Editor’s Note: We received so many comments about the three testimonies shared at our recent women’s meeting that we asked the ladies for permission to share them here on the blog, which they graciously granted. This is Linda’s story, as shared at the breakfast.
Hello, my name is Linda Brooks, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my testimony of how God met me in a year of isolation.
So, no one would disagree that 2020 was a very challenging year! But before there was a 2020, I encountered a life-changing 2019 by the sudden death of my only son, my only child, Michael Brooks of 39 years. I had the amazing honor of being called his mom, and my life was and is forever changed.
Then… in comes 2020! This added to the grief that I was already walking through. Now we had this thing called COVID which caused the world to be in a panic and resulted in most of us being isolated from family and friends. Businesses shut down, church had to be done a different way, and many other activities we were accustomed to doing were closed and no longer accessible, Last but definitely not least, many lives were lost. I had some family members who were hit with COVID very hard , but praise God, they are on the road to full recovery.
Like many of you, I had to learn to do life differently. I had to learn to wear a mask, I had to learn this thing called Zoom! What in the world was a Zoom? For those of us of a certain age, this was a task in itself, but by the grace of God, I learned it and was excited about it. Then quickly, I became Zoom fatigued, and sometimes I found myself zoned out on Zoom! Nevertheless, it was a blessing to have these opportunities available.
Those were just a few things I had to adjust to, on top of no longer having my Mike with me. Change was hard. Change is hard!
But the one thing that did not, and has not changed through it all, is the love of God for me! Christ’s everlasting love for me never ever changed. Even in my darkest times, His love never ceased; it never changed one bit.
I won’t stand here and tell you it was easy for me to experience the presence of God with me during that time. Nor will I tell you it was easy to remember the many promises I had come to know when life was good before Mike’s death, and before the isolation that took place during the pandemic. I would be deceiving both myself and you if I told you it was easy because sometimes all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and live in my sorrow.
I had to learn to be intentional in searching for Scriptures to apply to this season of my life. If I were to survive this season, I had to dig into God’s Word and intentionally apply what He was saying to me at this time. God’s Word has been my saving grace through my grief and the pandemic. I am grateful to know I cannot base my faith on how I feel, but on facts from the Word of God. I asked the Holy Spirit to help me continue to draw near to Christ to cling again to what I have known to be true and know is true!
I want to share with you a few Scriptures I continue to cling to. They are navigating me through life.
- Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
- Isaiah 43:2-3: “When you pass through the waters I will be with you, and throughout the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you, when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned and the flames shall not consume you. For I Am The LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel your Savior.”
- Psalm 147:3: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Sometimes it’s a broken heart that leaves us feeling lonely, but the Lord promises to heal the wounds and hold us close to him. I am a witness that His promises are true!
As I close, I can tell you that through it all, I have also come to realize more than ever before the importance of staying in His Word and staying connected with other believers in the body of Christ, even if it’s through Zoom! Staying connected allows me to do studies with other people, enjoy fellowship with my community group, dig deeper into God’s Word, be encouraged, and even being an encourager to others who may be going through a difficult time, allowing me to get the focus off myself.
I am so grateful for my pastors, church family, and community of people who have loved on me through my darkest of days. I’m also grateful for my immediate family and my life-long friends who continue to encourage me, which I know is an act of God sending his sweet angels to encamp around me.
I could never have done this alone. My Mike’s short 39 years on Earth were completed on August 5, 2019. I am reminded, however, of God’s Son’s life which was given for us. Jesus died, was buried, and was raised so that we may have life, and have it more abundantly, and live in eternity with Him!
My son is with my God and many other loved ones who have gone on to Glory. I can rest well knowing my Mike is spending eternity with our Heavenly Father. I look forward to that day when we can all rejoice together. In the meantime, live your life to the glory of God. Find ways to be a blessing to others, offering a call, a card, a hug, a prayer, or a Bible study. It really helps to take the focus off what you’re going through, and you are being blessed by blessing someone else.
That’s how I navigate through the storms that come my way. I trust in Christ who strengthens me. Be encouraged, my friends, not only when life is good, but when the storms of life overwhelm you. Pray, then turn to God’s Word, cling to God’s word, and trust in God’s Word.
Nancy Guthrie has a quote in her devotional called Hope which says: “Petition God to make his presence known in every aspect of your life with the awareness that he is right there with you!”
God bless you, and be encouraged, my sisters.