Kris Kemkper

While living in a dangerous world, we are loved.
I write our story as a glad labor to bring refreshing,
to restore souls who feel fear in the days we endure.
The first two chapters, introduce me and my son, Larry,
explaining what we faced in our first days, in Cincinnati.
I need the encouragement of the Lord, which is why my
own story needs to be written – as only the Hand of God
could’ve led me through such remarkable circumstances.
This Journal will also explain how becoming Catholic was
a great encouragement to me and my handicapped son.
Often I marveled at why God did so much to take my breath away,
but deep inside I knew He was not wasting anything; He had a plan.
Sharing with you all like this on Facebook, will get me motivated by
the challenges I have already lived, and help me to journal more now.
That is what I will consider this collection of notes – Larry Jr with me,
written down on the pages that God put together.  He is the Author.
Many events are so stunning, that when I recall them, I stand in awe
of all God did to encourage me in devastating, impossible situations
previous to circumstances we face now, so this will give me a courage
I need and maybe you do too. Terrors and wonders, such a variety of
stunning segments – this wild story, I will share one episode at a time,
and Lord willing, organize later. Tiny bites will make this manageable.
I wanted what all of you want, a simple inspiring faithful walk with God,
and God made it a terror to me over and over.  I do not see myself as a
strong warrior woman, yet there has been no choice about it. He Chose.
That will probably seem a harsh statement to some of you, as though I’d
accuse God of wrongdoing, but the facts are He did create the devil and
the devil is only His tool used to test us. Perspective is necessary to win,
and God’s testing is never to tear us down, but to make us His Trophies.
Going to jump around and not write with a timeline that makes sense, but
in a journal – one can do that.  I’ve started many journals, and would always
write a bit of inspiration God would put into my thinking, and time stamp it,
writing the date down, with prayer requests to remind me of who I truly was.
It helped to keep me centered and on track with God.  I trust you will pray us
through, since this seems a ridiculous thing to do when I’ve burdens enough
without adding one more. But the journaling will give me a chance to recover
my oxygen supply, as lately too much, too fast, too surprisingly harsh events,
seem to be pummeling me and throwing me out of balance. I need to breathe.
Developing a collection of amazing moments with God, some thrilling to recall,
many will be shocking. People write for various reasons- I need to remember.
No one talks about Fairy Tales, but this will sound like one, yet the symbol of a
Lighthouse will keep me going as I recollect many amazing moments, where if
one looks, you’ll see LIGHT shining in the midst of the rough trials: single Mom
with a handicapped young man. Won’t share every piece of good, bad, and ugly;
like many of you, we have plenty of all of that, but most of you might assume a
tale like mine is unreal. Won’t apologize for God’s truth. Some of it can’t be told
quickly; this package must be carefully unwrapped, brought out tenderly, gently.
Maybe you will think I am crazy, but it will be a loss if you never see what I saw.
Years ago, while struggling with Larry Jr., wondering if I could overcome a
time of grief and horror – learning that I would have to be strong against the
one person I thought I could trust, God made me deal with a cruel loneliness.
My son is Autistic Aspergers and at the age of 15, he could not recognize the
alphabet and could not look me in the eye or anyone else.  His brain was sick.
He has been diagnosed as severely mentally retarded and emotionally disabled,
and while I was married, I used to tell myself that he would grow up and my job
would be complete.  Larry would probably go into an institution, but I would be
finally free to live my life for me and enjoy my own plans.  Little did I know that
God had other ideas; when divorce hit, like a ton of bricks, everything changed.
I remember flying Larry to visit his dad, to another state on weekends, while my
time was spent praying, hoping my son would return safe and whole. My nerves
were shot, while I kept myself positive by journaling and visiting my father, who
was alive at that time.  The adrenalin pumped into my veins with a strength I’d
never think I could experience.  Somehow, indignation of what I was obliged to
live, kept pushing me to fight for the righteous cause: my son and I surviving.
My heart was wrenched and torn into pieces, because I had to stop loving my
husband, and I had never planned on that, but our survival had to come first.
On one visit, Larry was abducted, and I had to keep my wits about me, as the
panic I felt had to be shoved down into the recesses of a basement in my soul.
I could not let myself believe my son would not come home to me – that was a
pain I would not let happen.  Between me and an attorney working together, we
fought the law, and the law one.  My ex was forced to obey Air Force demands.
During the time of beginning sorrows, my son and I had a unity built into us;
the attacks on both of us solidified our commitment to each other. Whether or
not I would ever achieve a life, one I could enjoy again, was not the issue- my
son and I were constantly in harm’s way and under threats of the court orders,
always hanging over our heads.  My ex had visiting rights, and no matter how
much evil he might’ve been planning, I’d be required to hold my head up high.
Larry would come back from the weekends, mad, crying, an emotional wreck.
We would spend a week trying to regain an equilibrium only to face the same
ordeal all over again, in a month or so.  We would run away with Dad to the
campgrounds, and hide out in Dad’s trailer, singing campfire songs.  Thank
God for my Dad; without his cheery little ” I CAN DO ANYTHING” thinking, the
pain would have been too much for us.  Larry was being played with like a rag
doll, pushed to the edge – my father calmed the raging storms down a bunch.
The timing of the Lord does astound me, as my father was still alive, and my
strength was pretty good.  My past experiences with the Lord, and my success
in many things I had attempted, must have prepared me for the hurricane ride.
Dad had a tiny inflatable rubber boat, and one summer he was out in a terrible
historical storm, causing power outages for thousands of homes in Port Huron.
But the horrors of what he endured, in a tiny raft on 12 foot waves, was not a
bit harder than what my son and I were called to endure. God appeared rough.
The court was often ordering me to be superwoman, and by the grace of God,
I really was, but cannot take the credit.  All thanks goes to my Heavenly Father!
I’m a convert to Catholicism, and have been asked to tell my testimony – this
will be more than just that.  My life prior to becoming Catholic was radical and
scary, and my life after Catholicism is the same, but now I have more weapons
to help me fight the battles.  The Eucharist has made a huge difference for me
and my son, now I can face revealing what I’ve been through with less concern,
so where I start and what the next chapter will be is up to God, me and you. If
we can agree that God’s Word is the Light for our paths, then we can find hope
even where there seems to be no hope, because He has promised to sustain us.
I will go into more detail about our becoming Catholic in a later chapter as that
is part of the reason, I was able to find so much hope in moments of darkness.
It was in the midst of such a time, where there seemed to be no hope, that God
showed up for me and my son. Larry Jr. had been abducted by his father on one
visit and was threatening, to not return him to me; he used the court visitations
that are demanded of custodial parents to the non-custodial parent as a snare
by which he could trap my son, who at the time had no ability to escape from a
man who was much bigger than him.  Larry could barely speak sentences at the
time, but as my ex was still active duty, he couldn’t ignore military regulations.
I will add the fact that my beginning of this note, was because of a recent event,
one that just happened.  It’s the reason I felt I must begin writing my testimony,
as I would not share the reality of what Larry Jr and I have lived, and have been
asked to overcome, if there was a way to avoid speaking to my friends about it.
When we go through terrible situations, our first desire is to leave it behind us,
but God never gave me permission to run and hide; He admonished me to write.
Sharing our own testimony is probably one of the hardest things we can ever do,
especially if we feel our story is painful and filled with unpleasant memories.  To
some degree, we must relive the difficult situations out again, in order to explain
the details.  But if God has been part of the agony, it’s much easier to write about,
and that is the awesome part of our challenging story, the Lord God is a Deliverer,
worthy to be praised.  I am inspired by all He has done, and write to remind myself,
that God has done for us great things, even though they came at such a great cost.
So as I write all of our testimony out, we shall rejoice in His Wonderful Faithfulness.