A family’s journey in NCID: Finding rest in the mess
Faith Lek // April 16, 2020, 12:15 pm
Photos courtesy of Faith Lek and her father
“Although you are tested “positive”, continue to stay positive and not negative in the midst of the battle… I love you dearly, and I hope you know your daughter is your prayer warrior (with many many others too).
“I entrust you into the Lord’s hands, however long it takes for you to be out there in the battlefield. Please know that your daughter’s arms are ready for a big hug anytime.” – An excerpt from “My daughter’s letter to her papi”
When news broke out that our church was a coronavirus cluster, my father believed that being socially responsible was the loving thing to do, so he imposed a voluntary quarantine for our family. This was even before he started to show symptoms.
A week later, both my father and mother admitted themselves into the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) as they were running a fever throughout the afternoon. The test results came out the next morning: My mother was tested negative, but not my father.
Upon learning that my father was tested positive for COVID-19, I was not emotional about it as I had already been preparing for the worst. However, I exhibited symptoms the day after my parents were admitted, so I also checked myself into NCID that night.
I only told two close friends about the predicament I was in; our immediate response was to go to God in prayer.
The chain of events happened all so quickly.
In the hospital, I would tear whenever I thought of my father. I even wrote in my journal that I didn’t mind getting the virus just to be able to support him.
I believed that it is always more encouraging to have someone go through the storm together: to be confined in the same conditions, to eat the same food and to spur each other on.
The following morning, my first nasal swab test result was negative and so was my father’s. Knowing that it took two consecutive negative swabs for an infected case to be discharged, I was overjoyed because that would mean that we could all be out of NCID and finally enjoy a meal together again.
However, the second night of my stay was particularly painful. I was conflicted and my thoughts raged. I know it was silly of me to think this way, but I wanted so much to have the same results as my dad the next morning.
Every plan we make should be held in humility before God.
Before I slept, I had a vision of a daughter who was waiting at home expectantly for her daddy, a military solider who was fighting a war. She yearned for him to return so that she could feel the warmth of her father’s embrace once more. In that moment, I felt just like that daughter – I wanted to either have my father home or go to the battle line to fight beside him.
The next morning when my mum and I received our negative results and my father’s result was positive, I was upset. But as I was crying out to the Lord, I had another revelation of that same image I saw the night before.
Though the daughter in the vision desperately wanted to fight the war with her daddy at the frontline, God wanted her to fight the battle with her daddy elsewhere – for He had different journeys and lessons for both of them. Plus, it would be safer for the girl that way.
From then on, I had a 180-degree shift in my perspective and saw this experience as a great story to tell of God’s goodness and grace in my life. Seizing the opportunity, I called my friends whom I wanted to reach out to and shared openly about my struggles.
I was also discharged the next day.
My dad stayed on in NCID for seven days, but he was in the pink of health – he didn’t have a fever, a flu or any breathing difficulties. In fact, his energy levels were so good that he even decided to reach out to his colleagues and friends by setting up a big chat group, granting those in the group administration rights to add anyone they wished.
Using this platform to pen down his daily reflections according to what the Lord impressed upon his heart, he wanted to share his innermost thoughts as he felt they would encourage those who might be facing similar anxieties. I also created a blog for him to collate all his reflections, so that no one in the group will miss out on any of his past updates.
During our stay in NCID, our family would do a video call every single meal to accompany one another. I even video-called them in my isolation ward to open up my A-Level results!
Throughout the whole quarantine period, we were loved by our family, friends and church members who prayed for us. The thought and effort put into each food delivery really warmed our hearts too! (Editor’s Note: This was before the circuit breaker measures kicked in.)
Over a span of two days, my auntie came over thrice to deliver home-cooked food and fresh fruits. My youth pastor also came all the way to deliver personalised snacks to me, while my fellow leaders in ministry turned up at my doorstep to bless me with food.
There have been so many lessons that the Lord has taught me in this experience.
As a person who treasures productivity and plans my days way in advance, it was particularly frustrating to see my plans get cancelled. My parents and I were going to embark on an Israel pilgrimage trip and travel to Australia for a family vacation, while I was supposed to plan for campus camp, meet up with my friends and go for my first long mission trip before university started.
This experience really revealed who was controlling my life – me . I had been so caught up in doing things that I missed the whole point of being in God’s presence.
I had to learn to slow down (which has always been my new year’s resolution that I never keep), praise and pray. I had to allow God to interrupt my plans. I had to find rest in the mess.
By allowing God to break my script and coming to the point where I’m able to lay down my life, I’ve been able to create richer memories and know God in a deeper way.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
Man can plan, but the Lord’s will prevails. We plan as we can and should, but we should never think that our ability to plan makes us Lord over our lives.
It is the Lord who directs our steps. Every plan we make should be held in humility before God and surrendered to His ultimate will.
I know and am confident that the Lord will deliver us through this trial of COVID-19 together. After all, we have already won the war because of Jesus Christ.
Although it seems daunting and scary, there is nothing to fear. He is fighting the battle alongside us – and that is greater comfort than anything else.
THINK + TALK
- Are you able to find rest in this current mess? Why or why not?
- Who or what is controlling your life?
- Is there someone whom you can reach out to during this season?