Finding the God moments amidst Covid-19
Editor’s note: Blog post author Natalie Nikolajevs is associated with the Providence Teen Volunteers. She has been joining them for nightly prayer sessions from her home in Michigan.
During self-isolation, I’ve really been trying to focus on the positive, even with everything that’s going on right now. But sometimes that becomes difficult. COVID-19 seemed hard enough, until I had to move to another house, deal with a dance teacher who still wants to have a recital, stay on top of my schoolwork, film a virtual opera and start taking voice lessons.
Even though there was a lot of stress, I am so happy that I get to use this opportunity to spend time with family and friends! My family and I have gotten to hang out way more because of this, so this time isn’t all bad. We had a campfire and I’ve gone on lots of car rides with my mom. I’ve also been spending more time with my friends. This has happened mostly over calls, but one of my friends who lives in my neighborhood and I have gone on bike rides together while staying a safe distance apart.
It has also been great to spend time with friends I don’t usually get to see! Since everyone has been staying inside, how far away you live from someone doesn’t really change what you can do with them. Because of this, my friend from out of state and I have been calling each other almost every day. We play games together and also just talk. It’s been so great getting to hang out with her, even if it’s over the phone.
Connecting with Providence Teens
Even though she lives in a different state than me, she might live in the same state as a lot of you: Indiana. I actually live in Michigan and I connected with Providence Teen Volunteer Ministry through her! We would usually end up chatting until around nine and then she would leave. One day, I asked her where she was going. She told me that she was going to a prayer group where they would pray a decade of the Rosary every weekday.
This inspired me to start praying the Rosary everyday myself. But I felt almost as if God was calling me to ask her if I could pray with them too! A couple of days later, she was about to leave and I told her I wished that I could come too. She asked if I wanted to join them one night. She asked the group if I could come and the next day I was sitting on Discord, the app that we use to talk to each other, at 8:59, really nervous to join the call. I ended up loving it and I’ve been praying with the group for more than two months now! Everyone was so welcoming and kind. I started out really unsure of myself, but now I feel as if I’m a part of the group.
Each weekday, we pray a decade of the Rosary. We open by sharing how we are coming and who or what we would like to pray for. Everyone has come in many different ways, ranging from happy and relaxed to concerned and upset. This time is difficult, but when we all pray together we don’t have to worry about that. We just get to spend time with each other and with God.
Finding the God moments
When I first came, Sister Joni Luna, who helped start the group, would lead the meeting. A different person would lead the Rosary each night. This has now evolved into a different teen leading the entire meeting every evening. After we pray our decade, we share a God moment for the day. This can be anytime where we have felt God’s presence in our lives. When this was first suggested, I was actually kind of worried. How was I supposed to find God’s presence every single day? It seemed like a difficult task. At first, it was hard to find God in my everyday life. But as time has gone on it has gotten easier and easier, with some people finding three God moments!
Even if we have come very stressed, we always leave feeling more calm and happy. I’m so glad that we started sharing our God moments because it has truly helped me to see God in my real life. This has helped me continue to persevere even when it seems as if things are really hard.
I’m also really happy that I joined because I have made so many friends in the group, even though I live almost 360 miles away. We often play games on the weekends and that has been a great time to get to know all of the wonderful people in our group. I’m so glad that I get to pray to the Lord every weekday with everyone and I hope that other people are inspired to do the same!