By Jodi Hutchison
What started out as a high-tech communication tool to make Kim McNabb's life easier, has quickly become a ministry, that to her surprise, has become an inspiration to people all across the country.
McNabb's story begins just a few months ago on Christmas Eve, 2005. As she was rushing around making holiday preparations for her family—no small feat with four young children. Kim hurried to the attic to retrieve some boxes and found herself in a wrestling match with the attic door that left her with a strained arm. But she had more important things to focus on than the pain from her arm. This Christmas would be a true celebration for the McNabb family because it had been a year since her last chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer.
Christmas morning Kim's arm was still aching, and as she rubbed the painful area she discovered a knot—not a good sign given her recent battle with cancer. Kim made immediate arrangements to see her doctor, hoping that the knot was just a result of the strain. However, her worst fears were confirmed, and the McNabb family found themselves getting back on the roller coaster ride they thought they had left behind.
"The biggest thing that I have had to overcome is the fear of this taking my life," Kim said. "I have four children and thinking that if something does happen to me, that God loves those kids more than I do, and for whatever reason, this is a plan for their life, too. I don't know that I've overcome that, but once again I tell myself that this is God, and He knew when I had those children how many days on earth we would have."
Kim's husband, Mark, recalled the phone calls from concerned family and friends that started pouring in. People wanting to know how Kim was doing, what the doctors had said and what kind of treatment she would be receiving…so many of the same questions were repeated again and again.
"I work at home, and all day Kim would get phone calls," Mark said. "The first 15 minutes of every phone call she would be saying the same old story about what the doctor told her."
Mark took a step to help Kim share information in a much easier way by creating a blog for her. "Blog" is short for "web log," a popular way of journaling information on a personal web site. Through this blog, Kim would be able to use the Internet to post doctors' reports and share thoughts. Visitors to the site could reply by posting questions, concerns and comments.
The McNabbs had no idea how many lives they were about to touch by sharing Kim's story through the blog. What started as an update and exchange of faith for family and friends became a source of strength and inspiration for people Kim had never even met. By early March, just three months after the blog began more than 10,000 people visited the site!
The first entry on Kim's blog was posted on Jan. 6, 2006. Below is an excerpt from her Jan. 9 entry:
"Wow! I'm overwhelmed with all the wonderful words of encouragement and the love and prayers that I can truly feel. I'm so blessed! The blog was intended to let you guys know how things are going and let you know if I needed anything. I quickly realized that when people are sharing straight from their heart, that everyone who reads these blogs is receiving such a blessing."
Kim followed her comments with an amazing story of how God recently spoke to her in the most undeniable way. It began when she was picking up some old photographs her children had been looking through. As she was putting the pictures away she came across a photo of herself standing in front of a church at the New York City 9/11 site. A small cross appeared to be sitting on her shoulder in the background, and near it was a banner that read "Isaiah 43:2."
She immediately went to her Bible and read the verse, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
Incredibly, God reinforced that message a few days later while Kim was standing at the checkout counter of a Bible bookstore where she reached into a ceramic container, of folded slips of paper imprinted with random Bible verses. When she unfolded the paper it read, "Isaiah 43:2." She returned to the car and saw that she had a voicemail message from her sister-in-law. Kim returned the call and excitedly told her story of the Bible verse. Her sister-in-law became quiet on the other end of the phone—she told Kim she had read the very same verse that morning.
Kim is not a believer in coincidence. She believes that when the photo was taken in front of the church four years earlier, God knew she would need that verse at exactly the moment she found it.
As she continued to share her experiences, faith and strength, Kim's words became contagious and were embraced by more and more people each day.
On Jan. 20, she wrote:
When I write something, most times I have felt very strongly about writing what God wants me to write. I'm not a journalist nor a preacher, although my kids would argue the latter lately. I just want all of us through this journey to become better, and challenge ourselves to do something (with God) that we never thought we could do. Lots of you have mentioned my faith and inspiration. It's God carrying me every step of the way. It's interesting because when I feel my well start to run dry, He will reveal himself again and remind me He is God and I am not, and I fall in love all over again.
"I hope what people see it as," Kim said, "is just a sincere excitement for Christ. I so desperately want other people to get that I have seen Him and I have felt Him. I want other people to have the fulfillment He has given me. That is Christ."
Kim received her first round of chemotherapy on Feb. 12, and second and third rounds in February and March, and so far, she has not felt any ill effects. On Feb. 18 she wrote:
I had my second treatment yesterday and did not want to tell the world how great I felt for fear of how I would feel today. So, I am happy to report this morning I still feel good. Not sick one bit. In fact I had a big breakfast in celebration of just how great I do feel. I'm so grateful to God for another day. I did start thinking to myself "is it working?" Maybe I'm feeling so good because it's not working. Satan starts to flood my mind and then I remember God's silence does not mean He is not working.
As Satan was flooding my mind with thoughts of this chemo not working, I have been reminded this week of things going on in people's lives that makes cancer seem so insignifiacnt. My children are outside playing in the snow as happy as can be. Not one concern in the world. I find myself thinking how nice to be a child again with no worries or concerns. Twenty degrees outside and they could not be happier. Heck, even if they get sick, I'll be there to tuck them into bed, bring them chicken noodle soup and tell them it is going to be all right.
"I don't really know if I feel prepared. I surrender how I'm feeling to God sometimes two and three times a day— and sometimes 25 times a day," Kim said. "I have to bring myself back…back to the truth… His love for me is so great that He would never do anything not to make my life better.
"Choosing God is sometimes very hard. Choosing ourselves may seem easier, because with God you may not get the result that you want, but the result you get is the result that is best for you. It may not be the plan that you have for your life at all. This is definitely not the plan I had for my life. But through it, I've learned so much, about God, so much about myself and so much about other people. It may go against everything you know—it may go against what you believe, but God is the only way."
Mark created the blog http://kimsprayer.blogspot.com in January. Kimsprayer has received more than 10,000 hits.