Greetings from Marti Pieper in chilly Seneca, South Carolina. As I wait out the pandemic in my warm home, I can’t help but think about my friend Grace Fox and what her winter must be like where she lives. But I’ll let her tell you about that—as well as her new devotional book, which sounds perfect for such a time as this.
Welcome, Grace! Please tell us about your new book, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos.
This devotional contains 90 meditations and thoughtful quotes written to encourage and strengthen those whose minds are on overload. After a year like 2020, we all know people in that position.
For sure! And why did you write this book?
I’ve faced a few crises, and I understand the need for encouragement from God’s Word in those desperate times. I also understand how it’s difficult to be in that position and remember what day it is let alone focus on reading and recalling a lengthy Scripture passage. I wrote this book to provide a resource for those whose hearts are heavy and minds are on overload. My prayer is that they’ll find each day’s brief meditation doable and, as a result, discover the hope and strength needed to survive and thrive in their circumstances.
That sounds like a wonderful way to minister through your writing. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope readers will grow in their knowledge of who God is—wise, sovereign, strong, and good. As they grow in their understanding of His character, they will learn to trust Him even though they feel like their lives have flipped upside down. Trust will help them hold onto hope, and fear won’t be able to drag them into despair.
How has God used the message of your book in your own life?
I wrote this book during the pandemic and a family crisis that involved my elderly mother and her battle with a brain tumor. At the same time, I was suffering from a frozen shoulder and a broken tailbone. Studying the Word and writing these meditations kept my mind on God and His promises during those difficult days. The overall message of learning to trust His wisdom, sovereignty, strength, and goodness kept me anchored in the storm.
That’s beautiful. What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
I always return to the importance of knowing who God is. Everything about us flows from those beliefs, so we’d better ensure we’re basing our beliefs on the truth of God’s Word.
I love that. Tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.
One day about seven years ago, I felt very discouraged with my writing career or lack thereof. Seriously, I was ready to quit writing and turn my entire focus to working alongside my husband in our ministry. I remember praying, “God, if You want me to stop writing, then I’m ready and willing. But if You want me to persevere, then I’m ready and willing. Please show me what direction You want me to take, and do it today.”
My phone rang five hours later. A woman’s voice said, “Is this Grace Fox, the author?” I said yes. She continued, “Please don’t think I’m a whacko or a groupie. I’ve never called an author, but today I felt compelled to phone you and tell you that your book, Moving From Fear to Freedom changed my life. And for what it’s worth, I also feel compelled to say, ‘Please keep writing. We need more books that teach the truth.’”
I sat in stunned silence for a few moments, and then I started to cry. I told her what I’d prayed that morning, and then she started to cry. “I heard Him,” she said. “I heard God!” “Yes, you did,” I said. “And you did what He said even though obedience didn’t feel comfortable. Thank you for listening and obeying.” An unforgettable moment, that was.
Truly unforgettable! What ministries are you involved in, and why?
In 2007, a USA-based mission organization –“International Messengers”—contacted my husband and me and asked us to launch its Canadian office. We’d been missionaries in Nepal in the ’80s, and we’d worked at a year-round Christian camp from 1996-2007, so we were well familiar with career missions and said yes to this new opportunity.
Our interdenominational organization is a sending agency that serves 225 missionaries in 28 countries. We recruit, train, and lead volunteer teams to host evangelistic English-learning family camps in Eastern Europe every summer. As part of my role, I teach missionaries-in-training in the Middle East and have trained pastors and church leaders in Nepal. Why do I do these things? Because I felt God’s call on my life to career missions when I was in sixth grade. Believers are to be His ambassadors, and this ministry is His specific assignment for me within that capacity.
And you carry it out so well, I know. But it seems everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
I list my writing deadlines on paper and keep that paper beside my computer at all times for easy reference. I gauge how much time each assignment will take and what my schedule looks like, and I do my best to stick to it. If that means spending less time on social media, so be it. If it means having to get up at 4:30 for several mornings, I do it. It helps that my husband works from home and offers to help with household tasks like laundry and meal preparation when deadlines are tight.
Great encouragement! What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I enjoy walking, photography, beginning watercolor painting, and sailing. My husband and I live on a forty-eight-foot sailboat near Vancouver, British Columbia, and the coastal islands provide scenic, solitary space when we need to step back from ministry and rest. I also value every minute I get with my three children, their spouses, and my nine grandchildren.
I understand! Now, please tell us about your next project.
I taught two women’s Bible studies via Zoom during the latter half of 2020 and am developing them into projects that other women’s groups can easily use.
I know those will meet a need as well. Thank you, Grace, for sharing your work and your life with us today.
For His glory,