Learning to go deep with God and with others during the Circuit Breaker.
By: Isabella Ow
As a teacher, I was pretty daunted about the prospect of Home-Based Learning (HBL) initially and was not sure how I would cope with working from home when it was required. Not being able to see your colleagues could be a lonely affair and calling up students who were not used to the routine of HBL was tiresome. What kept me going was the consistency of His presence and the time that was freed up, where I spent time with Him and in His Word.
The Circuit Breaker (CB) was relationally challenging. It was hard not being able to have the usual gatherings - Cell group meet-ups, fellowship with friends, or even just being out and about. The limitations in movement and the lack of face-to-face interaction with people other than those you lived with proved increasingly challenging after the initial two weeks (Yes, even for an introvert!).
With nowhere to go and fewer distractions, God beckoned me to go back to His word and led me to spend more time with Him.
But God worked. Being forced to stay in one place gave depth to “staying still”. With nowhere to go and fewer distractions, God beckoned me to go back to His Word and led me to spend more time with Him. I read and listened to more of my Bible during CB and the May school “holidays” than I would have in a normal period of four to six months. I read the books of the Bible which s challenged me during normal times and I gained the insight which would stay with me in future readings of these same books. CB provided an opportunity to do things I might not have given time for previously. Since there was no need to travel for work, there were less distractions. Greater priority was given to “staying still” and dwelling in His word during CB.
The second blessing that came from CB was the increased time I had with my family. It was awkward at first, because it meant more conversations over meals and sharing both work and living spaces. A day that did not begin with a smile could lead to a multitude of misunderstandings. Body language could be overread and misinterpreted, and sometimes people could feel that their personal spaces were encroached upon. It took some time before we became more comfortable with one another, and the organic conversations which emerged took surprising, enriching and fulfilling turns. We discovered new things about one another, learnt from one another’s experiences and shared each other’s burdens.
We discovered new things about one another, learnt from one another’s experiences and shared each other’s burdens.
In working from home too, I had the time and space to process feelings of relational challenges from work. I had more time to seek God and to pray, even attempting Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) on my own. I learnt to see that times of solitude and silence do not necessarily make for negative experiences— they could be excellent ground for constructive reflection and healing too.
Upon the lifting of CB and the ushering of Phase 2, most of us were relieved with the outcome of having less social restrictions. I was thankful to be able to go back to work physically, as i missed the interactions and connections with my students and colleagues. Although the two-month long season had come to an end, the end was not without some gifts of experiences and insights.
God can give us treasures if we are willing to seek Him, go deep and visit some places we may initially be reluctant to.
Being in an enclosed place or a place of hiding is not an end or a negativity in itself. God can give us treasures if we are willing to seek Him, go deep and visit some places we may initially be reluctant to. The pandemic may have wrecked many of our original plans, but if we are willing to surrender to the Lord, to give of our time and attention, we could gain meaningful treasures and gifts.
“I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.” (Isaiah 45: 3)