Trusting God in Isolation by Sandra (Guest writer)
I live alone. As I write, I will have spent roughly four months in isolation due to living as a single person. I am one of the growing number of single households in Ireland today. Throughout this pandemic there have been long periods where I have not seen a family member or friend. This has been very difficult, as living alone for twenty years means I need to connect regularly with other people. The lockdowns have only intensified the loneliness and separation I usually feel.
The few activities I enjoyed, and were important to me, ceased abruptly in March last year and did not resume. They were a lifeline, connecting me to my community and to the wider world outside of my four walls. I immediately felt disconnected from society. There were days when I was overcome with hopelessness, sadness and frustration. Waking up in the mornings knowing that I would not see a family member or friend for many weeks or months, as none of them live nearby, was difficult. How was I going to cope?
But in all of this sadness, my faith in God is strong. I know that I can trust God even in difficult times as this. In the front of my bible, which was given to me at the age of 15, is a verse which helps me: 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.' Psalm 91v2.
I accept the circumstances of the pandemic but I also accept that God is in control of everything and that he knows best. There is a passage in Isaiah chapter 55 v 8-11 and part of it reads: 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways' declares the Lord.' The bible teaches that God is sovereign over both the good and bad things that happen.
I like the quote in a book called 'Trusting God' by Jerry Bridges: 'The spider building its web in the corner and Napoleon marching his army across Europe are both under Gods control'. Another quote from the same book about trust is also helpful: 'Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us.'
I do what I can, to keep going. I know it is good to have a routine, to plan things in the day and to keep in contact with others as much as possible. However, it can be hard to be motivated when you live alone. Small things like going to the shops can be difficult and problems can weigh heavy when you have no one to discuss them with. But God is good. My sister has chosen to ring me once a week, and I have written several reflections for family and friends to keep in contact and to be an encouragement.
I love nature and my daily walks can be uplifting drawing me out to see the beauty in the detail of the earth, the landscape, the sky. By day I scan the skyline for birds and the changing skies; In the evening I seek out owls that may be in the woodland trees. They draw me upward before I go home to rest and pray.
At my best times, I write poetry about the things I see or feel outside in nature.
If anything, the pandemic has made me lean on God more which is always a good thing. Let our circumstances always turn us to God and not away from God. It has made me more aware of our reliance on God for everything, the need to pray more and to be praying, the need to be close to God our Father.
My encouragement, to anyone who is going through this time alone - Ask for the support you need from others even if that is hard to do. Keep close to God because he will provide and pray.
Other Resources that will help you:
Praying with others in your local church.
Reading books (Available through the Goodbook company):
'Where is God in a Coronavirus World' by John C. Lennox
'5 Things to Pray in a Global Crisis' by Rachel Jones.