Sunday, November 29, 2009


Did I forget to mention how intensely grateful I am for the incredible support we receive from those of you who have entered into our story and are helping us to bear our burdens? I am so thankful for your compassionate hearts.

A very special thanks to those of you who have shared your dreams, visions, and 'angelic encounters.'

I invite everyone to read the comments under the "Dreams" post. People continue to send in wonderful accounts. (Chills.) Please keep sending them in!

We had about 80 people for our Thanksgiving lunch/dinner. (At my sweet uncle's wonderful house, not here! Thank you, Aunt Harriet!) It was a historic gathering. People were there from as far away as England, Alaska, California, and Connecticut. Thankfully, we were able to spring my mother out of the hospital late Wednesday afternoon, so she was able to be there with all five of her siblings and their extended families. (We never get through the holidays without some drama.) All fourteen of my first cousins were there, 20 second cousins, James representing the next generation, and multiple in-laws, out-laws, significant others, and various other well-loved ones. We made a very diverse and lively (i.e. wild and crazy) group. There was guitar, mandolin, and piano playing. There were babies dancing...fireplaces roaring...children running, fighting, and sneaking goodies. Football in the den. (A 200-year-old log cabin attached to the house.) Lots and lots of hugging and laughing.

When the last group of relatives arrived, we gathered in the beautiful, spacious two-story great room for the blessing. After many whoops and whistles, everyone finally quieted down to pray. We formed a gigantic circle of love. Very unexpectedly, my uncle asked for us to lay hands on Katherine and pray for her healing. I could feel all of that concentrated love-energy pulsing into Katherine. The final guest arrived.

His presence filled the room and our very grateful hearts.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grateful


After my grandmother was no longer able to host the Mega-Family-Thanksgiving meal, we (otherwise fortunate) offspring were forced to create new traditions of our own. One of mine was the “Blessings Box.” It was a humble creation fashioned from a shoe box, wrapping paper, scissors, and tape.

I blackmailed my family and guests into submitting a “blessing card” before they could receive the feast. It forced us all to stop for a minute and write it down. It made the whole thing less generic, more personal.

What am I truly thankful for?

Am I truly thankful at all?

After seeing the things I’ve seen…and being the places I’ve been…over the past year and a half, my list is a little different from before.

This year,

I am thankful I can breathe.

I am thankful I can swallow.

I am thankful I can move.

I am thankful I can see.

I am thankful I can hear.

I am thankful I can talk.

I am thankful I can go to the bathroom by myself.

(I know people who cannot.)


I am thankful I can walk.

I am thankful I can dance.

I am thankful I can think.

I am thankful I can write.

(I’ve seen people who cannot.)


I am thankful I have a family.

I am thankful I have not outlived my children.

I am thankful that my children speak to me.

I am thankful that my children are not in jail.

(I know people who cannot say these things.)


I am thankful for true friends…and for finding out who they are.

I am thankful for my extended family.

I am thankful for unconditional love.

I am thankful for the compassion of strangers.

(I have encountered people who have no one at all.)


I am not proud that I have been given these great gifts, when others I know have not. I am in no way more worthy than they.

So…

I am especially thankful for forgiveness.

I am thankful for mercy.

I am thankful for grace.

I am thankful that this isn’t all there is.

I am thankful that this is not home.

I am thankful that it’s never too late.


I am thankful that God is in control, and I am not.

I am thankful that I know I am not the master of my own fate.

I am thankful that life has stripped me, broken me, humbled me…

and made me so very, very, very

grateful.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Thank you all so much for sharing your beautiful Katherine dreams through the comments and emails. At some point, I hope to assemble a compilation of them.

The common denominator seems to be that, in all of them, Katherine is completely restored.

I pray that these lovely dreams of yours may prove to be prophetic in many ways.


“When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams…” (Numbers 12:6)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

These Dreams



I have very vivid dreams. Often, they are weird, rambling, and random. One strange sequence segues into the next, seemingly without connection or context. Bizarre combinations of characters appear in detailed plot lines. Sometimes I am one of the characters, sometimes not. Sometimes “I” appear, but not as Kim. That was the case last night. I was a young woman with brown hair, married to one of three brothers. We all lived in a huge, scary old house together, along with their widowed father, another sister-in-law, the youngest brother’s inappropriate girlfriend, two children, a baby, and hundreds of gross little animals.

See what I mean?

Really random.

Some mornings, I wake up exhausted from all the nocturnal adventure.

Who knows what brain activity ignites these strange images behind the curtain of our minds? What does it mean? Sometimes I wish I could call someone like Joseph or Daniel and ask for an interpretation.

Both scientifically and theologically speaking, it appears that many dreams, perhaps most, have no real spiritual significance. (Although the psychological implications, of course, are a whole different matter.) According to the New Bible Dictionary, the Israelites during Old Testament times were far less occupied with the dream phenomenon than were the majority of their contemporaries, such as the Egyptians or Babylonians. It goes on to state, “dreams are said to derive from the activities in which the dreamer has been immersed during the day. (Ec.,v.3) However, the OT recognizes that, whatever the origin of a dream, it may become a means by which God communicates with men…”

According to my calculations based upon Strong’s Concordance, a form of the word “dream” appears in the Bible 122 times. Although I certainly don’t believe that every dream is a coded message sent straight from the Almighty, throughout the Bible there are telling examples of dreams used as vehicles of divine communication:

“The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob.' I answered, 'Here I am.' “ (Gen. 31:11

“But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him…” (Gen. 20:3)

"But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 1:20)

Hmmmmm…if not for a dream, Jesus might have been considered illegitimate?

I would say that’s fairly significant.

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

Yesterday, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. She told me that she and her family are praying for Katherine. Then she said, “It’s really weird, but I just had a dream about Katherine a few days ago. In the dream, she was completely well. She was speaking to a large group of people. And there was a little baby with her.”

I cannot tell you how many stories like this we have heard since Katherine’s injury. Different people have shared eerily similar details. In many of the dreams, Katherine is making a speech. In more than one, she is with a baby. Several people have seen her in a purple dress…which is funny, because she doesn’t even like purple. I heard a fascinating story about someone who had never seen Katherine or a picture of her. Never heard of her. This person received a request to pray for Katherine. She asked, “Is she a tall, pretty, blonde girl?” When the affirmative was given, she said, “I had a dream about her last night. She’s going to be fine.”

I don’t presume to understand.

Is God communicating words of hope through these dreams? Could they be prophetic? Or are the good wishes of those who know of Katherine’s situation causing them to have her image planted in their subconscious minds in such a way that it manifests in these dreams?

It is a mystery.

Only God knows.

But I am pondering these words:

“…whatever the origin of a dream, it may become a means by which God communicates with men…”


I am listening.

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

I have a very special request:

Some of the dream stories were shared with us in the early days of ICU, when it was difficult to breathe, much less think or remember. As time went on, I hoped to make a record of these dreams for Katherine. Sadly, loss of memory is just one of the many unfortunate symptoms of menopause. I’m sorry that I've let so many stories slip away, so many details blur together. So I'd like to invite anyone who has ever had a dream about Katherine to send me your story. It doesn’t need to be long…4 or 5 sentences might cover it. Whatever you’re willing to share.

I would love to have you post your story on “comments” below. Recently, I’ve been told that some people have had trouble with it. This is what you do:

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 a password. (2x)

4. Under "Display name" put whatever you’re comfortable with. (First name is fine; initials, nom de plume, alias, etc.)

5. Decipher the squiggly letters under "Word Verification" and type them in the box.

6. Check "Terms of Service."

7. Hit "continue."

You should be able to post your comments then. Please let me know if it still doesn’t work.


Thank you so much!

Kim

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

“…and then, in dreaming,

The clouds methought would open and show riches

Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,

I cried to dream again.”


William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bliss


There is great beauty in symmetry.

You don’t always get it in life. Many times, things are left open-ended, without conclusion or closure. One random thing progresses after another, without any discernible pattern.

Symmetry makes me feel safe, like there is order in the universe after all. A bookend on either end of an experience seems to give it more definition. I can understand it better in reflection. Reinforcement is a valuable learning tool.

As we prepare for huge changes in the next few weeks, it was comforting to receive that second bookend as a little gift.

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

Exactly one month after Katherine’s AVM rupture, I'd posted the following on her Caringbridge site:


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yesterday, I left the hospital to walk to a spa named "Bliss." Some of Katherine's incredible friends who know about my spine/fibro/artho pain arranged for me have a massage there. On the way, I started grumbling at God. I told Him there were too many babies who weren't wanted in the first place. I reminded Him of all the abusive or just-average mothers in the world. I brought back to His attention the fact that Katherine is the most head-over-heels in-love mother I've ever seen. I questioned His judgment in depriving James of such a mother at such a critical bonding time.

Just then, I crossed the street into a church parking lot where I saw the sign above. Obviously, God was sending a subtle reminder that, a.) I shouldn't question providence and, b.) Katherine's brain cells are His property. Then, I noticed a line of large river stones strewn through the parking lot and out into the street directly across from "Bliss." (Is any interpretation needed there?)

This morning I found out that the ventrix had been removed from Katherine's brain.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow....even to grumblers like me.

Love, Kim


In trying to refresh my mind about that now-misty time, I went back to May, 2008, in the archives. I discovered that I had introduced the concept of ‘memorial stones’ in a blog just the day before the events described above.

God’s timing gives me chills.

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

“Bliss” spa is in the ultra-elegant “W” Hotel. The “W” exemplifies extreme LA cool. The d├ęcor is slick and modern, but with a twist. Mind-boggling flowers and multiple chic furniture groupings grace the generous spaces. Dramatic low lighting and fragrant candles infuse the atmosphere with an exotic Eastern fusion vibe. Entering the lobby feels like entering another dimension. A little bit like paradise.

But the “W” just happens to be less than half a block from the old hospital, our original hotel, and the current apartment in Westwood.

Our introduction to the “W” came as the result of a gift of love. Just prior to her brain injury, Katherine had become involved in a group called “Mothers and Others” at Bel Air Presbyterian. They are an unusually amazing group of young women. (I have mentioned them before. It was they who trailed the halls of the abandoned old UCLA hospital looking for the sole survivors in the Neuro-Rehab unit in order to bring us lunch every day, tiny children thrown in strollers for the lengthy ride.) As if the constant, costly meals weren’t enough, they took up a collection to send me to “Bliss” for a massage. It is not the most economical place in LA for this service. It represented sacrificial love.

Katherine was still in ICU at the time, facing many critical challenges. Leaving the hospital that day for my appointment at “Bliss,” I felt drained and discouraged. The “miracle euphoria” was wearing off. Although we were still surrounded by teams of encouragers, the reality of what lay ahead was extremely sobering. It was starting to sink in…denial was dissipating.

I walked across the street into a church parking lot to take a shortcut to the “W.” I couldn’t shake the questioning going on in my head. In a way, I guess I was asking God if He really knew what He was doing.

At the moment I was thinking those things, I looked up to see the sign right in front of my face. I couldn’t believe it. I just love it when He’s that overt. Sometimes I’m kind of slow with modern parable symbols. But then, when I looked down and saw the big stone at my feet, I was overwhelmed. There was a line of them going through the parking lot, across the next street, right up to the steps leading to Bliss. It reminded me of the trail of crumbs Hansel and Gretl left on the forest floor to find their way back home. I got it that time.

Months later, Katherine was treated to the same experience at Bliss. As my mother and I sat in the pleasant waiting area, the manager came up and started a conversation. She was moved by Katherine’s situation, and very generously gave us gift certicates to come back for a spa pedicure as her guests.

It never worked out for us to go back while Mother was out here. But Katherine, the ultimate Frugalista, never forgot about those gift certificates.

Friday was Katherine and Jay’s 5th anniversary. They came into LA and we had a little celebration before Jay took Katherine out for a fabulous dinner. The next morning, we went back to Bliss to cash in the gift certificates. She wanted to make sure they were used before we leave Westwood.

We had a lovely time together, chilling in the ‘relaxing room’ afterwards…scarfing down free food and tea. As we were (very reluctantly) leaving, I noticed that the same kind of river stones I’d seen in the church parking lot a year and a half ago had been used as filler in the flowerbeds at the “W.” Evidently, the truck originally holding them must have taken that same shortcut through the parking lot. I reached down and picked up the most tangible memorial stone I’ve collected yet: (Thanks, W!)


...A fitting second bookend to this time in Westwood. A reminder of how far we’ve come since the first time I visited “Bliss.”

The concept of collecting stones of remembrance is scattered throughout the Old Testament. In each case, they are to be symbolic reminders that God has intervened in the world in some definitive way…whether it’s altering the natural order of things, such as parting raging waters; giving supernatural help in achieving victory over enemies; or by manifesting an appearance of some kind, such as in the making of a covenant. In each case, His message is: Remember this. Carry it with you in your heart. Don’t forget it the next time adversity comes, and you can’t see me or hear my voice. I am with you even then. Remember how I have rescued you in the past. Remember how I have touched you. Remember how I have made a way, when none existed. Hold fast to these memories, for I am the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I will never, never, never leave you or forsake you. Even when the great darkness obscures my face, I am with you still. I will come to you again. And I will act. I will fight against those who fight against you. The victory is already mine.

In this journey of life, we will fight one battle after the next, face one hardship after another. We will be afraid, we will stumble, we will want to turn back. Sometimes we may want to give up, maybe even lie down under a tree and pray for death, as the prophet Elijah did. But God has said that He will help us, rescue us, defend us, and comfort us every time we earnestly turn to him in our fear and despair. We are to carry reminders of how He has in the past.

Carrying those stones uphill will make us stronger.

And the long, hard road leads straight to Bliss.


That is home.


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

bliss

–noun
1.supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment: wedded bliss.
2.Theology. the joy of heaven.
3.heaven; paradise: the road to eternal bliss.
4.Archaic. a cause of great joy or happiness.

…the more understanding and knowledge we have by the gracious leading of the Holy Spirit, the more we shall see and know our failings. And always, the more that we see them, the more naturally we shall long to be completely filled with love and bliss. For we are made for endless joy and bliss, and our natural substance is now blissful in God, has been so since it was made, and shall be so without end.” (14th showing)

“In the same manner we know that when man fell so deeply and so wretchedly by sin, there was no other help to restore man but through Him who made man. He Who made man for love wills, by the same love, to restore him to his former bliss, and give him even more.” (2nd showing)

For it is God’s will that we hold ourselves in His Comfort with all our might, for bliss is everlasting, while pain is passing and shall be reduced to nothingness for those who shall be saved. Therefore it is not God’s will that we follow the feelings of pain, sorrowing, and mourning on their own account, but that we immediately pass beyond them and hold ourselves in the endless delight that is God. (8th showing)

(From The Revelation of Divine Love by Dame Julian of Norwich (14th cent.), translated by M.L. del Mastro)

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

(Wedded Bliss.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Restoration Time


October 16 was James’ 2nd birthday. Following an Arnold family tradition, he had a “family only” party this year. (He'd been blessed with a huge one for his first.) Because Katherine and Amie’s birthdays were less than two weeks apart, we'd instituted an “every-other-year” party schedule during their childhoods. The Mom couldn’t handle two cake-smearing scream-fests in such close proximity.

Katherine decided that this was a good model to follow.

Unfortunately, the day didn’t turn out exactly as planned, because Katherine had an unexpected doctor’s appointment at the time when she wanted to have the party. Instead, we just had cupcakes and presents after a nice dinner that James’ daddy prepared at the apartment in LA. James’ aunties Amie and Grace were the only guests. James was delighted with the Elmo arrangement I’d assembled on the table, but wasn’t sure about the rest of the deal. He burst into tears when we all got in his face to sing “Happy Birthday.”

Following that, he immediately began acting his chronological age.

After supper, Katherine tried to get him to sit on the sofa with her to watch his new birthday movie. He clung to me like his life depended on it. When she pulled him closer to her, he struck out at her. That’s when I noticed the scratch on her neck. "He's very angry at me," Katherine said when I asked her about it.

Although it broke my heart to hear those words coming out of her mouth, in some ways it was a relief to finally get it all out on the table…acknowledge the elephant in the room. “He just doesn’t understand,” I told her.

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

The next morning, I checked my email. A timely devotional from Joni* had arrived:

My Birthday Tree

Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. (Gen. 28:18)

What a beautiful month this is! I remember the trees back on our family farm in Maryland rustling their colorful skirts, ablaze in wild reds and crazy yellows. Of all the oaks, maples, and pines on our farm, one particular tree was my favorite. It was an old, spreading maple growing by the spring house. In October its leaves were resplendent in red, tinged with purple edges. And I know that on my birthday, October 15, this maple would reach its peak of color as it did every year. For this reason, I called it my birthday tree.

Each year my tree marked how far I'd come or what I had or hadn't done. It was my "stone of remembrance." Jacob had a stone of remembrance. He heaped together a pillar of stones to mark the spot where God had pledged in a dream to watch over Jacob and to bless his descendants. The pillar of stones was a visible, concrete reminder that God had touched his life.

That's what birthdays are, too--our private marks in time, our stones of remembrance. I want my birthday, like that maple tree, to be a mark of change in my life. Something to show progress and growth…


God’s timing.

October 15 is the day of my father’s death. October 16 is the day of James’ birth. Brooks and I just returned from his dad's 85th birthday party in Palm Beach...one of the two living greatgrandfathers (named James) for whom our own little James Thompson Wolf is named. It’s strange how many of my closest friends have October birthdays.

Milestones.

The night we celebrated James’ birthday, Katherine happened to introduce that topic into our conversation. James' birthday was somewhat sobering for her. A reminder of all she’s missed.

On the morning of April 21, 2008, James was a well-loved, 6-month-old, breastfed baby. His mommy was a beautiful, vivacious, active, hands-on parent. She had a lovely voice that constantly crooned comforting words to her little one.

A sweet moment is crystallized in my mind: We are sitting on the sofa in the Malibu apartment. Katherine picks her baby up and holds him high over her head. She smiles into his face and sing-songs, “Jamesie Boy, my little love nugget!” He bursts into giggles and drools down into her face. She laughs, too.

Katherine couldn’t stand to be away from that baby. I’ve never seen a mother so dizzily besotted. James was enveloped in a cozy cocoon of warm, happy love.

But then she went away.

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

James has had many “mothers” since then. A village, in fact. Katherine’s close friends Anna and Andy took him into their home and treated him as their own in the early weeks of ICU. Anna was pregnant with their first child at the time. Jay’s sister Sarah came back from Africa to care for him for several months after that. James’ two grandmothers have been the primary care-takers since then, greatly assisted by Jay’s aunt Judy, Katherine’s cousins Michelle and Elizabeth, Jay’s sister Mary Austin and cousin Natalie, and many wonderful friends like Miss Liz, Miss Cindy, and Miss Lacey. James is a lucky little boy to have so much love. His grandmothers are blessed to be able to have such uniquely close bonds with a grandchild. He adores Honey and Mimi, and, of course, we absolutely adore him back.

But.

Neither of us is his mommy.

He just doesn’t really realize that right now.


Frequently, I feel guilty about my relationship with James. It seems as if I’m stealing something from my own child, taking candy away from my own baby. It’s her sugar I’m getting. Her affection I’m borrowing, her kisses I’m stealing.

In LA, I'm sometimes mistaken for James’ mother. Celebs have set an example for late-life child-raising, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility. But as flattering as the mistake may be, I make sure that I work the distinction into the conversation as soon as possible. “No, I’m his grandmother,” I emphasize.

As a child, I was in love with both of my grandmothers. Sometimes they were more fun than my poor mother, who had the thankless job of being my primary disciplinarian. But, still, my mama was my mama. It was she to whom I turned first with a boo-boo or a broken heart.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I started singing a little song to James:

"Honey is your GRANDmama, And Mimi is your GRANDmama, But Mommy is your REAL mama!"

I have no idea if he has a clue what any of that means.


It makes me feel sad and angry.

Katherine has been outrageously robbed. Pestilential locusts have come in like the Mongolian Horde and raped, pillaged, and destroyed much that is beautiful and sacred. They have invaded the sweet sanctuary of a mother’s intimacy with her first-born child and knocked over the altar, spilled the wine, and broken the stained glass windows. They have eaten away precious moments that can never be regained, gorged themselves on memories never made.

I think that James’ second birthday had the unfortunate side effect of materializing Katherine’s realization of these thefts and losses. In some ways, it served as a milestone reminding her of missed opportunities, adventures, and intimacies. I can imagine her subconscious screaming, “Where has the time gone? Where have I been? How much did I sleep through? Can we please replay that part with the 9-month-old little boy? The 1-year-old?? Can I watch him learn to crawl…to drink from a cup…say his first word? How is it possible that I missed all that? I didn’t get to do the things I wanted to do for him!”

But.

"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten-the great locust and the young locust,the other locusts and the locust swarm…You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,who has worked wonders for you…” (Joel 2:25-26)

God’s got to repay Katherine, Jay, and James for a lot of locust damage.

It’s a good thing they have the assurance policy.

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

James is very confused right now. He does seem angry with his mother. I wonder what’s going on in his subconscious as well. Does he think his mother abandoned him? Does he fully understand that The Before and The After are even the same person? Is he mad at her for changing? For not turning out to be who he thought she was?

It’s normal for kids to hate their parents, occasionally. We may give them good reason. Sometimes we’re not capable of giving them what they need at the time they need it. It might be because they don’t understand our motives…can’t see our hearts. Don’t realize that we’re just flawed human beings doing the best we can. Or perhaps it may be misdirected anger…self-hatred or frustration that can’t be realized. Or simple thwarted self-will. A child may interpret discipline as cruelty.

We have to love our children enough to let them hate us on occasion. We may have to allow them to think we’ve abandoned them when we haven’t.

Sometimes we may feel as if our heavenly Daddy has abandoned us, as well.

But He hasn’t. It’s just that we can’t always see His heart.

We have to try to focus on the Big Picture. In the end, all will be well. Everything will be resolved. We will understand fully, even as we're fully understood. Until then, we struggle through this mortal existence with partial clarity, doing the best we can with the cards we’ve been dealt. We fall, and rise back up; we’re broken, and then mended.

And, hopefully, we give each other grace. Much, much grace.

I believe there will be healing, restoration, and forgiveness. Where there is dismantling, there will be rebuilding; where there is unraveling, there will be reknitting; where there is separation, there will be rebonding.

Because I believe this, I have to trust that all will be well with my daughter and her son one day. I go back to the memorial stone I received on the airplane ride mentioned in “Hope against Hope.” (Archives, 12-14-08) I remember what 'God’s messenger’ told me then. His sister, the mother of a young child, had a very severe stroke, resulting in a coma. The doctors were completely without hope. But there was a miracle. Although the young mother missed much critical time with that child, he grew to be closer to her than any of her others. And the most well-adjusted.

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

A couple of days after his birthday, James decided that he’d really test out this "Terrible Two" thing. He morphed into Sid Vicious. He was awful to Katherine, hitting her, scratching at her, and pushing her away. "James, please don’t be so mean to Mama. It hurts my feelings.” Katherine said to him. When I came over to the sofa to intervene, he ran off. “I’m sorry, BooBoo,” I tried to comfort her. “He’s just acting out. It’ll get better.”

“I know it will, Mom. I can wait,” she assured me.

("But how long’s it gonna take?” I wondered.)

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

Sunday morning, James came up to me and sweetly begged, “Hode ju, Mimi, hode ju!” Although I was putting makeup on at the time, I picked him up and hugged him tight. We looked at ourselves hugging in the mirror. His arms clenched around my neck, he sang, “Mimi is my GRANDmama.”

When I took James in to see his mother, he didn’t fight me or try to run away. I handed him to her in bed. Putting his arms around her neck, he said, “Good munnin', Mama.”

“Do you love me, James?” Katherine asked.

“I wuz you, Mama,” James answered.

Then he smeared a little wet nose matter on her face.


One day, everything’s gonna be alright.


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


“This is what the Lord says: At just the right time, I will respond to you. On the day of salvation I will help you…

Sing for joy, O heavens!
 Rejoice, O earth!
 Burst into song, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted his people
and will have compassion on them in their suffering…

Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! 
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands…

Soon your descendants will come back, and all who are trying to destroy you will go away. Look around you and see,
for all your children will come back to you. “As surely as I live,” says the Lord “they will be like jewels or bridal ornaments for you to display…

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I will give a signal to the godless nations. They will carry your little sons back to you in their arms;
they will bring your daughters on their shoulders…”

(Promises of Restoration, excerpted from Isaiah 49)

*Joni Eareckson Tada, www.communications@joniandfriends.org