Monday, May 4, 2009

Deja vu

Anxious waiting in a hospital waiting room....typing on a borrowed laptop....friends dropping by to encourage....standing in cafeteria lines for another cup of mediocre coffee.....pacing down long white halls....jumping up each time the desk phone rings....

Deja vu. 

The facilities may be new and improved, but it was all eerily familiar.

One year later, and here we are again. 

More WAITING.

Waiting to heal, waiting to know, waiting for things to get better.

Waiting for broken things to be fixed.  (Soooooo many broken things to be fixed.)


Waiting to go home.


********************


As the anniversary of Katherine's AVM rupture approached, I did something I've not done before: 

I read through all the blogs in chronological order. 

I have to tell you, that was a pretty intense trip for me. 

It was also a little embarrassing.  There were few entries I wasn't tempted to tinker with....several I'd just like to delete. So far, I've resisted the temptation. (But I'm not making any promises.)

In spite of my own insecurities, however, the suggestion continues to be made that some of the entries be compiled for print.  I have no idea whether or not that is an actual possibility. Actually, during this time without a laptop, I have been contemplating whether or not this might be my exit cue. Has this sharing of personal stories and meditations run its natural course? 

I would like to ask for your help as we consider what the future holds. It would be very helpful to know which blogs were the most meaningful to you. My powers of discernment are not very great; some of the ones of which I felt the least embarrassed received the fewest comments. (And vice versa.) So I would love to get some feedback from you.

I'm not techno-savvy enough to figure out how to take an internet poll. So I just invite you to hit "comment" and share with me the 2 or 3 posts that spoke to you the most. 

OKAY....this invitation is also for people like me, who would not have been able to figure out how to do something like this before the necessity of emergency. So I'll try to walk you through it:

1. Hit "comments" at the bottom of this post.

2. Under "Choose an identity," enter your google account (gmail, etc.) if you have one. If you do not have a google account, hit "sign up here."

3. Type in your existing email and password. (2x)

4. Under "Display name" you can put your real name or a fake one...I don't care.

5. Try to decipher the squiggly letters under "Word Verification" and type them in.

6. Check "Terms of Service."

7. Hit "continue."


At this point, I believe you should be able to post comments. If you got the word thing wrong, they will give you another chance.

(Note for dummies like me: You are not setting up a gmail account...just using your regular email. If you are not comfortable using your real name, please don't.  Just make up a "nom de plume" like "HotMama," for instance.)

As always, I thank you for your faithful support....especially now that we're waiting again.

Love,
Kim





60 comments:

alalime said...

My very favorite (lifechanging) blog of yours was Home. Com-passion and the rollercoaster one were very memorable as well.

Thank you for being a blessing to so many people through your blog. My mother (who passed away at age 58 last October from metastasized breast cancer) always reminded me that "He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed".

I hope this has been refreshing for you as it most certainly has been for me.

masterdesigned said...

Kim,
Each one of your posts has ministered to my heart in some manner - partly because I knew Katherine as a student here at Samford, partly because I'm a mother and mostly because they have each come directly from your heart with such vulnerability and authenticity. God has used your story to encourage and inspire each one who reads your blog. Just because a post doesn't receive comments doesn't mean it wasn't received by your readers.

God has anointed your words for His greater purpose in all of our lives. I appreciate your sensitivity for discernment, but I truly wouldn't change a thing!

Emily Ferris said...

Oh, please don't stop writing! I've read your blog from the very beginning of Katherine's journey --but I don't think I have commented (maybe once?). As a side note, Katherine and I were counselors together at DeSoto after our freshman year of college (and I also went to Ole Miss with Amie).

I couldn't even begin to name favorites! Literally EVERY SINGLE BLOG has touched my heart, encouraged me, told me something I needed at that very moment, convicted me, brought me to tears (whether due to heartbreak or laughter), convicted me again ... EVERY SINGLE ONE. I can't tell you how many times over the last year I've picked up the phone and called my own mom to say "You have to go read Katherine's Mom's Blog right now." I even re-read your "About Me" about once every week. It never fails to remind me that God is right here with me ... despite the circumstances ... even when I mess up (Messes was a favorite). It makes me praise God anew every time I read that His grace is granted not because of my goodness, but because of His!! Your words are powerful -- and not because they are from you, but because they are from Him! Thank you for allowing us to share this journey with your family.

Love,
Emily
ekferris@gmail.com

p.s. Here goes .. (If I must name a few ...) -- Jesus and Bridget Jones, and Waiting, Hope against Hope, I Know, Graduation ... plus many more!!

keiko said...

You don't know me but I've been attending Bel Air Pres for about 8 years now. I never really got involved until last year when I enrolled in the Monday Night Women's Bibly Study. I remember distinctly the night a lady stood up and announced Katherine's aneurisym. I didn't know Katherine but for some reason I knew that I really needed to pray for this woman. And I did. And I've been praying ever since.

It's so amazing to see God work in your lives. Your family's faith is truly inspiring and I feel so blessed to have been able to go on this journey with you guys through your blog and Katherine's blog. She is an amazing woman and is going to have such a powerful testimony.

Please continue with this blog! I look forward to reading your posts (which are so beautifully written by the way) and hearing about Katherine's progress. It's helped me so much in my own spiritual walk with the Lord. I cannot thank you enough for sharing so honestly. I will always be praying for you guys.

God Bless,

-K

P.S. I could never pick a favorite blog. They were all so heartfelt and honest. You truly have a gift. I hope that you don't ever stop writing.

Sue said...

I agree with the other comments. Every single blog has touched me. You have a beautiful gift. Please don't stop.

Callie said...

I check your blog on a daily basis to see if there are any updates. I love reading each new piece! I cannot wait for both your and Katherine's book(s) to be available to read! I have followed you guys right from the beginning, praying for you each step of the way. It is incredible to see how the Lord has worked. Being a "miracle girl" myself who loves to write, I have begun writing my own story. My family has seen much affliction in what seems like every area of life. Your insight applies to our experiences in many ways. Your blogs are such a blessing to me. I really, really hope you don't stop blogging. Or, if you do, that a book will come out super soon with a collection of your writing!

I cannot wait to one day actually meet you and your beautiful daughter!

God bless!

Here are my personal favorites:

Babies, Talitha Cumi, I Know, Jesus Wept, Okay, Transitions, The New Normal, Then And Now, Hunger, ...And Waiting, Jesus and Bridget Jones, Dreams Deferred, Til We Have Faces

valrn said...

Kim,

I have never left a comment, but I have left this site crying everytime I read it, sometimes out of sorrw, sometimes out of joy. Every post is my favorite because it shows the progression from darkness to light and the struggle for brilliance (that is brilliant light, not extreme intelligence!). I don't know you, but I love you. I have one beautiful blond daughter myself, so I put myself in your place so many times. In the next few days, I am going to read the entries again to see if I do have a favorite; however, I have long thought you need to write at least a devotional book. You are so talented. No wonder your children are. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. As I pray for Katherine, Jay III, and James, I also pray for you, Brooks, Amie, and Grace (also Grandmother Mandy). I am so filled with grief and regret that it took this tragedy in your family to make me read my bible, memorize scripture, and pray without stoping.

Donna Hawkins said...

No, no, nooooo, please don't quit posting. I don't even know you and Katherine but I have been praying for you and following the postings from day-one. I have laughed, cried, laughed and cried again and again! Because of you I have changed so much with how I look at each day as a gift from God and I never take anything for granted anymore. You truly are gifted with your writing ability.

As far as my favorite postings, there are too many to list!

God Bless you Kim!

Erika said...

Hi Kim,

I have been reading your blog since the beginning- I know Katherine through Lauren and Don, and have been praying for your family this past year.

I love all the posts you write- I like how real you are and how you don't censor yourself.

I would be so sad if you stopped writing this blog. It offers another perspective on Katherine's journey, and helps me know what to pray for in her life.

I also like reading about your journey as a mom and how you endure incredibly hard trials in that role.

So, I guess there isn't one "kind" of post I like best- all the ones that are written from your heart (which are all of them)are wonderful. I only wish you updated more often! ;-)

-Erika

Catherine said...

Please don't stop your blog! I check Katherine's website and your blog almost daily to see the latest updates and use it as a devotional time to pray for your latest request. Your blog gives great perspective to the struggles Katherine is dealing with.

I couldn't begin to name a favorite post. So many of them have touched my heart! You have such a way with words.

My God continue to be with Katherine and your family as the healing journey continues.

Blessings,
Catherine

athensmom said...

Kim,
I wanted to encourage you to continue writing. I believe that you have a gift and God has used your writing mightily in my life. I have often asked myself why I read your blogs. Yes, we "know" you guys, we live in Athens, our paths have crossed at times, our girls camp at Desoto. (Anne Henderson is my name - yeah, Stan and Martha's daughter in law). Anyway, I've written so many letters back to you through prayer and in my mind to tell you how God has used your written words.
I've shed tears knowing that there is someone else out there that struggles like I do "Keeping it Real." I've been reminded that I need to look back and see God's hand in my life "Memory Stones." I've been reminded, "Providential Meeting", how God has placed people in my life when they were needed the most. It's funny that we are drawn closer to God even through other's suffering and not just our own. Isn't it amazing how God has used your experience to remind us readers how He has impacted our lives? Of course, it's all about ME and how your writing has impacted me. Maybe you're feeling that same way with your writing - maybe you're feeling that it's all about YOU - but through God's amazing, infinite, and never stopping love and grace He is using you as beacon to shine on HIM! Be encouraged, keep writing, keep being real. C.S. Lewis wrote: "God loves us; not because we are loveable but because he is love, not because he needs to receive but because He delights to give." RECEIVE and REST in HIS LOVE!

Kirsten said...

I started reading your blog last summer when I found out about Katherine's injury. I do not know Katherine, but was linked to her story from Rhett Smith-my college pastor at Bel Air. I have some friends at Bel Air who know Katherine through their Bible studies and discipleship groups and was immediately drawn to praying for her up here in San Francisco. I check your blog almost daily for updates and even make (encourage?) my fiance to read all the updates as well.

I really love them all, but especially like the Til We Have Faces and Hope Against Hope posts.

When talking to friends, I've told them about Katherine's story to remind them that God still moves. Thanks for letting Him use your gifts to remind us of this!

Ash said...

Mrs. Kim,I truly have enjoyed every word that you have written from Hope against Hope, to Public Exposure, and laughing and crying reading A Day in the Life. (it was my thoughts exactly on my life right now as I try to raise a 16 month old...crazy and never a dull moment) You have such an amazing gift of writing you have to continue to bless the hearts of so many by sharing the raw emotion that you are feeling and going through. I look forward to reading what you write every blog. Thank you for sharing and blessing me in so many ways!

Ash said...

I have truly enjoyed every word that you have written. Your blogs have been such a blessing to me. From Hope against Hope, Public Exposure, to A Day in the Life (which is my life exactly as I try to raise a 16 month old...there is never a dull moment) You have such a gift of writing and ministering to so many hearts. Your raw emotion through all of this as been amazing to read and such a blessing to me. Thank you! Please continue sharing your heart, its a wonderful thing.
Asheley Holcomb York

VA mom of 4 said...

Ditto Emily's post-
don't stop!!! I'll read about you picking your toes... it's good stuff

yvonne said...

please please please do not stop sharing. GOD has blessed you with a special gift. If you don't use it you might lose it and that would make a lot of people sad.

Kim Godawa said...

Dear Kim,

Every blog has stuck in my head for days....I don't remember the titles, but I remember the content. I often share them with many people.

For example, as a nurse I share them with patients to encourage them, as a nursing instructor I share them with my students to heighten their awareness to how families feel, and as a friend I share them with other friends who feel they just can't trust God enough.

So you see, there would be many people who would be less aware of God's power and goodness if you stopped writing. However, I know it might be draining at times to juggle everything you do and still feel the burden to update us.

You are gifted with your words, and I hope you have been encouraged to write when you can and take a break when you need it.

Warmly,
Kim

Suzanah said...

Mrs. Arnold:
There is no way I could choose one of your posts over another. Alone they tell a story yet together they create a timeline of thought that should not be disrupted. Many thanks for taking the time to share your world and truth.

I know a boutique publishing house that is very interested in your posts. Please contact me if you are.
With appreciation and continued prayers,
Suzanah
suzanahraffield@yahoo.com

Wendy said...

Dear Kim,

I've been following your blog anonymously since you first started. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to comment but didn't. Clearly now is the time to change that...

Although I've never met Katherine or Jay, I have friends in the young marrieds group at Bel Air Pres (where I'm a member) who share wonderful things about them both. It was though one of those friends that I first heard about Katherine's story and like so many others felt compelled to pray for her. (Once even getting up in the middle of the night to do so.)

Soon after I found your blog and read five posts in a row (with a box of tissue). I can't even begin to tell you what a huge gift your words and thoughts have been to me. I've wept and laughed and enjoyed every word. But more than that, I've seen Jesus in a whole new way. I so appreciate the honesty, vulnerability and rawness with which you write. I've shared this blog with many of my friends and it's become a conversation topic at more than one dinner party. (I'm seriously surprised you haven't been contacted for a book deal.)

All that to say, I selfishly hope you do continue with the blog as it's been so enriching to me and many others I know. I love all the posts but if I had to pick favorites they would be; Suffering, Hunger, Jesus Wept and Roller Coaster Ride. With Suffering being my all time favorite. You have no idea how many times I've listened to that song and thought of you.

Because I've been meaning to tell you for a year now, Thank You. I continue to pray for you, Katherine and your family.

Many Blessings,

Wendy

Marita said...

Mrs Arnold, you are a highly skilled writer and I agree with everyone else, please don't stop! All your entries had a powerful impact on me and always led me to pray for you and your family. Most moved me to tears. Your depiction of scenes and the images you sketch of your new life convey an honesty and authenticity that few writers so close to such a situation can achieve as naturally as you do. Your writing is unsentimental and bold, which is what I love most about it.
I believe your blog entries can be easily compiled into a book and can become a powerful vehicle for ministering - the whole collection should be included as it shows your journey and your unshakable and consistent faith in the Lord, throughout the massive challenges you and your family faced, and still do. I pray and trust He will guide you to see a clearer path of how you can use this blog and eventual book to continue spreading Katherine's miraculous story around the world!
Thank you for sharing this journey with all of us, I feel so blessed through it!

kemannin said...

KIm-
Talk about lacking powers of discernment: I have loved them ALL!! Each entry has offered me a way to be closer, to God, to Katherine, to Jay, to my fellow human beings in all of their (unbeknownst-to-me-yet very real) suffering. I very selfishly doubt that God is done with your blogging ministry. Please keep writing (Best Buy, please get her computer fixed soon to lessen the challenge) and KNOW that your words are like manna from heaven.

Charles said...

I vote that you would take every blog entry, completely unedited, and compile it into a book. There is no way to recapture some of that raw emotion and it is that raw emotion that so many people can connect with. You are a gifted writer and communicator. I see now where Katy gets it from. Oh and I will buy 100 copies of this book when it comes out and give it to all my friends and family!

LittleHoya said...

I don't think I have ever left a comment, and now, I regret that. I completely understand your hesitation to expose so much of your life with complete strangers, but as Katherine searches for meaning in her pain, I think it is important to understand just how many people are touched by her story and have had their faith restored---and reading yours and Katherine's updates and reflections are a big part of that. Following your journey and praying EVERYDAY for your family has reinvigorated my faith in a way I could not have possibly imagined. Please keep writing and sharing your journey with us!

There are too many 'favorites' to pick just one. Dreams Deferred is one that stands out to me. I appreciate when you touch on aspects of Katherine's challenges that we may not have even considered. It helps me focus my prayer on specific aspects of her health and daily life.

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this journey. You have a gift for writing, and I hope you continue to share it with us.

becky weber said...

Kim -
I have only posted one time before but have been following your site and Katherine's since the begining. Jay Wolf baptized me many years ago at First Baptist Alexandria which is my only connection to your family. I read both sites first thing when I come into the office every morning. They give me renewal, restoration and hope that God is alive and using all things for good. Romans 8:28 has always been my favorite verse and Katherine and your families are living proof of it. Your writings also help me pray more specifically for Katherine and all of you. So please keep writing. I for one would love to continue to come alongside your journey and be a witness to the continued miracles, healing and mighty power and purpose God is still unfolding for Katherine, you and your families.
Becky Weber
Falls Church, Virginia

skij2001 said...

Kim,
I am not sure sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but it was right after your whole ordeal started. Not long after that I had to leave my husband and take my two children with me. I had lived a rollercoaster of emotional and psychological abuse and decided to say, "No more!" All that to say I have continued to read your blog every week. Your honesty and faith were and are such an encouragement to me.

It is now a year later, God has done a miracle in my marriage! It took intense counseling, and life changing, humbling experiences for my husband. I now know what a "heart change" looks like.

But, there is much healing to be done that can only be accomplished with time and commitment. Though I could NEVER know the battle Katherine and your family have been through, I have related to "the slow healing process". Day by day my severe, bleeding emotional wounds of abuse are healing.
i realize that I "stumbled" upon your blog because God was using you to show me how healing takes time, and that's ok. I am a bit of a perfectionist and love to take care of things right away! Sometimes that is just not possible.
I know now that I had to go through the fire to grow.
Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability, it has helped me through the hardest time in my life. My husband has now been home for a month, and God is healing our marriage everyday.
I couldn't pick one blog, to me they were all relevant and touching. It is all....."life" Please keep writing.
I am praying for Katherine and your family! It has been a heart wrenching, faith building process that has helped me to change and grow as well. Thank you, thank you!

Whitney said...

Mrs. Arnold,

I've loved them all in their own way, and I think you truly do have a gift for writing (and I'm an editor and English major so I'm super picky about saying that!). I've appreciated your willingness to bare your soul through all of this so that we might be able to feel what is going on and offer what little support and love we can.

If I had to pick favorites, I would choose Talitha Cumi!, Babies, and A Letter to Katherine. All of them have words that have stuck with me and I have thought about after the initial reading.

Please keep updating us and know that your Athens family loves and supports you all through this. It's been a miracle and a gift to see how far Katherine has come already.

Love,
Whitney (Campbell) Hand

Sharon said...

Kim,
I loved every single one of your blogs. I am sorry that I won't be of any help in that department. I always looked so forward to reading them because it gave me a sense of "being there". You are a wonderful writer and I hope you will keep it up. I would miss them terribly.
Sharon

courtneytidmore said...

My favorite post was "A Time for Tears." I am Katherine's age and have a 2 year old little boy, so this post really touched me. As a mom I just can't imagine not being able to take care of my son, so my heart just broke when I read this post. I think about Katherine and her struggle every time I start to get frustrated with my little boy. I try to remember how blessed I am to be able to pick him up and change his diaper. She has been such an inspiration to me. I would love for her story and your blogs to be published so that even more people could be inspired to be more like our Heavenly Father.

Sarah Hunt Oswald said...

Mrs. Arnold,

I agree with all of the other comments. You have an amazing gift. You really should write a book - It would fly off the shelves and change countless lives! Thank you so much for sharing your family's story over the past year. I have followed you guys right from the beginning, praying for you each step of the way. It has been such a blessing to my life and I look always look forward to reading your blogs and hearing updates about Katherine's continued progress. It is so amazing to see God work in your lives. Your family's faith is truly an inspiration. I went to Ole Miss with Amie and though I have not met Katherine, she has touched my life in so many ways. God is using her to advance His Kingdom and bring so many people to Him each and every day.

Thank you for being a blessing to so many people through your blog. I always look forward to reading your new entries. You have a beautiful gift and I appreciate the vulnerability and honesty that you have shared. I couldn't possibly pick a favorite... They are all wonderfully heartfelt, candid and moving. Thank you for allowing us to share this journey with you. It has helped me so much in my own relationship with the Lord. I will continue to pray for Katherine and your family as the healing journey continues. I hope you will keep writing!

Thanks Again and God Bless,

Sarah Hunt Oswald

mcdaniellaurie said...

I have been trying to write this comment forever, and it is very hard! I don't know how you write blogs for all of us to read with so mush ease. Although it's hard for me to verbalize how much your blog has touched me, please understand that it has truly been a blessing. I could never find a favorite, as each one is so special. I've never commented before, but always read and get a lot from each entry.

Nida Rab said...

i was just telling trippy how you should publish your blog! i can't pick my top three because they're all so amazing. you truly have a gift with words, and i know the Lord is using you to reach and minister to so many people. i am humbled by your posts, and obsessively check to see when you have written a new one-- i'm a big fan :) your honesty and openness reach the inmost parts of my heart, and i know i'm not the only one. you are an incredible inspiration, so please don't stop blogging!!

Brenda See said...

My reaction is that every time I have started to read one of your posts, it didn't affect me so much at the beginning, but by the end, I found myself in tears. I thought, "She's done it again. Just when I thought I wouldn't be affected this time . . ."

It isn't about picking one or two favorites, in my opinion, because what you are asking about is whether you have the talent or aptitude to sustain this in a full book (I think that's what you are asking). You are also wondering whether this thing has run its course, i.e., do I have more "stuff" in me to write down on paper.

Having read what you've written so far, I'd say there's more than enough within you to write, write, write.

While this has been cathartic for you, it has been so spiritually challenging for us as readers to know that we were being part of this journey by praying and crying with you, and rejoicing sometimes.

They're all favorites for me because they are God speaking.
Thank you.

ANM said...

favorites: nov.14 & 7, oct.31st

Jenswim24 said...

Hi Kim,

I have been reading since the beginning but this is my first comment. I am a member at Bel Air and know Katherine through Anna Stover. Your words mean so much to me, don't stop. I am a writer and a thinker too and since I could read I've gone to Anne Lamott for wisdom and that kindred feeling you describe in About Me as "My head knowledge and my emotions are often at war with each other."

I am touched when I read your words. Some allow me to cry in the way I've needed to cry but have been too tough to let myself go there. Others affirm that God is grandiose and outside of the box I put him in, which is the reason I know he is true. Reading your posts reminds me that in the thick of the head-heart war returning to God will bring peace, eventually.

Tonight I read several of your posts to the girls in my discipleship group. We started off by reading Acts 2-4, about the miracles happening during the early church. We talked about how different the community described in Acts is from Los Angeles and that we don't feel like the people Luke describes ("filled with awe" "with glad and sincere hearts"). We felt encouraged as we read through your version of Katherine's story. We felt as though we reclaimed a piece of the early church for our lifetime. God still deeply cares for our tired, worried, distracted community. He cares for your family and for Katherine and for all of us witnessing his miracle.

My three favorites are Blind Trust, Into the Void, Healing Touch, and (bonus) About Me. Don't stop.

Jenny

Jennifer said...

Please continue to write! I have been touched by every blog. It helps me to know how to pray for Katherine and your whole family.

Ashley said...

Kim -
I do not know you or your family personally, but I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that it has not been just one individual post you have written that has spoken to me. It has been your constant, honest pursuit of God and godliness in the midst of crisis that has me coming back to your blog for more encouragement and inspiration for my daily life. Thank you for 'living' your faith so publicly for the benefit of all of us on the receiving end across the country as we sit glued to our computer screens. We pray for you and cheer you on, based on what glimpses of your journey we are able to see through your blog. Obviously it is your decision, but I really hope that you continue this blog throughout your life journey. You are a gifted writer and even more so, I love the way you process life and it's events in light of your relationship with Christ. And selfishly, I do love knowing exactly how to pray for your sweet family and especially for Katherine, through a mother's eyes (yours).

Kristen said...

I agree with all of the others. You are an amazing writer and come to your blog for encouragement. I am not sure which ones are favorite because I liked them all. It is true! I like your honesty and humor (when you were monitoring your grandson in the crib and dealing with his poopy diaper). you are an amazing woman!

kristen (survived rupture brain aneurysm and clipping Feb 2008)

suzi rocketteu said...

Ok as of this post 35 go in front of me...I too have been reading you blog and Kats from the start...and always cry....from the rich truth, from how God is moving, and then how to pray!
PLEASE DONT STOP.(if you are able to continue) we are all growing in faith because of how He is using you.
This weekend was the womans retreat at bel air where Kat and I first met. Its theme was being a daring woman.
YOU ARE JUST THAT! "ON THE HEIGHTS,BESIDE THE WAY,AT THE CROSSROADS SHE TAKES HER STAND..." PROVERBS 8:2.
YOUR TALENT FOR THE WRITTEN WORD IS SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO.
You have given me something to stand on...God's promise. Your love and truth is an amasing way to see our Father at work.
I call you friend because of how close I feel to you through your blogs.
If I had to pick... the new normal was one that I will never forget. But that said ALL should be in a book that I know so many more would be blessed by.
You are a witness to us all.
So much love and thanks

cassie said...

I have kept up with your blog since the beginning. I am Katherine's age with a 23 month old son, and though Katherine and I don't know each other, we have mutual friends.

By far, my favorite blog is "messes." You clearly put into words the way I feel some days. And, more importantly, I never knew how exactly Christ loves me until I had my little boy and had to battle through tantrums and "messes."

Susan said...

Not one time have I ever been compelled to leave a comment on anyone's blog. It just isn't "me." But, this is important, so I am doing it now! PLEASE, PLEASE do not end your blog. You have such a gift for cutting right to the heart of what is important at any given moment and doing so with humor, love, and grace. You have taught so many people so much about facing adversity, both your own and Katherine's.

Like so many others have written, all of your blogs are my favorites. Whatever I just read is my favorite until I read another one. I hate to confess this, but I sometimes visit your blog two or three times a day just to see if there is something new or to re-read things I know are already there. I just HATE it when you have "technical difficulties." Now, if I had to choose, I would pick Home, Hope Against Hope, and Jesus and Bridget Jones as some of my favorites.

I have never met Katherine or anyone in your family, and I feel like I know everyone! I pray for all of you and am eagerly waiting for the next step in Katherine's healing and restoration.

Kelly Greene said...

Kim,

I, as may others, have never left a comment, but I read your blog regularly and have always wanted to comment. You are such an amazing woman and it is so refreshing to read about your walk with our Lord. My youngest sister suffered from Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 16 and my family went through quite a bit. Fortunately she is cancer free now, but the point I want to make is that our faith grew immensely and her sickness was a blessing in that sense. I am constantly praying for your daughter and your family; I know it isn't an easy road. Thank you for putting yourself out there and opening your heart up to the world. I have a list of 14 favorites in front of me, but will include my top 3: Jesus Wept, A Time for Tears and A Letter to Katherine. God Bless you and your family. Please continute writing, it is a gift from God!

In His Name,

Kelly Greene
(A sorority sister of your daughter, Amie, or as I like to refer to her 'Hunnah.'

Julie Powell Caldwell said...

kim,
please dont stop blogging. It's not a particular post that can or needs to stand alone but your honest sharing of the going through that connects and speaks. In the midst of everything you cannot possibly see or know the arc of the story those of us reading do. You are the one present in the moments, mining them for their worth, and sending them out on the cart of your blogs. You are the canary in the coal mine that never succumbs. That is hope. That is faith. And that is why we all check every day to see if you've posted something new. Not needing anything more than for you to still be there.

Laurel said...

I can't possibly pick a favorite. All I can tell you is nearly every one brought me to tears and I am NOT a weepy person. Feel free to verify with anyone who knows me. Send me an inspirational chain email and I am likely to delete it with a derisive snort before I get to the bottom.

What you write is different because it is both raw and polished. Katherine's gift for communicating was clearly inherited. You distill thoughts and feelings into something universally approachable.

I hope you keep going but your first priority needs to be yourself and your family. If blogging has become a pressure or responsibility that takes your energy away from more important things or is a burden instead of a release, it's time to take a break. I have a feeling, though, that if you stop altogether you will find you miss it.

I hope Katherine's recovery from surgery is going well and her pain has subsided. We're still praying for her every night...my almost five year old talks about the girl with the "owie in her brain." I wish I could get a sneak preview of Katherine in a year, two, or five. She's a force of nature and I can't wait to see what's coming!

Carol Brooks said...

My EIGHT favorites are,Then and Now, Tender Mercies, Waiting, Hunger, The Next Right Thing, Really, Home, and A Time for Tears.It has been cathartic for me to read your blogs because my "story" is very similiar to yours. I especially understand how it feels to be "unsettled, scattered and fragmented." Don't stop writing...I'm addicted.

joey alfonso said...

Mrs. Arnold, I have used your blog to keep up with Katherine's condition over the past year. You do write beautifully and I have enjoyed, sometimes with much emotion, your stories. Whatever you decide to do with the stories will be a blessing because they already have been. Katherine has always been one of my favorite students in 17 years of teaching. I remember when she recited Romans Chapter 8. I was blown away and challenged I might add to study more my self. You and your family have been instruments of strength during a most pressing time. Thanks for your honesty and for your example of Love. Tell all the family I said hello. Especially Katherine! Love to you all! Coach Alfonso

The Knoxes said...

After going through an AVM, stroke, and rehab this year, your letter to Katherine, and the one about her missing smile really touched me. Please continue to write. It is good to know that 'well' people are frustrated by the long waiting process too.

Christa
Portland, OR

Jean - Marie said...

Don't stop!!!! I personally don't know you and Katherine ( I have know the Wolf family since 1984), but your blog entries have touched me!! I love ALL OF THEM !!!!

Ginny Evans said...

Kim, please do not ever stop writing! God has given you such a gift that comes from the heart and I could never ever pick a "favorite" blog! A book? Yes, and they should all go in there. It is a story from the beginning and every detail, every thought was important and ministered to someone, somwhere in a special way! You have been an inspiration to so many, just as Katherine and James have and it would be such a loss for the world not to be able to keep up with all of you in the future!! Please consider the book and every single blog you have written! It is your story about your beautiful daughter and life and feelings and thoughts and reality. You are all ministers in a form and such a blessing!

Peggy said...

Dearest Kim,
How do we as a faith community, cyber and geographic, say thank you for your willingness to share your story? I have known you and your family for many years and yet have not truly known you. The intimacy with which you write is a God given gift. Even when you are broken open, or because of it, you are sharing the Good news of God's unfailing love in a way that clearly strikes directly to the heart of all who read your blog. Like so many others, I have followed your writing from the outset. I have been moved by each and every entry. And I have felt a deep sense of God's authorship through your pen. Would I have gone down on my knees in prayer as often in the last year had I not read your journal? You are in such a numinous, terribly beautiful place. So many of your powerful images linger for days, weeks and months. And, as is the case with all truly inspirational stories, somehow your story dovetails with our own life journeys. We all thirst for the life giving Source so that we may flower into the child of God we were meant to be from the beginning. I still see those beautiful flowers, about which you wrote with some trembling, blooming out of Katherine's head. I, too, have seen the soft shade of that projected cross across my days as I have toiled and rested. Kim, what a gift, those images.
I have never left a comment, but have been blessed immeasurably by your great-hearted laying open of your personal journey as you bravely accompany your wounded Katherine on her arduous path of healing.
I hope you will publish all the entries in book form and that you will continue to blog. It has become a ministry.

with Love,
PTL
Peggy Thrasher Law

JACKIE said...

Kim,

I hope you will continue to share and bless us with your wonderful blogs. I am probably among many that have never met you or your family but have been inspired and drawn closer in faith by reading your writings. What your family has endured and continues to is truly an inspiration to all. You have been blessed with a beautiful writing ability that is allowing us to read about one of God's miracles...Katherine.

A said...

Hi Mrs. Kim,

Like so many others, this blog has taken on significant meaning in my life, not only as a way of sharing your and your family's journey but also as a source of wisdom, faith and comfort in my own life.

The most powerful entry for me was "A Bruised Reed." In times of crisis, the hugeness of it all is often beyond our grasp, and terms like "intensive care" and "critical condition" fall short in offering any meaningful understanding of what has happened. With "A Bruised Reed" you guided us with stark, brutal honesty towards an acceptance of this uncertain, new reality.

It's interesting--that entry was also, emotionally, the hardest for me to get through. It was, as your introduction warned, almost too real. But I think the intense emotional chord this entry struck with me is a tribute to your courage in a ruthlessly honest depiction of Katherine's grave condition at the time. It was the first time I think I really grasped what had happened and how life-altering it was for everyone. As I read subsequent entries, I often marvel at how far Katherine has come from the condition described in "A Bruised Reed". Thank you for that consistent reminder of the miracle of her survival and recovery.

griffbyrd said...

kim,
yor are one amazing writer. i look foward to reading your entries whenever i can. you are truly a gifted writer and i hope that this is a way of "venting" your hopes, fears and emotions. everytime i pull up your blog, i think about what could you be possibly going through. i think about my sister, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given only months to live. she is 40 now and has two beautiful children. for almost two years she went through chemo and radiation. it was not fun i tell you. i wish that i could have done something to ease her pain and reassure her "that this too shall pass". i feel the same way about you. i wish that i could make everything back to normal. i do pray everyday and so i leave the rest up to God. thank you for all that you give us.

love,
jeannie

linde said...

i haven't been blogging in a while, so i am just now getting to this. i think i am most thankful for this blog because it has consistently reminded me to pray for someone that i only know through a friend. i genuinely find myself praying for katherine at random times. i believe that is the holy spirit moving through his kids. your words and entries help guide my prayers. i am not sure if i have a favorite entry. i appreciate the authenticity and invitation to pray with your family most. thank you for sharing your heart ache and Joy with us!

KR said...

Oh my. I can't choose. I can only share that your writing has been an incredible encouragement to me. My son, also named James, is 16 months old and had heart surgery last June. Somewhere in the late night hours of the ICU I came across your blog and it lifted me. And simultaneously brought me to my knees for Katherine, her sweet baby James, and all of you. To borrow from the movie Shadowlands, "We read to know we're not alone." Happy, snappy, chronicles of fantasy family life are of no help to those of us wrestling with diagnoses, diapers and desert wanderings. Your willingness to share has been a stream in my desert and I'm so grateful. I pray you continue...it's a gift. And I don't just read, I pray.

tygrk said...

Kim,
I can't say which blog has been my favorite, but I can say I have read your updates regularly. I knew Katherine at Samford so for me there is a personal tie in, but i have also written down the address for so many people who don't know you all. the thing i most typically say is, " i know that it sounds like a tragic story, and it is heartbreaking, but it is also so unbelievably encouraging. You can see God's hand on every turn."

Again, I can't say my favorite, but hearing the bits and piece of everything are what point the most to God--the times you don't know what to say to Katherine, when you are mad, and more--all point to the fact that our faith in our Lord is not because of what is going on, but in spite of it.

i continue to praise the mighty hand of God and anxiously await seeing what he will do next!

Nikki said...

Kim,
You are such a gifted writer! I have been following Katherine's story since the beginning and have been truly inspired by both Katherine and you. I love how you hold nothing back when you write and you put it all out there. I have been amazed that after I read your blog, I feel as if God is speaking to me specificly through you, as if it was written for me to read it--each time! I know the Lord is using Katherine in such a magnificent way, one in which we will not even be able to imagine. I pray for her daily, as well as your family. Thank you for sharing your story, and blessing me through it!

Desiree said...

I'm a little late to the game here--I too have been without a computer for a little while, but I think I am just repeating what everyone else has said--please don't stop blogging. And please leave these posts for everyone to see and reference. I have read every single one of them and I continue to check back daily (when I can!) for updates. You said something in one of your blogs about James and his messes that has stuck with me and I find myself thinking about it often--it was something along the lines of how me may make a mess or be in a mess, but you refuse to let him wallow in it. Prophetic words indeed! And a sentiment that I find myself repeating and applying to situations in my own life. You have this wonderful gift of writing and being able to articulate your feelings in the midst of such a terrible situation and I think you are doing the best thing for you and for all of us by sharing it.

I hope that you and Katherine and Jay and James are doing as well as you can after the surgery. I am anxiously awaiting more news and progress reports!

And as always, if there is anything that I can do for any of you, please don't hesitate to ask!

Much love always,

Desiree

Christy said...

I absolutely LOVE reading your blogs - I have cried and cried on so many of them (most) and they have all touched me greatly. I (like you) have 3 girls - but mine are 4, 3, and 1. I have read so much and thought about my family, how I will raise the girls, etc. I am a member of FBC and have been praying for Katherine every day! I have said to SO MANY - she needs to make these posts into a book! How great would it be for people (mothers esp) who are going through a similar situation! LOVE YOU!

gaycrowe said...

My favorite is April 23rd It was the one that began all of your blogs. So many of us were scared worried frightened along with you and for you. To be reminded that you all were being "carried" by our God brought comfort.
You have been Florence Nightingale, Mother, and GRANDmother.
Thank you for your blogs. All are wonderful!!!

allison said...

Kim,
I cannot tell you how much your blogs have meant to all of us following Katherine's story. She is so amazing and your family is one of a kind.
I cannot pick a favorite blog because it seems that each one I read has allowed me to see your situation (and the situations in my own life) in a different light...in the light of God. I believe your gift of storytelling and your humility for Christ has inspired more people than you will ever know!
love, allison guyer