From around the world

Ellie, who lives in Columbus, Ohio in the United States, shares what life is like for her in lockdown.

Right now, I am spending this time as a retreat, a time to step back: finding new ways to grow close in my relationship with God, how to be more intentional with my family in person and friends online, and am reevaluating where I have been putting my faith and heart for the past few months. I’m doing lots of reading, lots of homework, and watching some Netflix, but I am so thankful for this time to slow down and to see what’s truly important in life and to see how God is working.

I am finding it challenging in trying to be social without being social in person and also trying not to be bored or stir crazy! It also has been hard for me to have deep prayer time just due to there not being a schedule any more.

To make life more fun one of my friends and I have been trying to do weekly challenges, doing things to get us out of our comfort zones, including watching different movies that we would never have watched, making dream boards, planning things we want to do once life gets back to normal, etc. I also painted my Bible and glued a bunch of pictures on it (with things that draw me into prayer, quotes, etc), so I highly recommend that! Also, I’ve been trying to look for miracles each day (because there are SO many) and to be thankful for everything in all circumstances.

Jesus is teaching me that it is okay and necessary to rest, and to rest with Him, to give Him everything. He’s also been teaching me that He doesn’t stop pouring out when life stops like this, that He wants to keep giving so much to us. And Jesus has been giving me so much hope and joy during this time. Just know how much He loves you and is working for your good, and He will come and be with you during this time, with all your feelings, and give you peace and joy and hope. Also, all the emotions you are feeling are valid, and Jesus wants to be there with you through it all, it’s okay to be raw and honest with Him, He wants you to give it to Him and to let Him be with you.

As a student involved with a lot of things going on in my high school, it has been nice to spend more time with my family and to speak more intentionally with my friends. My family and I are usually running around in 5 different directions, so it’s been really nice for us to sit down and have meals together and to just laugh and be with each other. I recently have started a Zoom call (conference call) with some of my friends where we go on to talk about faith, check in with each other, and pray together, and it has grown to have over 65 members in it, a lot of which are people I have never met before! There has been new friendships that would never have been built if not for it, people are finding hope and peace through this group, and people’s faith is growing and deepening, thank you Jesus!

It has been difficult to find why all of this is happening and trying to deal with all of the things that I am potentially missing out on due to this, and also just the idea of the people that I love getting sick: But every time I have this thought, Jesus just comes and reassures me that His peace is greater than my fear, His hope is greater than my doubt, His love is greater than any sickness. My faith and trust in Christ Jesus is going to stay firm and be triumphant through it all, and all I have to do? Just lean in and and give it all to Him, because He is going to give so much more back to us.

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