Four weeks before COVID turned our entire world upside down, I turned in the manuscript for my new book, Growing Boldly: Dare to Build a Life You Love. Little did I know what would unfold so shortly after. I feared so much during the editing process of this book baby of mine. Would the book have the same power I felt within its pages now that we’ve all gone through (and are going through) such life altering events? Would it be as helpful and hopeful as I knew it’d be when I penned those words?
What I realized, while working through this process — dissecting every sentence, examining every thought — was that when you’ve built your foundation on truth, even a global pandemic can’t tear you apart. I often thought of Maren Morris’ hit song, Bones, and the line “the house won’t fall when the bones are good.”
Isn’t this our faith as well? Could it be, that as we are doing those daily rituals (reading scripture, memorizing Bible verses, communing with God in prayer) that we are, little by little, strengthening the “bones” or the foundations of our faith? Though the winds may blow, or fire may creep up to our doors, our homes won’t crumble when they’re built with solid materials, upon solid foundations.
As our family began to navigate the new world of mask wearing, quarantining, and social-distancing, I saw the anxiety and sadness begin to well up in our family — not just in myself and my husband, but in my children as well. They missed seeing their friends at school, they missed being able to be in the same room with their grandparents, they were fearful about what would happen next or what small, but special part of their childhood would be taken away. As the mom in this scenario (and a consummate “fixer” of problems), I knew I’d need to strengthen my own resolve (read: put on my own oxygen mask) to have the tools to help my family.
And so, as the rest of the world changed seemingly by the minute and COVID-19 spread through our community, I decided to lean on what I knew for sure:
God is healer. Home is a safe space. And suffering isn’t meaningless.
- God is healer. One of the very first verses I ever memorized is Isaiah 41:10. I pull it from the depths of my heart every time worry and fear begin to creep in. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. God tells us not to fear, not to be dismayed. He doesn’t tell us He will fix all our problems, but that He will strengthen us and help us as we navigate through them.
- Home is a safe space. While I could not control the world outside our house, I could control the environment within our four walls. A believer in the magic of home-making, I brought little delights into our daily rhythms (especially helpful since we didn’t leave these walls often): a candle on the table at dinnertime, soft music playing during virtual school, and the occasional movie night with popcorn. Finding ways to make our home a place of rest and respite — a place where joy and delight still had a place — was life giving to all of us.
- Suffering isn’t meaningless. Second Corinthians 4:17 tells us, “our light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory.” Thirty eight years of ups and downs have taught me that it isn’t on top of the mountain that God works within us the most. In fact, it’s in the depths of the valleys, when God does His very best work within our broken hearts. Leaning into that knowledge, discussing our pain and worries, helped us remember truths that never change and reminded us that “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3-5) Sidenote: this incredible sermon by John Piper is one I pull up often to remind myself of God’s steadfastness.
While it may be years before we realize how our brokenness during the uncertainties of this global pandemic was used to strengthen our hearts and our faith, we can rest assured that God is hard at work in the world, and in our hearts. In our pain, may we find our purpose. In our suffering, may we find our strength. In our uncertainty, may we find certainty in who God is and who He is calling us to be.
Written for Devotionals Daily by Emily Ley, author of Growing Boldly.
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How is God healing your brokenness during this time? What small things can you do, within your home, to make it a place of belonging and comfort? Identify your broken parts. How is God putting you back together in new ways? ~ Devotionals Daily