I helped my children open their Christmas presents from their GG.

Months earlier, my husband and I had the conversation about what we would do if one of us came down with the virus. We realized logistically we would not be able to quarantine separately, so we would have todo the chickenpox method and pray for the best. (Don’t know what the chickenpox method is because you are Gen Z? It’s my mom having me share a sippy cup with my sister in 1995 when she got the chickenpox so the poor woman would only have to deal with taping oven mitts to her children’s hands to stop them from scratching once).

Fear gave way to exhaustion as I followed a newborn sleep schedule—three naps a day, waking only to eat. I murmured a tearful prayer before rolling over to sleep again, asking God to seal me with his armor and protect my family.

God didn’t care that my prayer was a day late or that it felt in vain.

He answered. My grandma’s test was negative, as well as the two other people I had possibly exposed. My husband and daughter experienced only very mild coughs and our son was completely normal. I am slowly feeling more like myself and the worst has passed.

Having this illness walk into our home was unwelcome, disruptive, and at moments terrifying. An isolation sentence is the LAST thing this type A achiever wanted to grapple with. Stillness and patience are not qualities I have in spades. Frustration filled me as I reflected on my intentions for the year. I wanted to spend more time on the ground looking my children in the eyes, speaking truth to them and building their confidence.

I needed to keep clocking in for my workout before my kids get up, a habit I began in the fall. I had meals planned, judging gigs lined up, and places to be.

I would not yet say this time has been a gift, but I see clearly God’s faithfulness to me, his child that had her eyes fixed only on what she wanted to accomplish. I so often wear my “Junior God Badge,” convinced that I could do the job. God uses all things for good, his glory and purpose flooding every dark corner.

God took my “what ifs” about this virus and turned them into “even thens.” Even then I will comfort you, even then I will be with you.

Tonight I hugged my resilient babies tightly and felt gratitude that we are in this together. I thanked my heroic husband for running a tight ship, working from home and solo parenting while I’ve been down. I looked around our home, a cozy slice of organized chaos, and saw God’s fingerprints all over. When I am fully healed I will return to my New Years aspirations with newfound clarity about who is running the show. Thank you for making me be still, God. I see you in this.

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