A message from Amy: Hi readers, there are so many bummer things that have been happening these days with our “new normal” quarantine. However, there are even more wonderful and lovely things that have come out of all of this. One of these lovely things is that I have had the supreme pleasure of reading submissions sent to From the Ravens from some really talented writers and artists. Today I am pleased to introduce to you all, Janna Gallagher, who is a deeply thoughtful, woman of faith, a talented writer, and above all my friend of many years.

If you were to tell me three months ago that we would encounter a worldwide pandemic and be forced to stay home for an uncertain amount of time, I wouldn’t have believed you. This strange time has presented itself with many challenges, some new, some old. We are left everyday evaluating new information and adjusting opinions. We have seen people with despair in their eyes, hopeless, bracing for something no one clearly understands. There have been days where we’ve been moved by acts of love displayed by neighbors and days where we recoiled as we read the harshness of words exchanged amongst friends with differing perspectives. If I’m honest, I have battled a restlessness in my heart, as I walk through these uncharted waters.

My husband and I live a busy life. As an introvert, you would think that I would relish this time of being home without endless activities, social engagements, school pick-ups and drop-offs, you name it. There are certainly moments that I do, though with a home full of five children with ages ranging from 13-2, so few moments are really quiet or reflective. If you have spent any time reading or watching the news, your anxiety has surely increased, as mine has. Fear of the unknown has come to the forefront of our minds. And for many first responders and healthcare workers, and their loved ones, fear of the unknown is ever present with each person they treat.
Something I have come to realize is that even with the busyness of normal life coming to a halt, I still struggle with seeking my peace in the Lord. My heart is prone to wander. I still look for satisfaction in things that do not satisfy. I strive for things to occupy my time and my thoughts. I look for things to keep me busy. Good things, but other things. Reading endless news articles, caring for the children, charting healthy food plans, exercising, keeping the kids on track with schoolwork, watching movies to take my mind off of the heavy things, and of course the social media scrolling! These are not bad things in and of themselves, but they will not satisfy what my soul longs for. In fact, sometimes they make me even more restless.

Tells us… On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”

John 7:37

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Isaiah 55:1

Whether we are in the midst of a pandemic, or we are living our more “normal” lives, my prayer is that we come to the Father, who knows the inner workings of our hearts. He knows the beginning and the end of our stories, stories that are intertwined in His Story. He knows what lies ahead. He sees what we fill our time with. He gives us blessings that we are unworthy of. He gives us real life and a hope that cannot fade. He sees us as we worry about what we don’t know. He gives us ideas on how to help our community around us, even at a distance. He sees that we battle with him for control over our lives. He sees the selfishness, the pride, and the discontent harbored in the corners of our hearts. He sees our anxiousness and our attempts at staying busy. He sees the good, the bad, and the ugly. He sees all parts of us … And He LOVES US ANYWAY.

Lord, help me to calm my soul with your soothing Word, to listen to your Spirit who comforts the layers of the depths of wholeness that my soul longs for. Help us to reflect Your Glory as we go about each day. Thank you for Your continued grace that You pour out to our wandering hearts, as you gently lead us back to You. Thank you for the gift of Your Son, who died so that we may have salvation and relationship with You. Help us to drink the water from Your well, to know that our security and contentedness, our wholeness for eternity is found in You, and to remind ourselves of our desperate need for You.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be

Let that goodness like a fetter

Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love

Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it

Seal it for Thy courts above

Come Thou Fount

Janna is a homeschooling mother of five (two of whom are twins) and a constant support to her husband, Assemblyman James Gallagher, as he campaigns and serves the state of California. For the thirteen years I have known her, she has been disciplined in fitness, learning, caring for her family, and growing in Christ. She is gentle and soft spoken, but I get the feeling that there is nothing that she cannot do. Indomitable.