What do you do when life throws you a curve ball? Do you swing? Do you let it pass by? Do you sit on the ground and complain about the curve ball? What do you do?
See life has a way of throwing us curve balls when we least expect them. Curve balls are inevitable. And though we have no control over the curve balls that come our way, we do have control over how we respond.
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”
– Saint Augustine
We all have dreams for our lives. Some of those pan out while others take an unexpected turn.
Imagine being in your early 20s, getting married to your best friend.
You move to the west coast to further your career and pursue new opportunities.
Your spouse gets into law school and things are looking good.
Then you find out you are pregnant. And before you know it, your sweet son is born.
Things are shaping up and looking good.
Then it happens. The unexpected.
And everything you once knew changes.
What do you do when the storms of life roll in and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon?
How do you deal? How do you see in the dark? How do you move forward? How do you find the strength to breathe your next breath?
One word: HOPE.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”-Desmond Tutu
Katharine and Jay Wolf were 26 years old with a 6 month old baby when their lives took a dramatic turn. Katharine suffered a massive brain stem stroke, while her little one slept in the next room. She spent 40 days on life support, 2 years in brain rehab, has had 11 surgeries and found herself having to learn how to walk, talk, and live…again. One day life was going smoothly and in the next moment, the storms of life threatened to take her out. Only, they didn’t. She survived. Her life was not what she imagined it would be…because God had something much more significant in mind.
What has happened to me is extreme; however, it is not that different from what everyone deals with. I am a sort of microcosm for what we all feel. I can barely walk, even with a cane, but who feels free even if they can? My face is paralyzed, but who feels beautiful even when they look normal? I have no coordination in my right hand, so I can’t hold things, even my child, but who feels like a competent parent even if all their faculties are intact? For months I could not eat, and even today I have difficulty swallowing, but who feels full satisfied even if they can enjoy every delectable treat they desire? I am tired almost all the time now, but who always feels energized to engage fully in their life? My voice is messed up, but who feels understood even if they can speak plainly? I have double vision, but who sees everything clearly even if they can see normally? My future is uncertain, but whose isn’t?
So no matter the situation, universally people feel what I am living out. They don’t feel free. They don’t feel understood. They don’t feel satisfied.
I believe that pain is pain, no matter what the form, but perspective is perspective. Ultimately, ours is a story of a life overcome by hope.
Their journey has been far from easy and it is certainly one in which they would not have picked for themselves (I’m pretty sure none of us would). What is amazing is in the midst of the chaos, heartbreak, and pain, they have managed to love more than they ever thought possible, live more than they have ever lived, and inspire more lives than they ever dreamed. Suffering was not the end, it was the catalyst for something so much greater.
I considered the reality that sometimes suffering comes because of the decisions we make; sometimes it comes as a way for God to gauge His place in our hearts; and sometimes it comes simply as a by-product of living in a world that is in a state of falling apart. Yet no matter the origin of the suffering, God’s presence remains the same. He finds us in our hurts, if we want to be found. His power to filter the worst that life has to offer, with goodness remaining, is our great hope.-Jay Wolf
“Three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.”
-1 Corinthians 13:13
In their new book “Hope Heals,” Katharine and Jay Wolf invite us into their lives-a story that is heartbreaking yet breathtakingly beautiful. The book is written just as they do life…together. It weaves back and forth from Katharine to Jay in a dance that allows us to witness, experience, and step into the shoes of each partner as they share their perspective on the dramatic unfolding of their lives. What is evident through it all is a powerful love that only increases in strength, endurance, patience, and perseverance. Even in the moments of chaos, confusion, and uncertainty, love has a way of making itself known and shown. In the midst of the hard, the painful, the devastating, and the broken, the story of Katharine and Jay Wolf offers all of us…hope. Hope that even in our darkest hour, life can be found, restored, and healed. They had plenty of opportunities to give up on life and on each other but as St. Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”-1 Corinthians 13:7
In a world that glorifies super models, God has introduced us to two super ROLE models.
Their story is one of faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is…love.
Perhaps some detours aren’t detours at all. Perhaps they are actually the path. The picture. The plan. And, perhaps most unexpectedly, they can be perfect.
To learn more about Katharine and Jay Wolf, please visit Hope Heals.