She reaches for my hand and smiles. I reach for hers and I force a smile back, force myself to look truly joyful. I want her to know joy here. I want to know joy here.
At 26 years old Betty is the beautiful mother of a 3 year old little boy. She weighs 69 pounds and battles AIDS, tuberculosis and all the complications that come with the two. We know the drill. She reaches out her hand and it reminds me so much of a hand I held once, of a woman I loved hard, of a friend who became a family member.
I fight the tears and I force a smile. After all, she might live. She could live, and right now, I know she needs me to believe that she will. How do you keep believing that when the last time you were wrong? When the time before that, and the time before that you were wrong? I sit down on the side of my couch that is now her bed and I ask her about her family. A hot feeling surges up in the back of my throat as I feel my heart start to put up a wall. I know better. I should know better.
After all, my job is to believe with out wavering. His job is everything else.

Just then a having an issue of blood for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, “If only I touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter, “ He said, “Your faith has healed you. And the woman was healed from that moment. (Matthew 9:20-22)
I resonate deeply with this woman. I can see her, reaching out for his hem. I can feel the strain, that desperate reaching, longing just to touch Him, just even the very edge. A longing for only Him.
I am the woman with the issue of blood. Except I am the woman with the issue of doubt. I am the woman with the issue of sin, with the issue of flesh, with the issue of forgetfulness. I am a woman who wants to snap my arms shut and protect, fold my arms tight around this chest to guard my heart that is still so raw and exposed from being broken. I want to gather these children to myself and shelter them from the ugly hurt of this world.
But I can’t fold my arms and simultaneously reach out for my Savior. I reach for Him and I have no choice but to fling my arms wide again. I reach for Betty’s hand and I know, just like that woman, I must seek Him. I must know Him. “If only I touch His cloak…”
And do you know what? He isn’t out of reach. I stretch out my arm and I realize that He is right here, just two steps in front of me, clearing the way. The sweet promises of Isaiah flood my mind, “His robe filled the temple.” I reach and I feel that His hem is wide, enough for me and for you and today and tomorrow. Enough to fill and enough to overflow.
Some time last week in the too-early hours of the morning, I asked God why He allowed me to believe so strongly that Katherine would live when she wasn’t actually going to. I can usually get a pretty good sense for those things. It is hard for me to think that My Father saw me in my hope, He knew I was believing, and He simultaneously knew the ending. I think He answered that He gave me the grace to believe that she would live so that in her final days she would feel hope and high spirits all around her, so that she would feel that she was fought for and that she was worth the fight. She was worth it.
Its His message to us on the cross and it is His message to the woman with the issue of blood as He stoops down to look into her eyes, to speak to her, to meet her need: “You are worth it.” And I want it to be my message to these hurting that He brings into our lives: You, you are worth it. We are for you. He is for you.
I want my life to be found in chasing after Him and I want my arms to be filled, not just reaching for, but gathering in the hem of Jesus. His robe fills the temple. His glory fills the earth. I want my arms to be filled with gathering His grace, His love, His goodness. I want to follow Him wherever He is going and be so full of Him that He is overflowing out of my arms, out of my very life. Even when it means reaching out my hand with a smile to a situation that might hurt, will hurt.  He gave me the grace to hope. And so I am asking that He would give more grace, again, even if it is harder to grasp this time. Grace to feel joy and grace to hope for life and grace to fight hard, because people are worth the fight. Grace to have arms so filled with Him that they have to remain open, and that He spills out.
I look at Betty and my joy is real. We open our arms to her because she is worth it.
And I wanted you to know today, that you are worth it. He fought for you. You reach, and He bends, He cups your face in His hands and He says, “Take heart. Be healed. I am for you.” I pray we would know deeply His love for us. I pray that we would fight for His love in this world because we know. Keep reaching, friend, He’s right here. His hem is wide. Let’s fill our arms with gathering it.





Thank you for praying for Betty with us. I will post more frequent updates here: https://twitter.com/katieinuganda 

183 thoughts on “

  1. Katie, I just finished your book…I did not know that I needed to read it, but God did. Thank you for loving. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for praying for us. You won't hear the actual gratitude through this, but it has changed me forever, and now, I can start living more of the way God wants me to, loving the least of these! We are praying for you all!

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  2. I come here often as I prepare for a trip to Uganda myself. Every time I find something new by you I feel large amounts of joy. I am already in love with people I've never met through your writings. You're such an inspiration. In ten short days, I'll be leaving for Uganda, to love on the orphans and to spread the love of Christ. Thank you for the inspiration and excitement you have provided through your blog

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  3. Katie, I wish I could hug and hold you and tell you how much God loves you and how godly your love for His children in Uganda is. Your words in your book and blog are so anointed I find it difficult to read more than a couple of pages at a time. Thank you! I truly love you even though we have never met and I will keep you in my prayers.

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  4. I am almost finished with your book and I wanted to stop by your blog. I am so encouraged every day that I read your book, I almost hate to know that soon I will have completed it! Although, I do plan on reading it again and again, I can see that I am going to be enjoying your blog just as much! Although the subject matter at times is heavy……your faith and hope and LOVE and determination to continue has changed and encouraged my heart and I don't think I will ever be the same. My perspective has changed, my heart has been enlarged, and my faith increased! I will be praying for you as you continue to “love the one in front of you”!
    ~ Kailene Diaz

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  5. Hello Katie! I read these verses today and felt the Lord was leading me to share them with you; I hope they are an encouragement to you!

    Mark 10:29-31
    “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

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  6. Am reading Kisses for Katie and found you have a blog. I can see why you don't have time to blog often….any way quality is more impt than quantity.

    I am so moved by your blog. I love children. I have been teaching in public school on and off for 47 years. Maybe one day I can come visit you in Uganda and love on these children. Keep loving, keep writing, you inspire me and many others.

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  7. I am still reading your book but its taking me some time because I have to allow for time to cry. I want to meet you and I want to journey to Uganda and help. How can I do that? What can I do to help? Who do I send money to? God has convicted me very deeply to help and I need to. You are an inspiration and you are my inspiration to keep searching for God's love. Love, Alysia

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  8. I am still reading your book but it is taking me some time to allow for crying uncontrollably. God has convicted in my heart to help. I want to meet you and your family. How can I do that? How can I help more? Where do I send money to help? I need to do more and I don't know where to start. You are such an inspiration. You are my inspiration to continue to search for God's love in all kinds of places. Thank You. Continue what you are doing. Please let me know what is needed. Thank YOu again. Love, Alysia

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  9. Katie- I just finished your book. I am so inspired, I love what you do in Uganda. You have amazing faith…you are a true role model. Thank you for writing the book…it opened my eyes to a lot. Thanks and God Bless
    Praying for you!

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  10. hi katie! i'm reading your book for a second time now and i just decided to come to your blog. uganda keeps showing up in my life. and i don't know what is to come. but i'm praying. praying for god to open the doors for whatever. my friend jade metz and her family are becoming missionaries next year. i see my husband and i traveling there sometime. not sure why. but someday.

    know that i prayed for betty right now. i begged god to heal her. to put that hope in you so that she may feel the hope and believe. she can be healed. he can do all things.

    xoxo abra clampitt

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  11. Thank you for posting this beautiful story. I was particularly touched by your insightful comment about the prayer of faith. I had a friend who recently lost her mother to cancer. She genuinely believed that God would heal her mother. And if her mother died, she believed God would raise her from the dead. Her mother passed away in April 22, 2013. My friend often wonders why God didn't answer the prayer. As you said in your blog, my friend's prayers surrounded her mother with “hope and high spirits”. She gave her mother a wonderful gift — by letting her know she was worth fighting for.

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  12. The brothers and sisters-all the saints that die-they are in the arms of our King Jesus. And rest assured, they will be resurrected from the dead; they will be given new resurrection bodies; they will inhabit a new Earth meshed together with a new heavens, and the King will shine blazing brighter than the sun at the center of the new world. Katie, God is working powerfully through you. Christ is shining in you. The grace of God is so beautifully manifest in your work for Him. Press on by the grace of God. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” -1 Corinthians 15:58

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  13. Katie,
    I'm praying for you and Betty!
    Are you okay??? You've only posted once since Katherine… we're all praying for your strength, and Betty's healing. God bless you and your girls always!!!

    Sister's in Christ,
    Brooklyn

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  14. Katie, God IS faithful, as you know. Thank you for sharing the joys and tears so authentically for all to read. I have had loss in life as well, but have seen that in spite of myself, the Lord has supplied just what I needed day by day. Persevere! May God bless you and your lovely family.

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  15. Thank you, Katie. I recently read your book and this is my first time on your blog site. God is working through you to inspire so many. Thank you for saying yes to Him! Someday when we are able to meet you in person, you will be amazed at how far-reaching that “yes” was (is)! Praying for you and Betty.

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  16. Katie! Your story is truly inspiring and I would love to help you and visit if that is possible. I am a student at The University of Texas and I would love to come for a few weeks in December or over the summer to help make a difference. Please email me maybe@gmail.com

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  17. I have just finished reading your book, iam totally blown away with the depth , peace, trust, love of our Dear Jesus, you have helped me to see and understand him better and closer in a most loving way, you are amazing human being

    Love Kate xxxx

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  18. Hi Katie, just read your book in two days, shows how much I loved it , I am so inspired by your unselfish love, devotion to your children and to all the children you have helped and saved, you are a true joy to behold,,a wonder., and a wonderful human being, I look forward to getting to know you better on your blog.

    With all my Love
    Kate

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  19. Last night a woman of humble courage and simple faith told me a story, and then asked me a question. This woman has prayed for friends and strangers, and she knows the healing power of Christ.

    when a woman who was almost a family member and almost a stranger was dying of leukemia, she and some friends went to the home of the sick woman and spent an hour or two encouraging one another and praying for healing of the sick woman. They said positive, uplifting things to one another, and the Christians were comforted by the hospitality of the sick woman and her family. The sick woman later died.

    My friend asked me – “Was it right for us to come into her home, and take hospitality from that family, and offer them hope? Were we a burden to them in an hour of sorrow?”

    In response, I told her what I could remember of this blog post and what you taught me: that Katherine was worth it!

    In response, my friend nodded her head and assented: “It is enough,” she said.

    Thank you for sharing your pain with us to inspire us to seek the greater good that is Jesus!

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