The power of community in the valley
By: Live the Promise
“There were days where it was hard to believe that He was good, but I would just so much rather live in the assurance that He is good even when I don’t feel that.”
When Bo Stern’s husband was diagnosed with ALS, her world was rocked. She and her husband chose to cling to God’s character and past faithfulness as Steve’s health failed, and eventually gave out. Throughout the five-year battle, Bo leaned on the God she had come to know through years of studying the Bible.
“People give you permission all the time to not believe in Him, but it feels really awful when you give in to that.”
When you find yourself in a valley, you need to learn to take care of yourself, for the sake of your body and the sake of your faith. Bo recommends a good safe community where you can honestly express your struggles and seek them out for help.
“Early on I deputized a few of my friends. I made it a point to get with those people regularly for lunch or coffee or whatever and I forced myself to be transparent, not just honest.”
If you’re clouded by sorrow or grief, you need the strength and perspective of those around you. Bo urges us to surround ourselves with prayer warriors who can keep our faith strong but our hearts soft.
“I think I went into the battle with ALS feeling like more than anything, our enemy is bitterness. That is the thing we are going to fight with all our lives.”
Bo’s friends stood with her in prayer, knelt with her in pain, and spoke the hard truths to her. It was a support that Bo is incredibly grateful to have, and it continues in this season as she lives life without her husband by her side. Bo reminds us of the power of speaking the truth in love. It can make a huge difference in someone’s perspective of their situation and their God.
“It’s hard to challenge a hurting person. It’s hard to say ‘I know that you feel like you’re dying right now but your attitude is going to kill you first.’”
Bo was grateful for the people who helped her grieve but also pushed her to action. God uses friends like those to move us through periods of suffering. God doesn’t give up on us, and neither do they if they follow Him.
Bo Stern is the author of Beautiful Battlefields, where she tells the story of the infinite, eternal beauty that is developed in the midst of the fiercest fights in life.
Featured Songs: Deeper by Meredith Andrews; Strength of My Heart by Rend Collective; What a Savior by Laura Story