My Middle of the Night Prayer

Over the past couple of weeks, my mother’s had some medical tests. Friday, fear got the best of her.

Jennifer my sister, me, and Mother

Her mammogram and ultrasound were clear, but an MRI showed a possible abnormality. She’s scheduled for a surgical breast biopsy February 3rd. My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer at my mother’s age. She had mastectomies.

Mother sounded like she was covered in cold clammy fear. She wasn’t eating. Didn’t want to walk the dog–afraid she’d miss her doctor’s call.

Fear is an emotion I understand. I’ve been there plenty of times. Fear can take me under.

We talked about a book she’s written, The Nevertheless Principle. It’s the story of how she rose above fear during the last few weeks of my father’s life. He died from a brain tumor.

I reminded her of “The Island of Trust”  she describes in her book–a warm, wide, safe place where she finally let go and trusted God with everything.

She didn’t want to hear about the Island of Trust.

I told her I’d pray for her.

For a few minutes during the middle of the night, between sleep and wake, I prayed.

I’d never prayed like this before.

I imagined the Island of Trust and visited it in my mind.

Sat beside a palm tree.

Squinted at the bright white sand.

Put my toes in the clear-blue waters.

Felt the sun on my back.

Inhaled the scent of suntan oil.


Help her get to the Island of Trust, Lord.

Saturday morning she called. “You’ll never believe it. I woke up between two-thirty and three during the night. The giant fear monster was gone! I made it to the Island of Trust. Why would I ever go back into the shark-infested waters of fear?”

I have no idea how or why this prayer worked, but I know there’s an escape from fear.

If you’re afraid, I understand. Let me know, and I’ll pray for you.

(lower photo courtesy of



I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJ)




  1. The Island of Trust. I’m going to remember that when I worry and wonder and send myself into a tizzy. Thank you, Julie and Marion, for sharing your thoughts on this. And Marion, may your bill of health come out clean as white bedsheets.
    Hugs & love,

  2. Anna Haney says:

    Julie, your mom and mine are so similar, it tickles me. My mom has had this same experience and thankfully, it worked out fine. My mom’s rheumatoid arthritis is so hard on her. She is in constant pain and yet, she hangs on, determined to do what she is able. So many times she has fallen, yet she has not broken a bone. There are days when my father and I, I am sure, are far more afraid and worried than she is. We need to start heading to the island of trust. Please tell your dear, sweet mama that I am praying for her. Love ya, Anna

    • What beautiful words, Anna. I’m telling you–the image of the Island of Trust was so powerful! We have so much in common, my friend. Thank the Lord, your mother hasn’t broken a bone.

      Thanks for writing me. Let’s pack our suitcases for the Island!

  3. Roxann Crane says:

    Only God can build and weave strength, hope, faith and trust through traumatic times in our lives; resulting in a kind of gratitude never felt before and singing His praises!

    ” Thank you Lord for always caring for me, for answered prayer, and for continuing to love me at times when I don’t even love myself. We’re created to need each other, for fellowship and companionship. I pray that we’re blessed with a person or a group of Christians to fulfill those needs. Help us to first examine ourselves, as to the kind of friend we are to others. Please use us to be a light that illuminates and guides those in our path each day.”
    In His Name- Amen

    My prayers will be with you and your family. I Just love the idea of The Island of Trust! Priceless….


  4. Julie, I just ready your mom’s book, “The Nevertheless Principle” and loved it, but had forgotten about the Island of Trust until you mentioned it again here. Thank you for reminding me of it as it is a place I want to remember to go — and need to often! The book was a big help to me in some of my own personal struggles and I have lent the book to a co-worker to read. I will be praying for you mom. February 3rd, you said? That is a significant day for me so I will remember it. I received a miracle on that day 31 years ago. I had prayed for God to free me from my nicotine habit. I was 20 and had smoked since 16. I had tried over and over for the past year, failing each time. On Feb. 3rd, 1981 I was led to a scripture: 1 John 5:14-15. It said if I ask anything according to God’s will, He hears me. If I know that He hears me, than I HAVE what I asked. Not will have. HAVE! This was before I’d ever heard any faith teaching that’s out there. God was telling me that because it was His will to deliver me, He heard me. And since I know He heard me, I’ve got my deliverance. It just went through me like a lightning bolt. I stood on that truth for the next 30 days, even when evidence seemed to say I was still hooked. But that was (or will be soon) 31 years ago now and I have been free ever since Feb. 3rd of that year. Maybe your mom will get a miracle too on that day. But I will be praying, to be sure!

    • My eyes are teary, Julie. Such a testimony of His Power. Hallelujah!! Thank you for reading, commenting, and for sharing your amazing story!! Yes, the date is February 3rd. I know you won’t forget it. 🙂 Such a special day for you.

      Much love to you, my precious friend. xoxo xoxo

  5. Beautiful post, Julie. I’m praying for Marion and for you and your family. Placing you all gently on the island of trust.

  6. Thank you, Lisa. “Gently” is such a good word, isn’t it. xoxo

  7. Jackie S. says:

    Oh, I need to get a copy of that book and read again…..yes, have read and loved all her books. I don’t know where my copy of the book is now…loaned out…but hope it is blessing! I have heard her speak, too.
    Feb. 3 is on my calendar …will be praying.
    I do need prayers, Julie, for some needs…..GOD knows what they are.

  8. Thank you so much, Jackie. I prayed before I posted this it might help someone. I’m writing your name on my prayer list–so grateful He knows our needs.


  9. A great way to pray, Julie!! And boy, do the three of you look alike!

  10. Thanks, Ane, for reading and commenting. So much love to you!

  11. Geri Wilson says:

    Dear Julie, Your words spoke volumes today. My nephew has just had a mass removed from his throat and upon doing the biopsy, they found cancer. Rhabdomyosarcoma, to be exact. He is going to start Chemo this weekend in Minnesota. Ethan needs prayers, his Mom-Dawni is my niece, and Dad-Todd also need to be lifted in prayer. Thank you! BTW, I remember that Marion is your Mom (my Mom’s name was the same, but spelled differently…Marian.) My GrandMother also had a mastectomy. You know that my husband was killed in an accident. I remember reading in Guidepost’s about your Dad. I was very sad…I kept re-reading that story wondering about your family, the coping, etc. Then I read a story about your Mom’s re-marriage and I was so very happy for her. Now, I have Bob in my life and I can’t believe that I have just put this all together. Your Mother and my life have so many similarities. I have told you many times how much your blog means to me, today is not an exception. I will pray for your Marion, I ask for prayer for my family and for my friend Kelly who is now in her 3rd round of cancer. Three spots found…so very sad! The Power of Prayer can work miracles…I Believe and I know you do, too! Thanks again! Geri

  12. Geri, I just re-organized my prayer list and am adding Ethan, Dawnie and Todd. And your friend Kelly. I hope your grandmother has finished all her treatments.

    Yeah, most female Marions spell it with an “a.” 🙂

    I’m amazed at how many things you have in common with me (and us!).

    Love to you and yours, my friend. And thanks so much for writing me. It makes my day to hear from readers–friends!

  13. My goodness, Julie! What a powerful story! Praying for your mom, and for all of you…that you’ll continue to rest in His arms on the Island of Trust.

  14. What a wonderful testimony of prayer and love. May we never doubt the power of God’s gift of His refreshing Spirit. Love this supernatural example!

    • Thanks so much, Tom. Pretty powerful…something I’ll never forget. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  15. The island of trust…that is such a strong visual image of where God wants us to abide. Ya know it’s not every day that we get to hear the immediate result of our intercession, this was a gift from God to you wasn’t it?As you gave, pouring out your heart before God about your mom, God gave you the gift of seeing (immediately) His provision for her. I’m glad you wrote this J, it increases my faith and I’m taking away the beautiful imagery of the island of trust.

    • That’s it, exactly, Robin. The image was like nothing I’d ever felt–imagined. So very real. Intercession. That’s the word I believe He gave me for what happened. Whew.

      Thank you so much, my friend. We’ll hang out on the Island together. 🙂

  16. arie says:

    My 8 year old had trouble getting to sleep (see my Facebook posts about our day at the fair yesterday). She asked to do our breathing exercise. Still restless I told her about the Island of Trust idea and it worked. I should have reread it first because I left part of it out, maybe tonight.

    And, Julie, Surrender and Island of Trust for you a great combo. Possibly a consideration when the Universe gifts you?? Just sayin’. 🙂

  17. Oh, Arie. This makes my day. The Island of Trust and breathing helped your daughter get to sleep. It does me too. 🙂 🙂 You’re so right–a good combo–Surrender and the Island of Trust. No other way, is there?

    Much love to you and yours!

  18. I am a very visual person, so this concept of Island of Trust and the imagery it invokes really strikes a chord within me. I’ve felt fear and worry nipping at my heels lately and have been focusing on a couple of scriptures to help drive them away. Now, I have the power of another tool – the Island of Trust. To go there and stand tall, toes digging into the sand and the warmth of the sun on my face… be in that place, to whisper those scriptures and feel the assurance that all will be well according to God’s plan. How wonderful that in our walk, God keeps leading us to what we need most. And this morning He has led me to this idea of a sanctuary. Thank you for a beautiful and inspiring post!

  19. Jane, Jane. What a beautiful response. I’m so glad this made sense to you. I’m a visual person too! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Loved how you said–God keeps leading us to what we need most. And the idea of a “sanctuary.”

    Blessings, my friend. xoxo

  20. D says:


    I needed a middle of the might prayer tonight. Thanks for your words.
    They helped.

    Blessings to your an yours.


    • Thank you so much. Means a lot to know that my writing touches hearts. Saying a prayer right now for you.



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