As night fell I couldn’t see where I was going, my phone was dying and my GPS kept leading me down the wrong roads. I remember reciting Psalm 23, as I drove.
Finally arriving at a little cabin in the woods, I walked into a room full of girls around my age and this one particular girl who Sarah (my friend leading the retreat) had spoken a lot about named Katherine Wolf.
As Katherine spoke about her near death experience, I sat still without taking a breath, it was intense, but she had this uncanny faith that made me wonder “how could she have so much faith when she has been through so much pain?”
I didn’t understand it, but it struck me deep, “there had to be more to this Jesus than I currently understood, He had to be more real than I had yet experienced.” Holding onto “Jesus” is one thing when life is going well, but then remaining in that after almost all has been lost was profound to me.
The word “hope” was not a word that informed my life, for me it was more like “hide and survive”. Hide from the pain and just try to make it through life.
But 6 years after that retreat, I sit here in LA privileged to work with Jay and Katherine Wolf and their ministry Hope Heals.
I never thought about the truth that Hope can actually heal you. It’s true and may look different than it does for Katherine, for me healing is more emotional than physical, it can also be mental or spiritual.
We all need healing in one way or another and the good news is, there is healing to be had.
Katherine and Jay’s story is an AMAZING book now. It is such a testimony of a God who does not leave us in the dark, even when all seems lost.
Katherine had her greatest moment of despair in brain rehab as she told God that everyone’s life would be better if she was gone, if she would have died, she said “Jay could marry a normal women and James could have a normal mommy,” but before that thought could fully land she was struck by a “dispatch from God” that went something like this…
Katherine, I am God you are not. There is a purpose in all of this. Just wait. You’ll see. There is no replacing you. Jay could never, ever marry a woman as amazing as you. James could never have a mommy like you. Think about what this will mean for his life. Mommy’s stroke will always be a part of his story. That is a gift to him. It will inform his life. Let him consider it pure joy as he grows. All of this will teach him in ways beyond anything you could say or do.
Trust Me. I am working out EVERYTHING for your good. Don’t doubt this truth just because you are in the darkness now. What’s true in the light is true in the dark. I know you can’t fight this. That doesn’t matter. All you have to do is be still and let Me fight for you. I will complete the good work I began when I gave you new life. I will carry it on to completion. Believe that. My nature is to redeem and restore and strengthen. This terrible season will come to an end. You will suffer for a little while and then I will carry you out of this.
You will see My goodness in the land of the living. Lean into this hope. Let it teach you how special you are.
Katherine has a bunch of favorite passages of scripture, but two that give me hope are…
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil.
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