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Pic of Michael & Kimberly
Like a mighty oak

Kimberly and Ashley (married to Ryan’s brother Kyle) spent the afternoon at the hospital on Sunday. Us four grandparents took the kiddos swimming. When Kimmy returned, Joshua came running up to her and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Did daddy come home?” I could hear the catch in Kimberly’s voice as she responded with, “Not yet buddy, not yet.”

And then there is little almost-2-years-old Ethan who just today, heard his Pops (Ryan’s father) coming down the hallway talking. Ethan took off running and hollering, “Daddy, daddy!” When he saw his Pops, his stocky little body froze in its tracks, he placed one hand on his hip and studied him for a moment as if to say, “You’re not my daddy”, before running into his Pops’ arms.

A perfect storm of conflicting emotions is how I would describe my eldest daughter. So strong and yet so scared. Her faith stands like a mighty oak at the onslaught of a thunderstorm. But it’s not your typical faith. So often we define faith as: believing that God is going to heal, or God is going to bless, or God is going to provide. Kimberly, however, has the faith that believes God is, period! God always has been, period! And God always will be, period! It’s the faith that believes for a miracle and yet trusts that the Eternal One knows exactly what He is doing, and whatever He does is right!

It’s the faith that caused Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to reply, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

That is the quality of character I have witnessed in my beautiful Kimberly over the past week. Perched at the bedside of her beloved Ryan, her faith is being tempered as steel in the crucible of suffering.

She wrestles daily with the desire to care for her 3 boys and yet not wanting to leave Ryan. And while she cares for them, her heart longs to be at his side. Her eyes and words implore me to provide an answer, “Papa, am I wrong for feeling torn between my boys and my man?”

And then the damn breaks and the flood of questions spill through the gap, “What do I tell Joshua when he asks about his daddy? How do I give him enough information to satiate his curiosity and yet not scare him? Will people think I don’t love my husband if I smile in a picture? Is it okay to take my boys to have some fun while we are here? Am I a bad wife for not camping out at the hospital? Why do I feel so bad that others are having to help us? Did we ruin everyone’s vacation?  Am I handling this whole situation with grace? If I cry I feel like I’m saying to God I don’t trust you, is that true? I want to cry, should I? Why are people being so good to us? Why are the heavens silent? What is God saying to me? To Ryan? To our families?”

Returning from the hospital one day, a small twister formed over the ocean picking up a boatload of water. It chose to drop it square on top of me. My windshield wipers swept back and forth and yet I could not see the road 30 feet in front of me. As the other cars on the highway disappeared, I was reduced to simply trying to keep the car on the road. As quickly as it came in, it blew past me and the sky once again was clear as I continued on my journey. As we all know, the answers aren’t always forthcoming. The storm we find ourselves in blurs our vision and more often than not it takes time for God’s purpose and ways to become clear.

I will close with a text message we received from our dear friends, Christopher and Jennifer Hopper, this morning. On more than one occasion they have had the privilege of sitting in the darkness, waiting.

Please tell Kimmy: We’re in this for the long haul with you. We remember well those moments of epiphany where God was breaking through with little miracles, only to be followed by days and even weeks of – well – nothing. As if heaven was silent. Status unchanged.

Lots of pacing, sitting, praying, playing games, eating, laughing, more pacing, and always more eating. (It’s so important to get fat).

But looking back, those pauses were essential for healing, for calm, for building relationships, for ministering to other hurting people in the hospital. They stretched our faith, our limits. God was working, heaven wasn’t silent.

And so we’re reminded that King Jesus even gets glory in the calm.”

 

 

 

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.

8 Comments

  1. Beautifully put , Laughter is good medicine even in times of trouble our hearts need to be lifted by the echos of Heaven’s laughter ~ it resonates within each of us. Praying Peace and Perfect wisdom in this time for Kim and also a gladness of heart with her wee ones that can only come from her heavenly Father ~ Christopher is so right in it all God is the one who is glorified and Heaven though appearing silent , is closer to us and more transparent than we often know. In His waiting room : the darkness and light of perfected faith collide and we wait no more ~ Praying for that collision and for the truth it reveals ~ by HIM alone who sits on the throne ~ who KNOWS what is good and perfect ~

  2. That is such a great testimony of strength. When we were living in Benito Juarez, not long after we moved to Mexico, I became deathly ill with meningitis. It was looking grave for me, but God stepped in and did a miracle. It was during those dark hours of lying in a bed of pain that I came to realize that same concept of faith. True faith is not how fancy you pray or how many Bible verses you quote, it is our ability to put our life and those of our loved ones into the hands of God and trust that he’s got our best interests in mind. It’s trust that believes God won’t make a mistake.

    The scripture that God gave me during my own trial was found in Mark 2. I was “forced” to memorize it at my Christian school years earlier. How ironic that it would one day boost my faith and save my life! In this scripture, Jesus was preaching and a group of friends lowered a paralytic friend through the roof. He told the man that his sins were forgiven. This did not sit well with the onlookers. Here is how Jesus responded to them: 9 “Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

    The biggest miracle in the universe it God’s ability to take a flesh and blood man or woman and give them eternal life. Healing a physical body pales in comparison! It was at that moment of revelation that I was able to truly see and understand the ultimate power of God. I knew that no matter what happened, I was in my creator’s hands. I truly believed that He would do the right thing for me and my family. Fear disappeared and peace filled my heart. I pray that as you stand in the gap for Ryan, you are able to grasp the ultimate trust-worthiness of your Heavenly father. He has your family’s best interest in mind. He won’t let you down. Just believe!

    God bless you during this trial. We are keeping you in our constant prayers.

    Jennifer Landry

  3. That’s beautifully written, Michael. Thank you.

  4. oh my….. the weight of your words. May we be faithful to help carry your burden to the Lord in prayer.

  5. Everything she does is right… Wether it be by her husband’s side or with her babies. Loving on them all as she sees fit… Not as the rest of the world sees fit. God will honor that. She’s brave and strong even if she feels she isn’t at the time. Its okay to be taken care of by others, too! It’s how her family and friends are able to help in these times. Praying.

  6. James 4:7 ASV says “Be subject therefore unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Your article describes Kimmy’s graceful and absolute submission to God, which is the first and (by far) the hardest part of this directive. Agreeing with you guys for the second part now – resisting the devil and declaring God’s will, and only God’s will, with NO intervention from the enemy! Love you guys, and lifting you ALL up to our Lord, Janis & Toby Weber

  7. Our hearts, prayers and thoughts are with you.

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