The lockdown has been a roller coaster of emotions I must say. I was in tears on the day the president announced that the country will be on lockdown for 21 days. Little did I know that it will turn out to be 81 days and still counting.
I lost my job in December 2019 so I have been home since the year 2020 started. The prospects of a new job vanished when the COVID-19 pandemic started and that really scared me. I am a mother of a 12-year-old who is going to high school next year so depression slowly started to creep in.
Like any parent would, I started worrying about his future, whether this year is now down the drain. What about school fees already paid for the year, what about next year, what about homeschooling. I felt so lost and helpless as if I was in a dark hole that I just couldn’t get out of. I had to keep a brave face for the sake of my son and hope that things will get better. The scariest thing is not being able to foresee the future. At some point, I stopped even watching the news because I just didn’t want to see or hear more news about the lockdown or COVID-19.
The turning point for me was when a friend of mine reminded me of our church confession for the year 2020 which is Revelation 3:8 “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name”. That was my ah-ha! moment. I realized that the word of God still stands, it is alive and active in my life. It is still the year of open doors.
I started doing home workouts from YouTube videos. I still do them religiously 6 days a week. I am the laziest person that I know, and never in my wildest dreams have I thought my body was capable of doing squats, let alone planks and actually enjoying it. I never knew how strong I was until I tried it. Even on my Sunday rest days, I find myself missing working out.
People everywhere on social media were cooking and baking but I decided to do the opposite and start fasting, believe it or not. I can say it was a way for me to teach myself discipline and to also tune out the noise of what was happening around me. These are things I have never been able to stay consistent in up until the lockdown. I have learned that if you are disciplined in just one area of your life, it spills over to all areas of your life.
I decided to start counting my blessings instead of crying for what could have been. As I had mentioned, I had lost my job in December 2019 and for some strange reason, I had not claimed UIF. I decided to claim for UIF and submit my continuation of benefits online and got my lump sum payment at lightning speed. This by the way is during the time when everyone was complaining about the Labour Department, the lack of online responses, and no joy with regards to UIF payments. That was the opposite story for me and that can only be due to God’s intervention in my life.
I then started a garden with my son, but because of space limitations, we couldn’t plant our crops the traditional way. We decided to use the 2-liter soda containers we had around our house, including milk and yogurt containers. Anything we could get our hands on was now recycled into a pot for our crops. Now we have a harvest and don’t have to buy lettuce, spinach, or tomatoes anymore.
Soon we will be harvesting bell peppers. These are all things I have never tried before our world as we know it was turn upside down and again for me it was turned right side up.
Lastly, the most exciting, scary, and rewarding step I took was starting my blog Cheapskates’ Diary. This was just a dream or distant goal since 2017 but has never been executed until the lockdown happened. I swapped my days of watching Netflix and YouTube videos all day, with doing something that gave my life purpose and meaning.
Honestly, I don’t think I would have been this passionate about it had I started it way back in 2017. The timing now is just right. I absolutely have no regrets. My life, my goals, and my purpose have been re-aligned with God’s plan and will for MY life. I am now more intentional in seeking God’s approval and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me in all my endeavors and its exciting. The lockdown was a blessing to me I must say. I am truly grateful for this season in my life and wouldn’t have it any other way.
This post was inspired by Sherayne George‘s blog. She encouraged me to start counting my blessings, look at the positive that has come through this crisis, and in particular focus on how my faith has grown. Do visit her blog for more inspiring content on the lockdown series and my feature on it.
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Blessings to you.