“While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” — Luke 5:12 (NIV)

I can share those magical words today: “I survived.”

I had COVID, and I can tell you that those words “you tested positive for COVID” will put the fear in you.

What started out as a normal sore throat and then a cough that I couldn’t seem to shake ultimately landed me at the doctor, not to get tested for COVID, but hopefully to get something to get rid of the cough.

All the way to the doctor I kept thinking maybe I should not go because I for sure didn’t have COVID and would probably look like an idiot going because of a stupid cough.

Well, I couldn’t leave my car, and they swabbed my nose to test me to see if I had COVID. The doctor then came to the car to announce that I had tested positive and, because of my age and weight, I would need to get the infusion.

I was still in denial that all this was necessary, but he insisted, but told me I could refuse when they called if I didn’t feel I needed it. I was in day nine before they called to schedule, and honestly, I was feeling so much better, so we decided that I didn’t need to go get the infusion.

Today is day 11 since my symptoms started, and I am happy to say, “I survived.”

I was very blessed, and I give God all the glory that my COVID was not serious. I have seen and heard of so many who suffered or died with this horrible virus. I chose to get the vaccine, and even though it didn’t keep me from getting the virus, I do believe that it aided tremendously in the severity of my case. I still have a little cough, but I think that is just the final stages to clearing all the congestion left, since it is a respiratory virus.

Now to the mental effect it has on you. I can’t describe the feeling of guilt you feel just because you were around people and there is a chance they could get it from you, and once they find out you tested positive, they are scared too. Isn’t it wonderful that God accepts us however we are? Look back in the Bible at the leper, and you will recall that because of his unclean and physically repulsive condition, no one wanted to be close to him, much less touch him.

Did you notice that Jesus touched the leper first before He healed him? That simple touch restored a sense of humanity and dignity to the man who had not been touched for a long time. Jesus knew that the leper needed more than just physical healing, so He gave above and beyond what the leper had hoped for. Beloved, that’s the love and over-supplying grace of your Savior!

It’s wonderful to survive, but it is even more wonderful to know that I serve a God that loves me no matter what!

Please continue to pray for those battling COVID and say a special prayer for the people on the front line taking care of them. There are many sick and many committed to taking care of the sick each day!

Have a wonderful week, and remember that God loves you, and so do I!

Prayer: Dear Lord, we lift to You our concern for people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19 — the elderly and people with chronic health conditions. Protect them from harm, and be their comfort in this time of uncertainty and, for many, preventive isolation from loved ones, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Thought: Have you, friends or loved ones suffered with COVID?

Prayer focus: All with COVID!

OVEN-FRIED OKRAIf you have not tried this, you’re missing out. So easy. Just wash it and split it in half, drizzle it with olive oil and your favorite seasoning, and cook it for 15 to 20 minutes on 425 degrees. It makes a crunchy delicious side dish or snack!

Janice Sasser is the daughter of Ruby Hicks, who wrote weekly columns for the Mount Olive Messenger for six years. She is from Goldsboro and writes weekly columns out of an interest in continuing her mother’s tradition in the paper.