The Francis Asbury Society

A Note from Stan re: Katy

Posted on | December 17, 2015 | 42 Responses

Friends and family,

We feel overwhelmed with an ocean of grace by the many emails, texts, voice mails, visits, cards, etc. It is impossible to keep up with the correspondence, but please know that we read every one and each one is a beautiful means of grace to our fragile souls. I find myself in tears with almost each one I read. I’ve never had words touch me quite like this. Thank you, thank you.

William Cowper wrote the hymn “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.” How I love these words:

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

The past 72 hours have been like none I’ve ever lived. Providence did indeed seem to be frowning. For about 48 hours, it felt like we were falling off a cliff, hitting one rocky ledge after another in our descent. Where would it end? But even as life was spinning out of control, we caught glimpses, and at times a glorious vision, of the “smiling face” behind the turbulence.

On Monday morning, Katy and I faced one of the greatest challenges of our life as she underwent surgery to remove a speculated nodule from her left lung. All signs had seemed to indicate cancer so when the doctor said it was benign, we erupted in praise and sent a letter saying that the battle was over and thanks for the prayers. Little did we know that the battle had only begun!

On Monday afternoon, at about 4:00, Katy had a “large stroke.” A blood clot lodged in her right brain, leaving her left side paralyzed. Our surgeon said that in all his life he had never experienced anything like this and is struggling to account for the clot. Over the next 24 hours, a series of CT scans showed that the brain was swelling. Not good. We noticed that Katy was more and more non-responsive, and by late Tuesday afternoon, a neurosurgeon had been called in. He explained that if he did not do immediate surgery to relieve the pressure, Katy would probably die.

In shock, we signed the papers and again watched as Katy was wheeled away behind closed doors for two hours of more surgery. A craniotomy was performed, removing bone from the right side of her skull so the brain could thus expand as it adjusted to the damage caused from the stroke. Tuesday night about 8:00, the neurosurgeon announced that the surgery had gone smoothly and Katy’s vital signs looked good. But he stressed that there would still be about 48-72 hours of recovery in neuro-ICU, which would be critical.

We are in that period of waiting now. Katy is responsive and her mental capacities and personality seem to be present. She cannot talk well and can barely keep her eyes open. Wednesday morning, she indicated she wanted a pen and paper and with eyes unable to open, wrote out in perfect script instructions about who we were to call to inform about her condition! We laughed as we realized that beneath all the bandages and tubes and medication and trauma of two surgeries, Katy was still thinking of others and THEIR well being! As you know, I am married to a saint.

It is far too early to predict the future, but if recovery over these next few days goes well, I think we will be looking at a lengthy rehabilitation. The medical staff has been very helpful and have worked to keep our expectations realistic. Of course, we are asking God for full recovery but know that it will likely be a long and challenging journey.

Again, I cannot begin to say how much the notes and prayers and verses and visits have meant. We are incredibly blessed by a family of people who have enriched our lives and blessed us in ways that make us feel like we are swimming in an ocean of grace. The “frowning providence” is still a reality, and we recognize that this journey may still have difficult challenges and pain and loss. But today, I’m thanking God for his smiling face, which we see so clearly through you!

Trusting His face!
Stan Key


42 Responses to “A Note from Stan re: Katy”

  1. Bonnie Lashbrook
    December 17th, 2015 @ 1:31 pm

    I’m writing on behalf of my mother-in-law, Ruth Mitchell and myself. We’ve been praying for you all. Having just come through the loss of Paul (her son, my husband)after a long battle with dialysis and many complications, we know about anxiety and trust in God’s will. We also know how very tired you are and will be. Try to take care of your own needs, too.
    Bonnie Lashbrook

  2. Mary E. Hermiz
    December 17th, 2015 @ 1:31 pm

    From the moment I heard the report of Katy’s stroke you have both been in my thoughts and prayers. Praying without ceasing becomes a way of life when those we love are in such deep distress.

    Thank you so much for the updates. They mean a great deal. Trusting God for his perfect will to be done.
    Much Love and Prayer,

  3. Mike Olmstead
    December 17th, 2015 @ 1:32 pm

    Dear Stan and Katy, Anna, Elizabeth and ? (sorry);
    I am praying as I am able for Katy’s speedy recovery and for God’s grace to rest on all of you as you wait. May the Lord’s amazing grace sustain you in every way. I love you all and praise the Lord for your family. Sincerely, Mike Olmstead-former LCS teacher

  4. Jim Smith
    December 17th, 2015 @ 1:35 pm

    Dear Stan and Katy,

    I waited to write as I was sure you were being inundated with mail, but want you to know that we have been praying for both of you and the family during this difficult time. We will continue to pray for a full recovery.

    All the best,


  5. Jay Six
    December 17th, 2015 @ 1:42 pm

    Thank you for letting us walk this road with you by our prayers. The Risen Jesus is surely with us all! Blessings, Jay

  6. Lesley Fickett
    December 17th, 2015 @ 1:48 pm

    Dear Stanley and family,

    How sad I was to hear the news. I have been praying for Katy and am so encouraged to hear that she was writing yesterday! I will be praying often for her and pray that the Lord raises her up. May He be your great Consolateur!
    In Him,
    Lesley (France)

  7. Jane Bello Burke
    December 17th, 2015 @ 1:52 pm

    Dear Stan and Katy,
    Jim expressed it perfectly.
    Thank you for the updates. You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers.

  8. Rick Comstock
    December 17th, 2015 @ 1:53 pm

    an unexpected story. A new chapter.
    Anyone who meets Katy face to face knows she puts up a good fight.

    Job was a good pastor. Stan and Katys’ list of friends by name alone would fill up a book in chapters.

    Stan, God is definitely your friend.

    This event brings on the tears.
    Looking forward to the day when joy replaces the tears.

    Patience and strength.
    Be blessed.

    Rick & Helen Comstock

  9. Sue McMinn
    December 17th, 2015 @ 1:55 pm

    Stan I am just a lady in WV who ordered some material from a Francis Asbury web site and was added to the email list.

    I don’t know you or your family personally, but I can sense the love you have for each other and most of all for our Lord.

    My husband was taken home to be with Jesus 2 and one half years ago. So I know what it is to lose the love of my life. We had 46 years together and I was so hoping we could make it to 50. God knows best and He is my source of comfort and help each day.

    I pray for a complete recovery, but I also know that you both are in perfect hands.

    My prayers are with you, your family and the beautiful people who surround you during these times.

    God Bless
    Sue McMinn

  10. Darcy Lewis
    December 17th, 2015 @ 2:01 pm

    We love you all and will continue to pray for Katy’s full recovery! Hugs to all of you! You are all so special to us!

    In Christ,
    Darcey, Dean, Carokine and Abby

  11. Jacqueline Granger
    December 17th, 2015 @ 2:05 pm

    Praying for you.

    You will be encouraged to read the story of my dear friends, Katherine and Jay Wolf, at They have journeyed before you on this hard road. I have emailed them to pray for Katy and you as well.

    In the Gentle Healer who holds all things together,


  12. David Dick
    December 17th, 2015 @ 2:12 pm

    Dear Stan,

    Thank you for this update. We will continue to pray for healing and restoration. We pray especially for the resilience that will be required for Katy in particular, but for the entire family in general, to remain victorious throughout this ordeal.

    All our love, Dave, for Celia, too.

  13. Bill and Liz Higgs
    December 17th, 2015 @ 2:34 pm

    Stan, Katy, and families,

    Please know of our ongoing prayers and concern for you, Katy, and all who love her and have been touched by her life. God is a god of strength, miracle, and grace, and we pray that you will all sense His presence closely as you continue on this journey.

    Soli Deo gloria,

    -Bill and Liz Higgs

  14. Tom Faulkner
    December 17th, 2015 @ 2:36 pm

    Stan and Katy,

    You have been through very difficult times with hour to hour trauma. Praise to the Father who is in control. You already have an idea of the outpouring of love that has been pouring in. Yet just think of our Father in heaven hearing from the vast teaming masses that are sending prayers for this situation. He remains steady with the plan over your lives ( both you and Katy) that was put down at the beginning of time. Our love and prayers continue.

    Looking forward to our next lunch…….

    Tom and Lorelei Faulkner

  15. Paul Saxon
    December 17th, 2015 @ 2:41 pm

    Stan, You will probably hear from many non-medical “experts” such as myself, so I will only briefly mention that hyperbaric oxygen treatments often help those recovering from strokes. The doctor who runs the clinic at is a fine Christian and if interested you should contact him for more information.

    Praying for you all,

  16. John Schmid
    December 17th, 2015 @ 2:43 pm

    How quickly our lives can change! And how awesome is our God, and how faithful are you, His servant! I will be praying, Stan. May God show Himself strong and comforting in this time of turmoil. Blessings.

  17. Cynthia Hale
    December 17th, 2015 @ 2:56 pm

    Dear Stan,

    We have been kept abreast of Katy’s condition, and continue in fervent prayer together daily, and often raise our petitions throughout the day and night.

    Thank you for your long email explaining everything in detail.

    With love in our Lord,
    Cynthia and Tom

  18. Jeanette
    December 17th, 2015 @ 2:58 pm

    I have been praying without ceasing ever since the first email. We are so sorry that you have to walk through this difficult situation but are believing with you that God is always faithful and will cause everything to work out for your good. Love and prayers, Jeanette.

  19. Steve Stratton
    December 17th, 2015 @ 3:08 pm

    Dear Stan and Katy,
    Even though we Wilmore people do not ever see enough of one another, please know that we are not absent in supporting you all in prayer. I am confident that the days ahead will be filled with glory sightings. Emmanuel–what a great name for these times. Bless you.

  20. Warren Lathem
    December 17th, 2015 @ 3:14 pm

    Stan and Katy,
    Just know you continue in our hearts and prayers. May the Great Physician meet every need.
    We love you.
    Warren and Jane

  21. Laurie Demars
    December 17th, 2015 @ 3:19 pm

    Dear Katy, Pastor Stan and all,

    You have been constantly on my mind since Monday and in my prayers before that for Katy’s initial surgery.

    You are much loved by many people and by our great God with the compassionate face and good hands.

    I will continue to pray (as countless others are too).

  22. Warren and Jane Lathem
    December 17th, 2015 @ 3:20 pm

    Stan, Warren and I are praying for Katy, you and your family. We know how you are leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus and we want you know you have the arms of many friends to lean on as well. We pray for your peace, comfort and strength as you go through the days ahead. Our God IS a mighty God who is able to heal completely and THAT is what we pray for your precious Katy!

  23. Carol Richardson
    December 17th, 2015 @ 3:27 pm


    Wanted to let you know that as soon as I got the email from the FA Society about Katy, I passed it on immediately and you were place on Bridge Community Church’s prayer chain. I feel like I’ve gotten to know Katy thru her newsletters that we receive from you and want to know you are in Steve and my thoughts and prayers. Keep us updated. This too will be used for God’s glory. It’s sure no fun going thru the dessert though!

  24. Rex Keener
    December 17th, 2015 @ 3:51 pm

    Stan and Katy, Debbie and I are continuing in prayer for you and for your whole family. Please know that we cherish your friendship and partnership in Kingdom ministry. Thank you for continuing, through your words and actions, to give people the right impression of who God is.

    In His grace,


  25. Chris Bounds
    December 17th, 2015 @ 3:52 pm

    We continue in prayer. Many in the IWU community join in prayer for Katy and your family. Pax Christi!

  26. Ron Sutherland
    December 17th, 2015 @ 3:56 pm

    Dear precious ones,
    2015 will be a year for the Key History Book! Reminds me of how “all creation groans… and we groan… as we eagerly wait… for the redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:22f – my pauses inserted for emphasis). We are before the throne on your behalf.
    Aloha and Ke Akua Ho’omaika’i Oe (God bless you)!
    Ron and Suzanne

  27. Carol Trachsel
    December 17th, 2015 @ 4:47 pm

    Dear Stan, Praying for you and all the family. Love you all and wish this hadn’t happened but know the Lord will use you to bless others even in this. Carol

  28. Mary Strickfaden
    December 17th, 2015 @ 4:57 pm

    we are praising the Lord for Katy’s improvement!!
    We do belong to a gracious,loving God so she is in His wonderful hands.
    Mary Strickfaden and Susan Kolar

  29. Martha E. Sparks
    December 17th, 2015 @ 5:14 pm

    My prayers join those of a host of others in asking our wonderful Lord to touch both of you with His healing and peace in this terrible experience. Blessings on your both.

  30. Mel and Fran
    December 17th, 2015 @ 5:15 pm

    You are loved and in our prayers. Special prayer was said at the Christmas gathering/prayer meeting for retiries at the Williamson’s today.

  31. Chess and Linda Howard
    December 17th, 2015 @ 5:39 pm

    Stan, Katie and family. We have heavy hearts as we think of you and pray for all of you. We never forget the Bible study you did at Avon Park. Also how encouraging you we’re concerning our daughter’s sickness and passing. Just know that prayers are going up from Georgia.
    Chess and Linda Howard

  32. Laurie Walton
    December 17th, 2015 @ 5:42 pm

    Continuing to pray….Ephesians 3:16-21
    I pray
    that out of his glorious riches
    He may strengthen you
    with power through his Spirit
    in your inner being,
    so that Christ may dwell
    in your hearts through faith.
    And I pray that you,
    being rooted and established in love,
    may have power,
    with all the Lord’s holy people,
    to grasp how wide and long
    and high and deep
    is the love of Christ,
    and to know this love
    that surpasses knowledge—
    that you may be filled
    to the measure
    of all the fullness of God.
    Now to him who is able
    to do immeasurably more
    than all we ask or imagine,
    according to his power
    that is at work within us,
    to him be glory
    in the church and in Christ Jesus
    throughout all generations,
    for ever and ever!

  33. Nancy Mason
    December 17th, 2015 @ 5:51 pm

    Continuing to pray for Katy and a Christmas Miracle! Praying for you and the girls as well. I am happy you are all there as distance makes it difficult as I am finding out, but so appreciate the updates. I find myself going to my email to see if there is more news. God is faithful and I pray He gives you peace, comfort and strength through the Holy Spirit during this difficult time you are in. Sending my love and hugs to you all.

  34. Dixie Edwards
    December 17th, 2015 @ 6:55 pm

    Stan, I am with you all in praying for Katy. God is good. He is faithful. Believing ‘with’ you all.

  35. Lisa Ferguson
    December 17th, 2015 @ 8:26 pm

    Dear Stan, Katy, Anna, Sarah, and Elisabeth, my family (the Nigros and Daileys) and I have been praying for Katy since we received the first email Tuesday morning. God is with you, and we are with you in prayer. Our prayers are for a complete healing for Katy, for her to start swallowing without a feeding tube so there is no need for one, and for her to remain free of any and all infection, including pneumonia. We are BELIEVING for all of this, and thanking God for His mercy and love. May He bless and touch each of you profoundly and may you know His loving presence as never before. We LOVE you, Katy! In the love of Jesus, Lisa Ferguson

  36. Martha Ritchie
    December 18th, 2015 @ 1:40 am

    Dear Stan,
    You and Katy have been so constantly on my heart and mind. Katy has demonstrated such a heart for me. She is so special and has encouraged me in my role as a “mother in Israel”. She has emailed me and kept me in her prayers with the comforting words of truth. And your sermons have fed us here on the field. We listen to them on CD on Sundays and when we are on the road. You have touched us in ways you likely don’t even know. So, when we heard this news, we have been praying as a field in Kenya, but also as a family. We know our God is able to do immeasurably more than we think or ask. I am praying for Him to do that for you, even though I am asking Him to do much. I know that He knows the best and biggest prayers for you, Katy and your family. I am thanking Him so much for the good report yesterday. Just know that I am holding you in my heart and prayers as He holds you in His hands. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18 I pray this verse will comfort you. It is one that Katy shared with me to comfort me, so I in turn comfort you with the comfort I have received. Much love and prayers from me, Martha

  37. Regina Jackson
    December 18th, 2015 @ 7:55 am

    Dear Stan and Katy,

    Your friends at Warner Press are praying for you and asking the Lord for healing and strength for Katy today. We rejoice knowing that we can call on Him. God is BIG, and we ask for His touch on her life. Katy is strong and vibrant in spirit. May the Lord hold each one of you close and you will feel his presence. Thanks for sharing this update with us.

  38. Jody Crain
    December 18th, 2015 @ 9:26 am

    Please pass on to Katy that we have been and will continue to pray for her and her complete healing! We are also lifting up you and the whole family as you trust God through this challenging time!

    Sending our love and prayers,
    Jody & Barbara

  39. Tewodros(PAACS Faculty,soddo,Ethiopia
    December 18th, 2015 @ 11:50 am

    Dear Stan & Katy,
    May Yahweh the mighty in battle be with you at this time of difficulty.We keep on lifting up you in front of him in our prayers.
    The Tedi’s.

  40. Colleen Kalajainen
    December 18th, 2015 @ 10:49 pm

    Hi Stan,
    I just saw this tonight….and I’m in shock at what’s happened so quickly! I’m so sorry that you’re having to go through this! Please know that I’ll be adding my prayers to the hundreds already being offered!

  41. Kelly Madden
    December 19th, 2015 @ 8:35 am

    Stan and Katy, I have had you in my thoughts and prayers! You both mean so much to Mike and I, words can’t express our love for you both! Katy you are wonderful women of God that always showed your Love to me, how I miss you! Praying for Christmas Blessing to be upon you and your family!

  42. meg gardner
    December 20th, 2015 @ 9:29 pm

    Thank you for your note Stan. Praying your heartfelt prayers.



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