I want to be totally honest and real with you. In my last blog post in March 2022, I wrote about “Crossing the bridge from Fear to Joy.” Sometimes that can be easy to do, other times not so much. It can become a very real battle when trying not to give into fear.
Over Holy Week, I tested positive for COVID, and went into isolation for the prescribed 10 days. This time of isolation was a battle for me mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. During that time, fear became very real for me and instead of resisting it, I surrendered to it. There were times when I tried to fight, by praying with my Sisters and trying to make my temporary space a war room with bible scriptures, words of identity, and even a quote from a book I was reading. However, in the end, the darkness of fear overtook me and I literally hit bottom. The person I became was not a pleasant person, to put it mildly.
On the final night of my isolation, I started to come back to my senses and I realized that this darkness that I was experiencing was me, closing my eyes to everything, hoping it would all just go away. This is what I have done all my life. Earlier in the week as I prayed with one of my Sisters, the Lord said to me that he was right beside me in the dark and that I just had to turn on the light. In other words, I needed to open my eyes to see him. In fear, I chose to keep my eyes shut tightly. I unknowingly put my trust in the wrong spirit, namely the prince of darkness. As this realization of my actions set in, guilt and regret settled in as well. I knew I did not handle the situation well at all as I pushed everyone, including the Lord, away from me. I had a lot of forgiveness to seek and a lot of humility to swallow.
I was then asked by my Superior to spend my mornings for the following week in an extended time of Adoration in the chapel. I guess you can say, it was a new time of isolation with the Lord. I started the time obediently and was open to whatever the Lord wanted of me. I asked for his forgiveness and began to let go of all the negative things that had been surrounding me such as fear, abandonment, negativity, etc. I surrendered the lies that I had believed and forgave myself for all the wrong I had done. I honestly went into this time of prayer with no expectations. Some people may read this and think of this time as a punishment, but it was far from that. It was an opportunity to get right with the Lord. It was a time to allow myself to be found by him. He was certainly searching for me, I just kept running further away.
However, there is no outrunning our Lord. The Good Shepherd always finds his sheep, and he found me in a big way. He welcomed me home, and literally touched my heart. I could hear him explain that the heaviness I was feeling in my chest was not from COVID, but from the heart that had turned to stone over time. I was no longer able to give or receive love. I remembered Jesus’ words in Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your stony heart and give you a heart of flesh.” With these words, I asked Him for a heart transplant to replace my old heart with a new heart of flesh. As that exchange was made, I could literally feel the change inside. The heaviness was gone. He gave me a new vision to see myself as he sees me. I am to take care of this new heart of mine, and together with him commit to making changes in my life, so as to live a life that is more becoming of my vocation. Since that day, I have felt things I have never felt before deep down inside. I have fallen in love with Jesus all over again.
After this conversion of heart, I shared my experiences with my Sisters. We agreed that I am not the person I was when I began my “Adoration isolation,” and I am far from who I was when I came out of COVID isolation. I am grateful to God for pursuing me and welcoming me back into the fold. When he brought me back, I was so far away from him. Strangely, I have COVID to thank for this experience. I had to hit rock bottom before I called out to God for help. In hindsight, I see where I wasted the time during the COVID isolation; but, I wouldn’t trade that experience in my ”Adoration isolation” for anything. I know going forward will not always be easy, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is truly at my side always. I just have to keep my eyes open and focused on Him.
If ever you find yourself isolated and alone, trust that the Lord is there with you. Do not listen to the lies of the enemy like I did and let him convince you otherwise. He is there only to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He is not your friend, and he will not help you find your way. In John 15:15, Jesus calls you friend. He is the most important friend you will ever have. If your heart is heavy, ask for open-heart surgery. He is the divine physician and he will take care of you for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Peace and Blessings,
Sr. Alison Weber