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Suffer Strong Interview with Authors Katherine & Jay Wolf - I

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2020 4:00 am

Suffer Strong Interview with Authors Katherine & Jay Wolf - I

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 27, 2020 4:00 am

Crises happen at a moment’s notice.  We don’t see them coming, and we don’t know what to do when they get here.  Wednesday on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie interviews authors Katherine and Jay Wolf about their journey following Katherine’s near-fatal medical issue, and her disability ever since.  What they learned will inspire you and instruct you! 

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God don't want to hear from you. Would you consider emailing me you can reach me at greg@harvest.org again notes Greg harvest.org and you can also make me one of your friends on Facebook and drop me a comment today. Pastor Greg Laurie welcome special guest Catherine entry rule out of the blue came home for lunch kind of little 45 minute window and during that time, Calvin collapsed and was rushed to the hospital and they found out she was having a massive brain stem stroke and a person's largest scene on top of it around her brainstem unit was just every worst case in a little bit we know change our stories forever like your long beginning.

Pastor Greg Laurie and his wife Kathy are with us today and your pastor Greg mother's job is never easy. Maybe one of the most difficult yet important jobs on the planet. But we have some special guests today who face some additional layers of challenge. On top of the whole dynamic of being moms and yes I do believe we have a very special guests here today in studio with this are Catherine and Jay Wolf and they have a brand-new book out.

That is called supper strong subtitled how to survive anything by redefining everything and Jane Catherine both wrote this book together and sort of the set the states and I would like them to share their story with you. Jay writes our stories are glorious. There also painful, unfair, scary, and almost always quite different from what we thought they would be yet it seems that these parts might be the very means to which the glory is most revealed more than a decade ago on an ordinary day. Life as we knew it changed Jay.

Maybe you could tell us how life changed for you shortly were 26 at the time living in Malibu.

I was going to Pepperdine Law school.

We had a six-month-old baby in discovery dream right in front of us.

Right within our grasp. It seemed to me graduating law school and Catherine was in the entertainment industry's new baby and out of the blue. I came home for lunch kind of just so happen to come home from a little 45 minute window and during that time Catherine collapsed soup was totally healthy. No symptoms of family history and was rushed to the hospital and they found out she was having a massive brain stem stroke and we would soon learn that it was most likely she would not survive the day. Because of this incredible bleed happening in her brain and again there was no warning symptoms and family history.

It was caused by very rare congenital defect called EVM that she had had her whole life but had no warning of until that day when it ruptured and enforcing was the largest they'd seen for aneurysms on top of it around her brainstem unit was just every worst case scenario, and 16 hours later she came out of surgery and they have removed part of the brain they had done a lot of damage around her brainstem and her and her cranial nerves and yet they said And lift that was in 2008 and in sorghum celebrating 12 years. Second chance at life. You know, little did we know it would change our stories forever for not just Catherine but our whole family got Catherine that you write in your book a decade ago, I wrestled with the deepest despair of my life wondering why God would've left me on this earth after my stroke I was broken in body, brain, and spirit. Unable to do anything or be anything other than the source of pain for everyone. I love it seemed everyone would eventually stop being so set off I wasn't here anymore wow so this brought a sense of deep despondency to you didn't totally totally frog. From the moment waking up in the coma like state I was in after 2 1/2 months.

I just began to wrestle with.

Why am I even here anymore. My body doesn't work and I'm caught between life and death. I couldn't eat food for the first 11 mines and not eating now blocking not being able to speak, they all equaled at the laying of no longer belonging on earth and I wasn't yet able to recognize how God had an extremely unique assignment for me on the earth, and that is actually a colleague and I believe that God chose me for this and that it was a deep and special calling as it says in Ephesians 41 that I was to live a life where the that it really just transformed how I felt about my situation.

I felt very on selective head which is most bizarre feeling and moments of terrible pain that it is transformed to my understanding of everything which is honestly what that that book is about numbers.

Dog is about redefining how we see everything and it is game changing.

Of course, because we know it isn't about what happens to us that really matters. It's about how we think about how we remember and how we wake up to what God is doing in the story. He's writing in our lives and I think of young girls. Catherine, who their whole life is you know wrapped up in social media humbly likes a given their post on Instagram or Facebook and you know and you you are, and of course you were a beautiful girl and using Olar, but I decode inner beauty is come out that is even a greater quality but tell your model actually and you will learn and know everything's been read to find so what would you say to maybe someone who's what we might call somewhat obsessed with their image. The way they look in their living primarily in the world of social media. Would you say to them about what really matters in life.

Hi, good question. I would have a lot to say first of all, of course, the instant thing that comes to my mind is that this body is so temporary and of course decking convenience for that idea that it's wasting away, and inwardly were being renewed day after day mean that is such a tremendous hope in all of our stories, but specifically for the social media obsessed girl is all about her image.

I would say that so much of our just an enormous issues with you because no doubt she may be assisting in the in the way that you left off them. The probably season testing to something's not picture-perfect. The reality is we all got that beauty as she is. Major issues with our parents and so much of that freedom that God is longing for us to receive from him is that deep ability to walk away from the shame that we all feel about things that we internalize that somebody said when we were six years old and taken it to our teenage years are you and that that cycle of shame is so powerful. I believe the devil honestly belongs to fetus a deep fly that there is joy associated with an appearance and even when any appearance related dream or goal is met were totally unsatisfied and so I think perhaps doing the things God has called me to disrupt in life. I feel like there is a number 11 that mom let me that any appearance equals a version of ecstasy and joy and all the good thing too. That's a ridiculous II think some of the most unhappy people in the world are the most beautiful people around the world is very interesting. I love what you wrote when you said when I look in the mere and often don't love what I see with each passing year. I long for the kind of beauty that is ultimately produced only by a divine love that heals with fines and makes me whole. And then there's a love that is higher and deeper and more lasting and abiding, and I think that what you display Catherine and what I'm hoping for on all of our listeners today myself as well as to discover that that ultimate land that we are really hungering and thirsting for it can never be satisfied with how ever many followers you might have on Instagram or however beautifully on the right tennis. She is in the right hairstyle that all of those things are transient and feeding that that thing that lassies is the love that God can satisfy more think he places on and what is so beautiful as when there is recognition of that law that deep love.

There's not such a self focus session with self and navelgazing keeps us from really seeing the world that so needs the hope of Jesus and it's almost blind and having a stroke. I was freed a bet to have the kind of the push and fuel I needed to, yet by sending me down in the chair. The Lord somehow fueled the me two more so all things that hinder and deliver what matters Catherine in the book suffer strong you explain what you call invisible wheelchairs. Yes, you point out, we all have invisible wheelchairs lately explained that Jacob goodness, I think you know, I'm the one who is sitting in the external wheelchair that you see.

But everybody has no tears. You just don't always see him. We all have tremendous limitations in life and whether or not there on the inside of the outside without that staff, not baggage. We got a lot on her memories that are painful things they've done things that have been done said very much in this day and age. I think there is a growing awareness of mental health, and all the things that maybe you don't have an external wheelchair but you got some serious anxiety depressed, yet eating disorders all kinds of different stuff you don't see and it's so powerful to see all of these various types of limitations as being actually I believe Avenue toward Freetown. You know why I think of my actual physical wheelchair as being quite the opposite of what the world would say the world would say I'm wheelchair-bound. I wheelchair ballot bound to the wheelchair, but I believe that is so ludicrous that actually I wheelchair free. The wheelchair frees me to do my life. The wheelchair frees me to go where I want to go this month the Avenue to my freedom the wheelchair takes me to do my lifestyle. Actually that tremendous limitation of the chair that I said that actually is on helping me be free and that is to I believe in all of our stories.

I am think you know it's difficult when it is not as clear as God to say how this horrible hurtful thing that's right my life as an avenue to freedom, but I think if we don't do what most of the world does not mean the world most of the Western world. At least that's what suffering can't just turn off our brain, but instead, especially as Christ followers really turned on the brain and start to recognize my way. I need to put the pieces together here what God is doing in my story and is deeply ponder recognize wake up to like all of the ways God is at work that I think we can creatively move forward and say, hey, just like I did with my belt chair like I wait, what the world would say is blank is actually blank. And here's why and really identify know they say the part of the brain. You think it's called the amygdala that that fight or flight reflex that can be trained to stay when it gets hard and painful, and not just written off. You know you not heard a missionary say recently that America is the only place in the world are groups of Christians gathered together and cry away whatever is wrong with their lives that that is absolutely clear. We should all pray. But that is not the initial prayer we see brain and the rest of the world. They are praying pocket pockets in their liberal pocket for faithfulness of what is happening.

Stewardship of this assignment that's difficult. They are praying instead of like get that bad diagnosis reversed hallelujah they are praying Lord, let me be found faithful. As I suffer. Well, for your glory. I know this is so much more than just about me and there's a deep sense of God, you are at work and Nancy my pain and I am been assigned to this were a specific reason and that's really a transforming of the mind that just comes out and in a prayer that I I refuse to believe the lie that this all means nothing and just like this bazaar are that godlike curse to be something stupid, but instead, like God chose me for this is assigned to my life to me and he he is up to something powerful that yes Lord, walking in the way of your tooth.

We wait eagerly for you, for your name and your written down on the desire of our hearts that Isaiah 26, eight, I things and I I love this thought that for his name and fame and we will consider all happenings on earth.the part of the story. He's right, beautifully said Catherine if you just tuned in your listening to Catherine Wolf right next to her wonderful husband Jay. They've written a new book called suffer strong subtitled how to survive anything by redefining everything and Catherine said so many amazing things, but one that struck me was she doesn't see yourself as wheelchair-bound, but rather she sees herself as wheelchair free and she sees things in a different way, as the Lord is allowed this in her life and she wants to be faithful and she wants to glorify God. Maybe I'm talking to somebody that is in a wheelchair. I'm talking to somebody that's in a hospital bed talking to somebody that is on the deathbed of talking to a young girl who's just starting out in life but is being bullied on social media, I'm talking to somebody that is just burden with all that life is thrown their way and I think you need some hope and I'm glad to say that hope was on the way in this great book that will point you to Scripture in point-and-shoot of the Lord called suffer strong again by Catherine NJ Wolf, J.

Let me ask your questions. Some may hear the subject of your book suffer strong and think, oh, it's simply adopting a positive mental attitude or you know what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. You know, but as I read it, that's not it at all is yeah exactly think for us. The upending of our life was what helped us to understand the upside down kingdom of God.

So often you know we project God in our own image. We think that the ultimate end goal is his health and wealth and comfort and the whole message of Christ subverts all of that is you been given what you been given so you can give it away to the glory of God. You can so you can hold it for you are going through all these things that look like the end of your story but it's a new beginning. If you have eyes to see it that way, I think.

So often, and even the Bible. I think the command to remember is in the Bible.

I think it's five times more than the command to believe and maybe even two times more than the command to trust. So to me that shows that this opportunity for us to remember the story we arty know the story that were arty part of this arc of a narrative that God is at work doing in the world that you may make text some different specifics but really were all living out the same story in a way of God bringing new life with.

There should only be death of him. Healing through our brokenness and that to me is so powerful to realize that we can think back to our past and find got it working. It to have this new kind of bravery to live into an unknown future. I mean we, you know, come to this place. After many years of really wrestling with and through this new life we never imagined living and you don't. Just as an aside, took I took a couple years even come up for air or nonservice and Unocal the mother from the stroke was like. Glory to God like you know I love my new calling is awesome like it was a real you know it was in upending so I want you to just give people permission to grieve losses.

I think of Jesus, crying out, it Lazarus's tomb. He knew that story but he was grieved with the suffering in the world and so I think that's a very appropriate and necessary, but not to stay there forever to find that the place of our wounding. In fact, I believe, is part of another person's feeling that when God has allowed us to experience him in the midst of the dark places that we then have an opportunity to go back to those places and people will listen to us differently because we've been through it and then we come out on the other side of it and so this is the cycle that God invites us to of you know I love the term of Jesus being the wounded healer suffering Savior. You know there's just this sort of this paradoxical sense of the whole sermon on the mount of the kingdom of God. In the end upends all the ways we think of it, it has to either be good or it has to be hard on those are mutually exclusive and separate, but the gospel says on this side of heaven. It can be really hard, but that doesn't mean that is not also good because this is the kind store and got his writing and second Corinthians 12 nine is saying that it's not in our competence in our own strength that we find God's power to be made perfect, but it's in our weakness, and so to the point about the invisible realtors in the redefining and the remembering I think you know just it's really so exciting to think we we want to control the outcomes and and you know you have to look too long to realize we can control many outcomes, but what we can control is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves and the story we tell ourselves about God in our story and that's a powerful story to remember because that's the voice we hear most often is the voice in our heads and so we get to choose which lessons we want to take away from her story to people can look at the exact same picture and tell totally different stories and so I can so you know what I've been to find got my story and that's going to actually even neuroscientist say that that changes the way our brains believe our future like we might tomorrow may be the worst day or the best day. It also might be the last day you will know this is the kind of reality were all facing, whether we like to see that we are not, but I can leave the got is gonna show up again because he has in the past. We know the Scripture itself in court as of the time like this. And maybe without full comprehension is Romans 828 that says we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, another called according to his purpose. And I think sometimes we think that means that a bad thing, will suddenly turn into a good thing but in reality that things happen to Christians that always were bad things like rent since 11 years ago, our son Christopher died in an automobile accident. I'll never regards Catherine and she is a good thing.

What I would say though is a good God is brought good things despite a really bad thing, and Internet.

I think also what we get to heaven. I wonder if we will not rethink the word good because that which was perceived as bad on planet Earth will actually be looked at is good from an eternal perspective because it would've produced in our life and just loved all my material all that important thoughts about that. All Romans 828 is totally true. And it goes on to say things that are totally true because God's love is not attached to anything in our physical world and Isaiah 45, three says I will give you hidden tractor in the which is stored in secret places so that you may know that I am not the God of God is something you by name and a beautiful thought in our nightmares and in the darkness is that there is pressure there when you have to guard the darkness we get to be treasure bearers for the rest of our lives, then back in the extremely cold comfort when you have a child. The higher you have a bachelors court in any of our horrific nightmares, but the thought of God selecting us and giving us a treasure is a comfort? Yeah I'm I would say I went on that journey probably eight years ago to understand the goodness of God and reconcile some of that junk that I've always believed in light of what happened to that junk in a negative way. Just things that people would say to me that are putting Jesus Band-Aids on bullet wounds and things that really can only be classified as like a Christian clich that was almost meaningless and very painful and what I found is that the word good is totally defined wrongly in our world that true goodness as Sir Richard Baker, a theologian from 1600 that true goodness can never be withheld from Psalm 8411 is true because that truly good things of God are not things that all the truly good that things are peace of conscience. Joy in the Holy Spirit the fruition of his presence in this life and the assurance of his face in the next and those things are not things the world can't touch matter what's going on in our broken lives the untouchable things inside of us are the truly good ones that cannot be without your listening to Catherine Wolf talk about what she has learned in light of a life altering event that took place for her when she suffered a near fatal brain stem stroke at the age of 26 and I'm interviewing her and her husband Jay and one thing that Jay said earlier that I really liked was looks like the end of your story when it actually is a new beginning and I think right now I might be talking to somebody that feels like big come to the end of their story. Some horrible news. Some traumatic event. They think that's it, but were offering the book right now, written by Catherine and Jake titled suffer strong. I love the subtitle how to survive anything by redefining everything and it's the way you look at things as you guys have shared and we want to offer this amazing new book to anyone for your gift of any size so we can continue want to teach God's word in the future. Just like Catherine and Jay and also to proclaim the gospel which is really the only hope because here's the bottom line whatever suffering were going through today hundred euros or no Wolf tomorrow thought all be dead. What if we put our trust in Christ will be in heaven and what it's really all said and done, are you ready for eternity and that is why we do what we do and and I know that really motivates Catherine injury as well so I think this book suffer strong is really want to be a great message of hope and encouragement, and will also help you to redefine what you're going through, absolutely. Whatever your challenge is whether it's a health crisis and employment crisis. There so much. We've all been through with this pandemic and just with life in general. So take advantage of this hope to people who've learned the lessons of trust in God and the crucible will help you suffer strong and will be glad to send their books offer strong to thank you for your donation to help keep these radio programs coming your way each day with much needed hope and encouragement make the arrangements@harvest.org or by calling 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 or writer set a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 FS Greg were extra thankful for those folks who invest in this ministry on a monthly basis. Yes, what we call the special friends we call them harvest partners and ungulates chewing on the secret that you probably already know Dave, but the vast majority of our harvest partners are little musical fanfare. Ladies and all those I've read that in most homes.

The women are in charge of the finances of the one that right. They write the checks and they take care of the bills and so I want to say thank you to all you ladies and no I want to turn to another lady and see Kathy why is it important for a woman listening right now to make this a part perhaps of the regular giving what what happens if she invest some of the finances of their home into our ministry.

Well first of all thank you for doing that. Those of you that already are harvest partners that we would like to say to all the rest of you, would you pray about becoming a harvest partner and you realize that because of your faithful getting mentally we can count on a certain budget with which we can project into the future and make plans for the future.

If our giving ebbs and flows month to month were grateful for the gifts we had, that it it certainly helps us to plan better and strategize our radio programming outlets and media outlets because you did give regularly. So thank you for that with the rest of you consider doing that in my encouragement to those of you, especially those of you ladies out there is Jesus's ministry was funded by a group of women, many of them who traveled with him and I want to be one of those women I wanted showing Mary Magdalene and Joanne name Susanna and technically help us and the other women of the New Testament who provided out of their substance probably from their daily grocery budget in their household living expenses to make sure that Jesus and the disciples could do the work that they continue we heard that ladies so we thank you for your support. All that you can do to help us to continue to bring this program to people all around the nation and even the world to whatever you can do is appreciated. And today we encourage you to become harvest partner. That's right.

And you can do that online or just a few mouse clicks, harvest.org just click donate or call us and we can help you with the details by phone number is 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 and with your first gift as a harvest partner will send you Jay and Katherine's new book called suffer strong but will only be mentioning a short time longer next time. Catherine will join us again for more great insight on how we can survive the trying times of trial, shall timely insight beginning Greg Laurie was made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor greats free daily email, devotions@harvest.org


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