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Episode 49: Kim Gibson

All of a sudden the penny dropped. Oh! It doesn’t depend on me! … Jesus is completely sufficient where I am insufficient! He was completely perfect where I am imperfect!

Kim Gibson grew up on a farm in country New South Wales. For the past eight years she has been working in university ministry with the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES). At present and for the past four years, her work has been at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Kim is married to Richard, Principal of Brisbane School of Theology and together they attend Moorooka Presbyterian Church. Kim has 3 adult step-children, 1 grandson, 4 nephews and 1 niece – all at the young age of almost 40. Kim’s journey includes a diagnosis of ovarian cancer 4 years ago as well as ongoing treatment. Kim also serves on the GROW Women’s Conference Committee and can be found giving book reviews over at the 2020 GROW Chats podcast.

From the host:

Kim Gibson is someone who has known pain and suffering intimately. In fact, even though she feels quite well now, she is still walking the road of cancer and has been for a few years. I think that one of the most striking parts of her testimony of walking this road is not that she has felt that she has suffered well, but rather that even while she has been in deepest despair, that God is still God and that is something to rejoice in. She tells a story in this episode of her husband’s wise words during a time of great pain. She says,

“One time really early on, I had complications with surgery. We (Richard and I) were reading through 2 Corinthians together, where Paul says, “praise be to the God of all comfort.”  And … I kind of whisper-yelled … “Where’s the comfort? I know that God doesn’t lie, but where is the comfort? I am not feeling it! How is this true?” And (my husband) said, “it’s a comfort that stands outside you and your circumstances. It’s not necessarily a comfort you can feel. But it is a comfort that at a real point in history, on a real hill, the son of God gave up his life for you so that you could be safe. And you might not be able to feel it right now, but it actually has to be a comfort that sits outside you and your feelings for it to be a real comfort.”

Kim says that it took some time for that to resonate deeply, but the truth of it has held her firmly during this difficult journey.

 

Links mentioned in this episode:

 

Full of Promise (Interactive Bible Study Series from Matthias Media) by Phil Campbell and Bryson Smith

Guidance and the Voice of God, by Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne 

Just Do Something, by Kevin de Young

Fearing God … so we don’t have to be afraid, David Mears

The Plausibility Problem: The Church and Same-Sex Attraction, Ed Shaw

A Little Book on the Christian Life, John Calvin (trans. Denlinger & Parsons)

2020 GROW Chats podcast. 

 

Show Snippets:

 

I had this repeated experience from late primary school to uni … I would think, if I died right now, would God welcome me into heaven, or would he have to say that I’m sorry, but because of your sins I will have to turn you away? … It would end the same way … with me promising to try harder.

 

All of a sudden, the penny dropped. Oh! It doesn’t depend on me! … Jesus is completely sufficient where I am insufficient! He was completely perfect where I am imperfect!

 

A staff worker opened up the book of Ephesians and said we are going to work our way through the book of Ephesians verse by verse. And I went, “You’re kidding me! I’ve never seen this done before! That makes so much sense!” I had never seen anyone teach through the Bible like that … it was like I had been starving my whole life and then someone finally fed me!

 

At the start of 2016, I found out that I had a pelvic mass…  I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Stage 3 (and) grade 3 cancer… It was aggressive.

 

I was 35, I was in medical menopause, I was never going to be able to have children. And I was facing a cancer prognosis where only 40% of women with my diagnosis and my type of cancer are alive in 5 years time… The grief and the fear hit me like a truck.

 

One time, really early on, I had complications with surgery. We (Richard and I) were reading through 2 Corinthians together, where Paul says, “praise be to the God of all comfort.”  And … I kind of whisper-yelled … “Where’s the comfort? I know that God doesn’t lie, but where is the comfort? I am not feeling it! How is this true?” And (my husband) said, “it’s a comfort that stands outside you and your circumstances. It’s not necessarily a comfort you can feel. But it is a comfort that at a real point in history, on a real hill, the son of God gave up his life for you so that you could be safe. And you might not be able to feel it right now, but it actually has to be a comfort that sits outside you and your feelings for it to be a real comfort.”

 

When we fear God, it helps us grapple with our other fears. 

 

That’s how we want to read books anyway. Every Christian book you read is not the Bible. And even if it is your favourite author from your favourite publishing company, you still have to read it with discernment, and read it with wisdom, and read it comparing it to Scripture. So, yeah, you don’t have to  start burning books because there is one chapter in it that is not great. And you don’t have to believe that everything is perfect about the books that you do love.

 

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes on The Gospel Coalition, Australia website. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts or TGC, Australia.

 

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