The Peace that Rescues a Fear-Filled Heart

In the first few days after we came home from the three-week hospital stay, I’d be standing in the kitchen (something I do a LOT these days), either at the stove cooking or at the sink washing away the remains of another meal, and I’d subconsciously feel LeRoy coming up behind me. At least that’s what it seemed like, that I heard, or maybe just “felt” him moving up behind me to give me a hug, or put his hand around my waist, like he’s done a million times. It was just a natural movement in the rhythm of our lives.

But then, I’d realize no one was there. I only thought he was walking into the room, like so many times before. But no one was there.

Turning around to the empty room, I was hit again with the “new reality” that LeRoy couldn’t casually walk up to grab me for a quick embrace. The thought that he might not be able to slip up behind me ever again was a shocking jolt to my system. Eventually that “feeling” that he was coming in the room stopped happening. The “new reality” began to settle in. He still reaches out for an awkward embrace, but only approaches me now with great effort, pulling himself along with two clunky forearm crutches, making a slow distinct sound. He can’t sneak up behind me.

The thud, thud, thud of the crutches across the tile floor loudly announce his every move.

In my last post, I shared with you that I need “faith markers” to keep my heart pressing into the path God has marked out for us. When I’m tempted to wander through a wilderness of fear, deception, despair, or self-centered thinking (and yes, I do give in to those at times), faith markers direct me back on track.

Let me share with you an example of how this works by using the truths from Psalm 46.

Psalm 46 is a faith marker that keeps my heart:

  • Ruled by Peace

Psalm 46:1-3 reminds me that even if the earth under my feet gives way, even if the mountains slip into the sea, I have no need to fear when I’m trusting in God as my refuge. When I’m hesitant in my walk of faith or making decisions based on fear, these verses are a good heart-check. The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is there to rescue me every time.

My heart is ruled by peace when I turn to Him as my refuge.

Courage comes when my security is centered in God’s sovereignty.

In a recent post, I shared with you how God’s sovereign plan was woven throughout Joseph’s painful journey. That plan was at work in the incredible loss and physical attack that Job endured. God had a good plan that He was accomplishing throughout the suffering they experienced.

God’s scope is much larger and grander than my small existence. When He is at work, using the afflictions He appoints, it is for more than just you and me, it goes far beyond our limited lifetime; so much of the time what He is doing in our suffering will only be understood years down the road, or perhaps in eternity.

Joni Eareckson Tada was injured in a diving accident shortly after she graduated from high school. She severed her spinal cord and has lived the last forty-plus years as a paraplegic. (If you’ve never heard her share her story, I encourage you to watch this short video by clicking here.) The impact she has made on people’s lives, the countless ways God has used her, is really incomprehensible. And all of this from a wheelchair.

Joni has a simple statement that sums up why God allows us to experience the destruction of evil and suffering:

“God permits what He hates, to achieve what He loves.”

That’s a good way to settle my heart in peace, to remember what God is doing—even in the painful losses—God is achieving what He loves.

When I take my eyes off of the painful path, lift my sight beyond the frightening horizon, and instead place my steady gaze on Christ, remembering how He accomplished our ultimate rescue—through His shed blood—then I am ruled by peace. Then, I am reminded that He will always do what is best for us, no matter what form that “best” takes.

For more than fifty years, Amy Carmichael served in India, rescuing children from slavery and sex trafficking–long before that was an established form of ministry. (Moms, this is a good biography for your children to read if they don’t know her story.)  She lived a hard life, sacrificed much, and eventually was bedridden for years due to an injury. Amy challenges the distressed reader to trust in her sovereign Savior, in a poem she wrote entitled: In Acceptance Lieth Peace.

In acceptance, there is peace. I often remind myself of this truth.

So many times, the first inclination is to fight against the hard things, to reject the gift of affliction, to run from the path God has set for us. When I feel like having a solitary sob-fest and screaming to an empty room, “I don’t like my life right now!” I have to battle my flesh and get to the cross fast. I remind myself that God is my faithful Father, He does have a plan, He knows what He is doing, He loves us, and He is at work beyond what I can see. And most importantly, His grace is sufficient.

Precious reader, if you are lost in a frightening wilderness right now, the Father does care for you; no matter what it may seem, He does, I assure you.

Keeping the trail markers of faithful truths in front of you as you navigate the unknown will protect you. If I fixate on the hard challenges the day holds, when I try to do this journey in my own strength, when I look into the future without seeing it through the lens of God’s sovereign care, I am paralyzed by dread and fear. But, when I remember that even if the earth under my feet gives way, even if the mountains slip into the sea, I have no need to fear as long as God is my refuge.

Today, I’ll stand at the kitchen sink, many times, and LeRoy will not silently slip up behind me to bring a hug, there’ll be no evening hikes together along mountain trails we love, there’ll be no laughter of little ones being chased through the house by their Poppy. Do I cry over this? Yes. Do I long for him to walk again? Yes, but that longing can root the peace right out of my heart, if it isn’t tempered by the knowledge that God is doing a sovereign work right now, and that means I must yield all desires to His plans.

I must remind myself, that even if the earth gives way . . . He is still our good refuge, He will catch us if the ground is jerked from beneath our feet.

How can I pray for you today?

I may not be able to respond to your comment below, but I do read every one . . . and I pray for you.

Photo by Jérémie Crémer on Unsplash


  • Kathy Leverett

    Thank you for sharing your heart as you navigate through this season. Praying for you this morning. I am always encouraged by your testimonies to press on. I am asking for your prayers (and the prayers of your followers) as my teenage daughter and I go on our third missions trip together, and perhaps our last. She is a senior this year and will be going away to college in the fall. Pray for the people of La Esperanza in Honduras and that our time with them will be fruitful. May our Father encourage you today, Kim,as you have encouraged us.

  • Donna Maggart

    God bless you and Leroy as you trust God through each day. I have been battling depression as my life has been through major transformations. The grief of losing my parents and my birth mother as well as job changes, moving, empty nesting and church changes jerked the ground beneath my feet. I’m feeling better and rising up and moving forward slowly. My word for the year is believe. That’s my prayer. Hugs.

  • Mayra Ortiz

    You are blessing my life through your trial! Keep rowing Kim
    God is with you both until the end. Remember HE
    Knows best! Our prayers with you both! Love!

  • Gail

    Sending so much love your way. Faith is hard, yet what a loving Savior we serve! Trust is what I work on, and I love the very chapter you quoted. I remember Nancy talking on this very one when I was there at a recording. I think you may have been there too? May Jesus wrap His arms around you tight, as your dear husband thumps his way to give you his wonderful hug! Your testimony is helping others, I pray you know this. And to know that though we may not get on earth what we would like, we KNOW with out a doubt, it will end, and in Heaven, it will be made right!And we will have Jesus too! Praise His Wonderful name. We CARE deeply for all you are going through! Much love covering you in our prayers!

  • Tambra Lucas

    This is one of my favorite posts you have ever written! Thank you for being transparent in sharing the difficulties and hurts and sorrows you are experiencing , sometimes I think some think you are beyond experiencing great hurt and sorrow because you are so strong in your faith and walk with the Lord, that you are way stronger than the majority of believers and can’t possibly relate to others pain because others are not as strong, there are not many women like you on this earth that are as steadfast, strong, rooted, devoted to your Savior so much that you are not shaken, not moved, but more than a conqueror through Christ. I am so thankful for your leadship as a woman of great faith, thankful for your determination never to give up on trusting in God’s faithfulness and totally devoted to God’s Word, it has encouraged my heart many times and convicted my heart many times. But I am also thankful to hear your heart when you are hurting , so that I feel there is something I can do for you and that is pray that God would continue His protection over you, and continue to comfort and strengthen you , and that He would allow you to sense His presence greater than ever and showering you with those hugs of grace that would bring you perfect peace. And draw you into worship. When we are weak He is strong! Miss seeing you so much! Love you so much! Praying for our pastor everyday!
    “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever for in Yah, the Lord is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3-4

  • Michele Reed

    Thank you for your encouraging words! My 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor in September, and I have found myself struggling many days just to keep my head above water. Your blog, and also the ministry of Joni Eareckson Tada have ministered to my soul in these dark days. Thank you!

  • Tambra Lucas

    Also love ,love ,love that quote, “ Courage comes when my security is centered in God’s Sovereignty “
    Reminds me He is always in control!!! Love it!

  • Cindy Caldwell

    Dear Kim,
    I wanted to let you know that your posts are such an encouragement to me. My husband is partially disabled because of neuropathy and arthritis. He first noticed it about 18 years ago and it has gotten progressively worse over the years so we are unsure of what the future holds. We moved from the east coast to Colorado a few years ago to be near our children and grandchildren and his condition has greatly limited what we can do with them. I so appreciate your wisdom, deep faith, and dependence on God during this heavy trail you are in. It feeds my soul. So you see, even now God is using you in the lives of others, and in ways in which you are probably completely unaware. Thank you and God bless you. I pray for you and LeRoy regularly.
    Blessings, Cindy

  • fae

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m also walking a path that requires me to battle fear, and hearing this wisdom and guidance from someone who has journeyed that road is more precious than gold. It’s a reminder that we’re not alone, and I’m so grateful for the ways in which you’ve considerately linked principles you share directly to God’s word. Though I only know you from afar (reader of your book, and big beneficiary of it!), I’ve followed your blog this last year and pray regularly for you and for LeRoy. God is using your pain to bring fruit in ways bigger than you can imagine.

    And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound to every good work. (2 Cor 9:8)

    “I will make with them an everlasting covenant that I will not turn away from doing good to them . . . I will rejoice in doing good to them.” (Jer 32:40-41)

  • Alrica (South Africa)

    Hi Kim.
    I am so touched by how you continue to encourage our faith even in the midst of your trial. Thank you so much for your obedience to give to us even I your point of need. May Father God continue to strengthen you and LeRoy. I am convinced that He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to bring it to completion Phil1:6

  • Julie Musil

    Kimberly, this powerful post brought tears to my eyes. Your raw honesty is so refreshing and meaningful. Thank you for opening your heart on this blog, and for reminding us Whom to focus on. Praying for you and Leroy.

  • Sandra Diehl

    Oh my, Your sweet heart just leaves me sobbing. I am so convicted by your words and want to do better to keep focused on all that is true. I remember to pray for you and your husband. I see you both standing before us in FSJ and you both looked so good. I did have an alarm in my heart though and kept saying to my husband that I felt something was wrong with Leroy health wise. Oh I prayed and really hoped for nothing so serious. You two gave so much of yourselves for us. Thank you for caring for others even in the midst of your pains and troubles. I love you both so much and cannot wait to get the great news that Leroy is healed. If you do say a prayer for us please keep praying for our marriage and my husband to love me again. Thank you, Big hugs for you and keep on feeling your husband coming up from behind hugging you. Thats God’s gift for you , the memories so sweet. Maybe He is hugging you for Leroy. I think so. xoxoxo

  • Julie Musil

    Kimberly! I’m watching TBN right now. In their show “Praisep,” Matt and Lori Crouch are talking to the pastor of Bethel church, author of the book “The Essential Guide to Healing.” I instantly thought of LeRoy and you!! What an inspiration. Testimonies reveal God’s heart, and we know how precious and kind His heart is. You are so busy, I know, but my prayer for you today is that you’ll take the time to watch the show and read the book. There is nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

  • Diane

    May the Lord bless you both as you remain faithful to Him during this difficult time. He is shining brightly thru your lives as you share your journey and inspiring others like myself to keep our eyes on the Lord and our trust in Him.
    I have been diagnosed with heart failure, a complete surprise after I expected my open heart surgery to completely fix my problem. So I also face an uncertain and shortened future and a present that is filled with lack of energy and strength to do for the Lord the things I long to do.
    Keep fighting the good fight- He is indeed with each of us.

  • Leslie Evans

    Kimberly ,
    Our journeys began about the same time, my husband, John, suffered a spinal chord injury on August 12, 2017 . In an instance, our world changed . I have felt absolutely everything you are feeling and often, your words have been what my heart felt but what my mouth could not articulate.
    Thank you for reminding me of the love and faithfulness of our God during this most difficult time in our lives.
    I am Praying for you and LeRoy, May our God be glorified in the most of our suffering.

  • Maureen

    I am greatly moved by your post. I am feeling remorseful for myself, thinking about the hard times I have been through, yet all I did was complaining.
    I am learning to look to God even during the storm, and seek to know what exact lessons the He is teaching me in such times. I am also learning to hold steadfastly to Him in those times. More prayers for you and LeRoy, The Lord God is a healer.

  • Pauline Butler

    Kim, you are such a blessing! Thank you for sharing your heart with such openness! You express so beautifully the things that are often on my heart, and your messages are always so timely. Thank you for the reminder that I have no need to fear when God is my refuge! He will always do what is best, and His grace is always sufficient for me. My heart goes out to you and LeRoy. Continuing in prayer for you. If you would pray for me as I care for my mom and have been away from my husband for the majority of the past year, I would appreciate it. Love and hugs

  • Lynne

    I don’t know you but I’ve read your story and periodically wonder how you were doing. Please know that you are not forgotten. Your encouraging words encourage me in my walk with the Lord. Your ability to see God and live in peace despite such difficult circumstances is an example to me.

    You are not alone. You are loved with an everlasting love.

  • Donna

    Kim and LeRoy,

    You both so encourage me in my daily life. I pray that God will continue to show you his path and plan for you both. I pray for healing for LeRoy and know God will use him in mighty ways.


  • Vicki Bedford

    Kim, one of the things I do is write Christian choral music. Sometimes that means original lyrics and melody, sometimes it means taking familiar lyrics, perhaps tweaking them a bit, and setting them to a new melody. In many cases, that almost forces us to hear a familiar text in a new way. During a season of praying for a cousin dying with cancer and grieving with his mother, wife, and two teenage sons, God gave me a new melody for a much-loved text: What a Friend We Have in Jesus. Though I’m convinced the original writer had ZERO condemnation for those struggling with difficult circumstances, I chose to omit the line, “We should never be discouraged.” I fully realize it a theological truth(!) but I just needed the lyrics to comfort, remind, and encourage the listener/s. I left the first verse alone. (It’s a MUCH-beloved hymn: Do I look stupid? 🙂 I put the remaining questions in the second verse, but I filled the third verse with statements of truth about God’s “positives” in our lives and, yes, the constant reminder to take those difficulties to Him.

    This piece was published a few months ago. I hope it will be an encouragement to you and LeRoy as you continue to walk this journey of faith. Thank you for sharing snippets of this journey with us as we pray for you!

    You’ll need to copy and paste this link, but it should enable you to see and hear: “Precious Savior, Still Our Refuge.”