My Virus Journey – for Take the Hill Group

As each of you has a unique personality, unique DNA, unique gifts, and host unique illnesses within your body that effect you in different ways than others, you each have built, over the last two years, unique stories that intertwine with a worldwide pandemic.

While the unknowns for some twenty-five months have allowed anxiety and fear to be the common forces moving like locomotives across the landscapes of our lives, we’re seeing a glimpse of the wake these first two-years’ waves of chaos has left behind. Yes, death has been a horrible reality most everyone of us have dealt with. And I’m so sorry for all the loss.

But here in bed, on the mend from my own personal encounter with Covid, I see something beautiful, something I might have missed if I hadn’t spent personal time in the unknowns of this very perplexing illness.

From My House on the Hill

As my home is perched on the side of a hill overlooking the city of Albuquerque, I’m struck by the individuality of it all. As the new variant spreads faster than wildfire, I’m physically looking over thousands of homes that are dealing with covid variables behind their closed doors. No two covid journeys are alike. Some homes will be left standing after the fires, but for many that were originally built on sinking sand, through this chapter in world history, they’ve rebuilt upon the rock.

That makes a fire worth it.

No matter how insistent the unelected powers at the top of the medical food chain push their one-size-fits-all narrative, our peculiar encounters continue to set us apart from one another and from single solutions. The Lord seems to be assuring us that we are wonderfully and uniquely made, and He chooses our existence—our healings, our deaths, our lives—to be this way.

Even if we’re facing a man-made virus.

You are Unique to God

God never mass produced anything. Every creature, you included, was uniquely formed with experiences preordained.

Psalm 139:13-16 — For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Acts 17:26 also tells us that every person’s time and place on earth was determined by God. That means you and I were fashioned to be alive during these unprecedented times. Because we have relationships (Oh, I pray we do), with the Lord, these preordained experiences are vetted through our distinctive personalities, chosen giftings, chosen purposes, and individual rapport with Christ.

As I look at the oneness of it all: the whole world dealing with the same pandemic, the push for one world economics, the uh-hem suggestions at one-world alliances, I’m seeing beyond the noise of baaing sheep folds. I see people, our people, leaning into the unknown, holding fast to the hand of God.

Hallelujah!

We’ve blazed some new trails ya’ll, and on the trails we’ve been given fresh new lenses, looking for God in the areas we haven’t been before. He’s there with all new lessons to learn.

We’re rising up in the wake with new strength, wisdom blossoming.

And He’ll get the glory for it all.

My Personal Journey

Through my few days with Covid, I felt impressed by the Lord to embrace whatever this was going to look like. Sure I prayed for healing and asked my peeps for prayer. And there were a couple of days when I got mad, threw off the covers and said, “Enough, already. I’m not giving into this.” (I’m one of those bad-mood sickies) But it wasn’t long before I’d find myself back in bed licking my wounds.

Lean in, He said. And listen.

When I embraced the unknowns ahead and slipped my fingers into the hand of the one who knows all, I realized I had nothing to fear.

My covid days were unique in that I got Covid while battling a bronchial infection, so I was fighting to keep the wicked little covid virus out of my already sick lungs. But God knew all of this long before I did. I took peace and comfort in that truth when He squeezed my hand.

He has eternal, all seeing eyes. I do not. Beside Him, my hand in His, I can trust that He’s navigating perfection for my experience. Even if it means death.

I know this perspective is hard for some of us to grasp—our culture screams survive at all costs while the Lord bids us to come and die. But hear me out. Aside from rapture, we will all die. Period. And our death time and place is known by God. Our journey to that time and place should be one that we embrace, learning the wisdom of suffering, and leaning into the arms of everlasting love.

And realizing, our journeys are our own.

Here I Go

I’m not vaccinated.

My unique Covid story begins in Equitorial Guinea some twenty years ago. Working with a Bible translation project, we were in a remote West African area with little medical support. As part of our training, we took medical classes, and this is where my eyes were first opened to the idea that we Americans are obsessed with quick medical fixes in the way of small, convenient pills. We press for survival but press for convenient survival that doesn’t cost us more than a copay and a glass of water. I was guilty! Just get me in, get me a prescription, and send me on way, Doc! I got things to do.

I’ll save all the Africa medical trauma stories and the thankfulness I do have for medicine for another blog, but it’s important to know this about me, to understand my choices: for some twenty years now, I’ve done medicine differently than I did my first 40 years of life. My personal experiences molded new thinking.

In late 2020 when talk of vaccine arrivals began, I received an email from one of my trusted doctors. She’s one of those who likes to talk about alternatives, boosting immune systems, and explaining, in detail, how certain meds work, and why natural alternative approaches can be effective. Had I not received this provocative email about the ingredients of the upcoming vaccine, I wouldn’t have been compelled to research further. If I hadn’t researched, I wouldn’t have come up with several questions of my own. If I didn’t have questions, I wouldn’t have stopped to consider what was best for me and which aisle of risks I wanted to walk down. And if the decision hadn’t been hard, I might not have prayed for an answer, and lined up with the masses, assuming, what was coming down the pike was best for everyone, including myself.

But I didn’t line up. I looked into it and weighed my personal and God-given variables.

Ultimately, as a uniquely and wonderfully made creature guided by my Maker, I made a choice believing I had a firm hold on His strong hand. It’s been an interesting journey. In a recent discussion with a perplexed-about-my-status person, I was asked, “It’s the science, Laurie. Don’t you follow the science?”

“Yes,” I answered. Let me tell you what the science I choose to follow is saying. I gave a layman’s brief on spike proteins and possible long-term effects, then quoted some numbers from VAERS, then asked, “What about the science you follow? What does it say?”

He deflected my question. “Well, you get the flu vaccine every year right? You follow that science.”  

I stunned him with this: “I do not get the flu shot.”

That ended that conversation.

I’ve been asked by some of my friends to defend my position (they don’t always get me) and I’m okay with that. I don’t feel threatened that some people don’t understand my choice. I’ve experienced dropped jaws, red faces of fury, shaming, and guilt inflicting, and that’s okay, too. I know that people are walking their own path with the Lord and learning different lessons from me. I could well be the Lord’s object lesson of acceptance for some of them and vice versa.

And trying to keep up with the science and math has been like riding a spinning tornado. I’ve watched vaccinated people who believe they were not contagious spread Covid faster than a duck on a June bug (remember, I work for a large ministry). I’ve seen the unvaccinated and vaccinated alike be asymptomatic. I’ve known both to be in serious conditions in ICU wards.

These are the experiences I’ve witnessed. God may be bringing you different experiences.

I also scratch my head frequently. A month or so back, when the newest variant ramped up, our local news cast girl, God love her, did a little shaming on how the number of new Covid cases in New Mexico skyrocketed. She pushed for all of us who just hadn’t gotten to it yet, to go get vaccinated so we’d all be safe. New Mexico, at that moment, had one of the highest rates of new infections nationwide and she grimaced pure despair as she announced our fate. What was so very mathematically interesting was that immediately following her announcement on high rates of new infections came a national report on states with the highest vaccination percentages. Yep. There sat New Mexico in one of the higher positions. So … if we’ve a high percentage of vaccination rate, then … uh … why are we among the fastest-growing rates of infection? And the states with the lowest vax rates … you guessed it … lowest infection. I asked the Holy Spirit if I’d missed too many statistics classes in college because I couldn’t make those percentages compute in my brain.

I rarely watch mainstream media news, but on this day, as I walked through the living room, this segment played, it caught my attention, and I stopped to hear the incoming data. You may be guided to different information that helps you compute differently. Again, I’m chronicling my journey to help you understand my unique perspective. I’m not looking to change anyone’s mind. I’m looking for us to accept what God is doing in each of us … differently.

And I realize the data is changing every day. And so are the opinions about what needs to be done.

There is all kinds of opposing data and we could each defend our choices with our preferred set. And that’s my point. The confusion and the different voices vying to be heard present us with options, which should drive us to our knees in search of answers. If Covid illness and ultimate treatment selection keep us in the throne room, that’s a win for the Lord.

Each … each and every one of us unique human creations walks an exclusive path towards holiness.

No two of us are alike.

A Bit More

There’s more to my story: One of my unvaccinated children got really sick with Covid, went to urgent care, and was told to just fight through it. We overnighted a familiar-to-us medication (familiar to us because of fighting Malaria in Africa ) to her, and she got better without hospitalization. One of my closest friends ended up in ICU after going to the hospital twice but was turned away because she wasn’t sick enough for help … yet. When she finally came in by ambulance, the hospital admitted her and told her she was destined for a vent or death. But my gal, she refused to be intubated. I watched this woman, on death’s bed, fight the system while caged within it. And I took great heart as she did what she believed the Lord wanted her to do. She survived on prayer and her own terms and is fighting Covid again now. But this time, she is treating at home and doing great.

My husband and I, based on prayer and our experiences with these people and research, determined early treating would be our approach to fighting Covid. We’ve been taking over-the-counter preventative vitamins, upping our immune system with exercise, and have on hand some of the treatment drugs suggested by the doctors who are being silenced in mainstream media.

But this is my journey. Not yours. Whether vaxxed or not, I know you’re receiving unique information and having distinctive experiences that are guiding you further down your path of wisdom and holiness. We cannot all be on the same road. Otherwise we wouldn’t need our private guide, the Holy Spirit. We’d just follow one another to the land of zombies if we didn’t let our unique DNA, illness charts, risks factors, and at-risk family members play their part in God’s plan for our journeys.

If you’re vaccinated, embrace it. Ask the Lord to show you all you need to do with this situation.

If you’re unvaccinated, embrace it. Ask the Lord to show you all you need to with this situation.

I’ve had friends, unvaccinated and vaccinated reach out to help my husband and me during our Covid days. Oh my, how thankful I am for each. I know prayers have been lifted up on our behalf from the vaxxed and unvaxxed, and maybe soon-to-be vaxxed. Man, am I thankful.

Let me end where I started: As each of you has a unique personality, unique DNA, unique gifts, and host unique illnesses within your body that effect you in different ways than others, you each have built, over the last two years, unique stories that intertwine with a worldwide pandemic.

And intertwine with God’s will.

You’re part of the 2020-2022 wild and wooly tapestry called world events.

We will each stand as an audience of one, before God one day. We won’t stand with our political party, or our inner circle of friends, or our church’s collective body. It will be just you and Him.

Did you do it His way?

Even when it was different than others?

Even when it didn’t make material sense?

Even when it hurt?

I know you did. You are brave.

Thank you, Thank you

We’re on the mend! We had a couple of days of feeling okay, a couple of days of feeling like hell, and now we’re in the getting better part. Steve’s back at work and I’m taking additional meds for the cough because yep, that bronchial stuff came back about day 4 into Covid. After exploring alternatives to antibiotics, my doctor and I decided to go ahead with the pill form to keep the infection under control.

I’m making plans to be back at work next week. I’m so thankful for the prayers, the support, and the love. I’m thankful that we accept each other as we are–messy people following a perfect God.

Amen.

If I perish, I perish,

Laurie

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