5 Things I Learned Through Crisis

There’s nothing like a trial to make you take inventory of your life and decide what is important and what’s not so.

In 2019 one day my sister-in-law was fine and the next the Paige we knew would never be coming back to us. Brain cancer was the cause and the storm that followed the diagnosis took a toll on us all.

On the heels of her diagnosis the pandemic hit and so many are continuing to learn the hard lessons that sometimes only loss and tribulation (or the fear of both) can teach.

Today I’m sharing how Paige’s story changed me. I made this list in my heart before the pandemic, but have tried to live it out in a modified way under our restricted circumstances.

It’s never too late to start building your faith, but when the trial comes it’s much better to be prepared. We have a strong faith and marriage, yet the strain of a cancer diagnosis in our family and all that comes with that pressed us yet didn’t crush us. If we hadn’t had our faith to lean on and a culture of grace in our home we wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on.

Now is the time to start reading your Bible. Now is the time to take your family to church. Now is the time to pray. Now is the time to stand on what you believe and cling to His promise. Now is the time to share the gospel. Now is the time to disciple your children.Now is the time to build your foundation so when the storm comes, your household will be secure.

Tomorrow is not promised. Life is fleeting. Spend time with the ones you love and make them a priority. The hardest part of the pandemic for me has been the separation of our extended family due to fears of transmission of illness. Time is passing us by and it makes me sad to think about it. We have been investing in our immediate family bond during this time and making memories at home that my kids will carry through life.

Write down what you want people to know (your legacy): family history/memories, clues to who you are, wishes for your husband and prayers for your children, what you believe about God, favorite recipes, etc. Your family will be glad you did.

The pandemic has also turned this one on its head for me, but it still rings true. What you want to do with your family, find a way. Experiences trump material goods when you look back on life. Prioritize. Want to go to the lake? Rent a boat if you don’t own one. Want to go to Disney? Make a plan and save towards a trip. Want to take a road trip to state parks? Execute some action steps toward that goal. Don’t wait until they are older to accomplish the experiences you want for your family. Stuff can wait, life may not.

Want to write a book? Get started. Want to change careers? Today’s the day to research a way. Want to run a marathon? Want to start a non profit? Want to go on a mission trip or go to the mission field? Let’s get to it.

Whatever those dreams are in your life, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can put action steps toward today.

Emily Cook


  1. cjm194 says:

    This is a wonderful commentary about our life priorities. It is easy to say these words, but sometimes, they carry little meaning until you have lived this experience ( or other devastating experience s). Thank you for reminding us all to get on with living, because we are not promised tomorrow.


    1. Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day.


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