Facing Death

It was a normal Wednesday night. Homework, dinner, choir. During the normal chaos, I got a simple text that changed everything.

“Kim is in the ER.”

My husband called her husband. Here are the words I heard him repeat:

Emergency surgery. Transported to a better hospital. It’s serious.

Kim is my dear friend. Let me tell you about her. She is the kind of woman who when she says she’ll pray, she actually does.

She holds me accountable. She gives me solid advice.

We joke that God loves her more. I swear, that girl and God are tight.

You can see her faith. She’s not all talk. Her actions and life model the faith and integrity in her heart. People are drawn to her.

And, on this particular night just a few weeks ago, the doctor frantically said at the emergency room, “We’ve got to get her transported quickly. She’s a young mother, we can’t let her die.”kim

She has three kids (five, three and eight months). And, a wonderful, faith-filled husband.

When her husband heard the doctor’s words, he fell to his knees (at her feet) and began to pray. Then, she looked deep in his eyes and told him she was ready to die. No time to think, peace was her gut reaction. Peace. She said goodbye. It was the conversation no one ever wants to have with a loved one.

The original CT scan showed her organs were failing because of a kink in her intestine. Her small intestine was actually knotted with the main artery that supplies blood to all the major organs. It was serious.

They searched for two hours trying to find a surgeon to take the case.

Her dad, a doctor himself, got on a plane in Hawaii before the surgery even started. He knew the odds.

We later learned only 8-10% actually survive. Of that small percentage, most have organ complications.

Immediately upon arrival to the more-equipped hospital, they began cutting her clothes to prepare for surgery. There was no time. Her husband was audibly praying with her and the surgical team, as they pushed her bed down the hallway. The doctor and his team nodded their heads and said, “You can’t go any farther.”

Then, the waiting.

Hours.

And, everything went in slow motion.

The doctor finally emerged and said, “It went way better than I expected. She is okay.”

Tears of joy.

Then, a gazillion texts. So thankful for the answered prayers.

The next day, the young doctor came to visit. He said, “As soon as I repaired the intestine, I watched your organs turn from gray to pink. It was amazing. I don’t use this word often, but it was a miracle.”

She responded, “All God.”

Several days later, she asked for the surgeon again. She had only seen him the day right after surgery. The nurse on staff said, “Sweetie, you were his last surgery in San Antonio. He’s relocated to a different town.”

Y’all. If I didn’t walk through this story with her, I wouldn’t believe it myself. They could find no surgeon to take the case, it took more than two hours to find this one. And now, he’s gone! God makes all things work together to accomplish His purpose.

She has a beautiful, huge scar. We call it her “God tattoo” – a reminder that God saved her that day.

I don’t understand everything about prayer. Sometimes, it’s answered the way I want. Sometimes, it’s not. But, this I know for sure, no matter the outcome… God is always by your side. Kim, even when facing death, had total peace. Only God can give that kind of peace.

“Indeed the very hairs on your head are numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

15 thoughts on “Facing Death

  1. Kim and I used to work together when she lived in Hawaii. We shared an office. And we share lots of memories. I count her one of my dearest friends. I still remember the day she walked in as a university student seeking an internship. She’s at once a daughter, sister, and friend. And if you know Kim, she’s probably the same to you. Thank God for keeping her earthbound for a little while longer.

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    • She’s a gem. Those hours of waiting when she was in surgery — I just couldn’t imagine life without her. God has a beautiful purpose for her life!!

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  2. Thank you, Mandy, for sharing this story so eloquently. Kim is the daughter I never thought I’d have. I lost my only son in childbirth. About 7 years ago, I met Kim’s mom and that’s when God started weaving my life into the tapestry of this amazing family. They adopted me as one of their own and Kimmy (as I affectionately call her) and Charles (as I respectfully call him) don’t even seem to recognize we’re not blood-related! The 3 grandchildren they’ve given me have been the biggest blessings of my life!

    Kim’s mother in law and I stayed with the children the night that Kimmy’s life was on a precipice between life and death. Only the Spirit of God could have kept us calm and collected (at least on the outside) as we played and laughed with the children, trying to maintain normalcy when life was anything but normal! As we tucked the children in that night, snuggled, and said bedtime prayers, we assured them mommy would be fine. They didn’t know any details. But the truth is, I didn’t even know if they would have a mommy in the morning. The thought of that broke my heart.

    As we comforted these sweet children, our Abba-Daddy comforted us. He has given us one more reason to praise Him, one more reason to fully trust Him in ALL things. How awesome this Resurrection Sunday will be for our family as we worship our Risen Saviour together.

    With gratitude ~ “An Linda” (as they affectionately call me)

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    • Oh, Linda — You are so precious!! You played such an important role during this whole thing. When I asked Kim the next day about the kids, she said, “Linda and Memaw are doing amazing!” God brought us all together to help them, pray with them. Teamwork!! So blessed that I know you and that Kim has you in her life. I know she treasures having you in their family 🙂

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  3. Thank you, Mandy, for so eloquently sharing Kim’s testimony. What a gift you have! I am a childhood friend of hers and without even having met you, I concur, your claims are spot on…indeed, she and God are tight! Keep doing what you’re doing–your friendship is great medicine for her…and in turn, me. Thank you, sister!

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    • Your comment warmed my heart, Nani! You know, God woke me up in the middle of the night. I wrote this thing in like 20 mins. The next day, I sent it to her and said, “If you’re not comfortable sharing yet, it’s fine. But, I just felt led to write it.” Then, she proceeded to tell me that God woke her up and told her “Share your story.” He is AMAZING! I’ve learned a big lesson in this — LISTEN when He tells me to do something!

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  4. I just saw a movie called, “Do you believe”, and as I read this true story I was so encouraged and I know He is real and will always work things out for us all, thank you for this beautiful message, and that movie will just confirm that our Messiah is still healing in all ways,your brother in Messiah, Marty!

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