Award-winning author LINDA WOOD RONDEAU writes blended contemporary fiction that demonstrates, once surrendered to God, our worst past often becomes our best future. Formerly from the Adirondack region, the setting for this any many of her novels, Rondeau now resides in Florida with her husband of nearly four decades. Retired from her long career in human services, she enjoys being able to play golf year around.
A Genesis Prescription to Crisis Management
by Linda Wood Rondeau
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them (Isaiah 42:16).
Susan’s soldier husband has been slain in active duty. John has been fired after twenty-three years of faithful service. Miranda’s only child took a job in faraway Singapore. Ernie entered a nursing home when his daughter could no longer care for him. These people have experienced life-changing events and are in crisis.
Not every crisis is negative. Yet, even good changes may cause stress. How do we cope when night and day are indistinguishable and acid sloshes in the stomach?
Order from Chaos
In the beginning—God (Genesis 1:1). All things begin and end with God the Father. No more theory, no more argument. Simply that God is, God does, and we are His.
Stage One: Separating Light and Darkness
People in crisis often report an inability to sleep. Soon day and night lose distinction. Exhaustion leads to deteriorating health. The first step to recovery is to separate our mornings and evenings according to their functions. Morning is for awakening, the time when the light brings the world into focus. Mornings are for work, learning, and growing. Light reveals our imperfections as well as our strengths. In the morning, we arise and find purpose for the day. The darkness quiets—a time to forget and a time to dream. By beginning and ending each day in prayer, we will know whether to arise and go or stay and sleep.
Stage Two: Finding Direction
A dear friend recovering from cancer told me she coped by making sure she had a reason to get up each morning. Even simple goals such as watering plants can shake the dust from our feet and move us forward. God has promised to order our steps; and in doing so, He breathes new purpose into our disorganized thoughts.
Stage Three: Finding Purpose
Fruit begets its own kind. First, we must establish the kind of shrub we will be. Labor without purpose is meaningless. Jesus endured the criticism of many. Yet, He held to the confidence of His identity—God’s only Son. The jeers were ineffectual, and His ministry flourished. God made Him the head over everything (Ephesians 2). Our confidence rests in the God whom we serve. Whatever we do flourishes, because God brings it to fruition. God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:10).
Stage Four: Ordering the Seasons of our Lives
By ordering the celestial bodies, God created the seasons. Likewise, He has planned the seasons of His cherished one, the Believer. If we allow Him to engineer our ambitions, they will exemplify God’s blueprint for our lives. Seasons seem to merge at times, yet each distinguishes itself according to certain characteristics. We plant in spring and harvest in the fall. Bringing order from our chaotic existence requires allowing God’s seeds to lay fallow, then to bloom at God’s choosing.
The Final Stages: Abiding
Creation was both progressive and preordered. Preparation came before life sprang forth. God has been at work in our crisis, even though we may not have recognized His presence. He is preparing us for the day when He says, “Go, now. And inhabit what I have made for you.” He breathes life into our exhausted bodies, renewing us for His service and for His pleasure. He has brought us from confusion to dreams, from visions to productivity, from labor to purposefulness, and from fruit to habitation—all that is needed to bring us alive in Him.
The Seventh Day (Rest)
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array (Genesis 2:1) God rested because He had finished His work. He calls us to rest from our burdens. We have crossed the threshold of crisis. Our transition is complete and He is our peace.
Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished (1 Chronicles 28:20).
Midville newcomer and war widow, Dorie Fitzgerald, despises the frigid Adirondack wasteland that has now become her home. After twenty failed job interviews, she questions the wisdom of moving to be near her parents. Desperate to belong, she joins the local Community Theater, in production for It’s a Wonderful Life.
Jamey Sullivan has put his professional life on hold in order to run the family business and to help his ailing father. He signs on for Midville’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life, although he hopes to receive a Broadway casting call any day now.
When these two meet, they are instantly attracted to one another. However, ambition, demanding children, and a romantic rival threaten to squash their growing love for one another.
It Really is a Wonderful Life is set in the beautiful Adirondack mountains, a perfect backdrop for romantic conflict.
You can purchase It Really is a Wonderful Life at this link.