For Katie the Warrior

Healing While We Wait

We’ve had a weird week. Kate is on a coma emergence scale and has been increasing pretty steadily but this last Friday she went down a few points. Not sure why, the staff where she is all say it’s normal but it’s so hard to witness. On top of that D and I were supposed to be at a church leadership retreat for 36hours and after 12 I left due to some rough food poisoning. That on top of some ringworm made for a rough Friday. I was scared I had more than food poisoning so I forced myself to stay away from Kate for the weekend. Enter:meltdown.

It’s a tough thing knowing there are times of day that she doesn’t have visitors. We don’t know what she’s thinking or feeling and it’s easy to assume the worst. D and I are going to the beach with his family for a long weekend, our annual trip. I’m equally desperate to get out of town and guilt ridden to be leaving. I’ve set up literally fifteen people to visit Kate in my absence but it still doesn’t feel like enough. Never enough.

In the last week I’ve come to terms with some ideas I didn’t realize I had about God. Being an American, I truly had an American picture of God and that has been blown to smithereens. I don’t think I realized that I had made God synonymous with the word protected. In Jen Hatmakers book,  For the Love, she says “If it isn’t also true for a poor single Christian mom in Haiti, it isn’t true”. She wasn’t promised her spouse, or a certain salary, or food whenever she wants it, so I can’t believe they are promised at all.

The last two months it has been clear that God doesn’t promise an easy road. He promises His presence along the way and nothing more. God loves Kate and her precious husband and babies more than I could and that is true whether or not she is in a coma. Still, I found myself screaming “YOU HAVE THE POWER! YOU CAN STOP THIS”. He does and He can. But He hasn’t. When I’m done stomping around and being angry it’s so clear that He has provided in ways I didn’t ask for but that we needed. Money for pre-school for the kids, broken family relationships being restored, drawing people to Him as they pray with Kate and experience spiritual giftings outside of their norm. We still believe He will restore Kate while she’s on this earth. We also believe he will walk with all of us no matter what we go through.

In the meantime experiencing a lack of fear in the midst of such turmoil is nothing short of miraculous. Feeling like I’m definitely walking through one of my worst case scenarios but I’m still somehow surviving, able to experience joy, able to have fun with these sweet kids while they’re in my care. Jay had a checkup today and I told his doctor about Kate as she asked about any changes at home. She sobbed with me. Lost her cool completely and asked how I was doing and how Elle was responding to it all. I told her that when Elle asks about aunt Katie I tell her she’s sick right now but God loves to heal people so we’re just going to keep praying and asking Him to do that and I believe  He will. I hope you believe that with me. Please don’t give up hoping and praying. Please pray specifically that her coma number goes up two points by Friday.

As I pray continually, I keep thinking of this scripture:

Isaiah 49:15-17New International Version (NIV)

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”

Here’s Two of our babies chowing down at Monday night dinner.

Dont forget to check out Hope Heals!

For Katie the Warrior

Hope Heals (really)

So a few weeks after Kate became ill I was folding about five baskets of laundry and turned on my favorite podcast, The Happy Hour. Her (Jamie Ivey’s) interview that day was with someone named Katherine Wolf (episode 96 if you want to check it out). Katherine has a terrible stroke at the age of 26 while her six month old napped in the other room. She and her husband Jay wrote a book called Hope Heals about their dramatic road to healing against all odds and the role that Hope in the Lord played in their journey. Cue the tears.

Nice timing, right? A few days later a friend texted me about this speaker at her daughters church named Katherine Wolf who had lived through a traumatic brain injury. The same Katherine Wolf, of course. So she suggested I email Katherine and see if she’d write a message back. And boy did she!

Katherine and I have been emailing back and forth for almost a month now. As I asked her a few questions I sheepishly confessed that I was totally scared to read her book. It’s one thing to walk through hell and pray for healing but it’s another thing to know what that healing could look and feel like and still pray for it, knowing how terribly hard the road may be. She of course, totally understood but sent me a book and some other fun things in the mail which was such a special treat to open! She hand wrote me a note and autographed the book which sent me into nap-time sobs. Oh I hope Katie can write one day!

The book couldn’t just sit on the end table. I devoured it in a few days, sending paragraphs to my tribe as things I’ve said practically WORD FOR WORD were sprawled on these lovely pages. Things her husband Jay wrote were thoughts I had constantly. Don’t get me wrong, the book was incredibly painful to read at times, we just don’t know what Kate will be like in the coming months and years. Some of the setbacks that Katherine lived through sometimes forced me to sit the book down and simply weep. But overall the book gave me such incredible Hope and comfort. It was sweet to be reminded that God performs miracles still. That doctors think a lot of things but only God knows how the story ends. And that people have felt the same feelings we feel today and every day as we wait for Kate’s story to fully unfold.

This book was just a huge blessing.  If you’re interested in reading it, the kindle version is on sale for $1.99 today.

In the mean time, keep praying for  Kate! Every Friday she gets a rating on the coma emergence scale. Her ratings keep getting better. Please join us as we pray for her recovery to warrant higher ratings and to blow the doctors away! We want every person who has cared for her since this began to be shouting “what a miracle!!”.

For Katie the Warrior

The Waiting and Waiting and Waiting

My sister has begun emerging from a coma. Oh what a week. We’ve head great joy as we’ve gotten to witness Kate making some strides. She’s moving in the right direction and progress is progress no matter how slow. I think we’re also starting to piece together a really big picture of the mountains that are ahead of us. Kate in her healing, us as we wait and try to support her and each other.

It’s so weird the way you learn things about yourself in the midst of trauma. Apparently I have stress-induced online shopping tendencies. Two pairs of shoes, ten pairs of undies later and I clearly don’t feel any better. Doesn’t matter what my feet look like in the midst of this chaos.

My desire to simplify my home has reached all-time highs. So as I buy more stuff I want less stuff around me.

Then there’s the outrageous desire to bail. I want to pick up and leave. Vacation, go on a long drive, a restaurant without little kids around me. I want out of here. Now. But no matter where I go and what trip I plan I still wake up at 4 am to the picture of my sister and can barely catch my breath. There is no escaping this. There are little babes and family members that need me to stick it out. We don’t have an option to bail. Only big girl  (new!) undies here. The hardest place to be is sitting in that hospital room. Begging, looking for glimmers, demanding responses that sometimes come. But to leave is a different pain. Relief but guilt. You never want to leave her but you have to eat dinner and be with the littles and live life while we wait. But being there means being faced with the reality of our current situation. So much unknown but a relentless hope like I’ve never known. Being so sure of her recovering and desperate to know what that will look like. We want Kate restored to our family right this minute fully knowing none of us will ever be the same.

My D played Kate this song last night on his guitar. Her nurse came running in telling us she loved that song, plays guitar, and wanted to jump in. Such a sweet moment. God has not left us, not for a single moment. He’s sending little pieces of hope and encouragement and we are His.

If you’re wondering what you could do, PRAY! And once you’re done praying consider donating to help with medical costs. You can PayPal us at