From my Journal: Navigating Through the Straits of Corona Virus

Oct. 29, 2020

Wow! What a year this has been so far! Last year (2019) was pretty significant for me as well. On New Year’s Day 2019, I was praying for a mate for an acquaintance of mine. The good Lord spoke to my heart and said, “That which you have prayed for this person is what will come to you. There will be a marriage, there will be a family, and I will expedite it.” I was very shocked, but I began praying about it.

On the evening of June 8, 2019, Erev Shavu’ot/Pentecost, while kneeling beside my bed, I prayed and asked my Lord, “What is Your heart concerning marriage for me?” I then got into bed beneath the covers, picked up my Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures), and began to read the book of Ruth. While reading, three different verses stood out to me that said the same thing: Ruth was to glean only in Boaz’s field. I felt the text speaking directly to me through these verses. The message was, “Glean only in My field.”

I was not sure how to interpret that, so I decided to cut myself off from all the entertainment I enjoyed for the time being so I could focus. The next day immediately following my Mincha prayers (afternoon prayers), I felt very sleepy and decided to take a nap.

Before I even fell asleep, I began dreaming. It was so shocking that my eyes flew open at what I was seeing. I closed my eyes and fell asleep, immediately going into the same dream. I dreamt that a particular gentleman (not the acquaintance mentioned earlier) was expressing his attraction for me in a very gentle way. I gently rebuffed him at first and did not want anyone to assume that we were a couple. Despite those thoughts, I found myself coming in close contact with this man and enjoying the tremendous harmony between us. He accidentally introduced me to someone as his wife, and when I questioned him about it, he looked at me with a serious expression and said, “You are going to be my wife.”

I awakened from the dream and thought it was a big joke. I had never before seen this man in a romantic light and had long dismissed him as a potential mate. Nevertheless, as the weeks passed, I began to see and appreciate God’s great wisdom in opening my eyes to this man as my future mate in fulfillment of the revelation on New Year’s Day, 2019, as well as the answers to my prayers on the evening of Shavuot/Pentecost.

To make a long story short, We got engaged on September 14, 2019, in a lovely betrothal ceremony. June 2, 2020, was to be our wedding day. We would honeymoon for ten days in Israel. A little over a month after our engagement, I traveled to India for a four-week visit. Upon my return, we decided to “elope” but still have our big June ceremony.

Our “elopement” turned into a lovely ceremony under the chuppah with family and friends celebrating with us. The groom and I both wore Indian outfits in gold, peach, and burgundy. We ordered samosas and various pakoras for our guests from Taste of India, our favorite Indian restaurant. The owner himself made the delivery. We drank a little wine and took cellphone pictures with our family and everyone present. We even had an impromptu photographer who was able to provide us with some almost professional-looking pics. Afterward, my new husband and I took our children and other family members to Taste of India for our wedding dinner.

My husband was still looking forward to our June wedding ceremony with about 200 guests, but I no longer wanted that. I so loved our ‘elopement” ceremony that I did not want anything else. On the other hand, we had already reserved the venue for the big wedding, and the down payment was non-refundable. It made sense to keep to the plans we had made. Besides, we were so looking forward to our trip to Israel.

Then came Covid.

El Al refunded our airline tickets. Our $2,000 deposit for the tour was also refunded. Finally, I said to my husband, “Please call the venue and see if they will refund our deposit.” He did so, and after a few weeks, we received our full refund in the mail.

It finally dawned on us that if we had not decided to “elope” on December 14, 2019, we would more than likely not have had a wedding at all due to covid-19. This sobering knowledge made us appreciate our delightful little ceremony even more.

Over the last few months, most of us have had to find different ways of doing things. The internet has become a super invaluable tool and our “window to the world.” Now that physical contact is limited to members of one’s immediate household, we have had to adjust in various ways to maintain some level of connection. We have learned to stay in contact and even broaden/grow our friendships and relationships through platforms such as Zoom, Free Conference Calls, Whatsapp, etc. We have learned to virtually touch through collaborations which highlight how our differences can work together to produce harmony – the same harmony I share with my wonderful husband, Baruch Hashem!

There is a great deal of fear connected to this novel virus, and many people have died. On the other hand, many people are learning to live.

One thing about life that the coronavirus has taught me is that we can live on less. My husband and I bought our Indian wedding outfits and jewelry in Chicago for just over $400 altogether. I bought my shoes in India for probably $15. We spent about $400 on the wedding, so everything came up to less than $1,000.

All in all, 2020 is turning out to be a Hindsight year for us all. How sad that it took a pandemic to open our eyes to how fragile life is and how much time and resources we waste on unimportant things. The challenge is to remember these lessons into 2021 and beyond.

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