Sunday, July 6, 2008

Learning to Float

Sometimes there is a little ball of fear hiding deep down inside my chest. Those wily “what-ifs” come sneaking around like jackals sniffing a foul feast. I have to will myself to turn away, stop my ears up, and run in the opposite direction. “Resist and FLEE.”

Projections into the future are forbidden territory. There are times when the only thing you can do is the right thing. Living in the day at a time...just floating. That is how it must be now. Attempting to live any other way produces unbearable stress. There is a peace that comes from the freedom of fewer choices. Too many choices have always done me in. The grocery store is a nightmare; Walmart is the 6th circle of Hell. But now simplicity is not a choice, it is the only possible condition of existence. A rhythmic pattern must be established within the chaos of uncertainties.

And so I try to establish my little rituals of comfort and familiarity, attempting to redefine ‘home.’ But I am reminded that “the Son of Man had no place to lay his head.”

Just days after the AVM rupture, Sherry, one of Katherine’s agents, send me a copy of the print from one of her modeling jobs. The shoot was for a book cover. A confident-looking blonde with cool shades is at the wheel of a shiny convertible, hair blowing in the wind, a big black lab hanging over her shoulder. The slight grin on her face indicates that she is a woman who knows exactly where she’s going as she cruises out into a world of beautiful blue skies. The name of the book is Learning to Float (a woman, a dog, and just enough men.) Boy did we get a laugh out of that one...Katherine is not a dog person, and has always thought one man was plenty. Although it might seem a little strange to have received something funny like that at the time I did, I thought it was perfect on many levels. Katherine will be that confident, smiling woman again one day. She is on a journey. Blue skies will return. And we will all learn to float.

A year and a half ago, I had a unique experience which I am only now beginning to understand. It was a time of intense pain. I was praying with my former pastor’s wife, when we both began having the same visualization. It had started with me. In my mind, I saw an old ship floundering in a storm, being ripped apart as it crashed on the rocks. The words “Abandon the ship” came to me. That scared me. I didn’t want to jump into the dark, cold waters. These words were impressed upon my spirit: “Jump in. I will not let you go under. Just float. I am the living water. Immerse yourself in me.” By this time, Sandy said “Kim, I feel as if I’m floating in an ocean.” We began describing what we were sensing in prayer to each other, entering into the experience together. We both felt ourselves relinquishing control as we ceased our struggling in the sea. We just floated there in the gentle waves of God’s presence. At the same moment, we sensed the sun coming out, warm and bright, sparkling on the dancing water. Words floated down to us: “Do not be afraid. Storms and floods may come. Don’t fight and flail. Let go. Float with your face turned up towards the Sun of righteousness. There is healing in my wings. Waters that seem as if they will drown you are for your healing. Come into the healing waters.” Waves of love flowed over us and kept us safely buoyed on the surface. We were being held. We rested.

Then we both seemed to be moving. We were lovingly carried along by a strong but gentle current. A vague questioning entered my mind. These words came to my friend and me: “The waves are carrying you to far-away places, places you’ve never been before. But don’t be afraid. It is at my direction.”

God, help me really learn to float.


Stephanie said...

I learned of your blog and Katherine's update page from a link on someone's blog. I am praying for Katherine daily!
You truly have a gift for writing. Even in the darkest times with your daughter, your faith shines through and you are so inspiring. Thank you for sharing- I know it must be strange to have complete strangers write you, but I know I'm not alone in my appreciation for your posts and thoughts.

Brittany said...

Ms. Kim,
Please tell Katherine how much I am picturing her in my mind every day. The Lord constantly brings her name into my thoughts and it's as if he continues to say to me....keep praying keep praying....I am so glad you are out there with her. Thank you again for sharing with us about Katherine-
Brittany Wood Bolemon

Unknown said...

Oh Kim!

You're blogs always make me cry! But in a good way! One of those cathartic cries where your heart lumps up into your throat and somehow you feel cleansed with a sense of deep understanding in your soul. From getting on the roller coaster, through the poems, to floating right there with you, your heart resonates with such truth, blow me away. Thank you for continuing to be strong and weak and everything in between, for sharing your soul, for raising beautiful Katherine, and for taking such loving care of her now.

Erik and I will be out of town until next week and will come visit when we get back. We still pray for Katherine daily and think of her constantly! Last night I woke up at 3 am and all I could think of was Katherine so I told her that I loved her and hoped she heard me. I told her how much we ALL love her and hope she can feel that. Then I prayed and prayed for her, for her trach to be removed, for her right side to be strengthened, for the nausea to cease, for dizziness to stop, for her pain to melt away. I prayed for the that she will stand and walk and smile and tell us stories and laugh. I prayed and prayed for her until I fell back to sleep.

Since we can't always be there (and don't always know if or when it's ok to come to the hospital), please tell Katherine that she is ALWAYS in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers, that she still lights up our lives and conversations with love, and that we are so blessed to have her in our life and as a friend. I look forward to the day that we will laugh, run to the beach, and sit in joy watching our children play in the sand together!

Love as Always!

Sam and Erik Contreras

Bobbie said...

We are still fervently praying for Katherine, standing and believing she will be totally restored. How worthy she is to King Jesus that He is using her strength and spirit to reach so many! He has put the trach on my heart - to actually visualize the removal of it. This hymn speaks to me and hopefully will to Katherine..........

Breathing Out and Breathing In
by A.B. Simpson (1843-1919)

Jesus, breathe Thy Spirit in me,
Teach me how to breathe Thee in,
Help me pour into Thy bosom
All my life of self and sin.

I am breathing out my own life,
That I may be filled with Thine;
Letting go my strength and weakness,
Breathing in Thy life divine.

Breathing out my sinful nature,
Thou has borne it all for me;
Breathing in Thy cleansing fullness,
Finding all my life in Thee.

I am breathing out my sorrow,
On Thy kind and gentle breast;
Breathing in Thy joy and comfort,
Breathing in Thy peace and rest.

I am breathing out my longings,
In Thy list’ning loving ear,
I am breathing in Thy answers,
Stilling every doubt and fear.

I am breathing every moment,
Drawing all my life from Thee;
Breath by breath I live upon Thee,
Blessed Spirit, breathe in me.

Praying with love and confidence,
Bobbie Lloyd
Charleston, SC

Anonymous said...

I was away in Eurpoe for a few weeks and traveled to an internet cafe so I could keep up with the progress and how to be praying. I woke in the night last night and prayed for all of you in this journey. I am so greatful for all you say,how you say it and the HEART you have for growing me in faith. love to yu this day.

Kelley said...

I am so moved by your blogs. I am a memeber of FBC Montgomery and we are continually praying for Katherine. Your blog (that I just read today) compels me to tell you about a song called "Come to the River" by christian recording artist Ronnie Freeman. You should check it out if you can. You can "you tube" it by putting in his name (Ronnie Freeman) and it is approximately the 13th video.
Praying fervently,
Kelley Phelps

becky weber said...

Kim -
continuing to pray - continuing to believe -
My IT department prompted me to create a new password for my computer this week and I made it "katherinewolf" as another reminder to pray for her throughout the day - it works!
may God be close to her and you and your entire family -
Becky Weber
Falls Church, Virginia

Kathy said...

I am on staff at FBC as the minister to single adults and I have not written until now. I get up in the morning and check all the web sites and also before I go to bed, so that I will know how to pray for Katherine and all of you.
I have known and loved Jason all his life and have enjoyed getting to know Katherine.
I want you to know that you raised a great lady. Katherine went with us on the annual ski trip that I plan each year. She had been engaged less than 12 hours when we met up at the airport to fly out. On the plane was one of our singles who had never flown and was quite nervous. Katherine has such a gift of mercy and spent time on that flight talking and getting his mind off his nervousness.
My husband Beau (who was one of Jason's SS teachers and youth leaders) and I were blessed to take them to dinner the first night in Banff and see the love and joy in their faces as they told us how they met and dated. They picked our brains on marriage that night. I have always known Jason was a special young man and was so thankful that he found a girl as wonderful and special as Katherine.
Now that I read your blogs I see how she came by her awesome communication skills. Thank you for sharing your heart. I know that can be so difficult, but God has used your words to touch so many. I do not have children, but I know many of my friends relationships with their childen have been touched by your words.
Please hug your girl from me and Beau and let her know that we are in constant prayer for her.
Love in Christ,
Kathy Cooper

EliHal said...

Your blogs have truly been such heart inspiring writings, full of the raw truth. You have really hit home with some of these, but this one got to me the most. What a picture to hold in my heart and believe in when things are not going well. It will also be comforting to imagine you, Katherine and all of her family floating in the comfort of God's living waters. I pray that God will teach us both to float!
Thank you for being inspiring to us when you need it most!

Beth Milner