Lockdown Isolation: Challenges and Blessings

Italy’s streets and piazzas are usually full of people, even in the evenings. But with the lockdown all that has changed. A ghostly calm and quiet has settled on the strangely unpeopled streets and towns. Except for the car driving daily through town telling us to stay inside. That final eerie touch makes it seem like war times. Causing us to wonder – and hope – if it’s all just a bad dream.

In the midst of this, I decided to share what it’s like. It has made life harder. We can’t do a lot of our normal things – even go for walks. It takes Hubby an hour’s wait just to get into the supermarket. Plus he’s off work without pay, for who knows how long.

Our streets in normal times

It’s all strange and somewhat unnerving. But what I’ve found most challenging of all is not being able to go to church. We have church via streaming or Zoom, but it’s just not the same.

Yet, I have felt strongly that it’s important to not focus on all the negatives. It’s so easy to do. But that opens a door for fear, doubt, anxiety, and even depression to creep in. Even in times such as these – or perhaps especially in such times – we need to keep counting our blessings!

What lockdown is teaching me

To count my blessings

Rather than focusing on what you don’t have – realize how much you do have!

I’m grateful that upon seeing they were locking down northern Italy, we felt impressed to do some big shoppings at our discount supermarket. Good thing we did, as we can not leave town now to go there. We’re well stocked, and only need to go out for fresh items.

At the time, stocking up felt almost foolish. Perhaps we were over-reacting. But our town’s small shops are pricey. So we figured even if nothing happened here, we would at least save money. And we did!

It helps, too, that here we have our own bread man. About 10AM each day, he stops out on the road, blowing his horn, and we can all go out and buy nice fresh bread, usually still hot! Of course, in these days, we’re careful to maintain distance. :/

We thank God for the daily home bread delivery!

To cherish fellowship

We’re learning how difficult and lonely social isolation can be. God has created us as social beings. We need the communion of others, and to share our thoughts, hearts, and feelings. But isn’t it great that it’s not strictly necessary to sit in the same room for that to happen?

These days we have so many ways to communicate. So take advantage of phone calls, chats, video conferences, and even plain, old-fashoned snail mail!

To appreciate and use the extra time

Rather than letting boredom creep in, use this time to do new things. Learn a new skill or start a new hobby. Read those books you’ve been wanting to get to.

And learn to appreciate the blessings of solitude, silence, and stillness. They are so important for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Sometimes we need to just slow down and unplug. In order to plug in to all that’s lasting and meaningful in this life. Lockdown can offer that possibility.

For the most part this lockdown has not changed things much for a reserved homebody like me. My husband works most weekday afternoons and evenings. So with no car or driver’s license I already spent a lot of time alone.

Alone, yet never alone, for God is always with me. As a Christian, I’m grateful that no laws, locks, barriers, or circumstances can ever keep God out. His presence, especially during this time, is very real in my life. And a great consolation.

You may be alone (or feel alone) during this strange time in history. You may feel scared and worried. But I can assure you that if you open your heart to Christ you need never be completely alone again. He has given his promise on that, and he always keeps his promises.

I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5 WEB

Image credits: Man | Plant | Tulip | Others are my own.

Published by Signora Sheila

Wife, mom, nonna, missionary, and Bible student on a spiritual walk with Christ @mycammino. Because life is at heart a spiritual journey of going further up and further in, into the Father heart of God.

21 thoughts on “Lockdown Isolation: Challenges and Blessings

    1. Thanks Karen, we really appreciate it. We seem to have reached a peak and new contagions are diminishing. But the gov’t is passing more severe restrictions, which we don’t understand. But our peace is in God, knowing that he has all things in control. We are praying, too, that the situation doesn’t get real bad in other parts of the world.

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  1. Sheila, I am glad that you are stocked up well and doing well. I, too, miss the fellowship at church – Bible study and worship services. Working on setting up a Bible study via Webex for wives. Thank you for writing about what it is like in Italy. God is so good. What a privilege we have to be able to have fellowship with Christians across the world and encourage each other. This is the true church. I’m praying for you and Mario. May you rest in God’s peace, security, and blessings. Karen

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    1. Thank you so much, Karen, for your prayers and well wishes. Know that ours are coming your way too. I see that things keep getting worse in the states as well. Thankfully our lives are in God’s hands. He knows best, and our hearts are at peace. Pray you stay safe and that you will see God’s hand in your lives in these days. Take care.

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  2. So glad, Sheila, that you and your husband are doing well! We too are isolating ourselves from others, due to my husband’s auto-immune deficiency. I am so thankful that, in spite of being alone, we can communicate with others (even around the world in Italy!) in many ways these days, to share our thoughts, hearts, and feelings, just like you said. I’m thankful our church offered a live-streamed service on Sunday and will continue to do so for at least several weeks. Such a blessing to see familiar faces and experience corporate worship–even if on a screen. Also enjoying Skype visits with our son and his family. They only live ten minutes away, but we haven’t seen them since a week ago Sunday. I’m also thankful we can prove Philippians 4:13, to do all things through Christ who gives us strength. In reality, this should not be that great a challenge–just an adjustment. (We’re so used to coming and going on a whim!) P.S. I had to smile when I read your last bullet point. Putting our roots down deep into God’s love (Ephesians 3:17) is the theme for my post tomorrow!

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    1. You’re so right, Nancy. This is one of the good things about technology! It is wonderful to be able to still have contact – it really helps to reduce the isolation. And contact with people around the world!! I’m looking forward to reading your upcoming post, sure it will be the blessing your posts always are!! These times are a golden opportunity for seeking him and sending our roots down deeper!!

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    1. Thank you! But I see that it’s gtting bad everyone. All of you, my readers, are in my prayers too. We need this kind of support more than ever!!

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing!!! I didn’t know when your post would come out and this one relates to the one I published today, too! He is with us, always!!!

    I relate as I am a stay at home wife. The quiet moments have been spending time with the Lord, it’s such an opportunity.

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    1. You’re so right TR, even if I didn’t quite grasp that right away. Every so often I’m prone to a sort of adult temper tantrum. 😦 But God has a way of sometimes giving me a gentle slap on the side of the head and bringing me back around. The solitude has proved to be one of my life’s greatest blessings! God is so good!! Can’t wait to read your post… going to now!

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  4. Beautifully written, and so encouraging! While none of us know what the outcome of all this will be, the one certainty we do have is security in Christ. Thank you for such an uplifting post!

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    1. Thank you Ron, for your encouragement. I really do hope it will encourage hearts in many places. We are secure in Christ’s love – come what may!

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  5. Thanks Sheila for sharing. I’m praying for you. We’re in semi lockdown now (partly self imposed). But apart from this acute time we’re going through, it was helpful to read how it was for you in your early years in Italy. As we may well emigrate in the next 5 years to be near family and for our daughter to learn her mother tongue, it’s helpful for me to be under no illusions after a number of lovely visits!

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    1. So happy it helped, Robert! Visits are often deceiving. Things are usually wonderful on holiday. And even if they’re not, we think it’s only for a few days or weeks, so I’ll survive. Knowing you’re there for good changes everything. But God use such times to deepen our relationship with him. And that is worth whatever it costs!

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  6. Profound and honest words, my friend. The isolation is a challenge, especially when everything here needs to be done remotely to protect others. But I love what it’s doing for all of us. We may complain about the inconvenience, but the Lord is allowing us to care for each other as we often don’t choose to do on most days. Thanks for your insights!

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    1. Thank you Dayle for your encouragement! Yes the Lord often uses trials and difficulties to get our attention, and in his own special way to bring good from them! Hope you’re keeping safe!!

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