I lost a sweet friend today but heaven gained a beautiful soul. Kari was in a Beth Moore Bible study that I was trying to lead in 07-08. That is how I met her. She has one of those beautiful memorable smiles, a great laugh and always sweet positive things to say. What drew us closer was her prayer request towards the end of our "Daniel" study . She and Tom, her husband, had been married for a few years and wanted children. "Tom and I have decided to go through the adoption process and we need your prayers." As the months passed and they jumped through the adoption hoops and filled out countless forms and were interviewed they finally got to start the waiting part. While she patiently waited Kari decided to help put together a calendar entitled the Naked Truth. She was the photographer taking modestly and creatively covered naked cancer survivors in our community. It was sold all over town and an article appeared in our paper showcasing the calendar the very week she was diagnosed with Leukemia. I talked to her on the phone and she told me she was hopeful about her treatment because it could possible cure her lupus as well. HER LUPUS!!!??? You mean I was in a Bible study with her for over a year, went to church with her, ate her husbands delicious oyster stew on Christmas Day and she never complained about having lupus once?!
Kari bought a ticket to go see Beth Moore with our Bible Study group of girls that fall. However, she was stuck in a hospital room on the oncology floor while we took turns going to see her smile after we'd been to the conference. (Beth Moore wrote her a beautiful letter wishing she could have seen Kari while she was in Billings. ) Her husband Tom was at her side every time Brady and I went to visit her. The strangest thing would happen when Brady and I would leave their room. We were there trying to encourage them and without fail, they would spiritualy encourage us!!! How is that possible except through Christ alone?
Tom and Kari kept a Caringbridge website to let people follow her long road. From the first entry on Oct. 16th, 2008 until the last entry this morning it has been a beautiful testimony of faith and perseverance. Most days giving me a scripture I needed and a hysterical little idiom to make you laugh. Tucked in those journal entries were Kari's accounts of the day with never a complaint. No drama, no exaggerations, and most of the time her plight was undershot. I can't even begin to imagine what she and Tom endured. Scary fevers, being poked and prodded thousands of times, bone marrow biopsies, nausea, vomiting, insensitive medical staff, isolation, seemingly unanswered prayers. And yet I never heard a complaint or a grumble. I have learned something very important from Kari as she lived and through her death. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. Philippians 2:14-15 In my world Kari shown like the North Star. If only I could apply this scripture to my very easy life as she did in the face of many difficult trials. If only I will count my blessings. Lord, please help me live this life bringing you glory and not bringing you complaints!