Easter Realities

It’s been 16 months since the stroke. My left arm continues to be lifeless and my left leg still weak and stubborn. Even as I seek more and more to accept, even embrace, my physical limitations as the new normal, frustration is an ever present reality. I must acknowledge that underneath this frustration with my continued immobility and almost constant need for help, there is a sense of suppressed outrage, that it shouldn’t be like this.

As I struggle to embrace my weakness and handicaps, I have found myself pondering the weakness and vulnerability Jesus took on in order to redeem me. This became especially apparent to me during Passion Week. Imagine what it must have felt like for the All powerful God to take on human weakness, limitation, brokenness. Surely He knew frustration over being human. Ann Voskamp speaks so well into this reality when she says in The Broken Way: “what warms us is the wounded, weeping God who doesn’t write answers in the stars but writes His ardent love for us, with His wounds. Right into our wounds. He suffered for us, but He also suffers with us.”

Isaiah tells us, “In their (the Israelites) distress, He (God) too was distressed.” When my feelings tell me that God is apathetic to my struggles or that He has abandoned me, I remind myself of the Truth of who He really is, so I can say with Isaiah: “I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord…according to all that the Lord has granted us (me),…according to His compassion and the abundance of His steadfast love. For He says, ‘Surely they are (mine)…and (I) am their Savior. In all their affliction, He was afflicted;…his presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; He lifted them up and He carried them all the days of old” (Isaiah 63:7-9) Yes, this is our God!

I may never have the mobility and independence that I long for this side of heaven. But who better to trust to carry me through these times of frustration all the way to the finish line than the One who understands the burden of my brokenness?

As most of you know, my own dear father slipped into eternity over Holy Week. He also found himself stuck in a body that wasn’t working up until the end. Right before he died, I playfully asked him if I could go with him. He reminded me, lovingly, as a father would, that it doesn’t work that way! But just as Jesus came and carried my earthly father to his eternal home, He will carry me over the threshold too one day. I need not fear when that time comes or be anxious for it. There is peace, His peace, that enables me to live and face each new day, whatever it may bring.

In the midst of my own personal pain and the heightened frustrations of my own physical brokenness, what I really long for is not more reasons why, or some better explanation of how or why things happen. I long for eyes to see the thousands of manifestations of His ardent love that surround me (i.e., children, grandchildren, friends and caregivers etc…)! He soothes my outrage, as I lament to Him, my Savior – the Man of Sorrows, acquainted with suffering and grief.

Some tangible manifestations of His love were especially apparent over Easter weekend as we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus and my father! What a glorious weekend to spend with our family celebrating a life fully lived for Jesus and now eternally in His presence. How grateful I am for the earthly father God gave me and for a heavenly Father whose presence and tangible love are ever-present – even, or maybe especially, in these tough days.

Click here to watch Dennis Kinlaw’s Memorial Service

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36 thoughts on “Easter Realities

  1. Dear Katy, Thankyou, again for sharing with us. I admire your strength, your faithfulness and love, the ability to describe details and feelings of your days, that we can imagine walking in your shoes with you. Praying for continued strength and more healing for you. Love, Carole W.

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  2. Katy, I have just spent a couple of hours listening to your dad recount the revival at Asbury 1970. I want to tell you that that experience was what happened to my husband and me around that same time and, until this day, changed our walk with God and our reverence for all things holy. We never again struggled with wondering why things happened in life and knew that, in His providence, God meant all things for our good. He filled us with “joy unspeakable and we have experienced healings and supernatural boldness for witnessing because of the Holy Spirit’s power in us and in our lives! I am writing this to you hoping that you may listen with “new” ears to the message your father brought to me this afternoon…he was (and is) a powerful representative of our Lord and Savior and I am praising Him for the blessing this has brought to me today….. I pray for you on a regular basis and trust that healing may be part of your future experience with God…. In Jesus’ name…..jean

    On Sat, Apr 29, 2017 at 12:29 PM, Journey with Katy wrote:

    > lizlind posted: “It’s been 16 months since the stroke. My left arm > continues to be lifeless and my left leg still weak and stubborn. Even as I > seek more and more to accept, even embrace, my physical limitations as the > new normal, frustration is an ever present reality. I ” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean, Jean, this means so much to me for you to share this experience. Your testimony does help me hear an old familiar message with “new” ears. Thank you for this gift today. Hallelujah! Katy

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  3. GREAT TRUTHS here, Sweet Katy!! I know you must be frustrated many times throughout the day. Unable to do things for yourself and Stan. Unable to fully two-arm hug your precious grandchildren. Unable to to many selfcare activity that we all take for granted.

    YET…ABLE to encourage each of us as we read this blog post!! Thank you!

    It was such a treasure to see you briefly at Papa’s visitation and service. I keep Praying for Wilson to cooperate, by some miracle and gift from Jesus.

    I hope to come visit sometime when we are back in Lex at Megan and Brian’s.

    Love you!!

    Beth

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Beth, thank you for reaching out to me in this way. Please come for a visit anytime you’re in the area. You bless and encourage me by reading these posts and commenting so kindly.

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  4. Dear Katy, Life is so complex — with so many things for which there is no glib answer. Even as we acknowledge that we know God is in control and He loves us, we still weep as we look at the challenges you continue to face, while your faith continues to touch and inspire us. I continue to pray for you and send my love to you and Stan.

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  5. Katy, though your flesh is weak, I praise God for the powerful truths of your words that encourage each of us. Your Papa left a dynamic legacy. Though I only heard him once years ago at LCC, the Jesus He lived for is evident in his children, grandchildren and modeled for his great grandchildren. And how appropriate his home going during Holy Week. I continue to pray God will transform your daily realities into miracles of complete healing. In this not-yet time, I am grateful for your gift of honesty and desire to live for Jesus, even on this crooked path. ❤️

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  6. Thanks for your honest and open heart! Keep those thoughts coming as they are ‘ministering’ to many others who also deal with unexplained pain or hurt. Love you both. Frank and Sharon

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  7. Katy,
    I have been thinking of you, since there were no posts from you for awhile. I am so sorry to hear about your Father, but I understand that He is definitely out of pain and enjoying Glory with His Savior!
    You are in my prayers, and you have taught me so much about Jesus’ love even when we don’t see His Hand, we must trust His Heart… so much easier said than done.
    May you continue to heal , prayerfully get stronger, and stay ever so close to Jesus.
    In His Love,
    Rena D

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  8. I will read this tonight at retreat in Lancaster Pennsylvania as we discuss suffering with the Savior! Thanks!!!

    Tim Philpot Sent from my iPhone

    >

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    1. Thanks, Tim, for reading my posts. I am truly blessed if you can use any part of my testimony to encourage others inn hard times.keep up the good work! Lancaster PA is a great place to be! Enjoy!

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    1. It’s good to see your name here,Stan, Mr. Wiggam. Thanks for reading these posts! Any encouragement to you and others, out of my own brokenness,feels like a miracle to me.

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  9. Dear Katy and Stan, I never got to meet your dad, Dr. Dennis Kenlaw, but because you two are such a sweet aroma of Christ to me and mean so much to us, I watched the memorial service. I wish I had the gift of words to express how meaningful it was to hear the testimonies of his life. I loved your words Stan about being the POWs, the trophies of grace, the end of the parade on our way to being sacrificed for Christ. What sweet stories told by your brother (Katy), his granddaughter and others. I was teary hearing the sweetness of your dad’s life and how many people’s lives were changed because of his heart for Jesus. Thank you Jesus for such a beautiful life lived poured out for others to know Him.

    We wish we could do something to alleviate your physical suffering Katy and appreciate your honesty about it. May God give you the strength and grace every day, moment by moment to withstand the frustration of your arm and leg not working properly.

    And may God comfort your hearts both of you as you both grieve the loss of your dad and celebrate his life. May the memories of his contagious laugh when he spoke about Christ and living for him fill up your own hearts with laughter and joy living for Christ.

    We love you guys, Sherri

    >

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  10. Oh Sherry, how dear of you to take the time and precious internet connection time to listen to my fathers funeral service. It only endears you to our hearts that much more. We are one family with one passion and purpose, to make Him known, so e are bound together with cords of love at the end of the procession. I’m so thankful to be bound to you.

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  11. Oh Katy, please accept our deepest condolences for your precious dad – I had rotator cuff surgery this week and i thought of you – so much searing pain, an arm I can’t use for awhile – and I thought how does she do it – you never cease to speak to my heart – and then I clicked on your dad’s service – how wonderful – Hearing Pastor Stan speak such Truth !!! I have a confession I haven’t gone to church since you left – I am ashamed – sure I listen to Christian radio -etc., I read the Bibke, but haven’t ventured out to find a new place to worship – please pray for me to find that new sacred place to serve – Praying for you always -Chrissy

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    1. Oh Chrissy, I can well imagine the kind of pain that you have known withrotator cuff issues and surgery. I’m sorry, truly. How I would love to make a surpriseisit to see you! It’s hard to separated when you’re hurting. Thank you for trusting me enough to tell me about your absenc at church. While this pains me deeply, it’s mostly for your sake because a church family and spiritual nurture is such a huge gain, gift, and comfort when you’re hurting like now. Please assured of our prayers for the Shepherd to lead you and provide for you. Thank you for your faithful prayer for me. Wish I could give good news. Of healing……everything in it’s time…….one day…..
      Katy

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  12. Dear Katy,
    Joe and I send our sincerest and most heart-felt condolences to you and your family at the loss of your father, while at the same time we rejoice with you that what God has promised, He has also been faithful to do — raise your dad to new life! We can feel your frustration at the current bodily limitations you are experiencing and weep with you in our hearts at what this broken life has imposed upon you. However, in every post you write, I see that you are able to dig deep and bring forth treasures out of this present darkness — the diamonds of God’s infinite love, faithfulness, willingness to suffer with us and for us, and His ever-present help in trouble, no matter what that trouble may be. One thing we have learned over the not so many recent years is that it is all about HIS faithfulness. What He has promised, He is also able to accomplish. What He has promised, He will bring to pass. He has promised a place for us in His eternal home — our heavenly Father will not ever, ever go back on one promise!
    We are praying for you, Katy. We send you our love and gratitude for your willingness, as always, to be real, to embrace your current pain, and to pave the way for others and point them to their Source of all comfort and peace.
    Love,
    Lois

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    1. Lois, thank you for being in touch this way and for consistent prayers for me. Thank you for your words of blessing and encouragement to me here. It means so much to me to hear from you. Thank you! Katy

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  13. Dear Katy, I cannot tell you how much your blog updates mean to me. They mean so much I am sharing them with others. Thank you…as always, for your honest transparency. It helps others, like me, more than I can possibly express. Hugs from my heart to yours, Debbie

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  14. Dear Katy,
    Thank you for sharing your heart and your openness. It has been a journey for you and for all of your family. You remained steadfast in your faith. Even through the continued challenges you remain faithful. Sending our love and prayers.
    Much love,

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  15. Katy, you have the purest heart for others, and it hurts to hear you are struggling. We are all praying for your healing and restoration . We draw from your strength and perseverance, you always point to Jesus and lead us there. Your life story is a beautiful one; you’ve turned the difficulties into life lessons for us all. You reach out to help, amidst your own storm. Please heal, please continue to keep us posted, let’s pray for your miracle😊Love you

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  16. Dear Katy,

    Our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your Dad. May his memories be a source of strength and comfort until you see him again.

    Thank you as always for sharing your journey with us. We love your honesty, insight and you.

    God Bless the Keys,

    The Watsons

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  17. Oh Katy, I just love you! I love you for being brave enough to share with us the “suppressed outrage”:and the longing for heaven and the recognition that we need eyes to see all the manifestations of His ardent love for us all around us. ALL this reminds me of the hymn “Until then, my heart will go on singing. Until then, with joy I’ll carry on. Until the day, I behold the city, until the day God calls me home”. My heart sings this song with yours. Your will is captivated by His love, even though emotions can go rogue. Mine too… As always, our prayers continue for that total healing of body, even though, as you say it may not be this side of heaven. In the meantime, “Oh, to be like thee, Oh, to be like thee, Precious Redeemer, pure as thou art. Come in the fullness. Come in my weakness. Stamp thine own image, deep on my heart.” His image is definitively stamped deep on your heart!

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    1. Barb, I appreciate your insightful words about the will and emotions. They can “go rogue”,
      Until then…..we’ll hold on to Himtogether.

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  18. This is so beautiful, Katy. Thank you for sharing from your hurting heart.
    I think it was so appropriate that your Papa went home during Holy Week. I know all of you and we too miss him dearly. He was a precious man of God and I’m so thankful our earthly paths crossed. We continue to pray for you and your family as you travel this path the Lord has for you.
    With love and prayers,

    Dawn & David

    Dawn D. Rightmire, RN,BC, BSN
    Asbury University Student Health
    1 Macklem Dr.
    Wilmore, KY 40390
    Phone: 859-858-3511×2371
    Fax: 859-858-0003

    CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipients(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.

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    1. Dawn and David, it was such a privilege to have David be pallbearer for my father. Thank you for loving him and loving what he stood for. This is a long journey for me. Thank you for continuing to pray. It’s easy to lose heart even in prayer,as the months turn to years.

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  19. God knows that there are many of us praying for you…So sorry for the loss of your father….
    Thank YOU so much for your sharing of your journey…each of us has a cross to bear and sharing yours with me (and others) is strenghtening my heart….

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  20. For some reason, on my new phone your posts are delayed, so I just received this. The meaning of suffering still eludes me, but your words do help. So sorry we couldn’t be there for the service. Thank you for sharing it — I’ve been meaning to get online and watch it when I get a quiet moment. Now maybe I will.
    Love to you and yours!
    Kathy

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  21. Kathy, the meaning of suffering still eludes me! So I really don’t try anymore to understand, but to submIt to what is, since I cannot change it, and to believe that He will make sense of it by and by,if I will only keep putting my trust in Him again n again. Trusting doesn’t seem to get any easier for me….
    Thank you for your condolences and memories shared about my dad,also for the gift to FAS in his memory. We truly appreciate your friendship and kindness.

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