Life on Lockdown: Maintaining My Faith and Sanity

Sam Lichauco

April 28, 2020

Kamusta ka? Ano na’ng nangyayari sa iyo?

For some, the answer would be, “Inip na inip na ako at gustung-gusto ko nang lumabas!”

Others would say, “Nauubusan na ‘ko ng pinagkakaabalahan sa bahay.”

And then there are those who won’t respond right away, because if they were to tell you the truth, they would say:

“Hindi ako okay.”

Hindi ako okay dahil hindi ko na alam kung paano magiging normal ang mundo.

Hindi ako okay dahil simula palang ng quarantine, hirap na ang pamilya namin.

Hindi ako okay dahil tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang paghahanda para sa susunod na school year at distracted talaga ako ngayon.

Hindi ako okay dahil matagal na akong nakahiwalay sa mga kaibigan at kaklase ko.

Hindi ako okay dahil feeling ko wala akong magagawa sa sitwasyon ko.

If you’re in a similar situation, I’m telling you that it’s not wrong or shameful to admit that you’re not completely okay. Hindi normal ang mga pangyayari ngayon. 

Things might not go back to the way they were. We may be living in a new “normal” when this is all over. So . . . is there a way for us to be okay even when the world inside and outside of us is a mess?

I wish I could tell you of a special 10-step process that would help you get through this quarantine healthy, positive, and well . . . kung meron man, maaaring scam lang ‘yan.

But what if I told you that there’s someone in the Bible who went through an experience like the one we’re in right now?

His name was Jeremiah. They say he was called by God to be a prophet to the nation of Israel when he was just 17 years old.

Like us, Jeremiah lived through tragic and abnormal times. Yet, if we read the later chapters of his book, we see that Jeremiah’s faith in God remained firm despite the sad realities he faced.

How did he do this? How did he maintain his well-being and sanity when tragedy struck?

Jeremiah held on to God’s word.

He held on to God’s personal promises to him.

  • God’s identity and purpose for him (Jeremiah 1:5, 15:19)
  • God’s promises to deliver him (Jeremiah 1:8; 15:20)
  • God’s promise for those who trust in Him (Jeremiah 17:7,8)

He held on to God’s promises for his nation.

  • Promises of restoration and salvation (Jeremiah 16:15; 24:6; 29:11–14; 30:10; 30:18; 33:7)
  • Promises of His faithfulness and love (Jeremiah 31:3,13)
  • Promises of God’s glory to come and his nation’s return to God (Jeremiah 16:21; 24:7; 31:33,34)

While remembering God’s word didn’t instantly change the situation, it gave Jeremiah the courage to continue walking with God even when everything around him was telling him to give it up.

What was God’s word for you when He first called you to Him?

What was His word for you when you started the year, before this all happened?

What is God possibly bringing you to remember about Him at this time through His word?

While everything else in life may change and be taken away from us, God’s word will always remain the same (Mark 13:31).

Another thing Jeremiah did was to keep conversing with God.

Jeremiah is actually one of the saddest prophets in the Bible. Throughout his life, he felt all sorts of grief, hopelessness, isolation, pain, disappointment, and dissatisfaction. 

Sa sobrang “emo” niya, he was called “the weeping prophet.” Pero hindi lang siya umiyak kay Lord. He also opened up to God about the sorrow and grief that he was going through—all his raw emotions and thoughts. “Ugly cry,” ika nga.

Jeremiah was real, raw, and honest with God. He remained in conversation with God. And God answered, assuring Jeremiah of His plans for him.

Communicating with God did not always guarantee the answers Jeremiah wanted to receive, but it was in talking to God that he received the assurance that God remained the same.

You don’t have to be completely okay before going to God. You can be raw, you can be angry. You can be disappointed and distressed. You can even complain to Him about what’s going on.

God can handle your current state. He can meet you exactly where you are. Because it is in brokenness, not perfection, that God’s presence and grace will abound.

What do you need to bring to God? Come and present your reality to Him (Philippians 4:6,7).

What’s God telling you in your situation? Wait for His answer (Psalm 27:14).

Like Jeremiah, we can hold on to the promises God gives us and continue to converse with Him freely.

Also, you don’t have to process this alone. Find someone you trust who can regularly help you process what you are going through. We may be physically separated from one another, but that doesn’t mean we have to live in isolation.

Today, whether you’re new to walking with God or have been doing so for a while now, there are two possible ways to respond:

A. Succumb to reality and let it reign over you, like most of Jeremiah’s contemporaries did in his time; or

B. Walk through reality—the raw, broken, and messy bits of it—with God’s word, in His presence, and with His people.

As we go through our current reality, I pray that each and every one of us will come out with faith that doesn’t demand instant answers, but actively waits on God’s word for us—the kind of faith that’s been tested, proven, and strengthened, rather than defeated, by the reality.

May we have the kind of faith that, although we do not see the end of this just yet, still chooses to believe in God and His far bigger purpose for us.

 

 

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The Author

Sam Lichauco

Sam Lichauco was reached out in the summer before entering her third year of college in Ateneo de Manila University. She is an avid collector of notes and mementos. She loves to read, write, eat, take amateur photos, and travel the world. If she could do all these at once, that would be her ideal vacation. She serves as a writer of Every Nation Campus Philippines. You can find more of her writing at shewriteshim.com.

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