Kellie Haddock is a courageous woman I’ve known of and admired for more than a decade. In 2004, I first read the blog she penned following a tragic car accident that took the life of her husband and left her baby, Eli, with permanent injuries.

Kellie’s writings convey hope in God and deep trust in His faithfulness. Since I’m not apt to react to loss with such grace or unwavering confidence in God’s goodness, I learned from Kellie, whose story was told on The Today Show in the US, how profoundly faith and choosing joy can carry us through the hardest of times.

On her website, Kellie writes, “Psalm 84:5-7 says, ‘Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage’ [Psalm 84:5-7 NIV]. This word pilgrimage means that one is moving, that you aren’t paralyzed and stuck in fear, standing in one place, but rather that you are painstakingly putting one blistered foot in front of the other. This is what I’ve aimed to do, to keep trudging onward. Not to let the grief hold me down and make me stop living my life, for then death would win and I couldn’t let that be. For ‘when they walk through the Valley of Weeping’—not around, there are no shortcuts on this way—‘it will become a place of refreshing’ where pools of blessing collects after the rain” (Psalm 84:6).

To reflect on how the “living God” provides “joy for those who trust in [Him]” (Psalm 84:2,12), and to extend her gratitude to the hospital staff that saved her son’s life after the accident, Kellie put together the “Thank You Project” and blessed the medical caregivers at a special dinner.

When hard times come, like Kellie, may we rest in the arms of our loving God, who can always be trusted!

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Samuel 16:1-13