Pray for Peace

It’s hard to process what is happening in our world today. I had prayed my grandchildren would never see war in their lifetimes, and though it’s not at our doorstep yet in Canada, the invasion of Ukraine, will negatively affect us worldwide unless there is a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.

My heart breaks for the people of Ukraine. Only a week ago, they were going about with normal, daily activities. Children were playing at parks, people were going to work, to church, and living their lives much the same way I do. Today, families are huddled in underground shelters in Kyiv, while missiles wreck havoc on their city and homes. Many are fleeing their country as refugees, leaving all they’ve worked so hard for, carrying only a few possessions with them. Residential streets have become battlegrounds with men fighting, defending their neighborhoods from the aggressive, advancing force.

Let me add my voice to all the others who condemn this Russian invasion. I have a number of faithful readers of my blog in both Ukraine and Russia. Know that I am praying for you!

I list a few links here to encourage all my readers during these days and weeks ahead. I do not know exactly what will transpire in the future, but I know God hears the prayers of the faithful. Keep the faith, dear ones!

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Back to Normal?

“What is normal?”

Our Premier in Alberta removed a few Covid restrictions yesterday with a three stage plan to get back to “normal”, after living two years in a pandemic emergency state.

It’s been a long haul. I still have a lingering cough after my recent bout with the Omicron strain. My son and five year old grandson also tested positive a week ago, and it was a non-event for them. When I asked my grandson how he was feeling he said, “I feel fine. I just have Covid.”

Perhaps I just got hit harder with it due to age, and compromised immunity. Being fully vaccinated likely prevented my being hospitalized, at least that is what I tell myself. Who knows?

Two years into this pandemic and I am no closer understanding the science of this weird virus. It changes daily it seems. I’m sure medical professionals and virologists will be dissecting all the data for years to come. I’m just done with it.

I’m not alone.

The “Freedom Convoy” of long haul truckers protesting Covid mandates assembling in the west and driving to our nation’s capital in Ottawa, is in its second week of protesting there. Organizers probably had all good intentions to start, but their original message was lost when a few trouble makers joined the protest with their own agendas. I was heartbroken to see the Terry Fox statue and the War Memorial desecrated by ignorant protestors. Vandalism, harassment of health care workers, constant noise of big rigs honking their horns, left me disgusted. This is no longer a “peaceful protest”. It is hooliganism at its worst. I just cannot support it.

Here in Alberta, truckers block highways preventing cross-border traffic from moving. I listened to an interview with one of the protesting truckers at the Coutts border and he expressed the need for us to “ just get back to normal” and adamantly stated that ending all government imposed Covid mandates was the best way to do that. How I wish that were true! I understand the frustration of adhering to the governmental rules placed on us to combat the spread of Covid, but all I see now is deep fissures of discontent that have been festering for years before Covid mandates were ever imposed. Canadians are divided as never before. I want to get back to normal, but what is “normal”?

My youngest grandbaby born in 2020, has never experienced life without masks. He’s had to take several Covid rapid tests in his young life. All my grandchildren have experienced isolation, lockdowns, and inability to play with friends or visit family for long stretches of time. I applaud their parents for trying to keep their routines and activities as “normal” as possible in spite of the reoccurring upsets over these past two years. Covid is a part of their vocabulary. Normal for them has been anything but normal compared to life before Covid. I think they have adapted better than I have!

I have spent a concerted amount of time praying for our Nation, the leaders, healthcare workers, family and friends who have been impacted by this pandemic. It’s important to understand that though restrictions may lift, the season of Covid is not over. We will live with this virus and the ramifications that goes with it for life. I pray we will not regret decisions made over these two years, and we will be able to embrace this new normal living in the shadow of Covid.

That said, I take comfort knowing that there are better times ahead. As a believer in Christ, my future is secure. We may live in uncertain times, but my hope is not found in governmental mandates, or vaccinations, or any human resources this world may offer. God promises that He will make all things new. (Revelation 21:1-5). He will solve all world problems, including giving us a normalcy we’ve never experienced before. We will never experience sickness again. (Isaiah 25:7-9). Contentment and well-being (Isaiah 65:17-25), as well as peace (John 14:27) will be our eternal normal.

While we wait patiently for this fulfillment of Scripture, let us stay unified as brothers and sisters in Christ to love like Jesus, live like Jesus, and change our world!*

*BVBC mission statement

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My first thought when I looked at the two lines showing on the Covid rapid antigen test was, “I am triple vaccinated! How did I get Covid?”

I had taken every precaution. Yes, I had gone to a grocery store, I had gone to church, but everyone was masked. No close contact. I sanitized, washed my hands, basically I had done everything right, short of locking myself in my house, and I was now sick with Covid. Government health officials in Alberta had said to expect that one in three people would get this new variant: Omicron. The sci-fi named variant now had me in its grip.

It had started with a sore throat, then a bad cough and sinus cold. When the symptoms included a migraine, some friends dropped off a rapid test to “rule out Covid-19”. It was negative. I was so relieved. “Just a bad cold,” I thought. Two days later, the symptoms, along with the constant cough, now included joint pain, fatigue, and a host of other unpleasantness that refused to abate. I phoned my daughter who suggested taking another antigen test.

It was positive.

Did I mention my husband was out of town? He was supervising a seismic project way up in northern Alberta, so I was alone. I was scared. I was sick. I was cold.

Oh, I forgot to also mention …the old boiler that had been heating our home for the past forty years died. The day after testing positive for Covid, I was dealing with having to line up plumbers, trying to figure out how to isolate and deal with people at the same time. I was overwhelmed. I coughed out a feeble “help me!” prayer to God.

In tears, I texted my oldest daughter, Laurelle. Within a half an hour, she had mobilized her two siblings into action. Masked up, my son, Brett came over immediately and lit a fire in the fireplace for me. While he was doing that, Laurelle had phoned a plumber and she was ready to meet him at the house, while I isolated upstairs in my room. The plumber managed to resuscitate the boiler, and perform a bandaid fix on it until we could replace it in the Spring. That evening, my youngest daughter, Carmen delivered two bags of groceries to my door. I was still sick, but I was warm, well-fed, and their acts of service in my time of need showed I was well loved. When they shared news of my testing positive for Covid on prayer chains, phone calls, and offers of help poured in from my church family. It overwhelmed me.

I am on day eleven since the symptoms started. I retested again yesterday and it’s still positive. So, I will stay isolated a little longer. The cough still lingers as well as the fatigue, but I can feel myself coming out of the fog.

My husband phones me two to three times daily, checking up on me. My kids do the same. I’ve binge-watched more Television series than I can count. I’ve spent time in the Word, and hours praying. Every day I hear another friend downed by Covid. Thankfully, most have managed to avoid being hospitalized. I am grateful I have managed to avoid hospitalization too. I credit being fully vaccinated for that.

It’s been a challenging start to 2022, but I’m POSITIVE it will get better!

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