How I have survived lockdown, knotweed and other invasive pests

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Hopefully lockdown is coming to an end, yet it could be back…  If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that even the very best of plans can go awry and we shouldn’t take anything for granted.  Sadly the coronavirus pandemic led to tens of thousands of people losing their lives and countless more their livelihoods. Though you or I may not have been infected we were all affected in some way. I would like to encourage you today, whatever your experience of lockdown, and share how I survived lockdown as well as some other things that added insult to injury.

Thankfully I never lost a loved one due to Covid-19 and my heart goes out to those that did. I wasn’t furloughed and was able to keep working unlike those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.  It’s bad enough to have a wedding postponed and one can’t imagine how difficult it must be for those families who have been bereaved or are now in financial hardship. In my case,  the coronavirus hit in a different way. It tried to attack my mental health. So I want to encourage you today, no matter how lockdown affects you, there is hope.

For those who have lost loved ones perhaps you will be comforted by my post, How to cope with the death of a loved one. Though this is not Covid-19 specific, it does deal with the pain and shock surrounding a bereavement.

Lockdown has reduced our lives to basic survival mode at home. However, for those fortunate enough to be able to work from home, it is kind of business as usual.  For me, it started as a blessing, as I no longer had to commute two hours a day. Except the day lockdown started was also the installation day of our high-speed broadband. Needless to say, this was cancelled and we were left with no Internet at all!  Okay, we eventually managed to get the slow connection back, but with the whole family now grounded it was hopelessly insufficient and sometimes frustrating to do the simplest online tasks.

Just before Lockdown started we started the process of remortgaging our house. What should have taken a few weeks turned into a matter of months. We had to wait weeks for a valuation, which meant the valuer coming off furlough. Then, when they finally came to do it, an old problem raised its ugly head – Japanese Knotweed. This is a formidable plant that can grow through walls, tarmac and concrete so it’s no wonder that lenders steer well clear of it.  Prior to us moving into our house, knotweed had been found on a nearby property and though it had been eradicated, this meant further delay as we had to prove we had “the all-clear”.

Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, we had a rather big problem literally at ‘grassroots’ level. Our lawn was infested with leatherjackets, the destructive larvae that literally eat grass from the bottom up! There were brown patches everywhere and my wife was not happy. Weeks of topdressing, grass planting and treatments followed and now as lockdown starts to ease we are finally beginning to see the grass return to a ‘new normal’.  It’s not perfect but it is better than it was. Could this be a metaphor for post lockdown life?

Lockdown unlocked

Any of these things on their own would have been easier to deal with, but with them all happening at the same time I began to feel overwhelmed.  Perhaps you have something similar holding you back or invading your life? It may not be a virus, knotweed or parasites. You may be looking for the ‘all-clear’ in something way more important than invasive plants. You may need healing from cancer or something else.

Whatever it is, know that there is hope in God and with Him you can overcome anything. I have survived lockdown by making a decision to trust in God no matter what. I know that He is faithful and He causes all things to work together for good, even the things that come to attack us.

The Bible says that when the enemy comes in like a flood, God will raise a standard against him. Whatever obstacle you face today, cast your cares on Jesus because He cares for you. Trust in Him and He will see you through. He is the one who gives us the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and overcome all the attacks of the enemy. Thanks be to God who causes us always to triumph through Jesus Christ.

Also read: Covid 19 – How to make a positive stand against the virus

Wordsmith, overcomer and exhorter. Al has a degree in Journalism and Media Studies and years of communications experience in Africa, the UK, Israel and USA. He left South Africa in 2001 and worked for GOD TV in England for 18 years. He now heads up Countdown Creative, a content creation business in Exeter. Al is the author of three biographies. Blogs he writes for include GODTV.com; International Christian and UK and US Christian.

Al Gibson

Wordsmith, overcomer and exhorter. Al has a degree in Journalism and Media Studies and years of communications experience in Africa, the UK, Israel and USA. He left South Africa in 2001 and worked for GOD TV in England for 18 years. He now heads up Countdown Creative, a content creation business in Exeter. Al is the author of three biographies. Blogs he writes for include GODTV.com; International Christian and UK and US Christian.

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