I Lost My Husband. Covid Funeral & Continued Living Expenses – Can You Help? #WhatIf #LetsPullTogether

Hello friends, and I hope you are doing well.

I don’t normally post things like this, but in this difficult time we are going through, we all need to pull together. Just about all of us know someone who either has Covid, or has died from it. As I said previously in my last post, on Aug. 29th, 2020, I lost my husband and the love of my life, Stacy Keith Stewart, to Covid. This December 23rd would have been our 6th wedding anniversary.

Keith and me at Soco Falls, near Cherokee, NC a couple of years ago.

As I have said, we were in the process of trying to form K & F Stewart Ministries when we both became ill with Covid. I have since recovered, but as Keith was immune suppressed, he was unable to recover from the complications that developed from it. We had big dreams for our ministry and I am continuing as best I can, only now, without his income. I will finish what we started, and I still have some great new books planned, but I need your help.

Due to my nature, I am not one to like to have to ask for help, but we all need a little help once in a while. I am currently facing a mountain of medical bills, as well as funeral expenses still owed as a result of his unexpected passing. As it is, when we started our life together, we never anticipated something like this happening so soon, so we did not have life insurance. (I know, who at this age doesn’t have life insurance, right?) Well, we didn’t, and although there were a couple of other policies his dad had on him, one hasn’t been found, and what has been made available is just insufficient to cover the mountain of debt I have been left with, as well as living expenses, including car repairs, due to our car breaking down. It’s basically worn out from all the trips back and forth due to his hereditary kidney disease he suffered from, plus 4 weeks of radiation treatments I had to take for breast cancer.

It has not been easy going on without him, and struggling to make ends meet without his income now. I miss him every day, as I am sure you are no doubt, missing someone who has passed from this dreaded disease as well. So let’s pull together. You help me, and I will be able to continue in the work we started that God has called me to do, so I can write more great books that will help you. If you or someone you know has lost someone, whether to Covid, or any other cause, here is a post I did 3 years ago that you might find encouraging. Here is the link to the Go Fund Me Fundraiser that has been set up if you would like to donate.

Continued Living and Funeral Expense Fundraiser – Go Fund Me Page

You will be making an investment in my continuing in the dreams we had, and more great books coming in the near future, one of which is coming soon, which Keith and I wrote together, titled “LOGAN Chain of Grace”, about a little boy who goes missing and starts a chain reaction of God’s grace that will turn his whole town upside down. Having worked in Corrections, Keith contributed to the Law Enforcement aspects of the story. It’s in the final editing stages now and will be published under our imprint, Rivers of Grace Books. Subscribe via the tab above so you won’t miss it!

Our book, LOGAN Chain of Grace, is coming soon!

If you can help, wonderful, it will be much appreciated by me and our family. If you can’t, that’s okay too. You can help by praying, or even sharing this post to your Facebook or your friends. You can also help by purchasing a copy of my latest book, “CPR for Your Faith from Beyond Death’s Door”, via the link to the right, or the links below…

Amazon – eBook or print

Barnes & Noble – Hard Cover edition

Books-A-Million – Paperback

Your donation or purchase will help me keep moving forward as I work to carry on what Keith and I started together, and it will be appreciated more than you know. More great books are coming, as well as some more free downloads. So, let’s keep praying. Let’s keep pulling together. I’m praying for you, too. ❤

And now, just to say thank you, here’s a little encouragement for us all by Reba McEntire…

“CPR for Your Faith from Beyond Death’s Door – 35th Anniversary Special Free Book Promotion…a Calm in the Storms of 2020

I don’t think anyone would disagree with me that 2020 has been a rough year. Have you lost a loved one this year to Covid (or anything else for that matter)? Is your family struggling with the financial setbacks and utter chaos that the “storms” of this year have left in their wake? Have you or someone you love been through some other traumatic event? Have you thought about giving up? Well, please wait before you do, and read this…

I can relate to you, believe me. Which brings me to why I haven’t been on much for the past few months. I can honestly say in more ways than one, that this has just about been the worst year of my life, and it’s not over yet. In truth, there are not many people who can say this pandemic has not affected them or someone they love. Many more will eventually be affected by it. So, back to why I haven’t been on here posting much…

On July 17th 2020, I tested positive for Covid 19. My dear, precious husband, Keith, received a false negative and was sent home. Not a week later, he was in the hospital. The strange thing is, the way this virus seems to work. As some on the medical team that cared for Keith told me, they are still learning about the way it works and how to treat it. Just when we thought he was getting better, he took a turn for the worst. He had been texting me, saying they were going to try and get him up in the chair, and that he was going to try to eat. A couple of days later, he was intubated. After only a week, he maxed out on the ventilator, and was placed on an artificial lung (ECMO machine – Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation). Keep in mind, that all this time, I was unable to even be with him.

Finally, he tested, then retested negative, and they were able to move him out of the Covid unit, into the Surgical ICU, but only one could visit (one designated visitor per family). But even though the virus was gone, the damage was done. On the evening of Saturday, August 29th, after they had exhausted every effort to save him, we gathered around him to say our goodbyes, and I held the hand of the love of my life as he slipped away. And no, I will not ever “get over it”. But I will also not let the enemy use it to destroy me.

Me with my late husband, Stacy Keith Stewart, from our engagement pictures, I think a couple of months before our wedding, Dec. 23, 2014

You don’t have to let the storms you’ve been through destroy you either. Just about all of us have lost someone to this pandemic, or even other circumstances. For those who have lost a spouse, as I have, here is a song by someone else who recently lost her husband. I found it comforting. This is a tribute Libbi Stuffle, of The Perrys, sang as a tribute to him. I was blessed to get to meet her a couple of years ago when Keith and I, and our pastor and his wife, were in Gatlinburg, TN at the Convention Center for the Church of God Sr. Talent Nationals…

We can all agree this has been a terrible year, or…

We can choose that we are not going to let the enemy use these tribulations and tragedies to destroy us, and we can trust in the God Who has promised us He will never leave us nor forsake us to help us salvage the memories, and the ways He can use it to strengthen us and work through us to help others. It’s really our choice. Each of us must decide whether we are going to let the devil use it all to harden us and make us bitter, or whether we are going to surrender it to the One Who loves us more than we can ever understand, and trust Him to use it all to make us stronger in a way that will bring Him glory. Jesus said in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”.

Today marks the 35th anniversary of a very traumatic event in my life, one that not only almost took my life, but it nearly destroyed me. In my book, “CPR for Your Faith from Beyond Death’s Door”, you can read my story of my Near Death Experience in a horrific car accident on November 16, 1985, what I have learned in the years since on my journey to recovery with my Savior, Jesus Christ, and how He turned it around into the powerful testimony it is now. So, if you have been through a traumatic event, or lost a loved one/s to this pandemic, or other tragedies, and felt like giving up, I honestly feel that what He has given me to share with you in this book is the “CPR” your weakened faith needs. In the book, I will also get into a little about what the Bible calls “the falling away”, that would happen in the last days. My friends, many are giving up on their faith and turning their backs on God, at a time when as I said toward the end of the book, “giving up is simply not an option. You don’t have to end up being one of them.

FREE KINDLE EBOOK! Click here to download my book, 11-17-2020 through 11-21-2020!

None of us are promised tomorrow. Don’t let the one time you decide to give up on God be the day you end up paying the price for eternity. God didn’t bring sin, sickness, and death into the world. Our sin did that. But He did send His Son, Jesus into the world to bear all our sin on that cross so we could have a way to escape the high cost of our sin: eternal damnation and torment, and separation from God forever. Jesus paid it all. Don’t believe me? Let my 12-Year-Old self explain…Click here to read more about that 😉 , and how to surrender all to Christ and be saved. I could go on all day and get into more scripture to help you out, but I think the book does a pretty good job of that.

We can’t do anything about these terrible storms of trauma and the trials of tribulation, sickness, and death we are all facing now, but we can choose to not let the enemy use it to destroy us. We can choose to be thankful for the memories we had with our loved ones, and trust our Heavenly Father to guide us as we cherish these priceless “gems” in the treasure box of our hearts, and show us how He can use it to help others. We can choose to help each other, reach out to one another and comfort others, as He comforts us (see 2 Corinthians 1:4). We can choose to surrender it all to Him, so He can take what the enemy wanted to use to destroy us and turn it all around into a powerful, ground-breaking testimony that will bring others to Him. Now THAT’S how we can all give the storms of 2020 a swift kick in the pants!

So, let me help. Consider this my little humble contribution, a “calm in the storms”. This week only, from Tuesday, November 17, 2020, through Saturday, November 21, 2020, you can download the eBook version of my book, “CPR for Your Faith from Beyond Death’s Door” (“Resuscitating the Christian Heart…Yes, Your Ship is Coming In!”) from Amazon (Kindle) for FREE!

Click here to visit my Amazon page for the book and download your FREE copy!

Each of us has some way we can help if we stop seeing ourselves as “victims” of whatever has happened to us, and start seeing ourselves through His eyes instead. It’s time for us to come together and unite as the Body of Christ and get out of the “victim mentality” that the enemy is using to destroy so many. It’s time for us to come together and take the rest of 2020 by “storm”, a storm that is much bigger and more powerful than anything we will ever face in this world. It’s time for us to work together and escort the storms of 2020 out with the power of God’s promises that He knew we would need during this time, that are right there in His Word for us. It’s time for us to trust Him to help us “mount up with wings as eagles” (Isaiah 40:31) and soar above the storms of this life and see the bigger picture of the plan He has for each of us (see Jeremiah 29:11). Surrender to defeat, or soar to new heights? It’s a choice each of us must make on our own.

Are you a victim, or a victor in Christ? I choose victory. After all, through God’s grace, I have survived an accident that took the lives of 2 people, breast cancer, and Covid, and the loss of my husband of almost 6 years. I’ve also seen God’s grace carry my family through the difficult years after the loss of my brother, Charles, at only 9 years old, when I was 12, and our younger brother just had started school. I’m still here, and I’m not giving up. And you aren’t either. After all, as the old song by Ray Stevens says, “United, we stand, divided, we fall.” We’re all in this together, and if we work together and help each other, we’ll make it, by God’s grace. Without Him, and our Savior, Jesus Christ, we are nothing. Believe me, I tried for too many years to struggle through it all on my own, without His help. It won’t work. He said in John 15:5 (NKJV), “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” I have found this to be true, the hard way. It is so much easier letting Him carry the load, but He will not force us to surrender it all to Him. The right choice is the truth that will set us free, the calm in our storms, by the Master of the Seas, the One Who is still calming storms, if we only believe in Him. Now, here is another powerful encouraging song by Natalie Grant, who is also currently recovering from Covid. I had the blessing of singing in her back up choir a few years ago. There is nothing like the power of praising Him right in the middle of our storms, then watching Him calm our seas, and brighten our horizons, as only He can…

What will you salvage from the “Storms of 2020”? We may not know what the future holds, but as our Church of God General Overseer, Bishop Tim Hill, says in his book, “The Speed of Favor”, we can rest in calm assurance in knowing that our awesome and almighty God is already there. After all, remember, after the storm comes the rainbow. 🙂 I’m still here, 35 years later, after the enemy tried to take me out, and has several times since, because God still has work for me to do. You are still here because He still has a purpose for you, but we’ll get more into that in the book!

So, go and download my eBook while it’s FREE this week, and be encouraged. Then, go and start telling your own story. Know someone who could be uplifted by this information? Please share using the buttons below! May God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!

The Light that Still Guides Us: Reaching Out to Those that No Longer Feel the Joy of Christmas

“When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” – Matthew 2:9-11

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”
Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Three wise men and the star

Well, here it is, Christmas time again, everyone’s favorite time of year…or not…

Unfortunately, with each passing year, more and more people I know have ended up in that second category. For these people and their families, the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays no longer hold the joy they once did. They are unable to feel the joy of the season because of the overwhelming feelings of grief and sadness. In many cases, the loss of their loved one has happened unexpectedly, only weeks or days before the beginning of the holiday season. Then too, others are unable to “get into the spirit” because they know they will be spending the holidays alone. Of course, being a “military brat” myself, my Dad having served fourteen years in the U.S. Army, I know first hand, there are many who have a loved one who happens to be deployed at the time of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I also know what it’s like to feel the pangs of grief because of a loved one taken way too soon, and the big hole it leaves in your heart, and your family. For these reasons, I couldn’t let this Christmas go by without at least offering my take on it all. I know that all the pretty words in the world won’t bring a loved one back, but still, a comforting word from one who’s been there can help more than you know.

No matter what reason a family you know might find themselves with an empty chair at their Christmas table this year, we cannot forget the reason we are celebrating Christmas in the first place, and it is because of Him, our Savior, Jesus Christ, God’s gift to us, that was given so that we could receive the gift of eternal life. We cannot forget that if we have that light of hope in our hearts that comes through having a relationship with Him, then we can share that light with others who are less fortunate than ourselves, those who are hurting, and those who are so overcome with sadness and grief, especially when it involves one who was lost way too soon, who had their whole lives ahead of them. I know several classmates (different schools) who have tragically lost a child. I also know from experience, what my family, especially my parents, went through when we lost my brother, Charles, at only 9 years old. The Christmas of ’77 is forever etched in my memory, and at times over the years, it has seemed almost as if I have been unable to move past that point. There were 3 of us kids, I was the oldest, 12 at the time. Our younger brother had just started school. Charlie’s passing left a big hole in our family that nothing can ever fill…that is, except the love and comfort of our Savior, the “peace that passes understanding”. But those who are hurting will never know we care, and that He cares, if we don’t share it with them.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16

For those families, friends, or others we may know who are going through this, it goes without saying that it can be rather painful, to see all of the photos posted on (I’ll just say, “social media”), of the seemingly picture perfect families, and the beautifully set holiday dinner tables. Then too, even for those who still manage to gather together for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or even a New Year’s party, no matter how nicely and festively, or sparsely, their table might be set, it does nothing for the emptiness and pain of grief they feel because of that empty chair, where someone they loved should have been. Whether it’s a family grieving the loss of a loved one, a family facing Christmas without a deployed parent, husband, or wife, or someone spending Christmas alone for the first time, (I’ve been through my share of “Hard Candy Christmases”, too) it can be all too easy to label them a “Scrooge” or a “Grinch” when they post on social media about how they are unable to get into the Christmas spirit, or something to that extent (Okay, so you just thought it, that’s still just as bad, but hey, we’re all guilty on that one). I’ll even go so far as to say that with all that has been going on lately, and having just lost a cousin on my Dad’s side, I will admit I myself have been feeling more like a “Scrooge” at the beginning of the season. But let’s just back this whole thing up a minute…

This morning, my husband and I were led to Matthew, chapter 18. At the beginning of the chapter, Jesus calls a little child to Him, and tells those listening, that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we must all become like little children. So, to illustrate my point, I am going to do just that…

My youngest grandson recently spent some time with us during a period of transition with his daycare, and during that time, he wanted to watch “The Grinch that Stole Christmas”, the movie version with Jim Carrey as the Grinch, again and again. So, after awhile, I found myself really thinking about that story. I still remember the cartoon version of it we used to watch as kids. In the story, of course, we all know how the Grinch went to all that trouble to steal all the Christmas gifts, the turkeys and fixings for the Whos’ Christmas dinners, and even the Christmas trees, down to the last ornament, which he snatches up with glee, yet in the end, Christmas still came, without all the boxes, bags, bows, gifts, Christmas trees or decorations.

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”

Perhaps, if we really stop and think about it for a moment, we can really begin to see how the moral of this story applies to all of us. Christmas will come, whether or not our tables are decorated with all the fancy fixings, or the least that could be afforded. It will come whether or not our homes are all aglow with lights and decorations, and it will come, no matter what is under the tree, or how many or how few gifts there are. And it will come just the same, to those who have empty chairs at their Christmas dinner table.

For those of us who have the Savior, our Lord, Jesus Christ living in our hearts, it is that same light that lit up the night sky those years ago as the bright, shining star that the wise men followed until they came to where the Christ child lay, that is still guiding us. (And by the way, as far as I have been able to see, the Bible does not actually say there were “three” wise men. It doesn’t even mention how many there were, or if they actually rode camels. In fact, although most pictures we’ve seen depict three wise men on camels following the star, and the “stable” in the distance, the Bible actually seems to indicate that it was probably sometime later before they arrived to see Him. Note that in verse 11 of Matthew 2, above, it says, “and when they had come into the house…”, not a stable. Click here to read more on this.)

So what I am saying is…if we truly have His light shining in us, then it goes without saying that we will be looking around us and taking note of those who can no longer feel the joy of Christmas. We will be His hands reaching out to help them in whatever way we can, whether it’s through sending a card, providing some needed food supplies, or a meal. We will be His mouth speaking a comforting word, and His feet walking to do whatever we can to show them we care, for if that light is truly shining within us, then and only then, will they see and feel the true, healing, and comforting joy and peace of Christmas.

That light is still guiding us, for the same Christ that the wise men worshipped that night, is the One Who lives inside of each of us, and “Christmas” is already inside of us. It is that light that they’re looking for, not what’s under the tree or on the table. So, think of this, next time you wish someone a Merry Christmas. And if we can’t show that love of Christ to others in need, whether they are friends, family, or people we don’t even know, then perhaps we’re the ones being a “Grinch” or a “Scrooge”. Besides, if we take even a moment to look at Christmas through the eyes of little “Cindy Lou Who”, perhaps it is then, that it will all make a bit more sense.

If the light of His love, the light of God’s hope that lit that star up those years ago, is truly shining through us, then every day is Christmas! Why wait for that one time of year to actually reach out and show His love to others? With that said, thanks for stopping by, feel free to share this with anyone who could use it! I hope you and your family have a truly wonderful Christmas, and a blessed New Year!