Thursday, May 15, 2008

Waves

I’m still feeling a little like I just walked out of a public restroom trailing 10 feet of toilet paper. But the unconditional love that has been showered down on me in the wake of my wave-tossed wailing makes it astoundingly worth it. I am humbled and so very grateful. If you really want to be blessed, skip the blogs from now on and just read the comments. They are profound and deeply comforting.

My youngest child sent me a text message (yes, even I text) 2 days after the seismic shift in our lives. She wrote, “Katherine and the whole family are very loved. Though it is sad that it must come under these circumstances, if you ever had any doubt about people loving you this should certainly bring some reassurance.” Yes, I’ve had my doubts...sometimes I don’t even like me. But there has been a rising tsunami wave of unconditional love that lifts me up far above the storm of doubts and turmoil. Even if I am double-minded, even if I start to sink in the tumultuous sea, this love that passes understanding flows underneath me, scoops me up, and sets my feet back on the surfboard so I glide above it all. I just have to remember not to look down.

I pray that one day I will be able to “comfort others with the comfort I have received.” This experience has made manifest the kind of agape love that changes hearts, lives...ultimately the world. The Darkness cannot extinguish it or stop the flow. It keeps rippling on and on, little streams trickling into rushing rivers that plunge into an infinite sea. Waves of mercy, waves of grace...

I praise God that He is using this present suffering to produce such a love-feast. It is a tiny inkling of the one to come.

16 comments:

linde said...

"When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken...The Lord redeems the life of His servants; none of those who refuge in Him will be condemned." Psalm 34:18-22

Praying for Sweet Katherine and your family in Texas!

Christy said...

I've been following Katherine's story since the beginning...I check your blog daily and I'm always touched by the words you write.

My father-in-law had appendicitis back in the Fall. After 3 weeks of going undiagnosed...he was told it was his prostate! In a nutshell, the doctor said it was by far the worst case he'd ever seen...After weeks of ICU, almost dying twice...God restored him to health. He's 67 and already back to work! We know this was a miracle.

I pray that God would give you the desires of your heart and completely restore Katherine's body and mind.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in His children and with GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

I hope that one day you will publish these writings...

Christy Gandy
Montgomery, AL

candycarrillo said...

Kim, You have already provided many hours of comfort to hundreds of people. Now, with your blog, you reach thousands. Praise God you are blessed with your writing gift and unafraid to share your soul, wounded and exhausted as it must be at this point. I pray for healing of your body right now, along with Katherine's CONTINUED MIRACULOUS healing. I know He WILL complete the good work He has begun. I have tried to memorize Romans 8 by sight, but no luck, so I bought an entire New Testament on CD yesterday at Lifeway. Of course I shared "your" story- can't help it. All I heard from the employee was, "Praise God", over and over. She is now being prayed for at their store, and the ladies at Now and Again. I hope Brooks remembered to bring the CD I made of my favorite contemporary Christian songs- the first one is about giving you rest, one of the verses you've quoted on your blog.
I Love You All,
Candy

jnegaucho said...

I'm a friend of Katherine's from Bel Air Pres, and I've been praying for all of you constantly...your blog has been an inspiration to me-I love checking it to see what nigget of wisdom and heart you will share with us each day. Your words are beautifully chosen and I know that God is in the middle of something beyond our imaginations. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Take heart, and rest in the knowledge that God IS.

Nancy said...

Kim, you have blessed me and so many others already! Your true gifts are coming out now and I can't tell enough how much of a blessing you have been to me. We all go through really dark times and sharing the suffering is not easy. I can understand your pain on a certain level as I have had a child in great suffering at one time. It's like you have looked inside my heart and are telling my story. I share the agony with you, I feel the sorrow of Katherine. I wish I could look in her eyes, hold her hand and tell her to fight. Fight Katherine, you are in the biggest battle of your life here dear and we truly are praying daily for more armor. And she would have to memorize such a long chapter!! Romans 8 is incredible. Well I wasn't a pk for nothing, so I am also rising up to the challenge. Tell her I am doing it for her and you.

Love from Athens, Georgia

Nancy Blue

Bonnie Trulove said...

Dearest Kim,

I'm a member of Jay's flock here in Montgomery and haven't posted thus far . . . but I check all the websites many times a day yearning for more news and to "hear your heart" as you go through this with your Katherine.

Regarding you prior post, please don't edit yourself if you can help it. We are hurting with you, hoping with you, trying not to despair with you, praying and praising with you. We need to join you in the good news and in the sober reality of what is happening to Katherine, to you, and to the family members that we know here.

As a mom of a special needs child, I recognize what you are going through, albeit our personal situation has never been dire --just life-long.

Through your blog, you join people like me in our wavering reactions to what has happened to us and to our babies. Your blog is not only informative and food for our hearts as we wonder hourly how Katherine is, but it is also affirmation of how we feel about the trials in our own lives. You remind us that "we are weak, but HE is strong . . . YES!!! Jesus loves me . . ."

As for the knee-jerk reaction to want to delete your blog, know that you have explained your heart and your shortcomings. We are not judging you -- we are recognizing our own reactions in yours, and praising God for the strength that He is giving you, and lifting you when we sense that your strength needs a little "fluffing up." If you only let us see your strength, we won't know when to stand in the gap for you.

You have such a beautiful gift of written communication . . . don't stop "talking" to us . . . we need to hear you and please know in turn that we are talking back through our prayers, through our tears and through the invisible high-fives we are giving you with each entry.

Sight unseen, we love you and you are in our prayers and thoughts many, many times daily. I can't wait to meet you. Keep hanging in there. God will continue showing you His plan and with time, it becomes very sweet. I can say this as one who thought she would never would, but in the end, you wouldn't want it any other way. That is His assurance. "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus . . ."

Love,
Bonnie Trulove
Montgomery, Alabama

A Friend in Montgomery said...

Dear Kim,

You don’t know me, and I’ve not yet had the pleasure of meeting your sweet Katherine, but like so many now who share this lament, I feel as if I know her. The several websites with literally thousands of comments from those who do know her paint a lovely picture. And our dear pastor Jay speaks of her with such deep affection.

Please forgive me if this seems hokey, or worse, intrusive. I hope this won’t discourage your sharing with “the masses”… You’re being used for such good. But I dreamed about Katherine last night. I don’t usually attach much significance to dreams, and I’ve certainly never approached a stranger with one, but I felt led. I keep a little scripture box on my desk at work, and after I’d put these thoughts to paper I questioned whether I should send them. I asked the Lord for a word of guidance, then pulled out a card – Romans 10:12: “There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”

I’ve been a believer for most of my nearly 50 years. I love my God, my family, my friends and my church family with all my heart. Or at least I thought I did. You and Katherine have given me pause to reflect on this, and I’ve been doing just that since I woke in the wee hours.

Katherine was as beautiful in my dream as in any of her photos. A massive flood of people – family, friends, medical staff, church members and total strangers – formed an endless, winding line outside her glass-enclosed ICU room. Although very, very sick Katherine smiled as they approached her bedside, one at a time. Reaching out with both hands, she’d take their hands in hers. She didn’t speak but her eyes conveyed to everyone a heart-crushing tenderness. It was as if she had deep empathy for them, for the pain they felt on her behalf. When my turn came she did the same, and I was suddenly aware of what must be the source of her phenomenal appeal. More than the tragedy of a beautiful young wife and mother fighting for her life and her family’s future, more even than the awesome and far-reaching influence of hers and Jason’s faith, what drew people to Katherine was her profound capacity to love – family, friends and strangers alike – deeply, genuinely and selflessly.

I don’t presume to know your child or to put her (or you) on a pedestal. I’m a mother of daughters, too. We all have our moments. It’s just been so long since I felt that desperate, death-defying love for my firstborn that you describe with such aching clarity. They’re the same age, our girls, but mine took a different path, starting in junior high. For so long we watched her teeter at the edge of a dark pit. Dozens of sleepless nights, hundreds of fervent prayers, thousands of tears shed – our hearts have been broken too many times to count… but not in a long while.

I told myself I’d turned her over to God, that faith gave me the strength to let her go. But I realized this morning… I don’t hurt for her anymore. Not like I once did. Somewhere along our Mother-Daughter journey I just got tired. I gave up. I recalled just now the mantra I used to repeat to her after every gut-wrenching intercession, “With Jesus, every day is a new day, an opportunity to start fresh. He can make beauty for ashes…” As I write this, my husband and I are raising our precious little grandson. Our daughter left him with us a month ago to “find her place in the world.” Of course, we know the world has nothing to offer her... But God reminds me every day that He works all things for good - nothing is wasted - and I’ve seen it, again and again and again.

Kim, your breathtaking honesty and excruciatingly tender reflections have reignited a death-defying love for my own daughter. I’d almost forgotten what it felt like, that humongous, ferocious love – heart wide open (however bruised and battered), always ready to give and take more than humanly possible. I won’t let it go again. You and Katherine model this so beautifully for one another, and now for literally thousands. I want to do the same for our daughters, my husband, and our grandson. After all, it’s the same kind of love Jesus modeled for us. Ferocious love isn’t safe, but the blessings are immeasurable and they are eternal. Thank you for reminding me.

Our trials are small compared to the mountain you face... but Greek or Jew, our God is so rich unto us! I just wanted to give you one small example of how God has used you and your heartache for good. My prayer, for Katherine, Jason and sweet little James, for everyone so uniquely blessed to live under the love umbrella Katherine holds over you, is that you’ll find a supernatural strength, comfort, peace and love beneath the one God holds over us all. And I… so very humbly… thank you for allowing Him to work His good through you.

I’m praying day and night that your sweet girl will be restored to you, even stronger and more whole than she was before. But whatever good our Father sees fit to work through your family and through mine, we’re both blessed beyond measure – what an indescribable joy these little grandsons are! May God bless you and keep you in His ferocious love and care.

Kim Luther said...

Brooks and Kim

Paul and I just found out about Katherine today.

I was stunned and deeply saddened. My thoughts were: she is so young and beautiful, she has a new beautiful baby and a marriage that is still so new. She has so much life still ahead of her, this is just so awful.

I spent more that 2 hours reading Katherine's website and reading your blogs, Kim. What an outpouring of love, prayer and support. Just reading it overwhelmed me, I can only imagine how you must feel having it directed your way 24/7.

We are happy and amazed at how much progress Katherine has made, it is a miracle. We know there is still a mountain to climb but climb it you will.

Please know that you, Brooks, Katherine, Jay and James are in our thoughts and in our prayers. We will stay informed via the website and we pray that the miracles continue.

all our love Paul and Kim Luther

andree terry said...

"I just have to remember not to look down"
This mirrors Jim Kilgo's lesson of Peter (an old lesson from 1980)
when in Matthew 15:28
Peter asked Jesus to let him Come to Him on the water...Jim remarked that Peter must have looked down as
he then began to sink...and the Lord took hold of him and said
O YOU OF LITTLE FAITH
WHY DID YOU DOUBT?

We continue to pray with you and for you,
Andree

oby dupree said...

KIM, YOU ARE SO UNSELFISH AND CONSIDERATE TO EVEN TAKE THE TIME TO LEAVE US THESE NOTES OF LOVE. THEY ARE LITERALLY CARRYING THOSE OF US WHO ARE NOT THERE! BLESS YOU FOR THE ABUNDANCE OF LOVE THAT YOU HAVE SHOWN US ALL. WE NEED IT AND GOD MUST HAVE KNOWN IT. CONTINUE YOUR LOVE LETTERS PLEASE....OBY P.S. YOU ARE SUCH A LOVING MOTHER

Kelly said...

I heard about Katherine from a friend aquainted with Jay's family but this is the first time I've seen your blog. What a gift to Katherine and to everyone who reads this!

I will continue to pray for this whole family. I and my family have lived through similar circumstances and I know that the pain is severe, the exhaustion seemingly unending, but also that the nearness of God is tangible and that every moment is somehow tinged with an inexplicable beauty. May His presence envelop all of you and His glory continue to shine forth in this situation.

Many Blessings,

Kelly Tyler
www.livingthecall.com

Sarah McCrory said...

My name is Sarah McCrory. I currently live in New Albany, IN but I used to be a member of First Baptist Montgomery. I didn’t know Jason or Katherine but I saw them at church a few times. I can’t imagine what a blessing it has been to have the Wolf family with you. About a week ago God brought to mind verses in Exodus (Exodus 17:8-16) when Joshua was fighting the Amalekites. I have also become rather fond of the Old Testament recently. In these verses, Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill and when Moses hands were raised Joshua was winning, but when he lowered his hands God’s people would start to lose. So Moses had to keep his hands raised and he started getting weary so his friends found him a rock to sit on and they held his arms up for him. This reminds me of you. I was reading your blog and some of your first posts made me think of this and all of them since then too. I can see in your blogs that sometimes you just want to lower your hands, and sometimes you absolutely need to. It’s painful to keep your arms up for so long. And the truth is you can’t keep your hands raised all the time and its too much on one person to try and be the strong one for your family all of the time, but you know that Christ is your rock and he can give you rest. What you are probably seeing and I am seeing in these comments as well is that there are those of us (friends and strangers) who want to hold your hands up for you so that you can just let them go and metaphorically relax your arms. As I was reading through the passage I saw something else that I thought was interesting. After Israel defeated the Amalekites God told Moses to be sure and tell Joshua and write it down because God was going to wipe out the memory of the Amalekites from history. Wouldn’t it be something if God changed this terrible tragedy into a distant memory by completely healing Katherine? We know he can and I pray that he will. (From Exodus 17) “15Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is My Banner. 16He said “For hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord. The Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation”. I love that, and as I read it I thought about how gracious God is that he gives us this amazing book that has endured for thousands of years and it can speak to these very specific situations in our lives today in a way that hopefully brings peace. I am praying for all of you, especially as you try to get back into some semblance of normalcy.
My Hands are Lifted Up to the Throne of the Lord!
Sarah McCrory

Jessica Billings said...

just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you and praying for you. You've been on my mind a lot today (like most days, but even more so today). I hope it's been a great day for you and Katherine and I was glad to read that your husband was able to fly in - that should bring Katherine's spirits up! each time I read the updates I am reminded of God's great love for His children...and that HE is in control - how I love being in control! But that is not His plan and although it's difficult to release that to Him, He knows best and "has a plan for us"... He can take care of Katherine better than anyone else and I know He is!

Tammy Lindsay said...

Kim,
Oh how I have hesitated writing. The words that have preceded mine are so eloquent and profound. I seem to have a phobia. It's a fear of "public writing", somewhat like that of public speaking. However, I am so grateful for your sharing that I think Its time for me to get over my phobia!
Like many other families in the world, our entire family, immediate and extended, is praying for Katherine and all of you. My sister, Molly in Atlanta is winning the race to memorize Romans 8!
Kim, I consider it just one more blessing for me that you pressed me about meeting on the Friday afternoon before your world turned upside down. If you knew me well, you would know I am a planner and spontaneous appointments are few and far between. I feel I was able get to know you better than I ever have and was enriched by all you shared. In fact, I had a mental note to e-mail you asking you to clarify a very effective parenting tip. Don’t worry. I won’t forget. I will probably make you write it down next weekend!
One of my favorite Bible stories comes from Daniel 3:13-18. It helps us consider different scenarios when people of God face a fiery trial. First, we pray for deliverance. We had faith that Katherine could be delivered FROM the fire. And our faith was BUILT when he did just that. And many more people's faith started afresh!
After He did that and Katherine survived the long, long surgery, we prayed and continue to pray for God to deliver her THROUGH this fire. He is doing just that too! And as a result, our faith is being REFINED.
All these people of faith throughout the world believed and prayed for God to deliver Katherine FROM and THROUGH because we haD the faith that he could. And He has!
Thank you for sharing your every emotion. We cling to your words daily and will pray without ceasing! We are not finished. We will not be finished until Katherine finishes this fiery tial !
And Brooks; You have always been so sweet to remember and ask about “little man” Lake. You have made an impression on him and please know he has not forgotten you either. He may be 14, but he stills prays with us every night when he goes to bed and in 27 days he has yet to forget about your sweet Katherine!
With much love and continuance of blessings from Athens.

GaylieFelchlin said...

Mrs Arnold -- You are way more advanced then I am, I have been trying to figure out how to leave a comment and it was right before my eyes! I have been planning on coming to the hospital but have been busy with finishing up school. I told Grace that I am done with school now with more time on my hands, I know Baby James is with Anna but if she needs a break or has plans for dinner or movie and needs someone to sit with the baby or someone to run to the grocery for her- I am here and willing! Hopefully I will see you this week.....I am constantly thinking about you.

--Gaylie

Nancy said...

Kim, the "waves" of your Athens friends from the last 20+ years are coming upon you all. I am most proud of all of them. My dad was a Baptist preacher years ago in Mobile Alabama, so I know how faithful the Montgomery congregation is to the Wolfe famiy. Katherine has her army and she doesn't have to fight. She has the prayers and love of thousands of us. Even Grace's friends from preschool, my daughter, in the midst of their high school graduation and seemingly the most selfish times of their lives....every day MM ask me about Katherine and you. We are here praying for your recovery and much needed rest.

Nancy Blue