December 15, 2008.
Exactly one month after my son died I sat across the table from a woman who changed the way I viewed Jesus.
Only one month after I said goodbye to my baby and I felt like the entire world had moved on. Forgotten my son. Forgotten my pain. My heart was in shambles and there was seemingly no one that could identify with my new normal.
On a cold Virginia night in a busy Barnes and Noble, I met Kate Kelty. A sweet, sacrificial mutual friend introduced us and sat with us. She would later cry with us and pray over us. What a blessing sacrificial friendship is, the kinds that put away a desire for the comfortable and dive into suffering.
Kate looked knowingly into my eyes and said “How about I tell you my story of Anna?”
See, she knew that in those early days you have no idea how to communicate your grief. You are a dam ready to burst at any given moment and so out of fear of bursting you do your very best to keep silent.
So she talked. She gave me the grace to not say a single word. I just nodded along with tears streaming down my face as I mourned her loss of her precious Anna.
Kate was God’s grace to me.
She shared with me her own story of redemption, how Jesus met her in the midst of her grief and refused to leave her there; and how He was daily meeting her and speaking to her and healing her still.
Kate gave me the grace to grieve. To feel the depths of it. To be angry. To be overwhelmed with sadness. To be so afraid I couldn’t sleep for days on end. She reminded me that my pain, my frustration, my anger, and my fear did not and would not shorten the Hand of my Savior; not only would Jesus meet me in those darkest moments but He would not leave me there. He was big enough, mighty enough, healer enough, redeemer enough to rescue me from the pits of my grief.
Kate, thank you for being grace to me.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I have had the privilege and honor to be a friend of Kate’s for the last almost 6 years. She is an enormous blessing to me and to so many women who are hurting.
Last week Kate released her very first book, The Jesus of My Grief. I have had the privilege of reading through Kate’s honest and real words to those grieving in her writing on her blog, ‘The Grace to Grieve‘ and now to read her book is just an amazing gift.
Her experience with Jesus challenges my view of Him in the best, most amazing way possible. If you know anyone who is in the midst of suffering or if you are in the midst of such great loss, I encourage you to read this book. I promise that it will press your heart towards Jesus.
Accusations rose loud and clear from the depths of my soul, and they scared me. As I prayed, “Lord, use this to make me better and not bitter, and Lord help me to grieve in a holy way,” I heard whispers rumbling deep inside me, words of hatred directed toward the Savior of my youth. I knew a war was on the horizon, and excruciating days were ahead.
A new part of the journey was now beginning, the long road to discovering the Jesus of my grief.” – Kate Kelty, The Jesus of My Grief.