Testing Positive In A Pandemic

Well done, college praying moms. You have “tested positive” in the middle of a pandemic.

You have chosen to think, speak, and act in ways that pass this test of faith—with love and creativity. Maybe you didn’t always feel like it, and maybe you didn’t always follow through, and it ain’t over yet, but from what I have heard—you passed, you are passing and I have faith that you will keep passing this test.

I’d like to commend you for all you have already done and encourage you not to give up. Check out this list. Checking off just one of these items puts you in the “testing positive” category—and many of you are headed toward hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

* You welcomed home your students ahead of schedule, provided a shoulder to cry on, kept food in their bellies, clean clothes on their backs. You sacrificed a room or reconfigured a quiet place for doing online classes. You may even have welcomed someone else’s sons or daughters into your home when their own homes lie across an ocean or extenuating circumstances made going home more difficult.

* You choose to see things through your Father’s eyes; “Eyes that find the good in things, When good is not around; Eyes that find the source of help, When help just can’t be found.” You did this by sheer force of will at times, but more often, it organically sprung up from daily meditating on God’s truth, then bringing any stinkin’ thinkin’ throughout your day captive to Christ and allowing Him to readjust your attitude. (I love you for noticing the “silver lining” in all the darkness and invite you to share your own silver lining story by adding a comment at the end of this post.)

* You spend dedicated time praying for not only your own students but anyone impacted by the virus; the sick and dying and those who love them; health care workers struggling with stress and isolation (see the beautiful prayer written by a mom of a UVA nurse at the end of this post); Class of 2020 HS and college grads not able to enjoy traditional last rites of passage; students losing internships; new graduates up against a very difficult job market; good people formerly employed but furloughed or laid off teetering on the brink of financial disaster.

* You are compelled by love and compassion to write letters, cards and send care packages; you drop off a meal or run an errand for an essential worker short on time or too exhausted; you support local businesses so they don’t go under; you donate resources like food or finances above and beyond your customary gifts to help the hurting.

*You are marking milestones in creative ways, trying to soften the blow of missed events.

This list is just off the top of my head. I know there are things I have forgotten or overlooked that put you into the “testing positive” category. 

Since my move to Charlottesville, growing new friendships is made more difficult by the virus—so I really appreciate hearing from you—whether a prayer request or a response to one of many recent emails. Almost every day, I receive a personal text or email, sometimes a phone call. Or an in-person “6-feet of separation” patio visit. That’s how I KNOW the aforementioned list is not theoretical.

You moms are amazing. You have “tested positive” in a pandemic. May you and your students experience God’s goodness just when and how it’s needed, today.

Kathy Burleson, MomsHooPray “Matriarch” with Triple MomsHoo’ Judy Mahony, NoVA facilitator



Now read a short intro and prayers written by MomsHoo’ Ann Stewart, which you can adapt to pray for any health care worker:

COVID 19 is affecting all lives in some way. As a mother of a college student, I was saddened to see my third year-‘s daughter’s year cut short and her two internships canceled, but secretly enjoyed having her at home. What will next year look like for her?

My other daughter is a nurse, and for her, I have other fears. Many want to reach out to these isolated and lonely, sometimes furloughed, sometimes overloaded medical workers who lack proper PPE. You can: write letters, play online games, facetime, send masks, make meals, order gifts. But when I asked health care workers what they most wanted, overwhelmingly, they wanted better education on the use and disposal of PPE so that they didn’t see as many in the hospital and were able to keep patients safer.

Finally, health care workers want prayer. Since this is MomsHooPray, here’s a way to care for medical workers from afar. Pray.

Because my daughter is a first-year nurse, I have a feminine pronoun, but insert any names or pronouns you wish for any health care worker.

Dear Lord, I pray that out of your glorious riches you strengthen ____________today at work and at home.

Anxiety and Fear
As she heads out to serve, help her not to be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present her requests to You. Help her to cast all her anxiety on You because You care for her. May Your peace, which transcends all understanding, guard her heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Help her to be strong and courageous, unafraid and encouraged to do Your work. Help her know that YOU, the LORD her God, will be with her wherever she goes and Your power is at work within her. We know that you can do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. Command your angels to guard her.  Rescue and protect her as she calls on Your name.

Physical Health
You created her, you knit her together and she is fearfully and wonderfully made. Give her clarity of thought and the MIND of Christ that she can know what to do in those difficult situations. Though her EYES see so many difficult scenes, help her to focus on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. May her EARS be attuned to Your word and to the needs of her patients. Give her a HEART for her patients and their families. May her HANDS be steady, capable and her gentleness be evident to all. May her tenderness to her patients bring You glory.

Help her LEGS to run those halls and not be weary. To walk all day and not be faint.  Let her not go weary in doing good so she can see all the good that you have planned. Keep her entire body protected from this virus. Be a shield against any illness. Help her not to fear the terror of the night or the arrows that fly by day, the pestilence in the darkness or the plague at midday. Save her from this deadly disease. Cover her with your feathers and may she find refuge in Your wings.

Your Comforting Presence

As she works, whether it’s a good day on the floor or a bad day, help her to know she is hemmed in behind and before and Your hand is upon her. Let that knowledge great comfort her. There is no darkness too dark for you. Even those gloomy night shifts will shine like day for the darkness is as light to you.

Remind her that she can do all things through YOU who will give her strength. That YOUR grace is sufficient for her and YOUR power is made perfect in weakness. Your power rests on her. When she is weak, then YOU are strong.  You give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak. When we grow tired and weary and stumble and fall, if we hope in YOU, You will renew her strength. She will soar on wings like eagles even after a 12 plus hour day.

When she goes home from her shift though she may feel isolated, help her feel the encouragement of being united with You so that she may comfort others with Your love. Prompt others to reach out to her and ease the isolation she may feel. Give her a sense of purpose, passion and plan even on her off days when she is all alone.

Your Love for Her
And after a long day, as she tries to sleep, may she rest in Your shadow, knowing You are her refuge and fortress. As she lays down to sleep, may she feel how wide, and long and high and deep is Your love and that and that she is filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Help her to know that YOU are with her. That YOU are the Mighty Warrior who saves. That YOU take great delight in her and love her so and rejoice over her with singing.

Jesus, You said,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

These health workers are poor in spirit, they mourn, and they humbly serve others. Bless them today as they serve You by serving others.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Ephesians 3, Philippians 2, Joshua 1, Psalm 91, 1 Peter 5, Galatians 6, Philippians 4, 2 Cor. 12, Isaiah 40, 1 Corinthians 2, Psalm 139, Zephaniah 3, Matthew 5

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