Nancy Ward suggests using this challenging time as an opening to encourage others to find God in their circumstances.
The Covid-19 pandemic left no one untouched. All our lives changed. We didn’t know what was happening or what was coming next. The pandemic disrupted our careers, education, family life, shopping, exercise, worship and recreation. And our relationships. Secure structures flipped upside down as we isolated ourselves beyond uncomfortable into traumatic.
Cocoon of transformation
One day I questioned God on why the isolation had to be so confining – would it never end? Where was the familiar life I knew yesterday? I closed my eyes and found myself in a cocoon -- the coronavirus cocoon of isolation. Here God wrapped me in His protection by cradling me to captivate my heart. Instinctively, I struggled to escape. Each struggle brought me a new understanding of myself and, finally, peace in God’s will. I settled into the attitude of learning what He intended to teach me.
In my coronavirus captivity, God was shaping me into the woman I need to be when I fully emerge into a new way of living outside the cocoon. He was giving me the strength, wisdom and faith to survive in the upcoming world, however scary. He was teaching me not to expect or long for the old life I had but to trust him for this new life he has for me. He led me inward to prepare me to look outward.
If you are wondering what good can come of the pandemic for you, let God lead you inward. Be open to His healing transformation and get ready to look outward. This is a time of opportunity to use our struggles and losses to encourage others to persevere and find God in their circumstances.
Essentially, that’s what evangelization is – helping others to discover God. They need to find His love and mercy through what he is doing in their lives. That’s where we come in. They need us to share our stories of what God has done for us. We’re not bragging – it’s not about us. We are doing what we are created to do: proclaim the glory of God.
This transition can bring us into a new way of looking at our life and living purposefully. God is transforming us into the beloved son or daughter He created us to become. He nurtures us with inexhaustible love. Then He sends us out to evangelize others by sharing how He is at work in our hearts.
Always be ready
As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, let‘s look around and discover new openings to spread the hope we experience in our stories. And hope is what the world around us needs right now. St. Paul’s exhorts us:
Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter 3:15, 16)
Get ready to share your story
To prepare to share your story, keep a spiritual journal as your storehouse of God-moments to draw from at the ideal moment to share one of them. Surprisingly, when you share what God is doing in your life, you see God in others, and others see God in you.
You can share an event from your faith story on social media or blogs. JoyAlive.net has many guest posts of people evangelizing by sharing how God is transforming them. You can post your story on the Facebook group Your Catholic Story. I expect you can find more opportunities than you can imagine!
What possibilities do you see to bring hope by sharing your faith story?
Copyright 2020 Nancy Ward
Image: Christina Morillo (2018), Pexels
About the Author
Nancy Ward authored Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story: Tools, Tips, and Testimonies (and the DVD) and contributed to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion. She loves to share her conversion story and give evangelization workshops and retreats equipping others to share their faith. She facilitates the DFW Catholic Writers, Catholic Writers Guild Nonfiction Critique Group, serves on their Board, and speaks at writers’ conferences. Learn more at JoyAlive.net and NancyHCWard.com.