devozine

Article

Katie

Kyle Kupecky

When Athem Lights was recording “I Wanna Know You Like That,” I was thinking of a dear friend of mine. Her story inspires me to deepen my reliance on Jesus. Katie Searfoss has a faith that makes me say, “God, I want to know you like that.”

devozine Katie & RSD Friend 3When Katie was a freshman in high school, she started having intense pain in her back. For two years, she met with urologists, rheumatologists, orthopedic doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors. She had MRIs, CAT scans, and electric stimulation. Two years later, on her seventeenth birthday, Katie was told that she was not leaving Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia until the doctors figured out what was wrong.

She was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. RSD is a chronic progressive neurological condition that affects skin, muscles, joints, and bones. It is characterized by varying degrees of burning pain, swelling, and extreme sensitivity to touch. RSD cannot be cured overnight, with a pill, or with surgery. Katie’s brain was telling her body to feel pain when it should not, so her brain had to be retrained. The rehab process can help patients cope with the pain, but it does not guarantee that the pain will cease.
devozine Katie & Kids 2

 

What touched my heart was that Katie never let the illness keep her from serving others. She was in the children’s wing of the church, teaching and loving kids, even though hugging them caused her physical pain. The pain would not stop her from showing God’s love. When I began recording and touring with Anthem Lights, she asked how she could pray for me. How could she be concerned for me when she was living with unbelievable pain? Her selflessness has rocked my world and challenged me to examine my own heart.

 

 

I asked Katie how RSD has changed her relationship with God. This is what she said:

“I’m extremely close to God. RSD has made me surrender my life to him. Of course, that is easier to say than to do, and in no way have I mastered it.

“Many people assume that I would be angry with God for ‘giving’ me this pain. I’m not angry. God loves me so much that he walks alongside me through the pain; instead of taking it away, God allows me to learn what I can from it. And in doing so, God gives me the opportunity to see the beauty that comes from this storm. That is radical love.

“I’m a bit of a control freak; I like to know what’s going to happen next. With RSD, there’s none of that. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Will my pain spike? go away completely? remain the same? I don’t know. I don’t know where I’m going to be in thirty years. I don’t know what I can do with my life. I need to surrender my life, my plans, my RSD to God and follow his plan for my life. That’s not easy. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. God’s plans are far greater than mine.”


DIG DEEPER

Think of the people who inspire you most. Tell their stories. (Post them as Creative Work on this site — with a photo!) Thank these people for living their faith in a way that has influenced your life and caused your relationship with God to grow deeper.

Listen to “I Wanna Know You Like That” by Anthem Lights. Who has a faith that makes you want to know God more deeply?

Kyle Kupecky , a member of the pop group Anthem Lights, grew up in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and has a strong affinity for ice cream.

—from devozine (March/April 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.

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