Rare Diseases and God’s Glory

It’s three thirty in the morning and every time he stops breathing I check to see if his chest is moving. He had his Plasma Exchange treatment today and it’s left him so weak he can barely lift his head.

A little more than a week ago, he was still walking and serving as my protector and strong husband. Since then, I’ve seen him loaded into an ambulance twice, bundled like a baby to transfer to another bed, by men who easily lifted his depleted body. Although he’s lost the ability to even physically sense the most basic bodily functions, has partial paralysis and much pain, his disposition has never wavered: Gratitude.

He’s told multiple people that he’s thankful for this affliction. He’s grateful for it because it’s reduced his life to the most important basics.

LeRoy keeps telling people that it is a great gift from God when He puts you in a position where all you can do is meditate on the Word, worship, witness, and pray. LeRoy reminded me that, on the cross, Jesus showed us that this is possible: to be in the most horrific and painful circumstances and still be praying for others, focused on others, and worshipping the Father. In his most horrific hours, Jesus took no thought of Himself and His pain. LeRoy is asking for grace to follow that example.

We are still waiting for a diagnosis. Yesterday, LeRoy was shipped over to another hospital in the area to have a surgical procedure and get several biopsies. He’s also had several vision exams, even though his vision seems perfect. That was all happening on his “rest” day, the day without a PLEX (Plasma Exchange) treatment.

The doctors are thinking he may actually be having two things occurring at once: a rare infectious disease and an unusual autoimmune disease. Only my amazing man could do that, live with two rare illnesses at once!

For the first time since we arrived, the medical personnel have started wearing face masks when they enter the room. I’m still kissing my man, though. Why stop what I’ve been doing throughout his two year misery with this mystery illness?

Every morning, he shares with me the Scripture verse the Lord lays on his heart and asks me to write it on the white board. This was today’s:

[box]”A man’s steps are established by the LORD, and He takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the LORD holds his hand.” (Psalm 37:23–24)[/box]

LeRoy is facing the biggest unknown of his life, but he is not overwhelmed at all!

Having a long history of walking with Jesus, having practiced the disciplines of daily study and meditation on God’s Word and prayer, have all prepared LeRoy to walk through this season with confidence in the Father he serves. We know God has faithfully ordained this particular affliction for His good purposes. And we pray that we will honor Him in our response to this new adventure with Him.

We’re blown away by how many of you have left comments and are praying for us! We’re deeply touched and so very grateful! Please forgive me for not replying to all of your precious messages, it is just continual medical mayhem around here, with no time to do much other than 24/7 caregiving. I’m only able to scribble out a few sentences at a time (while he’s sleeping) in order to get some kind of update out to you precious friends!

In these dark, late night hours, it helps me to write. Writing is how I process, but it’s also a form of worship for me. As I record all that God is doing, it feels like I’m shouting His praise from the rooftops!! But I’m actually hidden away in a dark room with the rhythmic sound of the IV swishing, the beeps of calls for nurses going off in the hallway, and my man pausing from breathing just long enough to make me sit up straighter to strain my eyes in his direction. I’m “shouting from the rooftops” my praises by silently typing out this little post.

Thank you for your prayers and for joining us in this latest adventure of walking with Christ.

Prayer Praises:

  1. God’s presence is tangible and abiding.
  2. LeRoy’s lost his ability to walk (praying that will only be temporary), but his mind is still in tact and sharper than mine!
  3. The medical staff seems to adore my man and for that I’m most grateful. They are attentive and kind to him. They are treating him respectfully, which is a real blessing.
  4. He continues to have a worshipful attitude and shares Christ freely and winsomely.

Prayer Requests:

  1. The PLEX treatments deplete his strength significantly. Pray for protection from any adverse reactions to the numerous medical procedures and drugs being introduced to his body.
  2. Pray for both of us to be able to rest and get some sleep. We both desperately need that!
  3. Pray for a diagnosis.
  4. Ask God to prepare us to receive the diagnosis in a manner that glorifies Him and to honor Him with the life changes that may bring.

When you pray, and if you share our story with others, give glory to God alone. Praying you will share the wonder and beauty of our amazing Savior with everyone who will listen!


  • Janie

    Dear sweet Kimberly, know that I am praying for you. What a beautiful testimony of God’s grace and strength in your life already. To be in such a dark place and yet be able to shine for Jesus which is what he created us to do. May the Lord bring healing to Leroy. He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord my refuge and my Fortress my God in whom I trust. For it is he who delivers You From The Snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will give his angels charge concerning you. They will bear you up in their hands that you do not strike your foot against a stone.

  • Donna

    The PLEX treatments deplete his strength significantly. Pray for protection from any adverse reactions to the numerous medical procedures and drugs being introduced to his body.Praying for protection against any bad reactions.
    Pray for both of us to be able to rest and get some sleep. We both desperately need that!
    Pray for a diagnosis. Praying God will give you rest and peace.
    Ask God to prepare us to receive the diagnosis in a manner that glorifies Him and to honor Him with the life changes that may bring.Praying no matter what that you honor and glorify God.

  • Kim Magnus

    Continuing to pray for you both…for strength and joy in this journey…the kind that none in the world know or understand but see in you both. May it lead others to Him. Praying God would grant healing and rest and clear diagnosis and direction.

  • Margie

    I am awed and humbled every time I read your post. Thank you for sharing this vulnerable time with us. Praying for God’s healing and His leading for both of you and the requests that you have made. May the Lord continue to use this journey for HIS glory.

  • Charlotte

    Wow! What an amazing testimony and amazing faith you can share with us. I am so blessed to read this and pray for you two. Praying for you both!

  • Leanne Johnson

    Beautiful Kimberly,

    My heart continues to ache for you, Leroy, and your family ad you walk through this season of sickness and uncertainty. I rejoice in God’s faithfulness and provision in the midst of your suffering, and I know He will continue to provide. I will continue to intercede on your behalf! May you find comfort in the steadfast love of our Lord and His unfailing promises from Psalms 34:

    1 I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

    2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

    3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

    4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

    5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

    6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

    7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

    8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

    9 O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

    10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

    17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

    18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

    19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

    20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

    21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

    22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

    I love you dearly, beautiful, splendrous, Kimberly! You and your beloved Leroy are radiant with the light, love, joy and hope of Jesus. God is being glorified through all of this as you cling to Him and proclaim His goodness. I so wish I could bring you a meal, hold your hand and pray, or comfort you in person with a hug and some tissues. Thank you for your updates! Xoxox

  • N. Lang

    I am in awe of your strength and faith. What a testimony!!! Makes me examine, reflect of my test and I more determine to focus on Christ in my time of trouble. My heart and prayers are with you both. Heal him God like only you can. Thank you Lord for all that you are already doing in this season of sickness. In Jesus name.

  • Rebecca

    Praying! So thankful for you both and your tremendous testimonies for the Lord! You both are in my heart and prayers!

  • Pauline Butler

    Thank you for sharing, Kim! I praise God for the testimony and blessing you and LeRoy are to me and so many people, bringing so much glory to God. One of my friends that I have shared your posts with has responded to me on how much of a blessing it has been to her to read about what you are going through. She is struggling in her marriage, and these posts are causing her to be more grateful for her husband. Continuing in prayer for you and praising God for His wondrous grace in your lives. He continues to use you in the midst of your “storm.” Thank you for being such a faithful witness, sharing the love of Jesus with so many.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    So grateful for each of you!! We are touched by your kindness and blown away realizing how many of you are praying for us! I’m so sorry that I’m unable to reply to all of your comments, it’s pretty much a continual stream of medical personnel and activity here that prevents me from having enough time to let you know how grateful we are for you all. LeRoy is so encouraged by your comments, sometimes asking me to read them all again. Just knowing you are praying is a source of comfort to him! 💕

  • Liz

    Dear Kimberly and LeRoy,

    I’m also praying for you, from The Netherlands! So amazed by your God glorifying attitudes in the midst of this ordeal LeRoy’s going through. There’s only one explanation for that, God’s power is showing in your weakness! 2 Corinthians 12:9 but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.

    Take refuge in His shelter!

    Psalm 27:4-6Amplified Bible (AMP)

    4 One thing I have asked of the Lord, and that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, To gaze upon the beauty [the delightful loveliness and majestic grandeur] of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.
    5 For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.
    6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, In His tent I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

    Connected to you in our Redeemer!

  • Leonor

    Thanks, glory and honor be to our always faithful
    God. Kim! Because only Him can give your husband
    Joy in the mist of pain and peace when all seems so
    Unstable. We are praying for you all even though we do not know you
    Our hearts and spirits keep on lifting you two up without ceasing even with tears!
    Both my husband and I have been reading your books and it hurts
    to know of your suffering in this uncertainty time.
    May grace, mercies and all strength from our all wise God be poured out every moment you all need it!!

  • patricia

    Kimberly – I am Paula Hendricks Marsteller’s mother in law. Paula sent out an email in which it included your recent experiences while on your trip to PEI. Out of the many people reaching out and praying for you, I too will keep Leroy, you and your family in my prayers.

  • Vivian Etherington

    Kim, I love your transparency and your heart coming out loud and clear in this post! Mark and I prayed for you and LeRoy early this morning before we started our day! ( I cried through the whole thing). You two are very dear to our hearts and we’re eternally grateful for your ministry to us at such a crucial time!
    “When trials come, no longer fear; for in the pain our God draws near to fire a Faith worth more than gold; and there His faithfulness is told!” I love how the truth of this is a reality for you at this time! May the Lord continue to comfort you with His presence and promises; may He continue to be glorified; and may you and LeRoy both get some much needed rest!! Much love!

  • Sandy

    Praying for you and LeRoy during this time, my heart aches for yall, but also praising God for the little things He is accomplishing for you, His Grace and His Mercy its new every morning!!

  • Barbara Stewart

    Kim, I realize that our little Church, called Shady Grove in Dallas County AR was only a stepping stone in Bro. Leroy,s life, but he left a positive mark on all of us. We still are a praying, believing, giving Church. Our hearts are so heavy reading of the trama you precious children of God are experiencing. Please know we are lifting you both in prayer, believing in the Great Healer.

  • vania

    Praying for the plans and proposes of our heavenly father to be sovereign in both your lives. Thankyou for sharing in such a deeply demanding time. God bless your testimony …may it bear fruit and multiply..grace and peace Vania x

  • Suzanne Dudgeon

    Kimberly & LeRoy, What a testimony & blessing you two continue to be!!!
    We continue to lift you to Jesus, The Great Physcian! Don & Suzanne Dudgeon. Psalm 105:1-4

  • Mae

    Kimberly, I don’t know if you remember us, but we always remember you and Brother Leroy from Westglen Baptist Church! We love you then and we love you now! We are so sorry to hear about Leroy and what you are going thru!Just want to let you know we will be praying for both of you! We are the Wesley family, Gene, Mae, Del and Randy! God bless you and keep you strong thru all if this trying times!

  • Briana

    “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
    ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    Rejoicing for the abundant grace upon your lives, especially LeRoy who is not losing heart but rather viewing this affliction rightly, through a lens of faith and trust in our merciful God. He is instructing us all from a place of perceived weakness but what is a place of grace and strength in reality.
    Praying for grace to continue to carry and keep you both and for healing.

  • Brenda Kinsman Ontario Canada

    Hi Kimberly. I just read Paula’s blog, & am so sorry to hear about Leroy’s strange affliction! But what a testimony of faith in our Sovereign God who rules every detail of our lives.I’ll be praying for the requests you have mentioned.God has a higher purpose in this affliction. To Him be all Glory & praise!
    I’ve read your book Kimberly & seen you at True Woman conferences.

  • Barb Rowe

    Kimberley, I only purchased your book a few months ago and have not gotten to read it yet! I heard part of your first series with Revive Our Hearts and when at a recent Lifeway Event purchased the book!

    Very strangely I think your husband and another acquaintance of mine may have the same disease! I have been following the past 2yrs several well known Alternative medical people through the internet mainly. Most are Christians by t the way. Here is a link to one you need to order this series NOW and listen to every episode! You will be armed to help your man and get him the right regimen that will not destroy but heal his body! From this series you will meet many Doctors who have their own practices and formulas all specializing in some form of autoimmunity! I hope and pray this info will help you. The presentations are powerful! There is also a brand new one that just finished on Faith and healing (not faith healers)

  • Charles Mays

    Kim, I will be praying for Leroy, you and family as you go thru this trial that Leroy is facing now, knowing that our Heavenly Father will give you sufficient Grace as you faithfully wait on Him to show you His power and will thru Leroy’s life….. “Being confident of this very thing, HE which has begun a GOOD WORK in you, WILL PERFORM IT until the day of JESUS CHRIST.” (Philippians 1:6)

  • Michelle

    All praise and glory to our God for the strength and grace he’s given to you and LeRoy in this difficult time. Pray that God will sustain and keep both of you in his love as you grow through this to know and love him more and more.

    In Christ
    Michelle (from Malaysia)