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[caption id="attachment_172343" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]"Pushing us into new places" by Claire McGarry (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2020 Claire McGarry. All rights reserved.[/caption]

In July of 2018, on the day I was to begin writing my first-ever book proposal, our AC died on the first floor. With all the upstairs bedrooms occupied, the only room left to be in to escape the heat was the master bathroom. I covered the Jacuzzi tub with plywood and built a stand-up work station on top. Lo and behold, I ended up being more focused and productive, tucked away upstairs, than I ever would have been in my first floor, open-spaced office where my kids interrupt me every ten minutes.

Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that arose because of Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. (Acts 11:19)

In Acts II, after the persecution that arose after Stephen's death, the disciples are pushed out of Jerusalem. They go as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. That wasn't their plan, but they had no choice but to adapt. And adapt they did: spreading the Gospel so much farther than they ever would have had they stayed in Jerusalem. It seems being pushed into new places is exactly what they needed.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, and my kids were required to stay home for remote learning, I was pushed back into the master bathroom with my writing again. Having secured a contract for that book I proposed two years ago, it's now being written almost entirely from my Jacuzzi tub, a space that has turned out to be amazingly fruitful. I can't say for sure, but I may be the first author ever to write a book from her bathroom!

This pandemic has changed our world in more ways than we can count. We've all been pushed into places we thought we'd never go. But often, what stretches us in the beginning makes us stronger in the end. I'm certain that when this is all over, every one of us will have a story about how we've been stretched, yet grown in beautiful new ways.

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Copyright 2020 Claire McGarry