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Editor’s note: The following excerpt is from Fox News co-host and former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s new book “Serenity in the Storm: Living Through Chaos by Leaning on Christ” (Post Hill Press, May 2, 2023).

In Lee Strobel’s final interview—interview number thirteen with philosopher J. P. Moreland, Ph.D.—Moreland tells Strobel, an inquisitive and thorough journalist, “There’s one category of evidence you haven’t asked about…. It’s the ongoing encounter with the resurrected Christ that happens all over the world, in every culture, to people from all kinds of backgrounds and personalities—well-educated and not, rich and poor, thinkers and feelers, men and women. They all will testify that more than any single thing in their lives, Jesus Christ has changed them.”

Moreland is onto something. Beyond all of the science, history, philosophy, and prophesy available—and there is much of it—the encounters of men and women with the risen savior are astounding. The story of Christianity is the story of broken marriages healed, drug addicts fully recovered, hardened hearts softened, the most violent of prisoners completely reformed, and life-transforming rehabilitation beyond anything that psychology or self-help could offer.

In my interview with Asmaan in chapter two, recall how she marveled at the two Afghan brothers, one with murderous tendencies, both of whom were inexplicably transformed by the love and power of Jesus Christ. In addition, I found ample evidence of these heart transformations, as I will call them, in the various books I referenced from Christian apologetics. As I mentioned, several of the authors I cited—Collins, McDowell, Strobel, Lewis, and Lapides—were all atheists who eventually came to the truth of Christianity. While they began the journey with their minds, they concluded with their hearts. 

Kayleigh McEnany book cover storm

Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project, wrote, “On a beautiful fall day, as I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains during my first trip west of the Mississippi, the majesty and beauty of God’s creation overwhelmed my resistance. As I rounded a corner and saw a beautiful and unexpected frozen waterfall, hundreds of feet high, I knew the search was over. The next morning, I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered to Jesus Christ.”

ERIC ADAMS’S SURPRISING STATEMENT MIGHT FINALLY PUT AN END TO THIS FOOLISHNESS ABOUT FAITH

Louis Lapides told Lee Strobel about a trip he took to the Mojave Desert with friends, where he prayed for God to give him assurance that Christ is savior. Speaking of his experience, Lapides said, “The best I can put together out of that experience is that God objectively spoke to my heart. He convinced me, experientially, that he exists. And at that point, out in the desert, in my heart I said, ‘God, I accept Jesus into my life. I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do with him. But I want him. I’ve pretty much made a mess of my life; I need you to change me…. My friends knew my life had changed, and they couldn’t understand it. They’d say, ‘Something happened to you in the desert. You don’t want to do drugs anymore. There’s something different about you.’”

Meanwhile, journalist Lee Strobel wrote, “After a personal investigation that spanned more than six hundred days and countless hours, my own verdict in the case for Christ was clear. However, as I sat at my desk, I realized that I needed more than an intellectual decision.” He decided to commit his life fully to Christ. Reflecting on that decision, he said, “Looking back all these years later, I can see with clarity that the day I personally made a decision in the case for Christ was nothing less than the pivotal event of my entire life.”

And McDowell, who began as a skeptic, also had a life-transforming encounter with Christ. “Christianity. Ha!” he used to say. “That’s for unthinking weaklings, not intellectuals…. Jesus Christ? Oh, for God’s sake, don’t give me that kind of garbage….” But after months of studying and discovering mounds of evidence in support of Christianity, something else happened. “On December 19, 1959, at 8:30 p.m., during my second year at the university, I became a Christian. Someone asked me, ‘How do you know you became a Christian?’ One of several answers was simple: ‘It has changed my life.’”

I know exactly the kind of heart transformation each of these authors speak of because I have experienced it myself. As a young girl, I walked down the aisle of my Southern Baptist church and gave my life to Christ. That Sunday evening, I knelt beside my bed my with my father and acknowledged my sins, professed my belief in Christ, and committed my life to Him. In that moment, I know that I became a Christian. 

As a teenager, I was devoted to my faith. I prayed by my bedside and regularly journaled to my savior. I became inspired by Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine shooting, who was a young woman of great faith. Rachel regularly wrote journals to Christ, and they were published in the aftermath of her death. She spoke to God like she was talking to a friend, and her conversations with her Savior showed a remarkable premonition of her death. On May 2, 1998, she wrote these words: “This will be my last Lord, I have gotten what I can, thank you.” Less than a year later, on April 20, 1999, Rachel was killed in the Columbine High School shooting

In another journal entry, Rachel traced her hands and inscribed these words in the middle of her left hand: “These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will someday touch millions of people’s hearts.” I wonder if she knew just how true those words were when she wrote them, because she was exactly right. Rachel’s tragic death was only the beginning of her impact on the world. The Daily Mail reported, “Rachel’s funeral was broadcast on CNN and drew the highest viewing figures the network had received at that point, more than Princess Diana’s funeral.”

Following her death, Rachel’s father, Darrell, created the organization Rachel’s Challenge, which spreads Rachel’s message of love and compassion throughout our nation’s schools. In total, Rachel’s Challenge has reached 30 million students, parents, and educators; stopped approximately 150 suicides per year; and even, according to law enforcement, averted eight school shootings. 

Darrell explained the power of Rachel’s story to Denver ABC 7 like this, “The inmates are in tears. We have gang [members]…I mean tough murderers, stand up bawling like a baby and say, ‘I’m calling my daughter. I haven’t talked to her in 20 years.’ I personally believe there is a divine touch to her story, because otherwise I can’t explain it.”

Rachel’s story has changed countless hearts, including mine. I learned, through Rachel, that God could be as much a friend and a partner in life as He is a father.

After college, I moved to New York City to take a job as a production assistant with the show “Huckabee” at Fox News. 

I lived alone in an apartment in Manhattan, and I discovered a city that was much different than my home state of Florida. I attended The Journey church in New York one Sunday, and I remember the pastor saying that even though New York City is full of millions of people, it can feel like one of the loneliest places. He was right. 

At one point during my three years in the city, I remember feeling so lonely. I left work and went back to my small, basically windowless apartment. I tried calling my mom, but she wasn’t by her phone. I laid in my bed and prayed to God: “If you’re out there, I need to hear from you right now.” I kid you not. In that very moment, my phone lit up. It was a number I didn’t recognize with a New York area code. And while I typically don’t pick up numbers I don’t know, in that moment, I was happy to talk to anyone—even a telemarketer! 

I answered the phone, “Hello.” 

I will never forget the first words that I heard in reply: “Hi Kayleigh. This is The Journey church. How can we pray for you today?” 

Kayleigh McEnany California Energy

“Outnumbered” co-host Kayleigh McEnany (Fox News)

Completely stunned, I sat in silence for a moment before replying to The Journey churchgoer who had decided to call me in that moment. After speaking with them briefly, I hung up the phone and began to cry tears of joy. I knew, without a doubt, I had just had a divine moment of outreach from the risen Savior. 

I do not know who it was that called my phone that day. I don’t even remember if the caller was a man or a woman, but I do know that person was used by Christ in that specific moment. 

As I wrote in my book “For Such a Time as This,” “God has for you a plan, a purpose. No one can stop his plan for your life. He will lead you to victory and carry you through the trials if you only let Him. What my dad told me in the wake of my fears is true for you as well. Indeed, you are here ‘for such a time as this.’ This is my story. But, rest assured, He has already written yours.”

I believe the person who called my phone that day was used “for such a time as this.” Their call changed my life forever. 

LAUREN GREEN: MEET DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, A MAN OF SCIENCE AND FAITH, LEADING RACE TO FIND COVID-19 VACCINE

It occurred to me a few months ago that I have had a few life-defining calls. I wrote about two of them in my last book. 

There was the call I received at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. I was riding in the car with my mom and my daughter, just a few months old, when I received a call from the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, asking me to be the White House press secretary. It was a call that defined my career. 

Then, there was the call I got on Christmas Eve during my senior year of college. It was an unwanted and emotional call from my doctor informing me that I had tested positive for the BRCA2 genetic mutation, which as I noted earlier in this book put me at about an 84 percent chance of breast cancer and 27 percent chance of ovarian cancer over my lifetime. 

After a decade of aggressive surveillance—mammograms, MRIs, and ultrasounds—I made the difficult decision to have a preventative double mastectomy, taking my breast cancer chances to close to zero. But that call on Christmas Eve morning set in motion a decade of worry and a lot of tough medical choices. 

Kayleigh McEnany book cover

But then there was that call from The Journey church, more important and consequential in my life than a call from the president of the United States or a call with life-changing medical news from my health care provider. 

For it was a call, through a human being, sent directly from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can say, without hesitation, that call changed my life, taking my Christian faith from my head to my heart, where it will live forever. 

KAYLEIGH MCENANY: BREAST CANCER AND ME – WHY I CHOSE TO HAVE A PREVENTATIVE DOUBLE MASTECTOMY

As I was writing this book, and as I considered what it means to have serenity in the storm, one New Testament anecdote about the life of Jesus stood out to me. It is recounted in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John.

In Matthew 14, we learn about one of the great miracles of Jesus. With just five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus fed a crowd of about five thousand people. After this miracle, as Jesus dismissed the multitudes, He told his disciples to “get into the boat and go before him to the other side” of the sea to Capernaum while Jesus “went up on the mountain by himself to pray.” 

By evening, the disciples were “a long way from the land,” and the boat was “beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.” But then something happened during “the fourth watch of the night,” which the Jeremiah Study Bible (JSB) says was “between 3 and 6 AM.” At this time, “[H]e came to them, walking on the sea.”

Imagine that—Christ Jesus walking on the tumultuous waters of the sea in the dead of night. What that must have been like! 

But rather than expressing joy, the disciples were “terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’” as they “cried out in fear.” With this reaction, the Gospel of Mark describes Jesus’s followers as having “hardened” hearts. As the JSB notes, “Even though they had just witnessed the miraculous feeding of a multitude, they failed to apply that experience of Jesus’ power to this situation.”Matthew 14:27 says, “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’”

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According to the JSB, this means that the disciples were alone in the boat, where they were eventually thrashed by the waves, likely for hours!

The JSB then asks an important question and provides an enlightening answer. “Why did Jesus allow His followers to struggle in isolation for seven or eight hours?” The JSB continues, “If He had rescued them immediately, the disciples might have forgotten His intervention or perhaps assumed that, given enough time, they could have saved themselves. The Lord sometimes waits until His followers have exhausted their resources before He steps in.”

And when He did step in, one disciple, Peter, stepped out in faith—at least for a moment. When Jesus told his followers not to be afraid, Peter responded, “‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’” Jesus replied, “‘Come,’” prompting Peter to step out in faith onto the water”

The JSB observes, “Peter was not acting foolishly, and this was not a daring stunt; it was obedience. When Jesus beckoned him to come, Peter willingly went. He had enough faith to get out of the boat and walk toward Jesus—something no prophet had ever done.”

Kayleigh McEnany with her family

“Outnumbered” co-host Kayleigh McEnany with her family

But then something instructive happened: “…when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Even as Peter doubted, though, Christ intervened: “Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’”

Peter’s actions demonstrated a remarkable level of faith, stepping onto the roaring waters on the verge of consuming his vessel. But his faith only lasted a moment because he took his eyes away from Christ and looked instead to the thrashing waves. In that moment, Peter looked at the storm and not at the savior. And that is only human. 

As an innate worrier, I find myself doing just the same. There is a tendency in us all to focus on and sometimes get lost in the storms of life. Indeed, sometimes the storm may be more like an all-consuming, life-threatening hurricane that we cannot escape. 

But rest assured that we find the answers to the treacherous waters in life and the unexplainable weather patterns that can ravage us in the person of Christ Jesus. Whatever you may be going through—marital turmoil, loneliness, depression, heartbreaking loss—know that there is someone who will heal your wounds and mend your broken heart. 

If you doubt it, take the same challenge that was issued to the doubting Louis Lapides: “Just read the Old Testament and ask the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of Israel—to show you if Jesus is the Messiah.” I did. My challenge came, not in reading the Old Testament, but in asking the all-living God during a moment of loneliness: “If you’re out there, I need to hear from you right now.” 

Miraculously, He answered my call. 

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He will answer yours too. 

Only here—only in Him—will you find serenity in the storm.

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By GIL