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. 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.


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

Am I Clingy?

As I watched the furry caterpillars wrap around his sweet little hands, I couldn’t believe how they clung to his skin. It was like plush tape on his fingers, needing to be peeled off. They were completely attached, hanging on, resisting separation.


When you think of the word “cling” – what comes to mind? For me, it’s my sweet four-year-old son screaming, in different tones and at various noise levels … “Mommy, Mommeeee, Mommmmmeeeeee!” I hope I’m not the only one who experiences this lovely array of sounds. I love it, but really, he needs me ALL the time!

In Luke 17, beginning in verse 11, we learn about the ten men with leprosy. They seek Jesus so He can heal them. They yell, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Those men clung to Jesus with desperation for the hope of healing.

Jesus gave them instructions to go to the priests. And, they were healed. I love this extra lesson here – listen to God always, even when the instructions may not make sense. Jesus could’ve healed them instantly, but He chose to give them directions. They listened and were healed.

Then, we learn in verse 15 that only one returned to thank Jesus. Life was good now, all was right with the world, and only one had the time to praise Jesus for this miracle. The audacity of those ungrateful nine little punks! No more clinging or crying out to Jesus in desperation.

Ouch! I’m guilty of being an ungrateful little punk, I shouldn’t judge. I remember the recent storms in my life – miscarriage, prenatal depression – the days when I was desperately seeking God. I would let nothing separate us. I was like a clingy caterpillar constantly praying … Jesus, carry me through this moment. It’s You and me, Jesus. Only You can do this, I cannot.

Then, God healed me and blessed our family. I was so thankful for the restoration. But today, as things are going well, I no longer constantly think those thoughts. I am grateful and thank Him, but I don’t desperately seek Him like a clingy caterpillar. I’ve gotten caught-up in my worldly bliss and busyness.

I will strive to cling, to grasp, to seek God with every decision. I will be like my son, seeking a parent ALL the time. I will desperately hold on to Jesus always, not just for life’s tumultuous storms. In every moment, I want to be a clingy caterpillar.

“Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God, don’t let me down!
I’ll run the course you lay out for me
if you’ll just show me how.
God, teach me lessons for living so
I can stay the course.”
Psalms 119:29-33 (The Message)