Coronavirus Bride: The Story of Roze-Ann El Shaer, a College Graduate, Part 2
We all read and sympathized with the story of Roze-Ann Al-Shaer, a graduate of the Biblical Studies Program at the College, who was one of the first people infected with the Coronavirus in Palestine. She remained in quarantine for 54 days, and she left only to face a new reality that changed the course of everyone’s life.
This is the sequel to her story…
“When I got out of the quarantine in the middle of May, it was a beautiful and new start. My return to my normal life was so special after 2 months of isolation, as it was time to start thinking about the details of my wedding. This special day was supposed to be on August 1, 2020, but due to the uncertain conditions in the country and the fear of increasing cases of Coronavirus in Bethlehem, Yousef, my life partner, and I decided to have the wedding in June. Of course, it was not an easy thing for me as a bride. I was not ready at all, and my wedding dress was not ready (nor anything else), but in 20 days, I got everything organized. It was really a race against time.
“I went through great psychological pressure, as this was my dream day that I had been waiting for so long, and it came at a completely inappropriate time. I was supposed to be happy and enjoying the preparation of my big day, but that was not the case – I was tense and under constant pressure. One week before the wedding day, the country’s situation worsened and cases of Coronavirus infection increased dramatically, there were rumors that the country would go under lockdown again, and that wedding halls would be closed. Indeed, 5 days before the wedding, the government issued a decision banning weddings! We did not know what to do, whether we should continue, stop the wedding, or postpone it? What if one of the attendees was infected? What if our wedding caused people to be infected with the virus? Would we accept this responsibility?
“Just one night before the wedding, the decision to cancel all weddings was confirmed starting the next day. We were under immense pressure, what were we going to do? All wedding invitations were handed out, the roses, the cake; everything was ready for tomorrow, which was supposed to be the most beautiful day of my life. I went into a state of hysteria, and I wanted to cancel my wedding. I just lost all the determination and strength that I had.
“Then I remembered the Lord when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I was able to surrender my wedding to the Lord, I placed my heart and feelings in His hands, and decided to be happy and enjoy my day, as every bride should.
“We finally decided to throw a small after-wedding party in front of a friend’s house, and we invited our very close family members and friends. Indeed, it was a special and beautiful day, far from all false appearances. I learned then that the essence of the wedding day is in its simplicity, and that the main and constant thing that will not change with the circumstances of life is the love that unites me with Yousef.
“We have heard many negative things about the year 2020, and it really has been a very difficult year, with my infection with the virus, the wedding challenges, and the many things that were unclear. Still, I cannot deny that it was a special year. This year taught me that good things that are worth waiting for do not come easily and without work.
“I believe that God has allowed this pandemic to happen in order for us to realize how small and helpless we are, and how great He is, in order to return to Him, to return to the important and essential things in life, and to stop running after earthly things. I pray that everyone will benefit from this period, and that life will not return to its normal course without a real change in the souls of people!”
To read the first part of Roze-Ann’s story of her experience in quarantine and her struggle with Coronavirus, click here.
Amira is the Communications Coordinator of Bethlehem Bible College. She is a committed Palestinian Christian who has a passion for writing about the intersection of faith and seeking justice for her fellow countrymen. To read more of her writings sign up for Bethlehem Bible College’s monthly newsletter.