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Faith is my friend, fear my foe

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Dec 28, 2021 5:00 am

COVID-19 has thrown curve ball after curve ball in the last two years. To say that it has disrupted my life is an understatement. The industry I belong to just started its feeble steps toward normalcy with pre-pandemic numbers expected to return no earlier than another two years.

While a tailspin in your livelihood is a bitter pill to swallow, harder to accept are the sudden deaths of family and friends because of the deadly virus. I just lost my father two months ago because of COVID-19, so imagine my panic when my only son got the dreaded “positive” stamp on his RT-PCR test.

There were times when panic formed knots in my belly. Those were the times I fell on my knees to pray harder. Faith overcomes fear. Prayer deepens faith. Prayer is the crutch that makes waiting bearable.

Knowing from experience how treacherous the virus can be, it was non-negotiable for us to rush him to the ER of Makati Medical Center once his oxygen level steadily dropped from normal levels. Infectious disease specialist

Dr. Jondi Buensalido took charge, ordered assessments and had my son admitted into an isolation room for treatment. We never saw him after he was wheeled off into the emergency clinic.

As hours became days, and days turned to a week, I had to make a conscious choice between walking in faith, or crouching in fear.

Every positive piece of news, no matter how small, was a cause for celebration.

Through the pandemic my favorite Bible passage has been Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” And those words made the choice easier. I chose to believe.

To say that I never felt fear is a lie. There were times when panic formed knots in my belly. Those were exactly the same times I fell on my knees to pray harder. Faith overcomes fear. Prayer deepens faith. Prayer is the crutch that makes waiting bearable.

Every positive piece of news, no matter how small, was a cause for celebration. In fact, because I boldly claim complete healing of my son in my prayers, my hourly novena was like a thanksgiving instead of a supplication.

Involving the whole family in prayer also helps a lot. The petitions and shared prayers of family and friends were like a soothing balm that helped calm nerves. My hourly prayers left me no room to doubt. Hearing friends and family claim my son’s complete healing emboldened me, knowing that when many agree in prayer, it will be done.

  Have faith. God is far mightier than any crisis you are going through. Yes, including COVID-19. 

The online messaging and chat groups were technological marvels, which allowed fast delivery of communication. In a matter of days, so many people were praying not only for my son, but also for those of us who were blocked off physically from fighting the illness with him. It was also through the same technology that we got updates from the doctors and nurses.

I write this with overwhelming gratitude that the worst is over. My son was discharged last Wednesday, Dec. 23. I am sure he will profess that he would have gone crazy if not for the countless virtual chats he had with family and friends.

We were not with him physically in those 12 days, but he allowed us to be part of his journey. He provided us with updates, he spoke about his thoughts and fears. I am sure he felt he was not alone and that gave him a lot of courage.

As a mother, it seemed he could telepathically wake me up when he needed someone to talk to. He was at his chattiest at 4 a.m. It was an odd hour and I don’t think he ever found anyone else to chat with at that time.

Twelve days in isolation. Long days, which could be either full of expectant faith or full of debilitating fear. Whether you are the patient or the relative nervously waiting at home, please choose to believe. Have faith in the medical team of doctors and their nursing staff. Two years and millions of cases into this, the medical community has more knowledge and expertise nowadays to successfully battle the virus.

Have faith that no one is alone in fighting. Many join in prayer, like warriors in the battlefield, shouting their victory chant. All daily Masses said around the world continue to pray for the medical community, as well as those afflicted with the virus.

Best of all, have faith that the God who loves you dearly is far mightier than any crisis you are going through.