“Yet not my will, but Yours, be done”

-Written by Katy (edited by Elisabeth)

(Update on Stan: Thank you so much for those who have been praying! Though there were some unexpected delays the radiation treatments  are now over and the side effects are subsiding. Thank you for your prayers!)

There is pain and tension in me when I remember the life of freedom I had before the stroke and the losses since. Some ask what it’s like for me now. Here are some things I miss from life before stroke:

I miss…

  1. driving
  2. putting things away, doing dishes, cleaning, grocery shopping, or any kind of shopping
  3. enjoying a meal without having to be totally focused on chewing and swallowing, so as not to choke
  4. sleeping on my side
  5. showering alone
  6. doors in the bathroom (we had to remove doors to allow for wheelchair access)
  7. spontaneity
  8. traveling with Stan
  9. my arm and leg (nicknamed Wilson and Wilma). I not only have limited mobility on the left side but I also have limited feeling, this means I often don’t know where my arm and leg even are! I have been tempted to get red and white striped leggings to wear as we are often saying “where’s Wilson, where’s Wilma?!” In retrospect – a better name would have been Waldo!
  10. my church family at LCC in Albany
  11. the Adirondacks this time of year
  12. my life before
  13. going out to eat, to church, or paying visits, even to my father across the street, without the hassle of wheelchairs, ramps, access…..
  14. modesty and privacy
  15. typing
  16. painting my nails
  17. sandals and dressier shoes (I now only wear sneakers due to the need for ankle support as I learn to walk again)
  18. slipping discreetly in and out of places
  19. a complete sense of time and space. Since the stroke I have struggled to remember certain things, like what day of the week it is!
  20. life without taking medications three times a day
  21. holding a book or magazine and turning pages without dropping whatever I’m trying to read. (Yes, I do know I can read online or listen to recordings)
  22. carrying my Purse
  23. feeling good and living pain free
  24. feeling a kiss on my left cheek
  25. holding and carrying my grandchildren
  26. I miss normal!

This recovery has been a long grieving process in which I have repeatedly cycled through stages of grief: denial, shock, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. While they don’t come neatly in order or well defined, it does help to see that these emotions are normal when dealing with any loss.

Acceptance is the one I have returned to the most. Just when I think I’ve accepted this “new normal” another loss comes along, a wave of grief, an unanswered prayer, an unmet need, transition of care, or adjustment of some kind… And then once again I find myself seeking acceptance in my heart. Our lives have been so completely turned upside down by my stroke that it’s very difficult to see any gains in the midst of losses for what God has chosen to allow. Yet I long to accept what God has allowed, and to go even beyond acceptance to the attitude expressed in the writing below – welcoming God’s plan however it unfolds. He’s the scriptwriter, whether I like the script or not. I often find myself quoting The Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can

And wisdom to know the difference 

I struggle to come to peace with and accept my “new normal” – dependence. Its not easy for me to come to terms with this experience being God’s will for me. In living out these losses, its easy to forget His character of compassion, feeling as though He has forsaken me. I have drawn comfort from Lamentation 3:32-33 in helping me come to peace with the tension between what God causes and what He allows:

Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.

It’s difficult to embrace His will when it’s painful. But, in the end, I realize that He had the power to stop this stroke and still has the power to heal. I must surrender at a deeper level to what He has permitted and what His will is for me now. Can I accept it and still firmly believe He is a God of compassion and mercy, who never leaves me or forsakes me?

The following poem written by Madame Guyon has ministered to me as I wrestle with these questions. Her ‘cage’ was a prison cell, mine is a wheelchair but her words have helped me in coming to a place of deeper surrender. A place where I can say the words that Jesus said in the garden “Not my will, but Yours, be done.” I am believing that the Lord can give me the serenity to accept His will “and in His mighty will to find, The joy, the freedom, of the mind” as the poem says so beautifully.

A little bird I am,
Shut from the fields of air;
And in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there;
Well pleased a prisoner to be
Because, my God, it pleases Thee.

Naught have I else to do;
I sing the whole day long;
And He whom most I love to please,
Doth listen to my song: 
He caught and he bound my wandering wing,
But still He bends to hear me sing. 

My cage confines me round;
Abroad I cannot fly;
But though my wing is closely bound,
My heart’s at liberty;
My prison walls cannot control
The flight, the freedom of the soul.

Oh!  It is good to soar
These bolts and bars above,
To Him whose purpose I adore,
Whose providence I love;
And in His mighty will to find
The joy, the freedom, of the mind.

 

 

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40 thoughts on ““Yet not my will, but Yours, be done”

  1. I’m sorry for all you have lost and certainly do no want to minimize that, but you still have a beautiful, poignant communication ability. Thank you for sharing. You continue in our prayers.

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    1. Brad, I’m not sure who you are, but thank you for your encouragement through kind comments and continued prayers! It means more than I can say!
      Katy

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  2. Awww, the honesty of your soul, yet the desire to allow His will to be done…the tension between the two. We at LCC miss you both! And our prayers raise to Him who is able.

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  3. God Bless you Katy….you and Stan are special people to all of us….I lost my husband Donald June 18,2015…Life seems to have turned upside down in many ways for me…but I know God is there for me to help me keep going….I have never read one of your blogs before but I read this one…You are an amazing woman…I have gone through NOTHING in comparison as I read this blog….I have met you several times at LCC and at my daughter Joie DeFayette’s….I will focus my prayers even more now than I did before on you and of course now on Stan….God Bless you both…

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    1. JoAnn,
      Truly your world has been turned upside down with the death of your husband.it is challenging, for whatever circumstance, to create. New normal, a new way of life with the losses! Embracing them and learning to live with them enlarges our souls because our dependence on Him has to become a way of life! may He grant us both the power to accept what is and choose to Live out of that loss because He Lives!
      Thank you for reaching out to us from your own place of loss.
      Katy

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  4. I was just writing a comment when I suddenly lost the page. I am not skillful with technology!!! 😢 I was trying to say Our world is so complex — there is so much I do not understand — especially when God does not answer our fervent prayers. I cannot even imagine how hard these past months have been, and the terrible part is they continue to be!! All I can do is thank you for sharing with us; and assure you that I continue to pray — because God tells us to pray, and even Jesus found it necessary to pray. With love, Ruth

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    1. And thank you,Maureen, for the love you have expressed from the Lewickis to the Keys!its mutual, to be sure.thanks for not trying to ease our pain with words. Pain is and Jesus alone comforts and heals!
      Katy

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    2. I love that technology is a challenge for you because I believe you thrive on face to face interaction, at least this is how I know you. Thanks for being so personal!if the best you can do is pray, that is The Best thing to do, period,sothsnk you for caring enough to pray!
      Thank you for your recent card, always reaching out to touch withHis grace and love!!! Thank you!
      Katy

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  5. Oh Katy. She seems to have written this poem for you. I am not able and dare not try to wipe away the grief with some words. Your pain is real your losses deep. You are deeply loved by your family, by LCC, by all whom you have ministered to, which includes my family and me.

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  6. I am so thankful that you share from your heart. None of us can comprehend what you are really dealing with. I am grateful that you seek the Lord and His truth about suffering in this life. We continue to pray and trust. We love you so much!

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing We love you and appreciate you so much for your honesty and how Jesus is working in and through your life. It was so good to see you Saturday You are such an encouragement.

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  8. Katy, the depth of your suffering together with your gifted ability to communicate your journey are an inspiration beyond words. Not only will my prayers continue for you and Stan but I am also going to dare to encourage you to write a book. The impact your blog has made on me as a Christian has been profound. Even through your darkest days, you are helping and blessing others. Please continue to write your blog because each one you write lifts me higher and higher. It strengthens my faith deeper and deeper. It is teaching me many deep things. It is raw and it is real. It sends me to my knees. It points me straight to Jesus. I am grateful for your story. The world NEEDS your amazing story.

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    1. Bernadette,
      It touches me deeply to see your name and read your very kind words. It’s truly amazing that anything good could come out of this experience. That is a testimony to life out of death and beauty from ashes just by itself. There’s nothing beautiful about this journeyexceptJesus and His redemption of even the worst of experiences. Thank you for seeing HIM in and through it all, for reading the blogs and allowing Him to speak through them to you!
      We miss all of you more than ever! Truly you were family to us! And still are ! So thankful you are family to so many in that Area!

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  9. This blog tears me up. The reality rub in of the 26 things you miss completely robs me of any illusion that you are living on the clouds of grace that our prayers summon up. Some say “reality bites” and it surely does when left in “this cage” of a stroke impaired body. I don’t want to envision you there, as we love you so much, it hurts to see your suffering so clearly described. Yet, your love of Jesus rises above even this, and stirs us all to look to Him, “the author and finisher of our faith”. This is the resurrection spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit that leads us in remembering “His compassion and mercies” in the midst of such dire circumstances and lifts us from this world to more fully reveal His glory in the next, when we will be resurrected, not just in spirit but in body too. Praying for the graces needed each day to walk the course set out by Him “who can keep you from falling, and present you faultless before His throne”.

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    1. Barb,
      Your own responses to our circumstances have been so truly loving, that they have ministered more grace to us than we could ever minister to you. Thank you for heartfelt concern and prayers for us! Thank you for giving us words of truth to hold on to, especially from the ol d hymns! I am so grateful for the pain of the past that we shared together that brought us together.truly what the Enemy means for I’ll, God can use for good.

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  10. I’d like to share the lyrics to a song that helped me during my husband’s long illness. He was hospitalized for 8 months and in rehab for 3 months. He has end stage renal disease as a result of all the trauma his body has gone through. He is now wheelchair bound and goes to dialysis three days a week. But through it all we have sensed and seen God at work in us and through us. Here is Meredith Andrews’ song:

    After All (Not for a Moment) – Meredith Andrews

    You were reaching through the storm Walking on the water Even when I could not see In the middle of it all When I thought You were a thousand miles away Not for a moment did You forsake me Not for a moment did You forsake me

    After all, You are Constant After all, You are only Good After all, You are Sovereign Not for a moment will You forsake me

    You were singing in the dark Whispering Your promise Even when I could not hear I was held in Your arms Carried for a thousand miles to show Not for a moment did You forsake me

    After all, You are Constant After all, You are only Good After all, You are Sovereign Not for a moment will You forsake me Not for a moment will You forsake me

    Every step, every breath, You are there Every tear, every cry, every prayer In my hurt, at my worst, when my world falls down Not for a moment will You forsake me Even in the dark Even when it’s hard You will never leave me After all

    After all, You are Constant (oh yes) After all, You are only Good After all, You are Sovereign Not for a moment will You forsake me Not for a moment will You forsake me Not for a moment will You forsake me

    We have found that all the hard things that come to us are “God-filtered.” And His plan is best. Even in the dark.

    Bless you and your family. God has you in the palm of His hand and WILL NOT fail you (or us).

    Melanie Kinnell Certification Specialist Asbury University 1 Macklem Drive Wilmore, KY 40390 (859) 858-3511 x2304 melanie.kinnell@asbury.edu

    From: Journey with Katy <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Reply-To: Journey with Katy <comment+eq-lopctdgnd7to_01mfs7_f@comment.wordpress.com> Date: Monday, September 26, 2016 at 5:37 PM To: Microsoft Office User <melanie.kinnell@asbury.edu> Subject: [New post] “Yet not my will, but Yours, be done”

    lizlind posted: “-Written by Katy (edited by Elisabeth) (Update on Stan: Thank you so much for those who have been praying! Though there were some unexpected delays the radiation treatments are now over and the side effects are subsiding. Thank you for your prayers!) T”

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  11. Your humble ways are seen and loved by the Lord and by all of us. Confession time from me. Since Jesus healed me of MS 15 years ago, I have taken great pride (yikes!) in my physical abilities. So on 9/17/16, He began His correction. Rather than just walk in a church walk-a-thon, I ran and walked in intervals. Now I have a swollen and possibly stress-fractured left foot. So I am not Superwoman or Superpastor or Superholy. There are and always will be times when the Lord has to teach me to be humble.

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  12. Dear Katy,
    Thank you for your honesty and openness to share what many have asked for similar or different reasons. Your words challenge me to appreciate the little things which are so every day and done without thinking or thanking God. You and Stan are in our prayers! Courage, strength and our love.
    Fran for Mel too

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  13. Katy,thank you for your complete honesty and transparency. In the Stan’s study on Lamentations he shared that in times of grief and loss we need to name the losses one by one. Then in the midst , take time to give adoration to God. I realized as I read your blog that is exactly what you are modeling for us. This is the reality of life. You are loved and appreciated! I have used the promises of Isaiah 64 to pray for you today: that he will continue to comfort you in your mourning; provide for you in your grief; and bestow on you a crown of beauty, the oil of gladness, and a garment of praise. Katy, you are righteous and a planting of the Lord in our midst that displays the Lord’s splendor.

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  14. Thanks for the beautiful update. One thing you have not lost is your ability to write, organize and express thoughts and emotions on a deep level. You reminded me how much I have to be thankful for. Love the both of you.

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  15. Katy,
    This blog entry has reminded me to:
    – not take for granted my freedom of movement
    – be thankful for all of the things I’m able to do without help
    – be thankful for privacy, as long as that may last for this aging body
    – pray even more diligently for you and Stan and your whole family
    – trust in and lean on God in all things and at all times and live in His Word more
    – remember that this world is my temporary home.

    We loved having dinner with you two a couple of weeks ago–I just wish you were able to enjoy it more. I felt bad that you had to concentrate so hard on the eating part instead of getting to join in on the conversation more. We really talked a lot! Next time we’ll just have tea or coffee and YOU get to do all the talking–ha ha!
    We love you!
    Tim and Kathy

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  16. Katy, so many hard things to deal with, I’m sorry! The daily challenges are many and it’s hard to understand why God allows all this. We just have to trust Him! Your life continues to touch so many and God is using your story in mighty ways! I often have been listening to and praying Hillary Scott’s song “Thy Will” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp4WC_YZAuw as we too miss normal! Love you guys!

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    1. I,too, have been blessed by this song by Hillary Scott. The Lord is so good to give us resources of music and the Word to lead us through the dark valleys of life. I know you miss “normal” as well! For much longer than I have missed it! I think it’s impossible to understand what God allows. I don’t try nymore. I agree that it’s a matter of continuing to trust again andagain when we don’t understand anything. You,too, have been an inspiration to me as you’ve done just this in spite of the downpour of trialson you and Rick!thank you for your faith. It challenges me!
      Know that we,too, have not failed to continue to pray for your perseverance in trials do for His mercy toward you!
      Love, katy

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  17. Katy, thank you for your complete honesty and transparency. In the Stan’s study on Lamentations he shared that in times of grief and loss we need to name the losses one by one. Then in the midst , take time to give adoration to God. I realized as I read your blog that is exactly what you are modeling for us. This is the reality of life. You are loved and appreciated! I have used the promises of Isaiah 64 to pray for you today: that he will continue to comfort you in your mourning; provide for you in your grief; and bestow on you a crown of beauty, the oil of gladness, and a garment of praise. Katy, you are righteous and a planting of the Lord in our midst that displays the Lord’s splendor.

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  18. Dear Katy,
    Thank you for sharing your heart and being so open and honest on how your new normal has changed. I recently have been listening to a song that’s become so meaningful to me during my own challenges in life. My love and prayers to you and Stan. Sending hugs from New York.

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  19. Katy,

    Please know how much I needed this post this week. Yesterday I placed my father, widowed last year with the passing of my mother, into a care home in Lexington following a terminal diagnosis. This was done while my wife Liz made plans to return to her Pennsylvania home for her last surviving brother’s funeral. All this in the midst of conferences, travel, deadlines and commitments.

    On top of it all, two medical procedures for Liz, an 1100 mile round trip drive, and our daughter has three wisdom teeth removed. Even a person of faith asks, “Is God ‘piling on?'”

    In the midst of this, Katy, I remember your last several posts. All is indeed well. When we ask “why,” God responds “trust.” There is always calm in the center of the whirlwind.

    You have been on a journey that reduces ours to near insignificance, yet you have been so candid about your struggles, challenges, questioning, and small victories. Your life continues to be your ministry, as it should be. Thank you for sharing your most spiritually intimate thoughts. Yes, all is well. Strength, peace, and comfort be yours.

    May God continue to bless your labors and your influence. Prayers for you, Stan and your family as your journey together takes unexpected turns, pauses, and direction. And blessings to all.

    Soli Deo gloria,

    -Bill

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    1. I came across your blog “by accident”, had no idea what you and Stan have been going through. Once the shock wore off,the weeping and praying began and will continue through your journey. When my daughter,Deanna and I came to LCC,over 20yrs. ago,I truly believed I would not survive,but God had other plans and used you and Stan to implement them. I was not saved and had been searching for “The Truth”. I remember,like it was yesterday the first day I walked into the old sanctuary and my heart said,you’re home. I did not know at that time that you and Stan were new there and knew nothing about the journey that led you there. I attended your small women’s group and Sunday School for years and so admired the way you could share your heart in front of these women. I particularly remember one Sunday morning,seeing your hands shaking before you spoke and thinking,maybe it’s not as easy for her as it seems,what a strong woman. I want you to know,I still have the book,Streams in the Desert,that you handed out one week and still use it daily and inside I keep a handwritten note you wrote me,all those years ago. Your honesty then and your honesty now is for me a true reflection of the heart of Jesus and I’m so grateful to be connected to you once more,maybe not under these circumstances that I can only imagine,but please know that The Lord is still using you in a mighty way. Mary Lou Cepiel

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    2. I’ll and Liz,
      So kind of you to read our blog and to comment when you have your own downpour ofgriefs,with the loss of mother,brother,in the midst of stresses f travel, deadlinesto be metassignments to complete,and wisdom teeth to remove. It had to be very difficult to place your father in a home to receive more care.these things are truly griefsyetwe never grieve as those who have no hope.Because Jesus lives, we can too ,no matter what comes.praying for you both as you balance demanding schedules with the needs of family. Even the routines and daily responsibilities of life can get so heavy, then addtrauma or trials do you can feel like Davidwhen he said,my flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.(Ps. 73:26)I have loved this psalm,which couldn’t have been written had David not had griefs of his ow.i suspect some of yours and Liz’smost fruitful, productive and rewarding experiences will come out of these days.were holding onto Him together in the whirlwind.katy

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  20. Wonderful to hear from Jaime. Sorry for not responding sooner. Yes we received our visas and are now in the third day of classes on pastoral counseling in Nigeria. Thank you for your prayers. Now trying to catch up on or sleep patterns as we are 8 hours’ time difference from Oregon and then the jet lag. 🙂

    Please greet your wife and family for us as well as any other mutual friends. I shall try to do better. Power and internet are not consistent or strong here. 😦

    24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,

    25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

    Jude 1:24-25 (NASB)

    Bill Vermillion

    1441 South Ivy Street Unit 503

    Canby, Oregon 97013

    503-453-7146

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  21. Katy you have blown me away with your humbleness and honesty. I can only pray that God will give you back what you once had. Stick with the physical therapy! We love you and Stan to pieces😘

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    1. Yvette, your words and expressions of love and Hope mean so much knowing how much you have suffered and how your life was turned inside out by cancer, and yet you have risen above the highs and lows of your own journey, persevering by faith in Him, who is Life. Truly you are the inspiration here and we do not feel worthy of such love as yours! Still, it’s wonderful to be “loved to pieces”. Thank you! Truth is, the feeling is mutual!
      Katy

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  22. Katy, it is so sweet to read your words. I so appreciate your honesty with the struggles and what does not feel good in life right now. Your story is a testimony to me right now of how important it is to surrender to what he has for me RIGHT NOW.

    Love you lots! It warmed my heart so much to see you on Sunday.

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  23. Thanks for sharing the beautiful poem. It is a great encouragement, yet I know that living every day with such a profound handicap is a deep grief.

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