And They Meet
The first thing I remember about my sister-in-law Kimmie was from my brother. One of his friends told me, “Phil had a date!” This was NOT an everyday occurrence. We are not a super communicative family, so I expect to be in the dark about these things. Of course, I called Phil immediately to get the dish.
“She has the most beautiful eyes,” he told me. I knew at that moment that he was toast!
Phil arranged for me to meet Kimmie for the first time at Benihana with some mutual friends – as a buffer, I think, in case we didn’t get along. He was very smart about that. Yummy food and fun friends put me in a good mood. Not that I needed to be in a good mood to love Kimmie.
And Phil was right. She had beautiful eyes. And I was right. He was toast. Or better put, he had found his soulmate.
The rest is history. Wedding, two kids, house, jobs. Life.
Loving Others Well
You know how earlier I said that we are not a very communicative family? Well Kimmie has changed that. She is like the glue that keeps us stuck together. A phone call at dinner time is a common occurrence, but I don’t mind because she always has some fun plan or idea to talk about.
Always kind. Always positive. Always interested in what is happening with us. Never a sideways glance at how we raise our kids or how much my husband plays video games… Well maybe half a glance at that!
In Romans 14:9 (MSG) the Apostle Paul says, “That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.”
The “petty tyrannies of each other” (needing to have our own way, judging others as if we are the master of all, fault-finding to a fault), these things are completely lost on my sweet and fearless sister-in-law. The judgments of others do not matter to Kimmie – her focus is to love others well. She calls me to a pure and expectant kind of love, an encouraging and supportive kind of love, always expecting the best from people, because that is what she gives to them.
There is great freedom in living that way. Freedom to let others be who God made them to be and to let Jesus be the Master. When you don’t spend so much energy tyrannizing others’ choices, you can find the ability to live out the dreams God puts in your own heart. And when God puts a dream in your heart, you know it will help you love others well.
Kimmie knows what she wants and she goes for it.
“I think it would be cool to raise bees.” Done.
“I think I will open a baking company.” Done.
“I think we should drive to Florida to surprise my father-in-law for his birthday.” Done, and she brought us with her!
“I think I would like to be a surrogate.” Done.
She inspires me to get over my fear and jump in on starting this blog, just by being her.
So I said to her one day, “I think I want to start a blog – and you are the subject of my first post.” Done.
But let’s land for a moment on the surrogacy. To me, this is one of the most amazing gifts to a couple who otherwise could not have a biological child of their own.
A number of years ago, Princess Kate was pregnant and had a terrible time with hyperemesis. This was not long after I had my own bout with that debilitating sickness during my pregnancy with my third son. We were talking about Kate and Kimmie nonchalantly said, “I would carry her baby for her next time.” Oh, you’re funny! Yeah, yeah. If only it was that simple. But the Lord had conceived an idea in Kimmie’s heart.
The process was long and carefully walked out. Research. Waiting. Seeking wise counsel. Waiting. Finding the right organization. Waiting. Being matched with the right parents. Medical exams and procedures. Legal forms. And all this before becoming pregnant! But Kimmie and Phil stayed the course and walked the path.
She was matched with a sweet couple who have become dear friends to Kimmie and Phil. The in vitro worked. And more waiting. Nine months to be exact. C-section. And a beautiful baby girl placed in the arms of parents for whom the process had been much longer and the waiting much more painful than for the one who carried the gift for nine months.
Christmas has just passed, and I cannot help but think of another woman who carried another gift. God loved the world so much, that He gave us Jesus. I have always admired Mary, who agreed to carry the Son of God. When the angel visited her and told her God’s plan, she responded, “I am the Lord’s servant… May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38 NIV) It was a level of self-sacrifice unimaginable, as she walked her long and difficult road, in obedience to perfect love that wrapped itself in the tiny body of a babe in a manger.
We can glimpse God’s perfect love when we look at Mary, and when we look at Kimmie, too. I see God’s faithfulness and courage in Kimmie’s gift of surrogacy.
And so to Kimmie I say: Well done, good and faithful surrogate!
If you have more to say about the amazing Kimmie, comment below. And remember to appreciate those who are in your Faithful Village.
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At Hope Community Church we announce whenever there is a new baby coming. The idea of surrogacy was a new thing for our little church, so Pastor Brian incorporated the announcement of Kimmie’s pregnancy into his sermon entitled Proximity and Sacrifice. It is worth listening to. The announcement comes about 23 minutes into the message.