Faith and Shut In, Shut Up and Shut Out

I am classifying myself as a shut in. I have not left my home since March 23. Exactly one month ago. As a young person, I remember hearing the pastor and deacons of our church talk about “doing visitation” or taking communion to the “shut ins”. I envisioned people who were bedridden–old and wrinkly without the ability to get themselves to church. Now, here I sit–able to move, drive and go out and about–but due to my “higher risk status” choosing to abide in place.

Isn’t that a better phrase? Abide in place. I am grateful for the choice I have in staying in place. I chose to shut myself in so my children would not be worried about me. I received a call from a crying mom this morning. She had to take her daughter to the ER (on the request of the daughter’s doctor) and leave her there. It was so traumatic for this mother to walk out, feeling she had forsaken her child. Her daughter does not have Covid symptoms, (she is there for other reasons), but still she is impacted by the disease. I do not want my children to have to drop me off at a facility alone, so I choose to abide in place. To me, abide means I choose to accept the limitations our governor and my children have recommended. I choose not to kick at the borders and boundaries. I choose to be a shut in in peace.

However, just because I am shut in, I am not shut out! I can choose to invite people in via telephone, chat and Zoom! I have written letters and cards to other “shut ins” in attempt to encourage them (till I ran out of stamps–ordered more, they are on there way). It has also been a time to shout out to my Heavenly Father–hey I need you…and He has shown up! I bring His Presence in through worship and praise music. Don’t laugh, but I was dancing in the kitchen to other day to Waymaker.

I have chosen to shut up about the inconveniences about my choice. It is my choice. I do it out of love and in faith. It is lonely at times. I won’t lie. I get bored. There seems to be a weariness in the sameness of each day. But I choose to focus on what I can do, rather than what I can’t. I shut out to the best of my ability the lies of the enemy and my own mind about how I am being “too safe”, and that it doesn’t take all that–etc.
I have had to firmly bring captive thoughts about why this or that person never calls me. Self pity is not going to be my roommate during this season. I have chosen to abide in the secret place of the most High (Psalm 91). I have chosen to believe Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Even in this time of choosing to be shut in, He leads me to find the path of life, right here in my own home by myself.

Those of you who are not abiding alone–I encourage you to be patient, be kind and be generous with your grace and mercy. Take a deep breath–this will soon be a story told and we can enjoy the memories. Do not let Covid 19 rob you of your joy, your relationships, your hope in God but keep on casting your care upon Him, for He does so abundantly care for you. I am grateful for technology and the connection it gives us during this season–but do not use it to separate yourself from those around you. Please use balance. Trust me, I would rather have a human than a phone to spend time with!!

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