A Covid Christmas

Our household has been his with Covid, and today was the scariest so far. I made it through the day without a trip to the hospital. Perhaps it was because I am dead-set against spending Christmas in the hospital, but whatever the reason, here I am, sleeping in my own bed with my home oxygen at full blast.

With my medical history and the kids’ anxiety around me getting sick, especially the “dreaded” Covid that we’ve been avoiding since I almost died of sepsis and double lung collapse, I’ve been working hard to help meet them with compassion and grounded hope in their anxiety. At ages seven and eight, they know what’s happening, that we keep bumping up my oxygen, and I know they see the look of question in our eyes. I worked super hard to sit up at this table with a Christmas puzzle with Lily for a brief while to give her a taste of normalcy on an extremely abnormal day, as we and our tribe pray against hospitalization for me on the days leading to Christmas.

This is a strange illness; it still feels like a sacred time, but it also feels incredibly fuzzy with my vitals riding roller coasters constantly. On this, the worst day so far of my Covid journey, there were still great joy points. My brain felt too fuzzy to really process the peace that still envelopes us, but I know it’s still here.

I’m trying not to let fear rip into the sacred space of this Holy Week as my body seems to be manifesting the distress that comes with the battle for survival, as it brings up flashbacks of medical trauma.

But holy discomfort certainly has a place in this liminal space of anticipation and preparation—-more than we want to acknowledge. It’s not the week I had planned. It’s certainly not Pinterest-worthy. I gave that up long ago. But we are here, together, weakened but still held by the strong hand of the One who hung that star, who sent His Son, who called the lowly to meet the lowly King, Who meets every sick and broken soul on this, the Savior’s day. And He holds the hearts of my babes, who put on silly faces to help their sick momma laugh through her pain and struggle. This is a house filled with love (and Covid, so definitely stay away). #advent2021 #quarantinedchristmas

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Pastor Al Gilbert

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