Lifestyle Change: Convent vs. COVID-19

So, it’s been almost a week since I’ve been working from home and only leaving to do necessary things like get some more groceries or take a walk outside. This COVID-19 situation is really cramping my style, that’s for sure. I’ve been reflecting on this experience and couldn’t help but remember how it felt to adjust to living in the convent. Right now, all of us are adjusting to a new way of living. We have to act differently, make different choices, listen to our government officials the best we can. A lot of our decisions don’t get to be our own and they aren’t what we would prefer. I can’t help but compare this adjustment to the adjustment I made to convent living.

Entering the convent means letting go of how you used to live your life and taking on the way of life of the community you enter, which is typically very different from the one you grew up with or would choose on your own. It requires a lot of surrender and obedience. I think the more important factor though is it requires dependence on the Lord, that He will give you the strength to get through whatever transition you are in.

While I was adjusting to convent life, I started to press into Jesus. When I was uncomfortable or upset with a way I had to live, like not being able to see my family frequently or not being able to eat the food I wanted to, I would run to Jesus and talk to Him about it. When I was bored because I was spending a lot of time cleaning and not talking to people, I would talk to Jesus and find Him there in the stairwell as I swept.

The only way I got through the transition to the convent was because I leaned into Jesus. I didn’t run from my struggles or sufferings, I pressed into them and brought them to Jesus. I didn’t avoid Him because I felt like it was His fault (although sometimes I did feel that way) I just told Him that. I left the conversation always open with the Lord, regardless of my feelings and let Him meet me there.

I think we can all learn something from my experience transitioning to the convent, to a way of life I was unfamiliar with and didn’t always like. I know I have something to learn. We can get through this transition into living with social distancing and possible quarantine by leaning into the Lord. The Lord knows this is difficult for us all and He doesn’t ask us not to feel that, He just wants to be invited into that feeling. I want to encourage you to let the Lord into your heart as you deal with this COVID-19 lifestyle change.

I’m going to practice becoming more aware of the present moment and look to find Jesus there. As I sit at my counter for the 100th time to check my work email today or have the same conversation with my roommate about when schools will be back in session, I’m going to look for Jesus, because He is there.

Know of my prayers!

E

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