How God Rescued Me From Despair

Last year at this time I was celebrating the release of my book Little Women, Big God and facing the possibility of cancer. The month my book released my doctor sent me for a sonogram for a mass around my right ovary. Then she sent me for an MRI. Then she sent me to an oncologist.

Since I lost both of my parents to cancer, just calling to make an appointment with a GYN oncologist rattled me. I had to wait two months for surgery. My extended family wanted me to get a doctor who could see me sooner. Waiting was hard on them too.

While the possibility of ovarian cancer shook me, I experienced a peace that surpassed understanding. My son commented, “Mom, you seem calmer about this than you do about everyday hassles.” I’m not sure that was a compliment! But it was true. This was bigger than I could handle. I had to lean on God. Every time anxiety started to surface I declared His promises.

One verse God led me to was Psalm 118:17 (NIV). “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.” I repeated it out loud many times while I waited for surgery.

The byline of my book is “It’s not the size of your problems, but the size of your God.” God reminded me that He was bigger than any problem.

When I pictured driving up to the towering oncology building I felt like I was facing a giant. In the story of David and Goliath, David told his giant, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty” (1 Sam. 17:45 NIV).

David focused on the name of the Lord, not the name of the giant. #power Share on X

David focused on the name of the Lord, not the name of the giant. I realized that whenever I focused on the name of possible giants I felt defeated. If my surgery uncovered a giant named cancer it didn’t change who God was. He was and is still bigger than any giant. He also reminded me that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He is even bigger than death.

Thankfully, my mass was benign. I’m thankful for God’s mercy and for granting me peace when I didn’t know how it would turn out. I’m thankful for all who held me up with their faithful prayers. I guess I needed another reminder: it isn’t the size of my problem, but the size of my God.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33 NLT).

On what are you concentrating? Small problems can rob our joy as surely as big ones if we center on them. When we focus on Jesus instead of our problems we have peace.

When we focus on Jesus instead of our problems we have peace. #truth Share on X

Question: What giant taunts you? Which of Jesus’ names slays your giant and rescues you from despair?

Click here to comment.



For Men Only

Larry will be hosting an evening on “Setting the Stage for Better Engagement” at Lighthouse tonight, Tuesday evening April 4th, from 7:00-9:00 P.M. for single and married men. The session is our gift to you.

Contact info: (919) 469-2477; email; 104 D Fountain Brook Circle, Cary, NC 27511

Little Women, Big God 

Meet the surprising women in Jesus’s family tree as they journey through impossible circumstances and discover that quality of life is not determined by the size of our problems but by the size of our God. Click here to learn more.

Sometimes I link up with these great sites:

#Moments of Hope, #Teaching What Is Good#w2wwordfilledwednesday, #Wedded Wednesday, #Women with Intention,  #HeartEncouragement, #LivefreeThursday#Grace and Truth, #Dance with Jesus,  #Fresh Market Friday

More From This Category

Why Hardship May Show God’s Love for You

Why Hardship May Show God’s Love for You

Years ago, a book by a zookeeper told how mama giraffes knock the feet out from under their newborn babies when they are learning to stand. That sounds like a cruel “Welcome to the world.” However, the opposite is true. In the world of lions and tigers, a baby...

read more



  1. Ann

    Debbie I remember when you went through this and I am very happy you came through healed and whole! I can strongly relate – when I was about to go in for emergency surgery and looking at the concern and fear on my family’s faces – I was smiling and calm and totally at peace. Psalm 118:17 came to my mind often as well and I kept feeling God telling me, “it won’t end this way,” and thankfully it did not! I also think my kids would say what your son said – I feel like I was so supernaturally calm through the whole thing – yet small things set me off way too easily sometimes! You are absolutely right – our focus needs to be on the size of our God and His Name – not our problem or crisis!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, I remember you illness too. We have much to be thankful for. And so wonderful to know God is with us in our trials. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  2. Pam Ecrement

    This is a great reflection! I recall this season of yours well and was so thankful for how the Lord moved…first in peace and then in no cancer. You are so right about how the enemy taunts us and he seems to have favorites and be very persistent because he knows they have been effective in the past. A current one he has been using with me relates to not being skilled or gifted enough to write the book I am working on. Isn’t it funny/sad how even when we know it is him goading us, he still gets in some licks here and there! Have a blessed day, my friend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Oh, Pam, he certainly does know how to punch us. Paul must have had similar darts for he wrote, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5). I can feel the same way. Blessings on your work!

  3. Sandra Conklyn

    Oh, but we were mightily blessed last year, lil’ sis! Been remembering those two months of dread as time for another mammogram approached. It was normal, thank you, God.

    Am showing my ignorance here, but where safer? I don’t understand what you mean by “names of Jesus”. Even “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” makes my head spin. However, I truly do love God and feel a wonderful closeness and gratitude , a personal relationship that strengthens and calms me.

    And I love you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Sandy, I thought of you as I wrote this. I remember praying for you as I prayed for myself. So thankful we are both here and well. I needed to be clearer on what I meant. I’m glad you asked me to clarify. When Jesus said He is the resurrection and the life, He was saying He conquers death. Those who know Him don’t need to fear death, we have eternal life. He is the good shepherd who provides for all our needs (Ps. 23). He is the Almighty, so when I feel weak, He is my strength. There are different names that show Him as our healer, redeemer, savior, comforter, and provider. When Jesus said He is I AM, He was saying He is everything we need! It might be fun to do a post on some of His names. Love you!

  4. Kay Holland


    I’m so grateful for how your life journey is such an amazing
    platform for the grace of His love, the truth of His word
    and the power of His Spirit!

    Resurrection Blessings,


    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Kay! To God be the glory!

  5. Karen Zilen

    This is so beautifully said Debbie. Thank you for sharing your heart & soul. This does not come easily and much invisible work happens before it’s spoken out in as meaningful way as you do!!!❤️

    • Debbie Wilson

      Karen, so good to hear from you! Thanks so much. I love seeing what you and John are doing.

  6. Michele Morin

    I remember those days of wondering about you, and it seems so long ago. Thankful for His deliverance, and for your sweet spirit through the entire ordeal!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Time is such a funny thing, isn’t it Michele? In some ways that seems so long ago, and in other ways it seems like last week! Thanks for your encouragement.

  7. A Narrow-Minded Woman

    Illness and “close-calls” really remind us how little control we really have in this life. Thankfully, we can rest in the peace of knowing our loving Father is sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.

    • Debbie Wilson


  8. Gretchen Fleming

    David facing his giant is one of my favorite OT stories. I especially love how he ran to meet the giant. What confidence he had! So true what you said about he focused on the name of his God rather than the name of the giant. Where our minds focus will eventually determine the path our heart takes. Our minds determine our feelings in other words. Life, peace, and strength are found as we focus on God more than our impossibilities or fears. Great post Debbie!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes! Thank you, Gretchen.

  9. Heather Hart

    When my son was diagnosed with cancer, I learned what the peace that passes understanding was really all about. The peace I felt was indescribable. I knew that no matter what happened God was in control. I think sometimes it’s easier to trust Him with things we know we have no control over.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Heather, I hope your son is doing well. I agree. Often we try to manage the little challenges in our own strength and feel frazzled. But the big ones bring us to our knees and the place to receive grace for our time of need.

  10. Leslie

    Debbie, I had a scare just like that. Mine required surgery, too. Thankfully it was benign. What you shared here is so very helpful to others who may be going through the same situation. I didn’t claim verses at that time (although I was for sure reading my Bible.) There is so much power in claiming and repeating scriptures! It helps us see the character of God and how He is there with us. It helps us to have faith, no matter the circumstances. I love the byline of your book, “It’s not the size of your problems, but the size of your God.” Amen to that!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Leslie, I’m so thankful you got good news too. And I’m so glad God is bigger than any problem! Blessings!

  11. Holly Scherer

    Wow, Debbie. What a scary and wonderful story! So happy to hear it was benign. Your faith is truly inspirational.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Holly, it was truly God’s grace. No body knows that better than me. Thanks so much for your encouragement.

Refreshing Faith Blog

Pin It on Pinterest