Interview with the Wolfs

From Brain Stem Stroke to Sterling Hope

An Interview with Katherine and Jay Wolf

“For better or worse” . . . “in sickness and health” . . . “’til death do us part” . . . “I DO.” The marriage vows are easy when life is beautiful. It certainly was for the young, vibrant model and her loving, loyal husband preparing to practice law after the bar exam.

However, passing the bar was simple compared to the tests life presented this young couple.

On a quiet afternoon, Katherine suffered a massive brain stem stroke due to a rare congenital defect. After a 16-hour surgery to remove more than half her cerebellum, vital intracranial nerves were sacrificed that could’ve left her paralyzed or in a vegetative state.

And this was just the first of many health challenges they would face over the next 10 years.

Statistically, 98 percent of couples divorce when faced with unbearable odds. However, Jay and Katherine are the kind of people who don’t give up.

If you’re wanting to give up on life, a mate, a job, or any circumstance that appears impossible, you must hear this message of hope. Jay and Katherine continue to live out their marriage vows in ways only God could have orchestrated.

Watch the Interview

Interview Questions

Colleen talks with Jay and Katherine Wolf, authors of Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and Overcoming Love.

  1. Why does being content in all circumstances sometimes feel like trying to hit a moving target?
  2. Where have you received encouragement during difficult circumstances?
  3. Why is sharing with others the comfort we have been given so essential for our spiritual growth?
  4. When Katherine was recovering, how did God remind you that you both weren’t alone?
  5. Explain the choice you made about your marriage after Katherine’s accident.
  6. How did you manage the sense of loss when you realized you would not have the life you imagined?
  7. Where has God brought restoration to your lives?
  8. Why does the church need to equip itself with people who have experienced great pain and loss?
  9. Have you been able to flourish after experiencing a life-changing trauma?
  10. How did you know God was calling you to form your ministry Hope Heals?
  11. What do you say to the person who feels she or he has lost all hope?
  12. Do you find it tough to reach out and ask for help?
  13. Tell us the amazing story of the birth of your son, John.

Let Me Hear from You

Choosing to see God’s goodness amid our devastating trials can seem impossible. But hope exists for everyone willing to embrace what God has allowed. The life we live may not be the one we planned, but it IS the life God knew before the beginning of time.

YOU are a vessel, a living message that this world is only temporary and will one day be made new into our eternal home.

Until then, we are called to a greater purpose beyond what we can do on our own. Will you lean in to Jesus Christ and ask Him this question, “For what purpose?” He has not left you to suffer alone; there is purpose in your suffering.

Altering our perspective can be life changing and life giving. What can you do today to turn your trials into transforming works that display God’s faithfulness and goodness?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

About Jay and Katherine Wolf

Katherine Arnold and Jay Wolf met at Samford University (not Stanford, though you can think that if you want) in Birmingham, Alabama, where they fell in love and decided they wanted to make their life together. On a gorgeous fall day, they were married in Athens, Georgia. Though 22 years old and not fully grasping the reality of what they were promising, they offered each other perhaps the sweetest words any human can offer another . . . for worse, for poorer, in sickness, ’til death.

Their sights were set on adventures in California, with dreams of the entertainment industry and law school at Pepperdine University. Early years in LA were full of making a life in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. There they found a depth of Christian community and an ownership of their faith they had never experienced before through their church, Bel Air Presbyterian. In the final year of law school and years ahead of their schedule for having a baby—but right on time—James Thompson Wolf was born.

Just six months and five days later, Katherine collapsed in her kitchen with a stroke while baby James slept in the other room and during a 45-minute window while Jay “just happened” to be home before one of his final law school classes.

She was rushed to UCLA Medical Center where one of the world’s best neurosurgeons, Dr. Nestor Gonzalez, “just happened” to be on call. It was the largest AVM he had ever seen, in the worst location. She was not expected to live, but despite the grim prognosis and the lawyer husband, he took the case. Katherine lived! And then the real story began.

You can read the rest in their book Hope Heals or maybe see it on the big screen one day as Sony Pictures recently optioned the rights to make it into a movie!


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