In the midst of a frustratingly long quarantine, Kaitlin receives an unexpected invitation.
The circumstances in which I got COVID were extremely frustrating to me. I had been so careful and yet I got COVID due to others’ choices. I was mad that I was put in the situation and that I ended up with the longest quarantine out of a whole group. I kept telling the Lord, “I didn’t choose this.” I knew my anger and frustration were not helpful, but I also knew I couldn’t just change on my own. I needed an Other. I begged the Lord to come and change my heart.
On my fourth day of quarantine, I woke up feeling pretty sick and later that day tested positive. I already had a call scheduled with my spiritual director for that day. He helped me see that I did actually choose this. I did say “yes” to this to some extent when I said “yes” to following Christ and “yes” to being a missionary.
The next day, I had the opportunity to attend a Communion and Liberation Lenten retreat virtually. The witness of how Christ was working in others’ lives was so helpful. It reminded me that He is always present and others are also struggling to find Christ in their present circumstances. I am not alone.
Our Chaplain had brought the Blessed Sacrament to our home, which was a huge gift. The day after the retreat, I was sitting before Jesus, and He broke into my heart. Through His promptings, I asked myself this question, “What if I looked at this time as being in my Father’s House?” In the same Holy Hour, the Lord reminded me of His invitation to “Come and see.” This same invitation he gave to John and Andrew, He is giving to me. These two invitations by the Lord changed everything for the remainder of my quarantine.
For the next week, the Father taught me a lot about what living as a daughter is actually like. I was shown that I’d have rights and privileges as a daughter in my Father’s House. That I was wanted there and the Father was delighted I was there. The Father reminded me that as a daughter, I am gazed upon and I am loved. I don’t have to do anything, I belong and am loved just because I am a daughter.
In my head a "perfect" quarantine would have been praying two Holy Hours, a daily Rosary, and Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer, and reading a lot. I had the time and no excuses. But I didn’t do these things. I prayed my Holy Hour every day and some days I did more prayer and my devotions, but some days I definitely watched too much TV. The whole time, I had this sense that it was OK. I was still His daughter, and He was still delighted to have me in His House. This wasn’t and isn’t settling for mediocrity, but a truer understanding of what it means to be a daughter.
“Come and see.” Every day had meaning and purpose because the Lord was making this invitation; it cast out frustration and despair. One day in quarantine, I wrote down eight ways the Lord invited me to “come and see” that day.
Toward the end of my quarantine, the Lord gave me a great day of consolation to see how this all came together. I spent most of my Holy Hour and day in much praise and thanksgiving for this time of quarantine. Praise and thanksgiving are not my typical inclination and something I have to fight for in my relationship with Him. I am still so moved by the ease and abundance with which the praise and thanksgiving flowed from my heart. He broke in during this time. He broke in during my solitude, in my prayer, through the CL retreat, my spiritual director, my teammates, and my friends and family who called and supported me. My natural inclination towards negativity was flipped to positivity and thanksgiving. The very fact that as things got worse, my spirit changed, left no doubt in my mind. Christ was present and working.
I am different because of this time. I know in a truer way that I am a daughter and He is always inviting me to “come and see.” Now the battle is being back in the world, in the midst of the difficulty of life and not losing what He has taught me. To not forget the need to beg Christ to come and save me. Kaitlin, Atlanta, Georgia