Getting the Scarlet “C”

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

— Frederick Buechner

In July 2020, I turned 45, celebrated 19 years of marriage with Tim, and got sick and tested positive for COVID-19. Getting this virus is kind of like wearing the “Scarlet C” around on your chest right now. We are all trying to avoid this experience and wondering what it will be like if we get it. I am so grateful for all the care and prayer I have received during this time. I am also so very grateful to be feeling better and myself once again!

For me the experience of getting COVID happened while we were wrapping up our family vacation in Wisconsin. I started feeling sick with cold-like symptoms, but after a couple days it turned into a fever and chills, followed by an achy body and sleeping 18-20 hours each day. Then came the cough. Whenever I tried to take a deep breath I had to cough, a dry kind of cough. After a few days of being sick I decided to get tested for COVID, and my thinking at that time was just to do my due diligence and get tested out of an abundance of caution, but I really didn’t think I had the virus. I kept thinking, ‘we are in northern Wisconsin after all, in rural America – how could I get it here?’ While waiting 5 days for the test results I lost my sense of taste and smell, and then at that point, I figured I probably had it, since that is such a rare experience that I had never had before. The COVID test came back positive right as I was starting to feel better. Then the kids and Tim (who were with me the whole time) needed to begin their quarantine in case they were carriers. So, that was my experience. Not fun, but certainly not very extreme compared to others. Even though I never had to go to the hospital, I can only think of one other time in my life when I was that sick for that long which was when I was 16 years old and got a parasite in my system while living in Bolivia one summer.

One thing about getting COVID is that you are truly given permission to rest. I wonder if it might be helpful to give ourselves that sort of permission more often. May I offer you a bit of permission today? You have permission to rest. If you are a serial achiever who is always striving to get an A+, you have permission to get a C- in life right now. You have permission to be less than your best. You have permission to be weary, afraid, and mediocre. May you receive your worthiness apart from your performance. May you practice just being beloved when there is nothing you can do to prove your worth. May you rest in the grace and goodness of God today.

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