no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 54:17
I write this post to help people discern the interior battle that is going on inside of our minds. It is not a post about science, or to be used as an excuse to not be prudent, this is solely for the purpose of helping people recognize who is speaking into your life when you are faced with difficult decisions and paralyzing fear.
I was talking to my friend the other day. She was sobbing. She hasn’t seen her elderly Mother since January. She is facing the conundrum I myself have been put in. Her mother is elderly and may not be long for this world and because her mother is elderly she is in the high risk category to die from COVID. Though my friend has zero symptoms of being sick, she stated she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she gave her mom COVID and her mom died. She didn’t want to be a murderer.
In her love for her own mother, she stands accused if she seeks relationship with her. This my friends, is diabolical. My friend, whether or not at some future time she maybe could unintentionally pass COVID on, is not a murderer. How do I know this? Because we know who the true murderer actually is.
.….He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
The devil is accusing us left and right so that no matter what we do, we cannot win. You stand accused. This is totally diabolical.
If we were to apply the logic of this train of thought to everything, you would never be able to move. You could decide that you could never drive because you might get in an accident and kill someone. You could decide to never grill steak because you might kill someone with heart disease. This fear and panic is not of God.
I myself was placed in this situation. A few months back I was exposed to someone who had COVID. At the time the tests were taking 7 days to come back. My mom had a stroke, and no assistance except me. She had a medication that if she didn’t take it she would die. I called everyone I knew for assistance. The liability was too high I was told. So because of our litigious society I had no help.
I sat on my front porch and cried my eyes out. I felt like my two choices were death and death. Go help mom, give her COVID – death. Don’t help mom, no medication- death. I knew this was all from the pit of hell. So I cried out to God.
He answered me. He said, “Susan, who is the author of all life?” I said “you are, Lord.”
Then he said to me, what do I bring? I answered, “life and life abundantly.” He went further and said to me, “because I am the giver and taker of life, trust that I will only take your mom when it is her time to go. You dwell in the house of the Lord. You abide in me. Trust me.” I made the decision with confidence to go help my mom and get her the medication she needed. I knew for certain she would die without it. The COVID was a future anxiety. I asked God to be present in the NOW.
God is a God of possibilities, but not a God of anxiety. In the one scenario we see of what could possibly be, God sees 1000 other possibilites. He sees all that is. I truly believe he picks the path that will draw you closer and purify you, and if it is sickness that does this, then sickness is worked for the good because drawing closer to God is what we all need. I also believe God wants us trusting in the present moment. God whispers, “I AM” and invites you into His now. Satan screams “what if” and takes you to a future place that doesn’t even and may not ever exist.
Imagine if Mary and Joseph had been paralyzed in fear when the angel told Joseph to flee. What if they had thought about all the dangers of the desert crossing to Egypt, the desert itself and how to eat, the bandits that could be there. It could have kept them from protecting the Christ child. A “what if” that speaks nothing but fear is exactly what God tells us not to do.
He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for hiskingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:22-31
In my situation mom had an immediate need. COVID was a possibility, a fear, a worry. I handed that worry to God and I helped my mom. I followed all the prudent protocols and guidelines. Those weeks I spent caring for my mom were one of my greatest sufferings but also my greatest gifts. I was able to care for her in her old age, leaving her life to God and when he decides to take her but enjoying the relationship I had with her in the midst of the suffering of it. I wouldn’t change them one bit. I was truly present with her and it was a total gift to care for her. I was able to ask God to unite all of that suffering to his cross. I should state that after all was said and done my COVID test finally came back negative and I never got sick. My original worry was all for naught.
I tell this story because I think we are all finding ourselves in this place of unknowing and trying to discern and trying to make decisions. We wonder whose kingdom is speaking to us. When God speaks he breathes life. God can and does convict us of our sin. It is a gentle voice of love that sparks change and conversion. Satan condemns, lies, and accuses. His voice causes paralysis. We need to know the difference. It is sin we need to purge and accusation we need to recognize as an attack on our very being.
During the consecration at Mass one day the Lord started to speak to me about fear. He simply said, “the only fear you should have is Fear of the Lord, which is a gift of the Spirit.” We are so afraid of sickness and judgement that we have forgotten who is in charge and who we should be worried about offending. We abuse the Eucharist and each other then we wonder why our world is so out of control.
This does not mean I don’t think COVID is real. I know it is. It also does not mean I would be reckless. It does however mean that I should not walk in fear of the virus. If I get it God can use it to purify me. I don’t need to find someone to blame. If I passed it on to someone else, it would be unintentional – and remember God is all about your intentions, it is Satan who doesn’t care about them. He just wants to accuse, lie, steal, kill and destroy; destroy you with guilt over something you cannot fully control. And he wants you to accuse your own neighbors, sow control and hatred, and be blind to what’s really going on. Satan is about control and making you think you have some, when in reality that’s a facade.
I told my friend that I had no judgement towards her and what she decided. There are many factors to consider when making a decision like that. But I did assure her that she is not a murderer and that God is in charge. He is the author of life and I trust he will take my parents and hers when it is their time to go. I know my own life is in HIS hands. May He purify my heart and work all things for my good.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.” Revelation 13:14
My name is Susan Skinner. I am a native of Maryland and grew up attending all Catholic Schools, including the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. In 1997, I moved South where I subsequently met my husband, Jason. We now have three children. I am a certified catechist through Aquinas College and I am a Director of RCIA and Adult Faith Formation at a parish in the South. I have always identified as Catholic, but it was the murder of my friend in 2010 that brought a transforming change to my heart and made me a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I now make it my mission to spread His Love and Good News everywhere I go. My friend's name was Veronica, and so my blog is named Veil of Veronica. Jesus isn't just someone we should just know about, He is someone we should KNOW, personally. He has made me new and I know God has brought me to where I am. I am nothing without him.