Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
(John 14:27, NIV)
Friend to Friend
I bet for many of you, that is how the last few months have felt.
It wasn’t just fear of a pandemic. It was that fear, on top of taking care of kids or aging parents, sometimes remotely. Plus, possibly taking over your kids’ education. And, to top it off, trying to find basic necessities like eggs and toilet paper.
We all hope the shelter in place is the only thing we have to deal with, but other crises are bound to happen. I think about my friend whose son broke his arm on the jungle gym in the back yard, or my cousin who was going through radiation in the midst of shelter-in-place.
It’s never just one thing, is it?
Is there a way to prepare when you don’t know what crisis (or, really, crises) is coming? Here are a few steps we can all take to be better prepared, no matter what may come.
Get your team together.
Who are the people you can rely on in a crisis (and who can rely on you)? All of us need a team of people in a disaster, no matter the crisis.
We have friends, Scott and Kelli, who are our main crisis buddies. If one of them loses their job, my husband and I will step in and help with food, money and whatever else they need until they get back on their feet. And the same goes for Scott and Kelli — if our house catches on fire, or an earthquake interrupts the waterline to our home, we know we can crash with Scott and Kelli until the crisis is over.
You probably have a lot of team members you haven’t even thought of. In a crisis, it’s great to have the contact info for your neighbors, the parents of your kids’ friends, and anyone else you can team up with if something unplanned comes up.
Get a five-minute plan in place.
I use a made-up word all the time that has changed my perspective on a crisis: Pre-deciding. Pre-deciding is the act of thinking through how I will respond in a crisis. So, instead of being ruled by my emotions, I can decide in advance how I will react. It’s the idea of planning, not panicking.
Get prepared for what may come.
While preparing for some crises are specific (like clearing brush away from your home to prevent fires), some preparations are more universal and can help you in almost any situation.
You will never regret having an emergency fund on hand, no matter the crisis. And in most cases, having a two-week supply of food on hand will be a huge help, even if it’s just so you don’t have to go to the store during a hard time. Spend time now preparing for what you might need in a variety of crises. Stock up on non-perishable food, water, and put money aside for when you may need it even more than today.
Know that you’re not alone.
My favorite way to handle when I’m scared? Take every worry directly to God. And when I get past the initial worry? Ask God who I can be a comfort to. The fastest way to dispel a spirit of worry is to start serving someone else.
Let God be a comfort to you, and then, when you are able, be a comfort to someone else.
Father, thank You for growing wisdom in me and those I love so we can be smart about things we can control. And Father God, thank You that things out of my control are not beyond Your reach. I am safe in You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What area of a crisis brings up panic the quickest? Worry about your family, a financial crisis, or your safety? What is one actionable item you could do in the next 48 hours to prepare? Start an emergency fund? Create a family safety plan? Figure out your next 15-minute step and do it right away.
More from the Girlfriends
Need some help for preparing for a crisis, big or small? Check out our Ready for Anything resources page and Kathi’s latest book: Ready for Anything; Preparing Your Heart and Home for Any Crisis Big or Small.