I have a friend whose life changed EVERYTHING for me.
Literally — everything. A cough. An x-ray. And then a nasty road named “cancer” we limped down together for the next 2 years. This journey with my friend, Kim, changed me.
Ya see, my Kim was my guide back to where God wanted me. Back to where i belonged and had wandered away from. When people ask about “my story” they usually expect to hear about when i was 15 and the bottom of my world dropped out. But, “my reboot” redirected my path.
i’ll never forget Kim’s eyes. Her infectious laugh, too. But mostly, her bold desire to tell others where she found her hope…in Jesus. Thru the pain. Thru the ugly. In the goodbyes. Thru ALL of it, she wanted more of Him.
Pretty far along in the journey i visited her at the hospital. i only had an hour to visit before worked called me back to Fort Worth — just enough time to make her laugh a bit and talk about shoes and haircuts. Time flew. As i said my goodbyes and headed for the door, i realized i locked my keys in my car. Duh. A 1 hour visit turned into 5 hours. i will never forget those 5 hours. i played music for her (Chris Rice, on repeat). i read to her. We talked about dumb magazines and sweet potato recipes (no lie, y’all). We laughed…big, hard, tearful laughs. We cried…many, many tears. She told me that all the other cancer patients think she’s nuts cuz she keeps talking about Jesus. She said, “Kris, i’m SERIOUS!! i’ve turned into that kooky Jesus-freak-cancer-girl!!” She never seemed cooler to me than she did in that moment. That’s when i saw it in those bright blue eyes (the bald head seemed to make her eyes glow); i saw real joy in what she knew about God overshadowing the current reality of what her physical body felt. i’ll never, ever forget it. i looked true hope in the eyes that day…the bright blue eyes.
Once Dan (her hubby) helped me finally get the car key thing worked out, i said goodbye. i think we knew. We hugged a lil harder and cried a few extra tears and then i left…changed. i didnt realize it then, but that day marked a fork in my road…a different path i would take.
A few days later, on Christmas day (my birthday), she finally saw her hope realized. We lost her here. Heaven gained her there. i would never be the same. i want to live like Kim. i want a “hey u gotta know why i have hope” kinda life.
Kim got me into my first real Bible study. Kim re-opened the door of gritty, real, deep prayer for me. Kim showed me what boldness and trust really, really looked like. Kim lived with real doubts and fears and then followed each one up with a “But, God…” perspective.