Residing in Pennsylvania, USA, Kim Lengling is the mother to a grown daughter and her rescue dog, Dexter. She is a published author, freelance writer, podcast host of Let Fear Bounce, radio show co-host of Voices 4 Vets, and the host of The Write Stuff TV Show.
With empathy and emotion, she has been writing since 2004 showcasing her faith, nature, love of rescue animals, veterans, and living with PTSD. She is the lead author and coordinator of a collaborative book series titled When Grace Found Me and has authored and created numerous journals.
Her newest collaborative book project, When Hope Found Me is underway and set for release in 2022.
When Grace Found Me is an anthology series of faith, perseverance, and personal connection told by twenty women. Coordinated by author Kim Lengling. The book is published by Listening to Your Voice Publishing and is available worldwide in digital and print format.
When did grace find you?
Years ago, in my mid-30s, I found myself on my knees, sobbing on my living room floor, crying out to a God I had been telling myself for years that I did not believe in. Life had become overwhelming with loss after loss. It felt as if my world was crumbling around me.
I felt lost as if I was sinking into a pit with no way out. It was a very dark time.
While on my knees sobbing, gut-wrenching sobs, a gentle whisper came. It seemed as if it had come from behind me. But, it was an audible whisper. I thought I was losing my mind hearing things.
The whisper came again; “but those who hope in the Lord….”
At that point in my life, I was not a Christian, nor did I attend church. So, upon hearing those words, I thought, “that sounds kind of “bible’ish”.
I remembered I had a bible in the house and searched for it. I was a bit frantic trying to find it. Once I located it, I sat back down on the floor and began to flip through but had no idea how to find anything. I remember becoming frustrated, tossing the bible away from me and saying out loud, “Where is the table of contents in this thing? How am I supposed to find anything!”
The whisper came again, “but those who hope in the Lord….”
At this point, I did think I was losing my mind but reached out to pick up the bible from where I had tossed it.
The pages were open, and as I looked down, the words “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength….” They seemed to jump off of the page.
My cries changed from gut-wrenching to something else. A feeling of gentle peace came over me. I realized then that it was God whispering to me.
I firmly believe that it was at that moment in time that His grace covered me. A broken woman, crying out to a God she told herself she didn’t believe in.
Tell us about your podcast, Let Fear Bounce.
I have guests on my podcast that share their journey of facing and overcoming fears. Those fears can be anything from mental health, to sharing their stories through writing, their own podcasts or in many other ways.
I began the podcast when the world shut down in the first wave of COVID. I had lost my job and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my time. I had reached a point in my life where I didn’t want to be an employee anymore. I had skills and talents that I had always thought of as my hobbies. I made a decision that day. Give myself one day to be angry at the world and then get busy. Figure out what I wanted to do, what I was good at, what I had a passion for, and make something of it.
My podcast Let Fear Bounce was born from that train of thought. Fear was so prevalent in the world and I was letting fear of the unknown land on me. I made a conscious decision to not let it land. I said out loud, “I’m going to let fear bounce! It will not land on me.” I googled how to start a podcast, named it Let Fear Bounce, and set one up that day.
What is your message for those with PTSD?
It is quite a journey living with PTSD and it is different for each person. My journey is an ever-evolving one; there are good days and bad days.
My main message for anyone living with PTSD is to be gentle with yourself. When thoughts of negative self-worth begin to swirl, remind yourself you are worth so much. You are a masterpiece in God’s eyes, even if you don’t see it yourself.
Seek help. Set your pride aside and reach out to someone. It isn’t easy, but it is worth it.
Help others. I have found over the years that those who carry the heaviest weight are the ones to help others the most.
Your collaborative 3-book anthology series titled When Grace Found Me is touching lives globally. Share your journey to spread Hope and encouragement.
Oh my goodness! What a journey it has been! This series came about through another “God nudge.”
It was a hot August day and I was sitting on my back deck when, seemingly out of nowhere, I felt overwhelmed with emotions and heard another whisper, “stories to be told”. I thought, with a bit of an attitude, “Okay, if this is God, I’ve already shared my story. It was hard, but I did it. How often do I have to share?”
Again, “stories to be told” and then the scene before me, which is my backyard, turned into a black and white scene, as if it were an old movie reel. Within the scene was a young lady on her knees, sobbing. You could feel the emotion radiating out of the scene. It lasted but a second, but I knew right away who the person was and what the reminder was. The young woman was me, years ago, crying out to the God I told myself I didn’t believe in.
I knew then what the message was. Stories, as in many stories, needed to be told. So I reached out to a few ladies I knew and asked if they’d like to participate in an anthology that I was coordinating. They said yes, I reached out to a few more ladies, they said yes. I soon had 20 women who wanted to share their stories of Grace. But it didn’t stop there. More women reached out and I soon realized that this would be more than one book. It turned into a 3-book series with all three being published within 12 months.
Look at God!!
“The world can be a dark place. So I choose to toss nuggets of Hope into the world like confetti; little sparks of light in the darkness.” Explain.
There is so much darkness and negativity in the world on TV, radio, social media, and within neighborhoods and communities. Seeing and hearing about negative things each day becomes tiring and emotionally draining.
I decided, and was indeed, once again nudged by God, to share the word, Hope. The word. Not necessarily videos, podcasts, or anything like that, but simply the word.
I had seen and heard the word Hope everywhere for weeks at the end of 2021. Finally, I realized that I was to do something with that.
I bought some inspirational cards, just the small kind, and began leaving them in random places in stores when I would be out and about. You know the kind, “You are amazing!”, “You are awesome!”.
Yet the word Hope kept showing up.
I went online and found polished stones with the word Hope engraved on them. So I thought, “Okay, here we go. Nuggets of Hope!”
So now, I carry a few of those Nuggets of Hope wherever I go, and when I feel a nudge to approach someone, I’ll walk up to the person and quietly say, “I’ve got a small gift for you, a nugget of hope.” And I’ll place it in their hand, wish them a blessed day and be on my way. I don’t feel I am to talk with them but to hand them a small nugget of Hope and be on my way.
That’s how I am choosing to sprinkle Hope like confetti. One nugget of Hope at a time.
Please share a few passages from Grace Found Me.
Excerpt from Just A Brick, by Kim Lengling, a story in Volume Three of the When Grace Found Me series.
Years ago, I found myself sporadically attending church. I did not consider myself a Christian. In hindsight, I know now that I was seeking something but had no idea what “it” was at the time. When I did attend a service, I didn’t understand much of what I heard. The sermons and stories were confusing to me. And so, each time I would attend, I would leave feeling confused and even angry, carrying a chip on my shoulder. This was no one’s fault but my own, I can see that now, but back then? Goodness, I’d ask myself why I was wasting time attending church.
I would have a running monologue in my head, “Who was that guy up front talking about Jesus and “letting it go” or “giving it to God?” What does that even mean?
And those singers? I think they are up there putting on a show. No one I know acts like that in church. Who throws their hands in the air for Jesus? Who cries because of a song they are singing?”
Round and round, those thoughts would circle in my mind, yet I found myself returning to that small red brick church with the pretty stained-glass windows.
What is your mission for your books?
While I was coordinating this 3-book series, I knew that each story shared would be unique, but at the same time, there would be a person somewhere in the world who needed to read that specific story. Therefore, I strongly felt that the book(s) would land in the hands God wanted them to.
There are 20 stories in each book, but at least one will resonate with whoever is reading it.
The mission? To bless someone who may be sitting in a dark place. For that one person to know they are not alone and they are not the only one.
You are the TV show host of The Write Stuff, The Author’s Voice with the Believe In Your Dreams TV Network. What is coming up? (Where can we find it?)
The TV Show hosts authors from around the globe. Those just starting their author journey to USA Today and New York Times best-selling authors.
The show can be found on numerous streaming platforms under the App, Believe Warriors.
The network and my show are currently available on platforms: GooglePlay, Xbox, Sony Select, Amazon Firestick, AppleTV, ROKU, LG Smart, and more to come in the near future.
What do you want your legacy to be?
To be honest, I’ve not often thought of what I want my legacy to be.
If one were to look back and think about the type of person I was, I would want them to think, “That Kim, she was a toughie but had a huge heart. She’d been through the wringer a time or two but still saw beauty in the world.
She was protective of those she cared about and would and had dropped everything to help. She was empathetic and that worked well when she needed to connect to a hurting soul, but that strong empathy could also drain her as she took those feelings and emotions on her own shoulders.
She cared, she loved, she hurt, and she stumbled, but she always did her best to be a decent human being. Once she became a Christian, she did her best to walk the path God was laying before her. The path may have been tough at times or way outside of her comfort zone. She may even have argued with God a time or two about what He wanted her to do, but she did it anyway.
You find out quickly that an argument with God is one you won’t soon win.
Amazon.com: When Grace Found Me: Real Life Stories of Women of Faith – Kindle edition by Lengling,
Kim, Pearson, Ruth, Publishing, LTYV. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.