We have all been affected by the COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown one way or another. It has affected the way we run our meetings, how we have fellowship and how we support each other.
Three sisters from around the state have shared some thoughts about lockdown and the lessons they have learnt…
Ingrid Willis (Coffs Harbour):
Well lockdown was/is so confusing. Everyday different instructions. It shows that man tries his best but everybody has a different idea as to what needs to be done and this leads to fear and anger in many people. We, however, have a Great BIG God who gives us peace and is NOT the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33), so we just rest and trust, He has it all in His hands. Balance is important eg. reading His word, exercising, eating healthily and getting enough sleep. Oh, and a good laugh!
We got accustomed to Zoom. I missed giving everyone a hug and catching up. On Wednesday nights at the house meetings via Zoom, Pastor Lyle would give us homework which I enjoy as it makes us read and study the word and the times that it was written more closely.
We have learnt and appreciated the lessons. We all contribute and learn from the combined wisdom of everyone.
Jessica McMillan (Central Coast):
I think one of the hardest parts of lockdown for a lot of people is FOMO (fear of missing out). Covid has meant missing out on a lot of celebrations. Its also birthed a strange, groundhog day phenomenon – the tendency for “lockdown days” to start to blend together at such a rate that if you blink it will suddenly be November, when you were sure it was August just a moment ago…
A remedy I’ve found to help with this (a lockdown lesson, if you will…) is finding small joys in the everyday (Psalm 118:24). There were many things I was able to take time to enjoy more during the quieter, slower life of lockdown (Ephesians 5:19). The roads were all but abandoned on the drive to work, which meant less traffic to contend with. My socialite sister was home a lot more which meant more family time together. A weekend without days pre-planned meant a slower pace; time to watch the sun set or rise, play with my dogs, enjoy the outdoors, a good book and a cup of tea. During the absence of the big moments, I learnt to give more weight to the “small things” – and realised they can be very powerful bringers of joy and gratitude during a crazy time.
I also learnt that people love to connect with people! Even introverts like me! I’m sure the average time for phone calls at my workplace increased during lockdown, and more people said hello to each other during their daily exercise – because people wanted to chat, wanted to share, and wanted to connect. I have a reinforced understanding of how good fellowship and kinship is for the soul (Romans 1:11-12).
Claire Flood (Lismore):
As a family who spent the last 2 years attending on/off zoom meetings, I have to admit – I have a love/hate relationship with zoom.
I love it at 10:15am on a Sunday morning, when I’m still in my pyjamas and not rushing around getting ready. But I “hate” it (or as we like to say “seriously dislike” it) as soon as the choruses are over. Because that is the limit of my children’s attention spans. We miss Sunday School. And I miss in-person talks and fellowship.
Hebrews 10:23-25 (AMP) says: “Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful to His word; and let us consider thoughtfully how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, not forsaking our meeting together as believers for worship and instruction, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more faithfully as you see the day of Christ’s return approaching.”
These words rang true for me this past weekend especially. The first time in many months, I was finally able to get together with beautiful, like-minded, faithful and inspiring saints. It was like a year’s worth of fellowship rolled into one weekend! And boy, it was gooooood for my soul! I felt uplifted, encouraged and yes, “spurred on” to remain faithful to my calling.
So while I may enjoy the less rushed Sunday mornings during lockdown, they have nothing on the joy that true fellowship with the saints brings to my heart and soul.