I met Kate in college, in Campus Crusade for Christ, to be exact. Kate Sloop Kelty was the most vibrant, fierce, passionate soul that I had ever met. She felt deeply, loved deeply, and expressed her emotions beautifully and without restraint. Kate and I shared a love for journaling, hers more heartfelt, and mine more color-coded and informational. I remember conversing with Kate and wondering how it must be to experience life through her eyes.
Well, this friend of mine, this sensitive, compassionate, loving soul, suffered the deepest kind of grief in 2005 when she lost her baby in-utero at 37 weeks. Kate gave birth to her firstborn Anna, knowing that this child had already crossed the bar into eternity.
Kate has blogged about her journey through grief for several years. She has opened up the journals of her life, tucked them into a proverbial bottle, and sent them into the vast ocean of the internet for us to partake and see that the LORD is STILL good.
My sweet, beautiful friend truly experienced Jesus first-hand in her grief. She battled through anger, mistrust, and uncertainty with a Savior who wooed her back and showered her with grace.
When Kate told me that she had written a book about her experiences with the LORD, I wondered what the pages would hold. Would it be instructional? Would it lay out a three fold way to help a friend in their struggles? Would it be something I would want to finish or would I just read a chapter and lay in on my bedside table?
Well... I can honestly say that I read the entire book in less than a week, that I wept through the first 10 chapters, and that I walked away feeling like my soul had experienced revival. Kate does not give instructions in this book. She just tells her story and invites you to meet the Jesus that held her in her most desperate hours.
I always want to hear people's stories about their encounters with God, but that is a conversation that is deep and needs time to articulate and to process. Kate has done that in her book. She has said: THIS IS JESUS! HERE IS THE SAVIOR WHO MOURNED WITH ME, WOOED ME, AND IS STILL HELPING ME DEAL WITH MY LOSS.
If any of you are grieving, whether it be the loss of a child or other loved one, if any of you are suffering and are wondering if Jesus cares or if He is available to you, I highly encourage you to read Kate's blog or buy her book. I plan on buying at least five copies for myself and for friends.
Kate, you are LOVED, you are TREASURED, and it will be my honor to meet your sweet child, Anna, once we cross over to the other side.
Kate's book, "The Jesus of My Grief"
Kate's blog, "The Grace to Grieve"