Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Novels With Nell - Hope Heals

One of my goals for this year was to read more. So far, I have to give myself credit for doing a good job of this! I have read at least five books so far and am currently reading three others (one for class, one at night, and one career focused book). Carving out time at night and ending my day this way really has been a great new habit. I can thank Nell for spending most of college trying to convince me to do this. I guess it took us living in different states for me to finally give it the old college try...

Nell's novel recommendation this week is a book that I've heard about a few times through social media. Whether it is someone I know personally or someone I follow both groups of people have come to the same conclusion, that this book is worth a read. Maybe when I head home for spring break I'll have to borrow Nell's copy!

By: Katherine and Jay Wolf

If anyone needs some encouragement or wants an inspiring (true) story, then I can’t recommend Hope Heals enough. The Wolfs have experienced terrible suffering, in the form of Katherine, the wife, having a massive brain stem stroke at age 26. It’s a miracle that she lived, and while they rejoice in that, they still grieve for the many losses the stroke brought. Katherine had to relearn how to do so many things I take for granted daily, such as my ability to walk and to swallow. This may not sound like a very uplifting read but the inspiration comes from seeing the way they cling to their faith in Jesus. I’d heard of their story before but what prompted me to get the book is that they are coming to speak in my hometown as part of a fundraiser for a local Christian medical clinic for adults without health insurance. I wanted to go and wanted to read the book before hearing them speak. Now I can’t wait to go hear them speak and want to recommend this book to everyone! An incredible couple, an incredible story, an incredible God.

“When all seems lost, where can hope be found? Katherine and Jay married right after college and sought adventure far from home in Los Angeles, CA. As they pursued their dreams, they planted their lives in the city and in their church community. Their son, James, came along unexpectedly in the fall of 2007, and just 6 months later, everything changed in a moment for this young family.

On April 21, 2008, as James slept in the other room, Katherine collapsed, suffering a massive brain stem stroke without warning. Miraculously, Jay came home in time and called for help. Katherine was immediately rushed into micro-brain surgery, though her chance of survival was slim. As the sun rose the next morning, the surgeon proclaimed that Katherine had survived the removal of part of her brain, though her future recovery was completely uncertain. Yet in that moment, there was a spark of hope. Through 40 days on life support in the ICU and nearly 2 years in full-time brain rehab, that spark of hope was fanned into flame.

Defying every prognosis, with grit and grace, Katherine and Jay, side by side, struggled to regain a life for Katherine as she re-learned to talk and eat and walk. Returning home with a severely disabled body but a completely renewed purpose, they committed to celebrate this gift of a second chance by embracing life fully, even though that life looked very different than they could have ever imagined. In the midst of continuing hardships and struggles, both in body and mind, Katherine and Jay found what we all long to find...hope, hope that heals the most broken place, our souls.

An excruciating yet beautiful road to recovery has led the Wolf family to their new normal, in which almost every moment of life is marked with the scars of that fateful April day in 2008. Now, eight years later, Katherine and Jay are stewarding their story of suffering, restoration, and Christ-centered hope in this broken world through their ministry Hope Heals.”

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