Speechless. Life can leave you speechless. Pain can leave you speechless, but so can love. This is the story of a journey that has left many speechless, but in awe of the power of love between and a daughter, her mom, and her God.
This is Krislyn’s Kingdom Journey.
On July 26, 2017, Krislyn experienced a headache so severe she started missing the keys on her keyboard at work and ran into walls as she tried to go to the bathroom.
She knew something was not right.
Within 24 hours she was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, Stage 4 - terminal brain cancer. She had surgery to remove the tumor, but in less than a month it returned larger than before. After the second surgery, 39 rounds of radiation were completed and followed by chemotherapy treatments. A year and a half later, it was discovered that the tumor had spread into her spinal fluid. Treatments were not working, and all options locally had been exhausted. She was accepted into the MD Anderson Cancer Hospital of Houston for evaluation, but became too ill for the trip.
Krislyn Knighten transitioned the evening of May 27, 2019.
The path she took to glory could make one speechless, but that is not the end of her story for it is the love and compassion weaved between the lines that reminds us that the grace of God is at its best in painful places. Krislyn’s pain was constant, so constant that only seconds or minutes would pass before you would hear her cry out, “Mama”. And every time… every time… her mother Janiet would be there to respond. Day, night, without sleep or even a moment to catch her breath, you could hear Janiet’s response:
“Yes, baby. I’m here.”
Krislyn never went without, never had to worry if she was going to be well-cared for. Her suffering would never go unnoticed, her cry never go unanswered. The powerful interaction between Janiet and Krislyn left us all speechless. It was unyielding, never-ending, ever flowing. It was hard to witness and yet one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
Krislyn was running for her life, and only her mother’s voice and prayer gave her comfort.
In Genesis 28, we see the story of Jacob and his encounter with God in a sacred space as he flees from his brother, Esau.
When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac…” ~Genesis 28:11-13b
He named the place, “Bethel” meaning house of God. It was discovered in an unusual place, a Canaanite city formerly known as “Luz”.
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz. ~Genesis 28:18-19
This was enemy territory for a Jew, but the Bible doesn’t tell us the original name of the city until after Jacob names it Bethel. Why? Because God is with us no matter where we are. He takes up residence in the unexpected places. Being chased by life made finding Bethel simple for Krislyn. It was living within her, her mother’s voice, and prayer.
Are you seeking your "Bethel"? It can be found in GOD n You.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. ~1 Corinthians 1:16-17
Relief, revelation, and rest await you in Bethel.
You are my strength, strength like no other. Strength like no other reaches to me. In the fullness of Your grace, in the power of Your name, you lift me up, you lift me up. ~From William Murphy's song, "You are My Strength"
Krislyn not only found the courage to endure, she found the strength to remind her mother how much she loved her and to make sure that others were there for her mom. From her bed she spoke words of encouragement to her family and laughed with friends when the world wasn’t funny. But the sun has now set on Krislyn’s life. She received her reward. She laid her head upon the Cornerstone that is Christ Jesus and went to sleep. She saw the angels ascending and descending on the stairway to heaven.
She saw God… waiting.
I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you. ~Genesis 28:15b
The Father had been there all the time, watching over her no matter where the journey took her. Now, it was time to give her the land He promised her. Her journey on earth has ended, but her story, testimony, and her legacy live on in you and me.
Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. ~Genesis 28:14
I have yet to encounter one person that hasn’t been moved by Krislyn’s journey or touched by the depth of her family's love. It is their legacy and our reminder that to live is Christ and to die is gain.
If life is chasing after you, find your Bethel.
Trust the Father with everything in you. Stop leaning on your own understanding. Surrender the pain of your chase to Him, and you will find your “certain place”.
And to Krislyn, our Kingdom Solider, thank you. Your example of perseverance and love will continue to spread like the dust of the earth.
To God be the glory for the things He has done.
See you next week.