Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Dannah Gresh: Sometimes Stephanie has flashbacks of the traumatic attack that took her husband’s life, and she says she wonders. . .

Stephanie Wesco: Why can’t I be normal? And yet, that’s where God has me: “Surrender them to Me; trust Me; hold My hand in the dark.”

Dannah: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, co-author of You Can Trust God to Write Your Story, for July 3, 2020. I’m Dannah Gresh.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: At the very front of the book that Robert and I co-authored, You Can Trust God to Write Your Story, there’s a verse that I think of often as I think about Stephanie Wesco and her story. It’s from Psalm 139, it’s verse 16. It says: “All my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began” (paraphrased). 

Hmm, that’s an amazing thought! All my days . . . God knew how many, how few, exactly what would be in them. They were written, and they were planned before I was born. 

Stephanie Wesco has been here this week. Stephanie, thank you for opening your heart. This is something that you have experienced and have come to embrace in a way you never would have planned or wanted. But since the shooting death of your husband, Charles, twelve days after your family of eight children, you, and Charles, landed in Cameroon—a place where you’d been planning for years to serve as missionaries. What does it do to you to think of God planning all of this in eternity past? 

Stephanie: The Lord has taught me so much as I struggle through days of surrender, days of feeling all of the “why” questions flood my mind. He’s taught me so much of the fact that He’s Sovereign, He’s in control. When I choose to trust Him for that, choose to just surrender to, “Okay, God, this wasn’t my plan, but this is Yours,” there’s a lot of peace that comes with that.

In my kitchen I have two signs. One says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” In the Old Testament the Lord gives us the statement (it’s not even a promise, it’s just a fact) that His joy is our strength.

And my other sign says, “Choose joy.” It’s like we have to come to that point. I have to come to that point every day of saying, “Okay, God, in me there may not be a lot of joy, there may not be a lot of happy, but Your strength is my joy and Your joy is my strength.” It’s like they go together.

Nancy: Right.

Stephanie: And I’ve learned that happiness and joy don’t always go in the same boat. I guess I always viewed in years past that when I’m happy, I’m filled with joy. I’ve learned that that isn’t always the case. I don’t know that I would qualify myself as a happy person anymore, but I can be a person that’s filled with joy because that’s coming from the Lord.

Happiness is something that can be fleeting, but the joy from the Lord is something that can be steadfast and sure. That’s something that the Lord has been teaching me. Something else that He’s been really impressing on me is the whole concept of hope. When we had Emmeline, before she was born . . .

Nancy: This is your number eight child. 

Stephanie: My number eight, our little girl who I did not have the faith to even pray for. I thought one girl was a miracle! My husband’s family is mostly boys. I thought, I’m just going to be a boy mom. And then we had one girl, and that was awesome!

But my daughter prayed for a little sister. When I was expecting Emmeline, we found out she was a girl, and we had picked out her name. Her name means, “work of confident expectation.” I did not begin to comprehend how much, in terms of the meaning of her name, God was going to play that out in our lives. Hope is an amazing thing!

When I think of hope in God, all that is encompassed in that . . . Romans 8 has become a very special passage to me. Verses 24 and 25 say, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (KJV).

Those verses have just become special, because we’re saved by hope. We’re saved by “confident expectation,” and that’s not something in ourselves. That’s a confident expectation in God and what His plan and purpose is.

As we came back from Cameroon, we dealt with all the initial process of figuring out, “What does life look like?” We were trying to find a home and figure out some semblance of a “new normal,” whatever that was going to look like at that point.

Then I started dealing with major effects from the trauma and PTSD and all that that brought with it. These verses became precious because there wasn’t a lot of light in my life. Things looked very dark!

Nancy: You’ve told me you were actually having nightmares and flashbacks, like a lot of them, in those first several months.

Stephanie: Yes. It was pretty much a daily/nightly battle. It was kind of like you were afraid to go to sleep because of where your dreams were going to take you. 

Nancy: And you weren’t sleeping much. 

Stephanie: No, and so it was a vicious cycle. You’re dealing with your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. They all interact. Spiritually, God was drawing . . . that was what was keeping me alive, my walk with the Lord.

Physically, my body wasn’t doing too well with everything. I was losing hope, to be quite honest, in those early days of, “Lord, I have no purpose left in life.” My kids kept me going. I was like, “I have eight reasons I still have to get up in the morning. I still have to take care of them.” 

So those verses became special as I had to think about, Okay, I don’t see the hope. If I saw the hope, it wouldn’t be hope. I’m having to put my expectation in a God I cannot see and a future I do not know what it holds, but I know God holds it.

That was what got me through those days of PTSD, where there was no one physically or humanly there helping with that. It was just God.

Nancy: And PTSD, for those who may not know, refers to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which you commonly hear about with people coming back from war, from some extremely stressful situation. It doesn’t have to be war, you actually had been in a battle of sorts. 

Stephanie: Yes, any traumatic event pretty much that turns your world upside down.

Nancy: It can be sexual abuse. PTSD symptoms. I know you’ve shared with me that initially you were hesitant to get counseling to help you walk through that. But in God’s providence He led you to a godly, wise, biblical counselor.

Stephanie: Yes, I’m very thankful for a dear friend that is like a second mom to me. I poured my heart out to her. It was her daughter that was with us in Cameroon. So her daughter had been dealing with the same things that I’ve dealt with, in her own way.

Everybody reacts their own way. Her trauma was different than mine, but trauma nonetheless. She was like, “Stephanie, you need to talk to someone who can help you with this!” For starters, I didn’t know of anyone that did PTSD counseling from a Christian perspective.

I had an uncle who had dealt with PTSD—he was a veteran, he had been overseas. He had sent me some very helpful information that encouraged me in knowing I wasn’t losing my mind. My friend just researched, and the Lord led her to the Wounded Spirits ministry online.

She let my dad know about it, and so he called Brother Carragher, who heads the ministry up and does the counseling. She explained the situation. The Lord was so good in giving him an opening in his busy schedule. He flew out, and we were able to start counseling at that point.

Because of Brother Carragher’s history with PTSD . . . I’ll never forget, we sat down to talk, and I was literally almost throwing up that morning. I was so nervous! I mean, I hadn’t talked to anyone except my close friend and my dad. They were the only two people that knew what I was dealing with, other than my kids. 

They were dealing with Mom falling apart when she had a flashback, or Mom waking up from nightmares. A couple of my kids at that point were dealing with really bad nightmares also. We were kind of all in this, I almost picture it like a tornado, together—part of us was spinning, and we didn’t get out of it.

He sat down with me and, I’ll never forget, he said, “Stephanie, I’m not here to preach at you; I just want to be your friend.” And those words meant more . . . just to have somebody . . .

Nancy: . . . to come alongside. 

Stephanie: Yes! That was there just to support, to encourage, to build up, and that didn’t say, “Oh, there’s something wrong with you, to be feeling that way, and to be dealing with . . .” And it wasn’t that I dealt with anger. I don’t ever remember dealing with anger towards the Lord or towards Cameroon, towards whoever it was who shot Charles. 

I’m so thankful for that, because with my kids, you know, kids can pick up on anger so quickly. I was dealing with, obviously, the grief, the trauma, the re-living the event over and over again. I had major survivor guilt, which is a very, very real thing of feeling like, “Why wasn’t it me? Charles was the better parent.” (And he was the better parent, the better Christian, the better everything!) “Lord, why? Why didn’t you leave him for the kids?” 

I was just so thankful for someone who was a stabilizer. Doug and Debbie Carragher know more about me than just about anybody! They have just been such a blessing and gift from the Lord!

Nancy: And sharing out of their own experience with PTSD and their journey. The story that God has been writing in their lives is enabling them now to minister grace to others who are going through . . .

Stephanie: Yes. I think because I would have never envisioned myself dealing with PTSD. That never would have been something I even would have ever wanted to consider. Yet God has used it in my life to change my view of ministering to others, and has used it to change my whole philosophy of ministry. 

When you think about Jesus’ earthly ministry, His ministry was so full of compassion and ministering to those who were hurting. When I read my Bible now and read about His ministry, I don’t see it the same way as I saw it before. He had a ministry of trying to heal, trying to help those who were hurting, trying to help those who were at rock bottom.

Whether it was from a life of sin or whether it was from things that had happened to them (you know, the blind man wasn’t blind because of anything he had done), but that was what Jesus’ ministry was about. We’re supposed to be carrying on His ministry; that’s why He has us here.

Nancy: The Lord is already using you now—though you’re still on this journey, you’re still in this process, it’s still pretty early-on for you. But the Lord’s already giving you opportunities to be a channel of grace into the lives of people who are suffering from great wounds, great trauma.

Stephanie: Yes, and it’s nothing in me. The “me” side of me still wants to crawl in a hole some days, and still wants to shut down on life. That’s where Jesus in me has become so precious, because you realize how much He is your strength, and He is the reason you do everything you do.

I think the children also . . . We’re all on this journey together and learning together what it means to walk with Jesus in a whole new way, and to find His promises true in whole new ways. I think that’s been so special for us, to see His faithfulness. 

He makes a lot of precious promises to the fatherless and the widow, and to find those promises true, and my kids finding those promises true. It’s in just little things that before would have just been like, “Oh, God was good; He did such-and-such.” Now, it’s not Daddy providing. Normally it was Daddy providing these different things.

Now it’s God doing these things, or God doing things that Daddy or Mommy never could have done. There are certain days that are bad. Either one of the kids is really struggling with missing Daddy, or Mommy’s really struggling. We have to sit down together and go, “Okay, let’s talk about the ways God has been good to us!” It just helps us refocus.

Nancy: You told me about an experience just recently where you found your little girl struggling.

Stephanie: Yes. I found her on her bed, and she had her picture of her and Daddy sitting together on the couch that I printed off. I had a picture developed of her and Charles that she liked. One of my sisters-in-law gave her a little locket with two pictures of Charles, I think at Christmas or something.

She was sitting on her bed holding those, and she was having a really rough time. I just sat and held her. I was like, “It’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to miss Daddy. That’s okay!” We’re all learning to have grace for each other, because we all struggle. 

And my boys have learned to be very gracious, because my boys are boys. They love guns; they love firecrackers, and they love loud! They’re having to learn that Mommy can’t . . .

Nancy: Those sounds don’t bless Mommy.

Stephanie: No, they don’t! They send Mommy into messes. 

Nancy: A trigger. 

Stephanie: Yes, and so they’re learning to have a grace and mercy side that they never had before of, “Mom, I’m so sorry, I should have known that would upset you.” I’m having to learn that there are some times I want to get so upset with them for popping the Amazon packing bubbles in my house, because the sound freaks me out!

Then I have to step back and go, “They’re not doing anything wrong; that’s my problem. It’s okay. Just have them move it to the garage.” We all have to learn to adjust.

Nancy: Breathe grace in and breathe grace out.

Stephanie: I remember one day I texted my counselor. I was at my husband’s grandfather’s funeral, and there was the gun salute because he had been in the military. I remember struggling with, “Why? How can everybody else stand here so normal?” I completely lost it. It completely sent me into a flashback.

I was like, “How!? Like, why? Why can’t I be normal?” And I texted Doug, and said, “Why?!” He said, “This is your normal now.” It does stink from a human perspective! I don’t want to feel that. And yet, that’s where God has me. It’s that surrender of, “Okay, God, You’ve said that You’re going to work this together for good.”

I love the verse in Ecclesiastes where He says He makes all things beautiful in His time. ( see Eccl. 3:11). Again, God’s “beautiful” isn’t looking like what I would have called beautiful.

Nancy: Right.

Stephanie: You know, I still have hopes, desires, things that I would love for the future. It’s like the Lord is constantly saying, “Surrender it unto Me; trust Me; hold My hand in the dark and just follow me.” The kids and I have a song we sing, “In Faith I Follow,” and it was written by a man who lost his wife. He wrote it after her death.

When we’re having a bad day, we just sit around and sing that song together. God just asks us to follow the path that He has for us, even though it’s not the path we would have chosen.

Nancy: And the “in faith” part, to say we do this in faith, implies that we can’t see what’s ahead or particularly understand, even, how we got to where we are. But it’s following—not just the path, but following Christ—in faith, that He knows where He’s leading us.

Stephanie: Yes. And there are so many passages of Scripture that the Lord has made so much more precious, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things” (Ps. 119:18). 

There are certain times the Lord just gives you a passage and you’re staring at it going, “How have I never seen this this way before?” I was really struggling one day and I just opened my Bible and was reading. It was the passage where Jesus said if any man would be His disciple, let him “take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).

I was like, “Lord, haven’t I carried this cross enough!?” And the Lord just really smote my heart with conviction, “If you want to serve me, if you want to stay My disciple . . .” Deciding to be a disciple isn’t a one-time decision. It’s a daily decision to be a disciple. And His cross for me may not be . . . everybody’s cross is a little different.

The thing that the Lord struck me with that day was the fact that I can be really selfish and view my cross to carry being having lost Charles. I could look at it that way. I could teach my kids to look at it as, “This is the cross God has asked us to bear.” But in many ways it’s not a cross that God has asked us to bear.

First of all, He bears it with us. But the bigger picture that God showed me was, He’s asking us to take up His cross, and His cross wasn’t about Himself. His cross was carrying the sins of the world; His cross was ministering to others.

He came to this earth and gave up the glories of heaven. He was God! The cross He asks me to carry is having His mind, His life living through me, ministering to others. Sometimes that hurts. Sometimes it’s not something I want to do, but that was the cross He bore for me. 

He bore my sin; He took that on Himself. That was His cross, and that’s what He wants me to do. Yes, losing Charles is a part of that cross, but in some ways that was God’s beginning of a new chapter for my life. It wasn’t a chapter I would have ever chosen, but this is where He has me. 

Nancy: Right.

Stephanie: If I surrender to that and take up that new cross that He’s given me, of helping people in a way I never would have dreamed, that’s how I stay His disciple. You know the verse that says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Phil. 2:4) has just become like, “Wow, I can either live in self-pity . . .” which there are some days I do. There are some mornings and nights that are the hardest. There are some times I just sit and cry and say, ‘Why, God? This doesn’t make sense! I don’t want to be here! I really want to be back in Cameroon in my little cement block house with no electricity. That’s where I want to be.”

Nancy: “And with my husband . . .”

Stephanie: Yes! And yet, that’s not where God has me. It’s learning to be content in this new stage.

Nancy: One of the things I’ve seen repeatedly as I’ve followed your Facebook posts over these months is an intentionality about thankfulness—when there are a lot of reasons not to be thankful. But it seems like you and your children have said, “This is something we’re purposing to do, to find things to be thankful for.” What does that do to your heart?

Stephanie: One day I was reading in 1 Thessalonians and the verses, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you,” (1 Thess. 5:18) and “Rejoice evermore” (v. 16) are in that passage.” Those two verses just grabbed me.

And I really didn’t like them, I’ll be honest. It was kind of like, “I don’t want to be thankful. I don’t want to give thanks. What do I have to be thankful for right now? I just lost my husband!” And the Lord has spoken to me. I know the Lord doesn’t speak audibly, but He speaks to me now in ways that are just incredible.

It was like the Lord said, “I’m not giving you an option. This is not a suggestion! This is a command. You’re supposed to be giving thanks. It doesn’t say, ‘For everything give thanks,’” but in the midst of everything we’re supposed to give thanks. I was like, “Really, Lord?” And so I was like, “Okay. . .” I really believe with the giving thanks comes the joy.

And it’s like the more we give thanks, the more sunlight there is. We have all these clouds of despair or sorrow and grief, and things that are very real, things that are not sinful in and of themselves. But if we focus on all of that, we totally lose our joy, and then we lose our strength. It’s just like a downward spiral. 

That’s where spending time with the kids remembering the things that God has done for us since we’ve been back, remembering the blessings. Sometimes the kids will still say, “Oh! All of my Legos!” My one son lost all of his Legos. 

Nancy: Left in Cameroon.

Stephanie: Got left in Cameroon. My third son somehow weaseled away his entire foot locker, so his stuff came back, and I was like, “I don’t know how you worked that!” He’s very happy about that! But my older son, Charles, Jr., he lost his, and there are times he’ll still be like, “Mom, all of my Legos!”

We have to refocus and I say, “Yes, but look at all of these special ways God has blessed you since we’ve been back!” I’m always telling them, “In light of eternity, how important are those Legos?” And it just refocuses us: “Let’s thank God for all the ways that He has blessed us, and let’s not focus [on the hard things].” It’s like choosing where you’re going to focus.

Nancy: I want to go back, as we wrap here, to the memorial service, which my husband and I had the amazing privilege of attending. It was deeply moving! There were a lot of moments that really stood out to me, including a letter read that you had written. I’ve actually recited parts of that letter on another broadcast here at Revive Our Hearts.

But one moment was an old gospel song that I remember singing when I was young but a lot of people probably aren’t familiar with it, called, “It Will Be Worth it All.” 

Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear.
We're tempted to complain, to murmur and despair.
But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,
All tears forever over in God's eternal day.”

And then, that chorus . . . and I can still hear it in my head now, this large congregation singing: 

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life's trials will seem so small when we see Christ.
One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.”
(by Esther Kerr Rusthoi)

And this has been a theme in Charles’s life and in yours, this living in light of eternity. In fact, you’ve made a hashtag out of it and it appears periodically in your updates. How does living in light of that day help you get through this day?

Stephanie: One of the points he made, in that same message I referenced, that Charles always talked about living for eternity. That was that God is more concerned about how you finish than when you begin. I think one of his biggest fears was serving God, and then in his older years becoming more complacent or just not caring as much.

And that was a healthy fear he had. He did not want to become a complacent Christian in his older years. He wanted to stay on fire for the Lord and be found faithful. It was like, “I just want to be found faithful!” And he was! That is a driving fact for me, of even though he’s gone, I still have a race to run.

My life verses before this were already Hebrews 12:1 and 2: 

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses . . . let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

And my husband is a part of that great cloud of witnesses . . . and just remembering to lay aside the weights. My husband dying is a weight, the PTSD is a weight. All of these things that are things I would not have chosen are weights. I can’t do it. I have to choose daily to ask the Lord for His help to lay those weights aside and to keep running the race.

Some days I’m not running; some days I’m crawling! Some days it seems like we’re just taking a baby step at a time, but we keep pressing forward toward the mark.

Nancy: Keeping your eyes on the finish line.

Stephanie: Yes. And just remembering, like that song says, that it will be worth it all. A few people have said to me, “Charles prepared you for his death,” and he did. I’m so thankful for the way he was an encourager. He was a teacher.

Sometimes I would get really frustrated—“I’m your wife; I’m not your pupil!” But I’m so thankful now, looking back at all the ways he equipped me for his death. He equipped me to go on serving the Lord. I’m thankful that.

So far my kids have very much . . . One of the first thoughts that crossed my mind after Charles was killed, even when we were still in that car was, “None of my kids will want to serve God after this!” And that’s not the case. If it did anything for my sons, it put a fire in their souls to serve the God their daddy served!

Nancy: I saw that fire, not only in your children, but in a lot of other people. Going back to the memorial service again . . . It was an amazing moment, Stephanie—and I don’t know how much of it you were feeling at the moment—but just sitting there participating in that service when, at your request as I understand it . . .

All the missionary families from Cameroon, several of whom had come back for the service—parents, children, so there might have been, I don’t know, fifty people on that platform. You had them all come up. And that group from younger to older led the congregation in singing all the stanzas of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not,
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide.
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Nancy: It was a very moving moment, because one of the messages of that service was, “God is faithful! He doesn’t make mistakes! And we are here as the missionaries . . .” Their families, all your children were up there singing. “No matter what happens, God is faithful. He can be trusted! All we have needed His hand has provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”

And you were also saying, “We want others to go and fill the spot that Charles intended to fill but left behind.”

Stephanie: Yes.

Nancy: I don’t know what all has come out of that or what all will come out of that, but I know that hundreds of people sitting there that day, and I’m sure thousands, when you combine online . . . I’ve shared that story. I’m sure others have as well. There was a spark in a lot of hearts, including mine, that God can be trusted!

It’s not my faithfulness but His that keeps me in this race, keeps me in the battle, keeps me getting up in the morning when my heart is breaking or PTSD’s symptoms are—the flashbacks, the nightmares . . . God in His mercy has been setting you free from those, but it’s been a journey.

The thing I sense that you and your family (and it’s a big extended family; Charles’s family as well) have anchored your hearts to is the unchanging faithfulness of God. 

Stephanie: It’s powerful! Without His faithfulness, we cannot get through another day! We sang our way out of Cameroon during the evacuation. We sang all the way out. We sang “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” over and over and over again. That’s where hymns, that’s where Scripture . . . committing those things to memory is so important.

Nancy: But we really know it when we need it!

Stephanie: Yes. We really know it then. There were so many songs that God just gave us as gifts. The gifts of God are not only tangible, but His gifts during those days were just songs that were filled with His praises and His promises. There were verses that gave us a reason to hope, that gave us a reason not to lose sight of who He is and what He was going to continue to do for us.

Nancy: As I’ve heard your story and watched it unfold and listened to you talk over these last several programs, it’s just a reminder that you can’t—or you won’t—trust God to write your story when the story goes haywire, or the script seems to go off-script, when there is the inexplicable, when the mysteries of Providence are hard ones.

In those testing periods, if you haven’t been trusting God and getting to know His character and anchoring your heart to His Word and His truth, if you haven’t been doing that in the light, then when the lights go out, you’re not going to have that steady resting place for your soul.

Now that doesn’t mean if you have been anchoring your heart to God’s Word and His ways, that then when the lights go out it’s going to be easy. It hasn’t been, it isn’t for you. But your heart is tethered to His faithfulness, tethered to His Word in ways that have been developing since you were a little girl and through your teen years and your young adult years and your early marriage years. 

You’ve been getting to know God, you’ve been getting to know His faithfulness. So when His providences seem strange, seem like maybe even wrong, when they don’t make sense, you’re able to embrace the mysteries of His providence, because you have believed that God is trustworthy; He is faithful. 

It’s that which kicks in when the chips are down, when the lights are out and PTSD is nipping at your heels. It’s His faithfulness that ensures our faithfulness when we say, “Lord, I am so weak! I cannot do this!” You’ve been there so many times, and you will be more. You’ve still got eight young kids, and you’re still a widow. You don’t know what story God is going to write for you years down the road, but you have tethered your heart to the fact that God is faithful and He can be trusted, no matter what!

Stephanie: Yes, it’s that verse that says, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God . . .”(Rom. 8:38). That has just become so precious. Either it’s true or it isn’t. And I tell my kids that: “Either God’s Word is true or it isn’t; there’s no in-between. And we know it’s true! So we know we can plant our feet on it!”

And without that firm foundation, I totally understand why people that go through traumatic events crash and burn, why people commit suicide or go to drugs or these other things. Without that firm foundation you drown. You have nowhere to plant your feet on solid ground. It’s made the Lord and His Word so precious! I can’t begin to say how precious they are because of that!

Would I rewind and have my husband back? In heartbeat!

Nancy: Sure.

Stephanie: But at the same time, I wouldn’t change all that God has taught me about who He is to me, and that’s the most precious gift in the world—is knowing Jesus. For that I’m so grateful!

Dannah: The beauty of a heart that is really stayed on the Lord is something I never get tired of seeing! Stephanie Wesco has been sharing about the lessons she’s still in the process of learning in the year-and-a-half or so since her husband’s death. There’s a link to the full memorial service for Charles Wesco at our website

Also, be sure to listen to the bonus material we just didn’t have time for in the program. There’s a touching montage of poignant things Stephanie wrote in social media posts I don’t want you to miss. Again, our website is

Nancy mentioned the book she and Robert wrote: You Can Trust God to Write Your Story: Embracing the Mysteries of Providence. There’s a brand-new discussion guide coming out very soon to accompany the book. Both the book and the digital copy of the discussion guide are our way of thanking you for your donation of any amount to support Revive Our Hearts.

Head on over to right now or call us at 1–800–569–5959. Ask for Nancy’s book and discussion guide on trusting God when you contact us. I hope you have a safe and joyful Independence Day weekend.

And you know what? It might be an opportunity for us to pray for people like Stephanie Wesco and young Charles, who have had such troubling experiences. The sound of fireworks just might create serious flashbacks. Let’s remember them in our prayers this weekend.

Then be back with us on Monday. Nancy’s brother Mark will show us how to incorporate biblical wisdom in every part of life. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants you to tether your heart to God’s faithfulness! The program is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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About the Teacher

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.