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  • Hannah Williamson

Lessons from my 'lock down' with Jesus

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Just over 6 months ago, I was on a 3 month sabbatical from work. After losing my Dad about a year before my head felt somewhat muddled and I was desperate to get some space! I could identify with the psalmist who says 'Get me out of here!!!' in Psalm 55 (the message translation!). I was desperate for quiet and I know I needed to hear God's voice afresh and in many ways wrestle out my pain and grief with Him.

So, I put myself in 'lock down.' A strange concept to think about considering the world is now pretty much in lock down, only not by choice! I went away to France for a week, borrowed a caravan on a camping site, turned off all my social media and stopped contact with the outside world! It was the most refreshing week full of reading, speaking to Jesus, walking and listening to God's voice.

Lessons from my 'lockdown' :

I don't know about you but for me, my time with God is generally at night before I go to bed. I pretty much consistently work through a portion of the Old Testament, a portion of the New Testament and either a chapter of Psalms or Proverbs. I've done this since the time I was a child and could read the bible for myself. This time alone with God gave me more than my general 1 hour with God in my day. I had so much time to fill that I read and read and read. I listened to the Word, I studied it, I let it wash all over me. I really drenched myself in it and oh how refreshing it was! One of the things I did do whilst on this week away was swim as there was a pool on site which was pretty much empty. Just as I would find it refreshing to put my head under the water, so it was as I read the Word of God. It was like healing to me.

A second thing I took time to do was to reflect on 'me.' In the busyness of life, we don't often take time to do this so well. I took my journal and began to explore with God some of who I was. After losing my Dad and other big life events that had taken place in that year after, I felt that I had somehow lost a part of me. Who really was I anymore? What was my purpose? With the help of a book called 'The Perfect You' by Dr Caroline Leaf, I began to re-look at the person God had made me to be. I was reminded that regardless of changing circumstances, who we are is still within us even if it hides for periods of time. Who God had called me to be was still there even though I felt I had lost it!

Thirdly, in this self-initiated 'lock down' I went for daily walks. I have realised even recently, how my life can be so hectic that I don't take time to look around me. God made all of creation. When you look in Genesis you see how truly incredible and 'good' His works were yet often we ignore. As I went for walks I saw the goodness of God all around me and it put everything into perspective!

Fourthly, I let God fill me with fresh dreams. The difficulties of life have a way of robbing you of your dreams. I found on this time alone I didn't even know what I was dreaming for anymore. In the space, in the time alone I found that God filled me with fresh creativity and the ability to dream again. I began to write in my journal multiple times throughout the day as God would fill me with ideas.

Finally, I learnt again to listen to the whispers of God. In the 'loudness of life' it's often hard to hear properly. While on holiday once I was in a restaurant and could hear this ridiculously loud table not far from me. Everyone was speaking over each other - I have no idea how they knew what was being said! It can be like that in life. But in the time alone, I learnt to stop and listen. God whispers to our heart in so many ways but we often miss what He is saying because our minds are so busy. Empty yourself of the craziness, lean in and listen to what He has to say to you. It might just change your life!

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