Steadfast under trial

by Ameila Woods

ANN ARBOR, MI Coronavirus, COVID-19, shelter in place, virtual anything, face masks, and social distancing were not common household words prior to March 2020. Now, even my three-year-old is becoming familiar with the term virus and grabbing her face mask before we head out the door to ride around.

When I think back to the week of March 9, I remember calling my husband, Chris, who was out of town for work in an attempt to relay all of the changes happening so quickly in our community. We welcomed him home with a renewed love and appreciation in the midst of a strange week in our nation. It was nice to end the night at a familiar family restaurant for our last out-to-eat meal. Little did we know what the next month would hold, but our Heavenly Father knew every detail that would unfold.

Chris came home that Friday with a mild sore throat, hoarse voice and a little fatigue. We chalked it up to travel and allergies as he had been around the beautiful, blossoming cherry trees in Washington, DC ahead of spring’s emergence in Michigan. However, he suddenly lost his sense of taste and smell. The day we found out that was a symptom of COVID-19, I had already started with intense body aches and fever at 26 weeks pregnant.

For the next two weeks I became very sick with COVID-19 culminating in hospitalization for a couple days. I could recount all of my symptoms that mirrored the numerous news articles and stories. The phone calls to OB doctors in the middle of the night. Even the very unique symptoms that have allowed me to be a part of a database to help doctors learn about this novel virus. Instead, I want to recount the faithfulness of God through this trial as a child of God, a wife, and as a mother.

As a child of God, I saw His care towards me as the Great Physician. He oversaw the details of all of my care in the midst of a very confused medical system. On one occasion, I was sick and becoming severely dehydrated. Our children’s pediatrician texted me and offered to pick up anything we needed from the store that day and drop it off on our porch. That was the day God provided broth for my nutrition.

I saw the Body of Christ in a great way across states as 1,500+ people from several different seasons of my life were lifting us up in prayer. I would receive texts of prayers and not see them until weeks later on the very day that I needed them. I could go on but suffice it to say these are specific examples of how the Lord cared for me as His child in the specific details of my life.

As a wife, I saw his faithfulness towards my husband when our local church stepped in with a meal train for a month. A church member dropped off two large trays of navel oranges and strawberries the very day we ran out. A neighbor dropped off a plate of fresh smoked BBQ to Chris for dinner the night he was exhausted from managing the kids and a household alone. To add to the specific details of God’s care, that was the night he forgot to eat and sat down at 9pm hungry and too tired to make his own plate. An ER nurse from our church brought some Pedialyte with her meal the night I was on the verge of being hospitalized for dehydration. His provision continued to be perfect in the practical. The Lord was so near to us as we traversed this road.

As a mother, I saw God’s faithfulness in the small sign that my seven-year-old made and hung on our bedroom door (this was the nearest they could be to me). The sign read, “getting well”. I cherished those words as they reminded me of the progressive nature of God’s sustaining love and care over me. I was getting well. Some days I wasn’t sure how that would play out, would I get well on this side of heaven?

Some moments, I actually wondered. But I rested in the fact that my Savior had been down a road of suffering knowing the time of His own death. I am so grateful that I do not carry the burden of that knowledge because my sovereign God holds me and that knowledge for His glory and my good.

This season of suffering has taught me to number my days as the Psalmist says in Psalm 90:12 that I may gain a heart of wisdom. It has increased my desire to teach the Bible to my children. I have been reminded on a very real level that our days have been ordained since before the beginning of time, and we can rest in the God who is over our days.

It is our gospel hope that yet while we were sinners Christ died for us. He knew our need, provided for our deficit as sinners even before we knew we needed Him. He is perfectly capable of sustaining us in life and this pandemic just as he has in our salvation. He knows and will provide exactly what we need before we need it. Let us all turn to him more than ever, seek him as those who know and believe like James says in chapter 1 verse 12, “blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”



Chris and his wife, Amelia live in Ann Arbor with their 4 children and one on the way this summer. Chris is a lay elder at Treasuring Christ Church in Ann Arbor.



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