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A Day in the Life: Millie’s Story

One of the great ways our church has been able to stay connected and involved with the community during quarantine and social distancing is by posting “A Day in the Life” videos. If you aren’t familiar with this online series, it’s where Pastor Chris interviews somebody in the church family about their current situation during the ongoing pandemic. We thought it would be a great idea to do the same in the written form to get even more people involved and sharing their stories.

Back in the days when we were able to attend church in-person, one of the bright, shining faces you would see in the morning as you walked in, was that of Millie’s. Millie is on Hoboken Grace’s first impressions team as a greeter and we wanted to share her incredible story of all the things that God has been doing in her life and her family’s life during these uncertain times. Millie’s story is full of encouragement and inspiration for anyone feeling lost and doubtful because of everything going on in our world today.

Story Team:

What is your current situation right now?

Millie:

We stayed in Hoboken. My husband works for the Board of Education and I am a medical receptionist. My husband got sick with Covid early in March, right when everything started up here. When they closed the schools, they asked everybody to still go into the school, but they didn’t know that there was somebody already infected and he got sick in the school. I had just started a job and I had to call the them up and say “I can’t come in, I’m quarantined. I have to stay here.”

We live in a railroad-style apartment, so there’s not really a lot of privacy in this apartment. But we put him in one room and we tried to keep him there, but it was really scary because you can’t go in there and comfort him, you can’t go in there to talk to him because you are afraid. I live with my 11-year-old daughter, and we just had to look in through the door. So, knowing that he was sick, knowing that he had this thing that he could give to me or my daughter, was the scariest thing. Then not even being able to hold him, and not able to say “hey, everything is going to be ok,” was really scary.

I prayed a lot. I sat, and I prayed and I meditated. I prayed a lot for his healing, but it was just really scary.

Story Team:

I’m sure. Yeah. Especially in the earlier days too. Like you said, this was in March that this happened which was back when things just started to happen and I’m sure you didn’t know what was going on.

Millie:

Yeah, and I spoke to my dinner group; my dinner group has always been the online only group, we have a chat group on WhatsApp, so I told them. I said, this is happening and I’m freaking out and I don’t know what to do. We went on a zoom call and we all started praying. I just started trusting God. I think this is the first time in my life where I’ve had to trust Him so much. I left it up to Him, and as scared and as worried as I was of me getting sick or my daughter getting sick, I just trusted Him. I didn’t feel that He left me, it was a peaceful feeling.

Story Team:

That’s awesome. Now you’re leading right into my next question which is how are you experiencing God through all of this? It sounds like the key word you said there is trust and this is the first time you needed to trust Him this much. What has your relationship with God been like now versus pre-quarantine?

Millie:

So, what I usually like to do is get up earlier than anybody because I like to pray and meditate. Before, I was always in a hurry, I had to get up and ready for work, but you don’t have much time to do it. But this time I just said, “you know what? It’s ok. Let me just sit here. Let me just stay with Him and let me just pray.” My words just kept coming out towards trust: I’m going to trust You with this one. I’m going to trust You with my day to day. I know that he is going to be ok and I know that You are taking care of him.

If this would have happened to me a year before, I don’t think I would have been this ok with it. I think I would have been a little more doubtful. I don’t know what happened, I just trusted the whole situation and my dinner group was completely on top of everything. I feel like they really helped me out.

Story Team:

That’s great. You said that you have been in an online dinner group from the start. So, this whole online transition we’ve been going through isn’t really new I guess.

Millie:

No. We have the OG!

Story Team:

The OG of online dinner groups. So, it sounds like you have nothing to compare it to, but seemed very helpful none the less.

Millie:

Yeah. I think also the fact that I like to be around people, people make me happy, so, going to church was something that I really enjoyed, not only because I wanted to listen to the service but because I enjoyed being around people. So that was really hard for me not to be there in person because even in my hardest time, I would always go. While there, I always tried to connect with everybody. Now I try to log-in to anything I can. Before, if anybody had invited me to a huddle at the church I wouldn’t go, but now I go to them because I feel that I need to hear from people.

I also felt at all times that He was with me. Even at night, when I was praying with my daughter and my husband was stuck in the other room, we still felt safe, and I know that she did too. My husband recovered, thankfully.

Story Team:

Prayers answered. That’s great! How else have you been connecting with other people other than the huddles? Maybe talking to friends and family over the phone or writing letters? Millie:When we were quarantined the other way, I didn’t feel so alone because I had a parade of people coming by and dropping stuff off, making sure that we were ok and making deliveries. I told my neighbors because I wanted them to be safe, so I explained to them that we are stuck in here and to be careful. Practically every day somebody would leave us a bagel or leave us coffee or leave us other things. So inside of me I wasn’t feeling very good, but outside the world was saying that it was all going to be ok.

My son came by and he left coffee because I love coffee, so he left a lot of it by my door. But the hardest part was not opening the door, not being able to hug him and say I love you. But he just kept saying that it was going to be ok and how much he loved us; it felt really good to hear.

Then, after my husband had recovered, two weeks later he got sick again and he just couldn’t breathe. I called his doctor and the doctor said to take him to the ER, because since nobody knew a lot about the disease, they were afraid it might be coming back. So, my daughter and I dropped him off at the ER and we just left him there. We drove him over there together but we just had to let him go because they wouldn’t let us in and that was the scariest time. I just thought, what if this is the last time I see him? Just watching him walking in there alone, was so frustrating.

On the way, back I just couldn’t drive so I parked in the middle of the road. I sat there and I prayed with my youngest daughter because I was so scared I would have to tell her that he wasn’t coming home. It was one of my hardest moments and yet I felt like God was there telling me “I got this. Just hold on, because I got this.” I didn’t want to doubt Him and I just kept saying, “I trust You, I trust You, I trust You.” I was so scared and didn’t have anybody to hug, it was a very hard time for me; I was so scared.

Thankfully, he came back home that night. The hospital was amazing, they called me every five minutes saying, “we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that,” and my oldest daughter works there so she ran down there to make sure that he was ok.

Story Team:

That’s good that you had someone that was able to be there.

Millie:

Yeah. So, he came home and they gave him steroids because his lungs were affected by the virus. Then they did an x-ray and a couple of days later and the doctor called. My husband had scars in his lungs because of previous problems with his lungs, but the doctor said to him “I can’t even find the scars that you had before. You don’t have anything there.”

Story Team:

Wow. That’s incredible.

Millie:

His lungs were so good. He did say that “the virus is kicking your butt basically, and it’s going to feel that way, but you’re going to be ok.” It was amazing.

Story Team:

And we know it’s a happy ending right now. Everybody is back home and healthy. That’s really encouraging to hear. In terms of your day to day, how have you been getting through it? Has something been helping you creatively, or do you have some sort of new routine for yourself and for your family?

Millie:

I try to keep a routine, especially because my daughter is still in school. I still try to get up early before everybody so I can meditate and pray, and I have a devotional, while also reading whatever is in the Hoboken Grace daily Bible reading. I go through all my things with my morning coffee.

Story Team:

Gotta have the coffee!

Millie:

Then my daughter will get up for school and we deal with the frustrating nature of online school, like the emails and all the back and forth.

Story Team:

It sounds like an interesting time for schooling.

Millie:

It can be tough. After we do school, which is usually just a half a day, I feel like I’m the principal and the vice principal. After school she does band, so we set that up, and we also do stretching for her cheerleading because eventually that is going to come back. Then after 2:00, we start to set up for dinner. After that we go for a walk, because we are now able to go out for walks. My husband, me, and my daughter all take a nice walk around town with our masks on, and we’ll take the dog out. It sometimes feels like I don’t even want to get up because we’re just going to do this over and over again. I’m going to do the same thing over and over and over.

Story Team:

It’s Groundhog Day.

Millie:

Sometimes I just say to myself, “why bother?” But I still get up, and even if it’s a little bit later in the day, I start the same routine again because I need my daughter to have the same routine so that she understands.

However, I just have to praise God. I have to praise Him for keeping my husband alive. Last week my son turned 32, and my daughter turned 11, and we decided to drive up to them and spend time with all the kids. We felt so blessed to be around them.

Story Team:

Millie, you shared so many things with us. Are there any other comments you’d like to add? Maybe words of advice for those in this same situation and feeling scared?

Millie:

I think, when you’re going through this, even if you’re just starting out following God, the main thing is just to trust. I wish I had done it sooner but there’s a time for everything and I guess it took this time to teach me to do that because it just felt so good to trust Him.

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