Some people only see brokenness during painful circumstances. Like shattered glass, they see shards and pointy edges that hurt and offer no hope.
Others search for blessing in brokenness. Like the same shattered glass, they see color, texture, and shapes that can be pieced back together to make a moving mosaic of beauty.
Ironically, anyone who searches for blessings will always find them, regardless of their circumstances.
Kimberly, 45, is one of those people. She has experienced great challenges, yet time and time again, she looks for—and finds—blessing in brokenness.
In 2016, Kimberly was enjoying her work as a librarian in Jeffersonville, Indiana, when she became ill. She was diagnosed with CML, or chronic myeloid leukemia. Also known as chronic myelogenous leukemia, CML is a blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow and then invades the blood. This type of cancer occurs mostly in adults.
During those first few months, Kimberly’s hometown oncology team worked furiously to help her, but sadly, little helped. Then in 2017, Kimberly came to Indianapolis, where a new team of doctors began to work collaboratively with her hometown team.
Things seemed to have turned around until 2021, when Kimberly grew “deathly ill,” as she describes. “I mean, I was seriously ill and hospitalized for two months.”
Working together, changing treatments and medications, the two medical teams eventually would save Kimberly’s life and help move her body into remission.
Not only does Kimberly describe her physicians as a blessing, but she also calls her library colleagues a blessing. That’s because her team researched the Indianapolis area for appropriate housing for Kimberly and her family so they no longer would have to stay in a hotel. In their research, their team discovered Fair Haven.
Jamesella, Kimberly’s mom explains, “Trying to find a place to stay was traumatic in itself. For a while we stayed close to the hospital, then we were just kind of bopping back and forth to different places to stay that we could afford. It really hit us hard. Then, our church family helped us. Finally, someone at Kimberly’s job told us about Fair Haven.
“The first time we came, we stayed here almost three weeks.” During that time, the family found hope in staying together at one of Fair Haven’s apartments.
Pausing, Kimberly adds Fair Haven to her list of blessings, saying the support “has been such a relief because the financial burden can be just as heavy as dealing with the health crisis. So Fair Haven has been a financial blessing, but maybe more importantly, the staff has been great. I am forever grateful for that. The care here helps a person get stronger because you’re cared for here, and that help takes the burden off of you.”
But her struggles didn’t end in Indianapolis. Upon Kimberly’s return home two and a half hours away, she was still fighting her health battle and remained very weak. Yet she would find herself in another life-threatening situation.
“Nine days later during the night, my apartment unit caught on fire. I was trapped in my apartment. As weak as I was, I had to move the dresser away from my window, break the window, and jump out. I mean, I was in there like Sammy Sosa bursting out. But I was standing on the ledge and I said, ‘God, please save me.’ Then I heard my dad’s voice, and I jumped.”
Not only would she somehow survive the jump, but Kimberly’s neighbors later told her as they watched the horrific ordeal, they saw a pair of hands guiding Kimberly down through the air.
“I prayed, and God held onto me until I was safe,” said the survivor.
Surviving the fire experience was yet another blessing Kimberly adds to her list.
“God was holding me for a reason, and whatever my journey is, I know there’s something more, something bigger.”
Today, Kimberly continues to manage her CML with the help of her doctors. She also struggles with a series of other health issues.
“I have health issues,” she says, “but I still have my limbs. I can still talk, and I get to keep working a job that I absolutely love….
“I have a tattoo in the shape of a semi-colon. It means keep going. Instead of a period that signifies the end, my story hasn’t ended. I need to keep going. And I need to keep counting my blessings.”
Through your support, Fair Haven provides the blessing of a home-away-from-home for families battling a serious illness. Bring hope to families like Kimberly’s today with your gift of support.