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Pic of Kimberly
Kimberly listening to Francis Chan in the ICU waiting room.

My oldest daughter Kimberly, mother of 3 boys and husband of one very sick husband, sits beside me here in the ICU for the second day in a row. She is nibbling on coffee cake, sipping a now cold Caramel Macchiato and listening to Francis Chan on Youtube. Her husband, Ryan Walker had a near fatal drowning incident yesterday at Orange Beach. Even now, some 27 hours later he is not “out of the woods”.

I have admired Kimberly’s strong resilient spirit. Even as we sat for hours yesterday and all through the “never-ending” night, her concern was for her boys back at the condo with Mimi, for her mother-in-law who had gone to get some much needed rest and for her father-in-law who was making the 6 hour drive through the night to reach his son and family. She prayed for and encouraged everyone in the ICU waiting room. She continuously asked God to use us to bless those we came in contact with, the nurses, the family members of other patients, the doctors, her family and friends. She helped me clean up the waiting room, which was basically “trashed” when we arrived to set up camp. Let me just say she has made both her earthly father and heavenly father proud in these trying moments.

After a few hours of rest we headed back to the ICU to switch out with Randy and Allison Walker, (Kimberly’s In-Laws). On the way she looked at me and said, “I don’t know if anyone can understand this or not, I have told Ryan this so often. It really doesn’t matter what happens here, I know there can be lots of pain, but we are only on earth for a short period of time. I don’t know how to explain it, but we are really citizens of heaven and that’s where we are going to spend eternity.” My heart soared with appreciation for my first born daughter. I told her I grew up listening to my mother sing the old hymns:

This world is not my home
I’m just a-passing through
My treasures are laid up
Somewhere beyond the blue.

The angels beckon me
From heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home
In this world anymore.

Oh Lord, you know
I have no friend like you
If heaven’s not my home
Then Lord what will I do.

The angels beckon me
From heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home
In this world anymore.

And then my mother would sing:

This old world will never hold me.
In a moment, I’ll be gone.
For I’ve made my preparations,
And I have my wedding garment on.

I’m getting ready to leave this world,
I’m getting ready for the gates of pearl,
Keeping my record white,
Watching both day and night,
I’m getting ready to leave this world.

As we sit here and listen to the beep, beep of the monitors, and the in and out of the breathing machine, I am so thankful she has this hope, deep within her. This world certainly isn’t our home, we have our eyes fixed on a city not made with human hands, we simply wait as all true saints have waited, to hear Him call our name, call us to Himself, call us home.

Our prayer is for our beloved Ryan to spend more time with us on this temporal journey, to grow in grace with us, to raise his boys to love, honor and serve Christ with each passing breath. We are thankful for the medical professionals who have so aptly attended to his needs, but our hope is in the Eternal God, Jehovah Rapha, Our Healer, who sent his only Son Jesus, to make a way for us to enter into His eternal presence.

About The Author

This is in order: Child of God, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Teacher, Preacher, Missionary, Tech Junkie and Wood Worker. I have been married to the same woman since 1988. As of May 2015 our 5 children have given us, 2 sons-in-law and 1 daughter-in-law, along with 6 grandchildren and more on the way. We have served in missions since 1982. We spent the first 25 years living full-time on the mission field. Since 2007, we have attended and served at Family Church in West Monroe Louisiana.

24 Comments

  1. Mas alla del sol tenemos un hogar;donde no hay separacion que siga fluyendo la fortaleza

    • Amen, hermana Ludim. Los amamos y tenemos recuerdos tan preciosos de ustedes. Seguimos adelante confiando en el Señor. Saludos a hermano Filiberto.

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Its nice to see others whi have this mindset. What we are doing here is like a tour of duty in the army. One day we will be called home. Much love and prayers sent your way.

    • What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace. When He takes me by the hand, and leads me through the promised land, what a day, glorious day that will be.

  3. Michael, thank you for your post… Much love and prayers to you all❤️

  4. Right on. We either fear, or we trust – can’t do both and your daughter has chosen the right one. Praying for the family because we are commanded to ask by our Father who loves us.
    Thanks for sharing this experience.

  5. We are praying and praise God for His words are always truth. He shall live and not Die, his faithfulness is greatly appreciated by God, Her faith in God will greatly be honored by God.
    in this trial they both will rise to a new level of faith and services in God’s will to this world. This world may be a temporary home, but the walk and the will to win the lost is so great.

    • Yes and amen! While we live, we live to honor Christ. To attack darkness with the Light that dwells within us. To bring hope to the hopeless.

  6. Our prayers are with this wife and all her family..GOD alone has the power of life and death…GOD bless ALL w ho are in the midst of this storm. Father, strengthen

  7. Our prayers are with this wife and all her family..GOD alone has the power of life and death…GOD bless ALL who are in the midst of this storm. Father, strengthen Kimberly, the children and parents…give wisdom to every Healthcare professional attending this young man….may YOUR perfect will be done AMEN

  8. Thank you for the update,heard so many things back here at home but wasn’t sure of anything . The Lewis and Walker family are loved by many and we are praying for you all! Lifting you all up in pray and asking for a complete healing on Ryan. So thankful you are with each other and have many church family there by your side. I love you all!

  9. Dear Michael,

    You probably do not remember me, but I met you and your family while staying with the Reynolds (John, Donna, etc.) in the summer 2006, helping out at Inn Ministries while I was there in Guatemala. I am sorry to hear about your son-in-law’s accident and will be sure to keep him and your daughter in our family’s prayers.

    Ryan

  10. Hi Michael
    I send my heart felt prayers for Jesus to give peace & strength to all your family. I know how amazing our God is. Love to all, blessings

  11. Michael,
    I sang those same songs at First Baptist with your Mom, and remember her fondly as my BYF leader, before you were born. You learned well and passed it on to your daughter. She is smiling, I’m sure and I believe God has taken favor with Ryan because of your and her witness.
    Butterfly Blessings on all of you.
    Cathy Ostrum Swarmer

  12. James and Sheila Townsend - Reply

    We are praying for Ryan’s complete recovery as well as the Walker and Lewis family. Thanks for the updates.

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