Revive Our Hearts Radio

Feeling Alone in a Crisis

Leslie Basham: Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss, host of Revive Our Hearts.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The program you are about to hear is possible thanks to listeners like you who appreciate this ministry and support it with their prayers and finances. If the Lord has used Revive Our Hearts to minister to you, your family, or to your friends, would you consider investing back into the ministry at this time?

We're coming right up to the end of our fiscal year, May 31. As we've been sharing this month, that's an important time when we wrap up the books and make decisions about the outreach that we're able to advance in the months ahead. Lord willing, there are many exciting months ahead.

We're prayerfully hoping to be able to ramp up what has been the recent embryonic launch of our Spanish language broadcast. We're hoping to be able to finish up the studios we're building in to give our producers the space and the tools that they need. Then, there are the monthly operating expenses involved in producing and broadcasting Revive Our Hearts on several hundred outlets each weekday.

All of that is why we're asking God to provide at least $350,000 between now and the end of the month of May. So would you ask the Lord whether He might have you partner with us financially at this important time? Thank you so much.

Leslie: Just contact us at ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1-800-569-5959. 

This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, May 25.

Nancy: If you haven't been with us for the last couple of programs,  we’ve been listening to a very poignant story from a woman named Kim Jaggers, who is here with us in the studio at Revive Our Hearts. We're in the process of how God brings treasures out of darkness and beauty out of ashes. If you're like me, as you listened to the last program, you may have found your eyes filling up with tears as Kim's did. Even though what she was sharing took place more than 15 years ago, it’s obviously still very fresh to her—not only the pain, but also the goodness and the grace of God in the midst of the pain.

Kim I know that some of those who are listening today, weren’t with us over the last couple of days. Of course, they can go back to ReviveOurHearts.com and pick up the transcripts of the story. For those who are just listening right now and didn't hear this story, just give us in a nutshell what you’ve shared over the past couple of days. We want to pick up the story, but I want to catch up to speed those who weren't with us.

You were married to Rick, had a precious three year old, and then a one year old who was severely needy physically at birth—in and out of hospitals—and at age one needing major surgery—serious surgery, life-threatening surgery. In the midst of all that, you received yet another huge blow. Just bring us up to speed about that part of your journey.

Kim: It was during this time while Ben was in for the surgery that my husband took his life. Most men want to be able to fix things, and our life had just fallen to pieces. No one could fix our circumstances. Ben was very sick, our finances had crumbled, we'd lost our home, and Rick had during this time instead of turning to the Lord, had turned to cocaine. He had become horribly addicted to cocaine. The events of our lives continued to go downhill. Our son became sicker and sicker and required surgery that was a very risky surgery and the doctors had told us that he might not make it through.

It was during this time, while Ben was in intensive care after coming out of that surgery, that Rick had gone missing. He’d been missing for five days. On the fifth day, the police had found him, and he’d taken his life.

Nancy: So you're in ICU with this very sick child, having recently discovered that your husband was addicted to cocaine, and now find that your husband is gone. Kim, as we've been listening to your story, it's really apparent that there are really two places that we can turn when trouble hits. It's not a matter of if trouble comes, it's when trouble comes. Trouble had come to your family, and your husband had not chosen to turn to the Lord in that period. He made some attempts, some efforts perhaps, but ultimately just despaired of life itself and took the path that ultimately leads to death.

In the midst of all that, you were going through the very same circumstances. As a mom, you're not knowing if your child is going to survive, you've just lost your husband, and you could have at that point despaired yourself. Certainly there had to be many moments when you wanted to.

Kim: There were many moments where I wanted to die. I wanted to give up. I thought, “Lord, I can't take this.” But by God's grace, I chose to believe Him. I chose to run to His Word, to test every thought and emotion by what His Word said. That's what kept me going. It was Him and Him alone. There is no extra dose of strong in me. I don't handle things any better than anyone else, but that is when I try to handle it.

When I run to God and give Him my burdens—whether those be the overwhelming burdens, or just the day-to-day burdens

  • That's where the strength comes.
  • That's where He carries us in the way that gives us the peace that doesn't make any sense.
  • That gives us strength to go on.
  • That is joy that doesn't look like our circumstances should predict.
  • That's where we find those things that is in that grace to choose to know what is it that God says, and then to choose to obey Him with everything we've got.
  • That's where we can go when life gets crazy.

Nancy: Some people would say you're denying reality by taking that kind of approach, or that you're being a Pollyanna (we hear that term used in the negative way). You're just playing "the glad game," pretending like everything's okay. But you really did feel the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking pain, and you took it to the Lord. Did you find yourself being really honest with the Lord about what you were experiencing?

Kim: Oh, yes. I had every emotion that you could expect me to have. I was upset. I was mad. I thought, “Lord, I’ve been trying to follow you with everything I have that I’ve got, and things have not turned out pretty.” I think one of the biggest lies that the enemy will use is that once you become a Christian, everything is going to work out great for you.

Nancy: Once you became a Christian, things really started to fall apart, as far as your circumstances.

Kim: That's right. I went the opposite direction. But God is God, and He can be trusted. He can give us a perspective to enjoy life in a way that is not dependent on our circumstances. When I say enjoy, I don't mean that I don't get upset, that things don't happen that I don't like. It still does. But I know that God is able to take everything and bring beauty from ashes, bring the oil of gladness out for those who are mourning.

All of the time the enemy wants to keep us down and keep us defeated, not only by our circumstances, but by our emotions and by what we believe about God. That's why we have to run to Him daily for His truth. The enemy is the great liar, the great deceiver, and he wants us to not think right about things. The Bible says, “As the man thinks in his heart, so he is” (Pr. 23:7 NKJV). We need to take our thoughts and check them by God's holy Word, so that in that way we can walk out this life—even though it's not going to be pretty all of the time, it's not going to be easy—but we can walk it out in victory when we keep walking toward Jesus.

Nancy: And you really did find God’s Word to be an anchor for your heart in those topsy-turvy, emotionally desperate days.

Kim: Yes, a daily anchor. At that time I was with two little boys that were 1 and 3. And I’m a single mom who had never thought she'd be a single mom. I’d gone from my daddy’s home to Rick’s home. I’d always had someone taking care of things like gas, oil changes, mowing the yard—all of those things I never even knew what to do. In addition to that, I had a baby who needed medication every hour and a half around the clock. I was worn out physically. He had so many lines that would come from his body that at night he would roll over and an alarm would go off. Not only was I getting up to give him medicine, I was getting up with those alarms. I was absolutely worn out.

Nancy: In that worn-out condition, how did you find time to get into the Word?

Kim: I prayed that God would multiply my time, that He would give me an energy and a hunger. I would get up deliberately at 5 a.m. Before I went to coffee, I went to my Word. He strengthened me. He gave me energy. He would give me a very specific word that I knew I would need that day. As the boys got older, Ben would look at me sometimes and say things like, “Mommy, you grumpy. You not read your Bible today?” They could tell whether or not I had had that time with the Lord, because my whole countenance would change if I had not, for some reason. I can't go a day without it—and several times during the day. I have my hand on my Bible right now because it’s such a sense of security and direction for me.

Nancy: When Scripture says, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that precedes from the mouth of God," that's true! (Deut. 8:3 NKJV).

Kim: That is true. And live, to me, is a key word, because we want to live in victory. We need to live with Him every day. We need to prepare for the hard times that are going to come. You may be going through a good time right now. You cannot neglect His Word, because we need Him every day. We need to prepare for that battles that are coming.

Nancy: That's really what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7 where He talks about two men who built houses. He says that every person who hears my Word and does it, the one who stakes his life on it and believes and acts on it is like the one who built his house on a strong, solid foundation. And when the storms of life came—which again, they always do sooner or later—that house stood firm.

But He said the person who hears my words and does not do them—he may know them intellectually, but doesn't receive them in faith and act on them—that person is like the man who builds his house on a sandy, flimsy foundation. And when the storms came, they buried that house (see vv. 24-27).

The way that we respond when we are under pressure, when life falls apart, when life unravels, that's an evidence of whether we've been building our lives on the Word of God. Once you get into the crisis, it's too late. I mean, it's not really too late, but how much better to start in advance, and prepare our hearts for what life may bring that’s around the corner that we have no idea but to be girded up and have our minds and our hearts tethered to the Word of God.

That's really what you had been doing in those few years leading up to this point, as you had been living in the Word of God and letting it live in you. When the bottom fell out, you had an anchor. You had a strong foundation. Though your world fell apart, your house had stayed strong.

Kim: Because He is who He says He is. Certainly for the hard days we need Him. But you know, He makes the good days even better. When we read about having life to the full, there’s nothing like a relationship with Christ. It is the most wonderful thing. People will tell me I’ve remarried and that things are good for me now. All of that is just icing on the cake. God is my cake. He is my everything. I would never ask to walk that hard road, except I do not think I would know Him like I know Him now. There is nothing sweeter, nothing richer than a real personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You'll never find that in a religion. You will never find that anywhere except in the real person of Jesus.  If you don’t know Him, oh, how you need to know Him!

Nancy: It was knowing Him and knowing Him through His Word that was walking you through the long hard days that lay ahead after you lost your husband and still with that sick child. There is something else that God used in your life. As I've heard your story, the body of Christ was an amazing means of grace during that time. Talk with us about some of the needs you experienced as a young, single mom with a sick child, and how God used the body to minister to you in that season.

Kim:
At this point, we had started construction on a house. I was at Westpark Baptist, which is a smaller church in the area, and they came and finished that house for me. They worked on the house. They built that home for me. People would come and sit with me, not necessarily to talk, but just to sit with me and let me take a nap. Diapers would show up at my door. At one point when we were doing better and we were able to go to church, I was short on gas money. I turned around and shook a man's hand, and he put a $20 bill in my hand, which got me home.

God loved me over and over again through other people. The ladies at the church would send me cards with Scripture on it that was so good for that day. I remember one particular day when—having boys, you know they're rowdy some times—just being tired and knowing I needed to get up and discipline them. I was just tired and thinking, “Lord would you just help me.” I went to the mailbox and there was a card that said, “I will be a father to the fatherless.” The church was very intentional about being God's hands and feet. They were very good at letting me see Jesus because of them.

Nancy: Did they initiate most of that, or did you at some point go and let somebody know that you had a need?

Kim: That's a very humbling experience. It’s hard to be real and say, “I’m falling apart. I need someone to help me.” But that allows others people to receive a blessing when they're able to bless you. There were days I had to walk outside of that American, prideful, I-can-take-care-of-myself mentality and say, “This is going on in my day, or in my life, could you help?” Because of God, they were so good to do so much for me and for my little boys.

Nancy: How did they minister to your children?

Kim: They were very good at wrestling with boys. They have a need to identify with men. They’d come over and just play, or bring their children to play. At that point I think that allowed particularly Will, who was a little bit older, to see godly men. He was dealing with what his father had done, and how does he relate that to God. So he was able to see God in men in very normal ways.

Nancy: Were you aware that people were praying for you through this period?

Kim: Yes. Like the cards with Scripture, people would just tell me that they were lifting me up and covering me in prayer, and covering my boys in prayer. That was just so huge. The enemy is very good at shooting those fiery darts at us. He wants to get us down and keep us down. That prayer provided protection for my family, and still does. That is such a key to anything we're doing to have it covered in prayer.

Nancy: During those next couple of years, what would you say were some of the greatest battles that you faced as a single mom? What were the hardest things about being a single mom with little kids.

Kim:
It’s so hard to have been happy in a marriage and in sharing children. I remember so many times wanting to say, “Do you know what your son did today?” Wanting to share that with Rick and having that empty feeling that I could not share that moment with someone that was his other parent.

It was hard not wanting to replace Rick right away with anybody who came along. I think the enemy would tempt us to believe that you just need to fill that role with someone. But God—through women in my church—said to me when if and when I began to consider getting married again, we’d like to help hold you accountable. What are the traits of a godly man I was looking for. We actually wrote them down, and they held me accountable to that.

That's the way that the body comes in and helps us to make good decisions. We need to be connected to a body. It’s so hard for single moms to be connected to the body. The enemy wants to make them feel like they don’t belong here. Your family doesn't look like all of the other families here. So they stay away, and they are so tired. There were many times where  pajamas on Sundays sounded really good to me. But I knew I needed to go, and I needed to take my children.

Even though I was one of the few single moms in our congregation, they were very intentional about loving on me and my children. I would show up in the parking lot and somebody would grab my diaper bag or Ben’s heart monitor or something to help me, and how much that meant to have that.

Nancy: There is such a balancing act there of realizing that we do need the body and drawing upon what they can provide. And yet realizing what you had come to understand earlier, and that is ultimately, there’s no one and nothing that can fill the deepest needs of our hearts apart from Christ. Not a husband. Not children. Not friends. There are those moments when there is just nothing and no one else there. You had found what has become a mantra for you that Christ really is enough.

Kim: I think Jesus allowed enough of a lonely time—enough of a time where the phone wasn't ringing, the cards weren't coming, the boys were asleep—and it was in those lonely moments where He did speak very clearly through His Word to comfort me, and to lift my head, and to tell me that I could go on. He helped me hold onto His promises that He would bring beauty from ashes. He revealed Himself to me in a way that continues to be so precious to me because He is enough. Everything else truly is icing on the cake—all those good things. But Jesus is my reason to live. He is so real.

I think so many times we get confused by what the world and religion says about Him, because we haven’t taken the time to truly develop a love relationship with the King of Kings. That’s what my heart is that others will know Him and taste and see how good He is—not only for the hard times, but for the good times, that those days are even better when you're walking with Him.

Song from Hidden in My Heart CD:

Be still my soul.
Be still and know that He is God.

Nancy: The story we're hearing this week makes two things clear. First, life can be incredibly difficult. Second, in any and every circumstance we might face, the Lord can provide His peace in a way that is beyond human understanding. Over the years, I’ve often found that peace by filling my mind with God's Word.

In recent months a CD has been helping me. I've been calling it my new favorite CD. It's called Hidden in My Heart. This is actually a collection of biblical passages set to lullabies. Its a great resource for parents of young children. I want to assure you that it will bring peace to anyone's heart, regardless of their age.

I've seen it happen over and over to my own heart, when I have faced stressful days.I know I'm not the only one who has stressful days. So that's why I want to send you a copy of Hidden in My Heart as a way of saying thank you when you donate any amount to Revive Our Hearts.

Now as we've been sharing with you, we're trusting God for $350,000 in contributions during the month of May. This is the end of our fiscal year. That means we're making decisions, evaluating the level of ministry we can commit to over the next 12 months. We're also anticipating the summer months when contributions can tend to be down a bit.

If you've never before given to Revive Our Hearts, you have a unique chance to help us meet this month's goal. That's because some friends of the ministry have offered to match the gift of every new supporter to a challenge amount of $60,000. We hope you'll help us to meet and exceed that amount. The number to call is 1-800-569-5959, or if you'd rather make a gift online, you can do that at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be back tomorrow again with our guest Kim Jaggers. We'll find out what happened to Ben, the child who was in so much need when we last heard about him. Kim is also available on the Revive Our Hearts listener blog today and tomorrow. You can scroll down to the bottom of today's transcript and leave your question or comment on today's program. Kim Jaggers will be checking in and responding. Again, that's at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the radio series.

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