A Paralyzing Injury
About the Guest
May 29, 2009 is forever etched in the mind of Kate Clark and her family. What started as a lovely spring day playing outside with the kids at her son's school soon turned into a tragic playground accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Clark talks about the surgery she had to try to repair her injured spine and the doctor's prognosis that she would likely never walk again. Facing the possibility of life in a wheelchair, Kate and her family boldly prayed to God for a miracle, and then watched the hand of God move.
Katherine Elizabeth ClarkKatherine Elizabeth Clark is wife to a gifted theologian and a mom to two bright kids, all of whom bring merriment and humor to her days. A native of Detroit, Kate has had the privilege of living in several great cities, including Toronto, Grand Rapids, and Chicago. Kate studied at the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Dallas Theological Seminary. With a background in psychology, she has spent much of the last twenty years working and writing for a nationwide Christian radio an...more
For Kate Clark and her family, what started as a lovely day, soon turned into a tragic playground accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Kate and her family boldly prayed to God for a miracle, and then watched God move.
A Paralyzing Injury
Kate: It wasn’t actually the first time that something, you know, hard had come into our life. I wasn’t necessarily surprised that this suffering had come to us. I think that, thankfully, being in enough good churches—where we talk about and we honor the fact that we have crosses and we’re not, as Christians, living in this fairytale world, where everything is bright, and happy, and shiny—
Kate: —it just isn’t. It’s not that for any of us. So, thankfully, we had a real foundation of knowing, “Life is pretty hard.”
Bob: Well, this is not just one person’s challenge.
This is a family’s challenge—to now, this had ripple impacts on your husband and what it meant for his life; on your kids and what it meant for their lives. Your injury was an injury to the whole family.
Kate: Yes; I think that my son said it best—he said, “When that boy jumped on Mom, he jumped on the entire family,” because anything that was sort of this rhythm of life was no longer. That, I think, is just a truth of community too: “When one person suffers, anyone in proximity suffers.”
Dennis: Kate, you don’t know this about me, but I collect great quotes about courage.
Dennis: Alright? First of all, I found your book to be extremely well-written. It’s just chock full of great quotes on various issues that we face; but in Chapter 11, you have a quote by Harper Lee from the book, To Kill a Mockingbird—
—it’s about courage.
Dennis: I’m going to ask you a question after reading this quote. You write, “Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin; but you begin anyway, and you see it through no matter what.”
Dennis: My favorite question to ask guests on FamilyLife Today is: “What is the most courageous thing they’ve ever done?” I define courage as doing your duty in the face fear; so I ask you: “Kate Clark, what’s the most courageous thing you have ever done?”
Kate: I have never really thought about that. I think that, in the midst of the most tumultuous moments of our life, I clung to Jesus Christ. I think that that would probably be my answer to that. Sometimes, people have asked me in radio interviews, like: “How did you do it?
“How did you keep hoping?” or “How did you keep going?” Sometimes, I was perplexed by that; because I just thought, “Well, was there any faithful alternative? I did it because I had to. I lined up behind the Apostle Peter; and I said, you know: ‘To whom shall I go? You alone have the words of eternal life.’”
I think that all Christians are called to have a great deal of grit. We have hard things that come into our lives, and we have to have a bit of mettle if we’re going to get through it.
Dennis: I like your answer. I really like it; because there are listeners, right now, who may not be paralyzed from the neck down—but they may be paralyzed in their marriage, paralyzed with a relationship with a child/an adult child, a parent, a financial issue—but they are in need of courage. I think where you cast yourself—
—lining up with Peter—the listener needs to get in line too: “Lord, where would we go?
Kate: Yes; right.
Dennis: “For You alone have the words of eternal life, and I cling to You. I hope in You.”
I just want to ask you to pray for that listener, because there are people listening from all walks of life. Would you pray that they would have the courage to lean into the Savior right now?
Kate: Yes; absolutely.
Jesus, I do lift that person to You right now. I thank You, Lord, that You are the One who comes close to the brokenhearted. You suffer with us and for us.
Lord, I pray that You would instill Your deep love for this listener right now. Lord, I pray that their heart would be flooded with Your love right now, Lord, and Your presence—
—and know that, even if their grip, Lord, is weak, Your grip is not. You, Lord, are able to hold fast to us even when our courage fails—if it is fading.
I thank you, Lord, that You’re powerful, that You are good, that You are holy, that You are trustworthy. I entrust this life to You right now.
Bob: I think—and we haven’t gotten to the heart of your story yet—and I think listeners are going to be encouraged as we are able to do that this week. I also think they’re going to appreciate reading how you tell the story, because you tell it beautifully in the book that Kate’s written. It’s called Where I End. Again, it’s by—I want to get it right— Katherine Elizabeth Clark.
Dennis: Kate—Kate wrote it.
Bob: So, Kate wrote it; but—
Dennis: It’s extremely well-written. She has a great style about her in building word pictures, even as you’ve heard her speak. Get this book—it’ll probably be worth passing on to a friend.
Bob: You can go to FamilyLifeToday.com to get a copy; or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY. Again, the title of the book is Where I End: A Story of Tragedy, Truth, and a Rebellious Hope by our guest today, Kate Clark. Order online at FamilyLifeToday.com, or call to order at 1-800-358-6329—that’s 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.”
You know, in less than two weeks, it’s going to be a brand-new year; we’ll have wrapped a bow on 2018. A lot has happened in the past 12 months, here, at FamilyLife, including the release of our Art of Parenting™ video series; the movie, Like Arrows, that we created as a part of that. We’ve been working on other resources and updating our Weekend to Remember® marriage getaways. At FamilyLife, our goal is to effectively develop godly marriages and families. We’re committed to that goal, working diligently to make that happen.
We’re grateful for those of you who help make it happen by supporting this ministry.
Here, as we come to the end of 2018, we’re asking FamilyLife Today listeners to make a yearend contribution to help FamilyLife move into 2019 in a healthy financial position; so we can move forward with this mission. We’ve had some friends of the ministry come to us recently and offer to match every donation we receive this month, on a dollar for dollar basis, up to a total of, now, $3 million in the matching-gift fund. When you make a donation today, your donation will be matched with dollars from that fund.
We hope to take full advantage of what’s available to us. We’re asking you to donate, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com; or call to donate at 1-800-FL-TODAY. When you do, we’d like to say, “Thank you,” by sending you a DVD of the movie we talked about—the movie, Like Arrows. It’s not available yet for purchase, but we do have a limited supply available as a thank-you gift for those of you who make a yearend donation.
Again, you can do that, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com; or call to donate at 1-800-FL-TODAY. We’re grateful for whatever you can do, here, at yearend. Thanks for your generosity.
And we hope you can join us back tomorrow. Kate Clark is going to be with us again, and we’re going to hear about God’s miraculous overruling of her doctor’s prognosis. We’ll hear the rest of her story tomorrow. I hope you can be with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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