When We Think We Can’t

Have you ever felt incapable or unsuited to do certain things? In my novel, A Cousin’s Promise, Wayne lost his leg in an accident. He became depressed and had trouble coping with this loss, so he broke his engagement with Loraine. Wayne believed that because of his disability, he was less than a man and could no longer provide for a wife and family.

In the Bible there are many accounts of people who seemed incapable or unsuited for their calling, but God used them anyway, in spite of their disability or lack of confidence. All of us are here for a reason, and if we trust God, seek His will for our lives, and do the best that we can, He will provide the help we need. Often times that help will come from others, or with God’s guidance we may learn how to meet some of our own challenges, as Wayne did in my novel.

Do you know someone who is struggling with a disability or lack of confidence to do certain things? What are some ways we can offer help and encouragement to others or ourselves?


  1. Amy Wahl says

    My sister was hit by a truck standing by the road. It was a big struggle for her, she was in the hospital for almost a year, rehabilitation. She had to learn how to walk again. God was definitely there for her and our family. She still struggles sometimes with her legs, but with God’s Grace she can walk again with a cane!

  2. RACHEL a FERREY says

    i love your books it down to earth real living. Way the world showed me love love your life

  3. Susan Campbell says

    I have a young man suffering with alcohol addition. H e has a lot of issues with his father dying and family issues. I let him know that I am here forhim. I text him twice a day and let him know that I am here for him 24/7 and that he can call anytime day or night.

  4. Nicole White says

    I can’t tell you how much I love your books! They are such an inspiration to me. My 25 year old son struggles with confidence (as well as depression and anxiety) so much that it becomes debilitating for him. No matter how much we have loved, supported, and encouraged him throughout his young life, he just doesn’t see his own strengths. I have to remind myself that prayer is my most powerful tool and to lean on God when times get hard. My husband and I also try to send him uplifting texts and messages throughout the week…we never know when one will touch his heart and help him get through the next bout of self criticism. Thank you again for your inspiring books! Many times they are just the outlet and comfort I need! God Bless!

  5. Spring is definitely beging to show up here in Crystal Lake, Illinois. To hear the robins and other little birds. It won’t be long and I will be able to watch my hummingbird in my back yard. I am so thankful for the support I have with my family, my 2 boys, and the grandkids. They make life a little more special for sure. I am always in contact with my boys- making sure their wives are okay- and they know if they need anything- whether it is to babysit etc. that I and my hubby are willing to help. We just recently a week ago went and helped with a food pantry- where we help customer’s shop for food, and other needs- and it is at no cost for them- as they do not have the money to pay for what they need. I feel it is so important to help others in need.

  6. Celeste Kudej says

    My son suffers from AS- Ankylosing Spondylitis. This has caused him much pain and frustration in not being able to do things he would enjoy doing. (By age 15, we were told he would need hip replacements.) Daily I remind him that we are here to help support him in all he needs and prayers give him strength to carry on. I have also told him that he is strong enough to carry this cross. That always brings a smile to his face.

  7. Nancy Bird says

    I think most of us suffer from low self-confidence, but that is when we turn to God for help, because WE fell that we can’t do what HE asks. He calls us regardless of us, but what HE sees in us.

    • Brenda Books says

      Hi Wanda, I enjoy your books. It’s interesting to learn about a simpler way of life and reading about the Amish people who seem to truly try to live their faith. It encourages me to try to live better and more spiritually myself. As far as dealing with disabilities, my husband of 41 years is a double amputee (Left lower leg and left arm). He was struck with 32,000 volts of electricity from an accident at his work as an iron worker. We had been dating for several years before his accident, so I knew all the changes he had to experience. He is a very determined person and has been an example for many people, although he doesn’t like a lot of attention for it. We are blessed by our family and our faith.

  8. Debra L Jenkins says

    I feel the best thing we can offer to everyone is Prayer. We never know what everyone is struggling with and we all have our struggles. I know when someone tells me that I was on their mind and they prayed for me, it really lifts my spirit. We need to be available to help with any physical needs as we can but the Lord can provide all needs if we just ask.

  9. Sheryl Walker says

    Having familial mental health issues with several family members is often challenging. From anxiety to depression to suicidal ideations, prayer is always required but not often accepted by them. A lot of encouragement and listening is required.

  10. Judy Wilson says

    We can pray for someone going through a time of feeling a lack of confidence. We can be there beside that person to ofer words that make them feel better. Let them know that God loves them no matter what has happened.. Encourage them to turn it over to God and pray for strength and courage to being them hope for the future.

  11. Jonathan and Robynn says

    Hi đź‘‹ Wanda!
    My name is Robynn Bachman, I met you at Der Dutchman in Sarasota with my girls when I was about 6 months pregnant. You and your husband were so gracious to take a picture with us and sign many books for me. Thank You!
    During COVID my husband was diagnosed with cancer, it was a shock to us all and suddenly our dreams were shattered. We had hoped to add more to our family, now we were fighting for his life. It was a hard couple years. He made it through surgery, chemotherapy and is in the clear now. At the end of this journey God blessed us with a baby girl! She arrived safely at home May 25, 2021, 9 lbs 7 oz and 23 inches! She was nearly 16 days overdue and at the time of birth I was 42 years young!
    We named her, Havynn Esther “Haven” since she was sent to us during a time of trial when we needed healing and a safe haven.
    She’s 9 months old now, healthy, happy and a joy to all who meet her. My husband and I are full time ministers of the gospel on the college campuses in Sarasota/Bradenton and we count it our privilege to serve the Lord in this way.
    We love your books! Our whole family 4 kids (so far!) are blessed by your writings and we are thankful for God honoring material for them to read, learn from and apply to life.
    God Bless You!
    We would love to host you anytime you are in the area.
    Robynn Bachman

  12. Anita Smith says

    My daughter has a bipolar disorder and is super high on the autism spectrum. She and her husband work together to work things out. God leads and guides our family in everything we do. Recently my daughter suffered an injury to her shoulder and during the x-rays the doctors saw a mass. She will be having a MRI Thursday 3/3 to determine the extent of the injury and manner of the mass. We are thanking God in advance for what he is doing and will do. If she had not gotten hurt we would not have known about the mass. God walks with us through the fire and the storm. He is what is holding us up and in his arms right now.

  13. Kathleen Reed says

    A very wise woman once told me that when God asks you to do something, He then supplies you with all you need to accomplish it. Sometimes that is strengthening us from within and sometimes bringing others along side us to help.

  14. Liz Purcell says

    I love how our buds are starting to peep out of my flower bed. It’s truly a blessing to see God’s beautiful creation. Thank you for the encouragement you give. God bless you and your family 🙏

  15. Cindi Hoppes says

    I have suffered with anxiety and depression for
    many years. The pandemic, with having to be alone
    so much has been detrimental to me. Also, my ex husband
    divorced me two years ago. Now, I am agoraphobic
    in a major way. With therapy and medications, I am hoping
    to have a semblance of a good life, again.
    Thank you, Cindi

  16. Pamela Rapp says

    I love your books.

  17. Kathy Swick says

    I myself had a period of feeling down and useless because of my disability, then I got a job driving some Amish girls to their cleaning jobs. Now 10 months later I have about 30 regulars that I drive almost daily. They bring me such joy.

  18. Jonathan and Robynn says

    My husband suffered from affects of chemotherapy after cancer and surgery. We were able to encourage him with God’s promises of help in our time of need. The neighbors, family, Church and friends rallied around us during that time and share resources, meals, and encouragement.

  19. Donna Frasier says

    I live in the Adirondack Mts. of New York. It is still winter here, with a decent amount of snow on the ground. One of the great spring traditions in this area, thanks to God blessing this region with many sugar maples, is tapping the trees for sap collection and the making of maple syrup. Being around a sugar house with the sap boiling, especially if the boiling is done with a wood fire, is one of the first smells of spring. It’s a unique aroma, fragrance, really. And there is something about it that tends to awaken us from our own version of hibernation, and stimulates us to start prepping for all things outside. Of course, this also tends to occur during what we jokingly call “mud season.” But even the mud which is awakening the ground has its own distinct smell. All these combined are the early fragrances of spring up here . I am grateful to God that I live in such a beautiful area, and get to experience all four seasons as individuals so to speak. It keeps the rhythm of life flowing. And this year I will be evermore grateful to smell these aromas, as I’ve been recovering from a car accident that happened in November, and am basically housebound from my injuries. That will change as time goes on, and God was very merciful as he preserved my husband and my life at that time. God reminds us many times over that he “makes all things new.” And most surely he does. And may we pray for Ukraine, and the world, that Mr. Putin will withdraw from this madness and war. God bless each and every person.

  20. Sandra W says

    Spring……new beginnings and bright, colorful days after cold dark days of winter…God’s promise…..there will be a season for everything…….

  21. Joyce A. Cyford says

    Hi Wanda:

    Yesterday I received your book, “Woman of Courage” as a contest winner and I wanted to thank you! What a surprise! God has truly gifted you in writing! Keep on keeping on!

    Joyce Cyford

  22. Pam Bain says

    Hi Wanda,
    Thank you for the reminder of spring-it’s time! I actually have a medical condition recently diagnosed that has changed my life significantly. I often feel useless, burdensome, sad and angry. I can relate to the Cousins Promise to an extent. But everyday is a gift from God, and He has my pl.an in place. Sometimes that is challenging to remember, but it’s the most important thing.

  23. BARBARA L EVANS says

    Our son is learning disabled and often suffers because coworker pick on him. They think he doesn’t realize what the are doing and it hurts him dearly. We pray for him daily and remind him that God loves him and he is a wonderful, caring individual. I don’t know what more we can do. One of the individuals is his manager. He needs his job. We keep praying and offering encouragement, but I think he may just have to quit and hope for a better job with a better working situation

  24. Donna Jurgens says

    I too long for spring, the birth of all thing new. Reminds me that one day Jesus will return & we will be made new. Love reading your books. Never a concern of offensive content.

  25. Sue Tolbert says

    I live in Rogers, Arkansas, and have searched for the book “The Walnut Creek Wish” for a couple of months and found none. I would love to win this book. If not, I will order from Barbour Publishing soon. Thank you for continuing to fill our hearts and minds with book books.

  26. Joyce Robbins says

    In my new book, “Blessed Journey: A Spiritual Life,” I explain how I was born legally blind and let my handicap make me a slave to unhappiness. To the point of writing this book, I realized how valuable I was to God and the rewards He had for me in putting my eyes back on Him. I wrote this in hopes that young girls would not feel trapped when they misstep as they take their eye off of God. All of the, I want now’s, will not sustain you through life; get your education and a good Christian foundation.

  27. Reta Shepard says

    My neighbor was in a car accident and has been afraid to drive ever since. Her car has been in the shop since last October. I have offered to ride with her when she gets her car back, to encourage and reassure her as she lets go of fear. There are a few verses I want to ask God to open the door for me to share with her as she overcomes her fear.

  28. Pam campbell says

    My son is struggling with loneliness he’s 37 years old his wife left him for another man he was very heartbroken this was 8 years ago he refuses to go back to church because they used to go together with there daughters

  29. Marlene Thorne says

    Always be kind…you don’t know what someone is going through.

  30. Connie Ruggles says

    The people who are most inspirational to me are the ones who have experienced a great loss or overcome a tremendous trial yet still praise the Lord fervently and are still hopeful and excited about life. I know several people like this, and they never fail to give me a spiritual boost when I see them or think of them. And I try to be kind to everyone, because if I didn’t know these people personally I might not realize they were going through anything. Don’t judge a book by its’ cover, there’s a lot inside the pages, to use an appropriate analogy!!

  31. Ramanda Kinnick says

    I suffer from low confidence. I try to remember that I just need to draw closer to God. He will not give me something I can’t handle.

  32. Terri Rinko says

    I feel like I have a lot of issues and lean on my best friend to help me. We talk everyday and gives me peace and hope. I try to make it to mass each week as well to get closer to God.

  33. Jim Miller says

    I take care of my 90 year old mother. She has had a stroke and doesn’t get around well. She used to be an avid reader of Amish fiction. In fact she had all of your books until a year and a half ago. So now when you have books come out I will read them to her.

  34. Penny Knowlton says

    I have a friend with a debilitating disease but she will only allow her daughter to help her. I check in with her by text and try to share cheerful stories with her.

  35. Although I’m a pastor’s wife of almost 53 years, I am NOT a public speaker or teacher. I leave that ability and calling to my husband. However, I do sing with him or sing solos. I feel more confident in this position. Plus I stand faithful to our church services, events,, etc and by my husband’s side, as I should. We all have talents that God has given us.

  36. Kris Ross says

    I, myself have. and know some others that suffer from anxiety and panic attacks …. while some people feel like it is just something you should “get over”….it is real to me and those who suffer from “it”….and it can keep, me, away from doing things I would like to but afraid to try….do and fail….it took me years …some medication….several bouts of counseling….and finally have, for the most part, “kicked” this problem….and like many things….as we get older we do get wiser and while we wish we had learned earlier….maybe we really “wouldnt have” unless we went thru “it” / things….

  37. Roberta Marie McMahan says

    My little cousin has dravet syndrome the poor guy can have over 100 seizures in an hr. He has been in and out of hospitals all his life he is 14 right now. Most kids with it do not live longer then 16.

  38. Deborah Benzi says

    I do know someone who is struggling with a lack of confidence. Every time she tells me her worries, I assure her she has the ability to do the job well. She always thanks me and says the encouraging words are so helpful. We should always try to offer encouragement.

  39. Debra Cotton says

    Yes God is always with us. We have a defined reason for being here. The Lord will guida us down the past that he is chosen us to take.

  40. Reah Tom says

    When God puts us out there to help others He will equip you and guide you. I lost a very dear friend Nov.2020. Our paths crossed in 2007. She had Muscular Dystrophy and was in a wheelchair. After her husband passed away, I became the one on call. I can’t believe how truly blessed I was. A very special friendship grew out of that. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. Her disability brought s together

  41. Nancy Radtka says

    My dear mama loved reading all your books, when she passed last year from COVID at 95 yrs old my sisters and I divided up her library of many years worth of all kinds of books ( I got her “collection of Wanda books” as she called them). I took her back in September of 2012 to meet Wanda and her husband at a book signing at the Amish flee market in Walnut Creek Ohio , she enjoyed showing everyone her signed book. When I went thru my book collects her beloved book for it , my heart was broken, one of my sisters accidentally dropped it off with a large donation to our thrift store and it was sold! I would love to get another autographed copy of Wanda. I have read about a dozen books to far and have fallen in love them as well.

  42. Helen Gentry says

    God is good. He will make more of us than we are capable of ourselves. Each of us have gifts given to us by God. When one door closes another window opens.

  43. Patti Trickett says

    I have several family members that suffer from mental illness. I go to God several times a day and ask for prayer for them and also for me to know how to deal with this. Sometimes I tell them to ask God for help with what is troubling them it helps some. So please I ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers. I enjoy your books so much they have really helped me more than your ever know. So thank you for writing them.

  44. We can tell them we believe they can do difficult things if they don’t give up, pray for them, and share with them stories from the Bible and other people who overcame obstacles.

  45. We can give them all the support and encouragement..

  46. I once worked with a young lady who had epileptic fits. When it happened I would talk to her and try to calm and reassure her.

  47. I would tell them to keep the faith and God will see you through this.

  48. Sally Davison says

    When I married my husband nearly 32 years ago, he was on crutches, unable to walk from over 20 surgeries at that time and it never occurred to me not to marry him since I loved him for what his heart revealed. A year later, he had 2 massive surgeries that after 2 years, he was able to walk again, thanks to an artificial hip, femur and knee all in one piece. He went on to be a pastor (now retired) and still loves to teach a Sunday School class on Discipleship as well as leading a Prayer Partner Ministry and now becoming an elder soon in our church. I’m so thankful for all his does as well as who he is in Christ. He’s been an inspiration!

  49. Sylvia Gorton says

    So much to be grateful for, so thankful for such outstanding books written by a precious author, I am blessed to read your books, and even more blessed to share our love for the Lord.

  50. Judy Crook says

    Be a good listener and provide support for the person. Pray for and with them that they might find the courage and strength for the days ahead. Let them know they are not alone.

  51. Susan Fletcher says

    Your question hit the part of my heart that feels inadequate – every day, as I struggle to carry on after the death of my husband. No matter how many years pass, I still struggle daily with knowing how to handle everything myself. We didn’t have kids, so when I have too much free time, my thoughts go to how much about life I don’t know. I guess that’s why I am still teaching after 38 years. I don’t know how to do anything else!

  52. Natalie Carwile says

    I have a sister who is starting to lose her memory. She can not tell you things going on right now but she can remember things in the past so when I talk to her I try to bring up things that happened in the past so that we can talk. It is sad that none of her friends or family call her but me and we are from a large family. I even go to visit her even though it breaks m6 heart. I am afraid if she doesn5 have contact with someone beside her son she will stop talking period.
    Thank you for letting me share this.

  53. Marion Ellsworth says

    Today was a little glimpse of spring here in the middle of the mitten! A lot of the snow is gone. Guess we may get more before winter is really gone. 🙂

  54. I love reading your books. I can’t wait to read some of the new one’s. When I’m reading your books I feel at peace and relaxed.

  55. Nicole Skinner says

    I suffer from not speaking up for myself. I work 2 jobs and at both of them there are days I feel like everyone just walks all over me. One by interupting me whenever I say anything or at the other having my coworker tell outright lies about what someone says. It makes them quite difficult some days.

  56. Margie B says

    Your books are good.

  57. Linda Rorex says

    I love reading your books it helps me to escape the reality of what’s going on in the world. Thank you.

  58. Theresa Bowes says

    My son was diagnosed with Aspergers at 17. He is now 27 and
    With God’s help has come a long way. We support and encourage
    him every day. It is not so much a struggle for him as it was, with
    God’s grace.

  59. Mary Roelke says

    Hopefully spring is going to be soon & new beginnings. Enjoy your books.

  60. Suzanne Sellner says

    Our adopted daughter, now a grown woman, has always had many “issues” that trouble her. My husband and I have been encouraging her and assisting her ever since we adopted her. She has her highs and her lows, and we’re glad that we can be a constant source of prayer for her, a listening ear, and assistance as needed.

  61. Joan Cranmore says

    We need good Christian books in this world of chaos. Thank you so much for all you do.

  62. Valerie Laux says

    I love your books. My granddaughter has moderate autism and she doesnt let it stop her one bit. She is 3 and such a joy.

  63. Betty Blevins says

    I am so looking forward to the warmer weather and to get outside and work in my flower garden and plant some new varieties this year. Also I am planning on planting some tomatoes and peppers in containers as we are limited for space for a vegetable garden. I loved all of your books and look forward to each new one when they come out, I have given many of your books as gifts as the receivers are all looking forward to reading your new books, too. God Bless you

  64. My youngest daughter has fought depression for many years. She has tried therapy , which did not help. A few years ago she was in a bad car accident, it was bad. I think her Guardian Angel saved her that day. Her older sister had been killed by a drunk driver many years before. Between the depression and the pain she got hooked on pain meds. It took many years of support and prayers to get her to a semi normal state. We are thankful she is doing as well as she is. Here in Canada we have plenty of snow and looking forward to Spring time… Love your books also..

  65. My youngest daughter has fought depression for many years. She has tried therapy , which did not help. A few years ago she was in a bad car accident, it was bad. I think her Guardian Angel saved her that day. Her older sister had been killed by a drunk driver many years before. Between the depression and the pain she got hooked on pain meds. It took many years of support and prayers to get her to a semi normal state. We are thankful she is doing as well as she is. Here in Canada we have plenty of snow and looking forward to Spring time… Love your books also..

  66. SARAH Taylor says

    Hello Wanda, when I am reading a good print book I find relaxed and at peace As I Love to read please enter me in your contest ! Thank you and have a Blessed Day! I can’t wait for Spring to get her all the beautiful flowers and buds on the trees!

  67. Barbara Hall says

    Hello Wanda. I’m so excited to start reading your new book. As always I really enjoy your books. You always come out with amazing books. Om super excited to became reading all of the new books that you put out

  68. Barbara Hall says

    Hello Wanda. I’m hoping that my messages goes thru. I’m super excited to start reading your new books. I always find enjoyment reading the books you but out

  69. Laura LaRue says

    I had a BIL that lost a leg in a farming accident, he too, felt less than a man. Unfortunately, he never got past his disability. His attitude continued until his death years later. Sad, because God still has a purpose for our individual lives.

  70. Connie Stephens says

    So very inspirational! As a pastor your books help me put some lessons on a practical day to day basis. My maternal great-grandfather was Amish so I can identify with many of the situations. Prayers for all!

  71. Cindi Combs says

    Thank you for your beautiful words of wisdom and encouragement. I love reading your books and watching the characters in their lifestyles.

  72. Debbie Howell says

    When we know someone who is suffering from depression we need to bathe them in prayer every day. Ask what we can do to help. Or just stop by several times a day. To let them know we do care and not just saying it.

  73. Jennifer Graphenteen says

    I would offer to pray for them and offer my assistance with anything to help them out.

  74. My faith is very strong. In fact, last night, a gentleman , who my family knows passed away. To learn that this wonderful young man is not longer with us, is hard to take in and process. I know that Eric is in heaven with Jesus. Our faith is what gets my family and kids thru everything. You should always count your blessings!!!

  75. Kelli McManis says

    A good friend of mine is going thru a hard time. It is so important to listen to what she says and lift her up in prayers . Writing up lifting letters . And letting her know she is loved and cared for . God believes in and loves , us, no matter what. And we all have a special purpose. Let any one , know , with a disability that they are worthy of love. My friend is so important to me. God wants to be kind and serve others.

  76. Good morning Wanda. As you know my name is Theresa I am a wife mother and nana. Yesterday 03/14/22 was the 37th anniversary of my daughters passing it was and still is very hard for me she only lived 4 days her name is DebbieAnn. She was my first child. I also have a son my rainbow baby he is hoping yo be 36 in October him and his wife had blessed me eith a granddaughter named Skyler. She looks like her daddy. I own several of your cookbooks and looking to get more. I wish you snd your family a blesses day

  77. Janis D Aucoin says

    I love reading your books about the Amish. It is like I am there with them.
    Your an awesome writer.

  78. I really enjoy your books. Just finished Walnut Creek Wish and am now reading The Sugarcreek Surprise. Both are great stories. I belong to a book club that sends me 4 Amish stories each month and then pass them on to my Aunts and cousins. Thank you for your wonderful stories.

  79. Lila Dunham says

    Can’t wait read your new book series.
    We’ve been in Sarasota, Florida this past winter
    and enjoyed seeing your play at Carlisle-
    Half Stitched!! My sister and I couldn’t stop laughing like most
    Of the audience!
    Thanks a fun outing!!

  80. Roxanne L Von Ruden says

    I enjoy reading your books about the Amish. We have many Amish families in our area. Keep up with your writing.

  81. Kelli McManis says

    Prayer and faith is so important. And showing compassion for a disabled person is what Jesus and God would do. Listen to what the person is telling, you. And let them know , that they are worthy. God loves you , always. Do something to help the person feel better. Be uplifting, write a note, give your time , to listen.

  82. Jennifer McClurkan says

    Wanda, I love your books. Thankyou for writing them. I’ve only ever been around the Amish in Tennessee.

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