4 Ways to Process Quarantine--What Just Happened?



I’ve always been interested in how the brain works—how it takes every bit of information we receive and stores it in a complex filing system. Then, after our memories have been tucked away, they are later retrieved by an outside cue that causes us to revisit that particular time or event.

According to this article, “Remembering past events is not like watching a recorded video. It is, rather, a process of reconstructing what may have happened based on the details the brain chose to store and was able to recall.”

The way God designed our brains to process information is nothing short of miraculous. And still, there are some things we struggle to fully understand, especially things that leave us asking the question, “What just happened?”

This time of quarantine has been baffling for many of us, as we’ve tried to keep our anxiety in check and trust that God has it all under control. For those who’ve battled COVID-19 and gone through the scary ordeal of being diagnosed with the novel virus, their perspective is far different than those of us who were simply stuck at home for weeks on end. 

The truth is, each of us will reach the other side of this quarantine with individual experiences that will be filed away to form our own stories. And from these unique experiences, each of us will have different answers to what just happened around the world.

If you’re still trying to process quarantine, and wondering what on earth just happened or is still happening, here are a few things to consider as you try to process it through a Biblical perspective:

1. Quarantine Has Helped Us Reevaluate Things

It’s always a good idea to reevaluate things in our lives from time to time. From the excess clutter we have stored in the basement, to the hours we spend binge-watching our favorite television series, reevaluation of the good, bad, and ugly is always beneficial.

Quarantine has caused many of us to not only reevaluate how we live, but to make the necessary changes to let go of what doesn’t belong. And processing why we do the things we do is a healthy practice that can lead to better habits in the future. Even the Bible encourages us to live lives as foreigners on earth and in the fullness of the redemption we have in Christ.

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1 Peter 1:17-19

2. Quarantine Has Forced Us to Deal with Our Emotions 

At the very beginning of quarantine, many families treated it as an extended Spring Break and welcome respite from the everyday hustle. But it didn’t take long for emotions to run high and family feuds to be sparked by boredom and confinement. Like it or not, quarantine forced us to deal with our emotions and find some semblance of normalcy within the confines of the stay-at-home order.

While emotions are hard-wired into us by our loving Creator, they sometimes take on a life of their own—especially when other people’s feelings enter the mix. That’s why learning to deal with our emotional triggers and recognizing better ways to handle our feelings are some of the positive things that have come from quarantine.

The Scriptures remind us to adopt the characteristics of God and walk in the Spirit so as not to continue in the desires of the flesh.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 ESV

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/YakobchukOlena

3. Quarantine Has Reminded Us of the Value of Our Relationships

As family and friends were suddenly forced to be separated for weeks on end, they were reminded of the precious value of their relationships. Although FaceTime and Zoom brought us together in part, those digital connections weren’t able to replace the person-to-person connections we longed for most.

Processing quarantine has helped us refocus on the value of our relationships and how we may have taken them for granted. This is a wonderful reminder that our family and friends are far more important than our careers and personal agendas. Because quarantine opened our eyes to the void that is created when our loved ones are suddenly removed, hopefully, we will hold on to that reminder and deeply value our relationships moving forward.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3

4. Quarantine Has Turned Our Eyes Upward

The stay-at-home order not only turned our lives upside down, it hopefully turned our eyes upward. After all, this is not our home. There is an eternity waiting for us in Christ Jesus. Heaven will be a place with no more viruses, quarantines, or pandemics. Instead, it will be a place of everlasting peace and joy.

Of all things we experienced during quarantine—the good and bad—I pray that all of us were lead to refocus our lives on heavenly things. During the darkest days, when many of us had no other choice than to look up, I pray we were drawn to the One who was with us through it all.

Even now, when we are at a loss for words in processing what just happened, we have the perfect example of prayer in the Bible:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
 your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10

No matter what unique memories or experiences your brain has stored away from your time in quarantine, try to process these events as a season of reevaluation and remembrance of what is most important.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22: 37

Photo Credit: © Unsplash / Engin Akyurt

Jennifer Waddle considers herself a Kansas girl, married to a Colorado hunk, with a heart to encourage women everywhere. She is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.

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