Some who catch COVID hunker down for a few days while the cold symptoms subside but for Rachel Matthews and her husband, who is in a high risk category, it was far more terrifying. Here she explains what happened when the virus hit her household.
I remembering shaking all over when we began to learn about COVID in February 2020. Uncontrollable fear over took my body and I couldn’t stop crying, with sheer fright that this would be the illness that would take my husband from me.
My husband was diagnosed with Fabry’s Disease in 2011, it’s a rare condition that amongst other things has severely impacted his heart and lungs. To hear that Simon may need to face COVID alongside the battle he has each day within his body, was a fight I wasn’t sure he would win.
We shielded as a family for most of that first year of the pandemic. We didn’t even leave the house to walk the dog! We had conversations from our bedroom window and found ourselves petrified by the post that landed in our hallway.
I woke in the night and kneeled in prayer to ask him to spare my husband’s life.
I pressed into God so deeply. I woke in the night and kneeled in prayer to ask him to spare my husband’s life. The Lord told me: “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.” 1 Peter 1:6. I wasn’t sure what it meant, but I believed it and carried it with me everywhere knowing he was with us.
The vaccines came and my husband wept with joy after receiving his first one. We began to be braver and life became easier again. Then in October 2021 our whole house, simultaneously caught the dreaded virus… it sounds extreme, but that week, we knowingly looked death in the eye.
We wept and we prayed, never knowing if that day would be our one last together, but by the grace of God, we made it through. But the bigger surprise was what happened to me.
COVID left me with permanent hearing loss, un-describable pain and a fatigue that no amount of sleep can end. Having once been the carer in our home, I now need to be cared for myself.
God has given me a renewed understanding and empathy of how it feels to live with a chronic health condition.
Simon and many of our friends have been angry at God. Wondering why, in his kindness and mercy he could let this happen to us. We were already bruised and struggling on the battle field. But I don’t feel that way.
I feel God has used this for a blessing. He has given me a renewed understanding and empathy of how it feels to live with a chronic health condition. He has helped me fully understand how it feels to run out of energy or be in pain and I’m richer for it.
I don’t thank God for Covid because I don’t believe he gave it to me but I do believe he is helping it change my life for the better. How could he not? I’m his daughter and he loves me. As Joseph said: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Genesis 50:20. I thank him for letting me live life in it’s fullest. It’s not always easy, but it’s always for the best