Christy and Me after our epic lunch at Torchy's
Christy and me after our epic lunch at Torchy’s Tacos

My name is Lindsey and I first met Christy at USAFA through our time with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Cadet for a Day program. Although we haven’t been in touch much since I graduated in 2007, I feel like we picked up right where we left off when I visited her last week. Christy hasn’t changed much at all; she’s the same tenacious lover of people and life that I remembered. She enjoys a challenge – even thrives on it. Her strength and grace is steely in its resolve and yet beautiful. She may have lost an appendage, but I can assure you, her spirit is as strong as ever.

Gabrielle (my sister who just graduated from Trinity Univ in San Antonio) and I walked through the Fisher House kitchens, past the mostly blue-haired lunch ladies (angels who cooked for days on end to ensure all the guests had plenty of delicious Texas grub), to find Christy’s room. I had read some of the blog and tried to prepare myself to see Christy for the first time in a long time – and after her near-fatal accident. She answered the door and tears stung my eyes – for so many reasons – but mostly because I was so grateful she was alive.

We proceeded to eat lunch (sort of) as we listened raptly to Christy. She recounted miracle after miracle. She admitted that she had hardly slept the night before – although she took all her meds, the pain was overwhelming. Tears again welled up in my eyes, and hers. She said this week was the first week she didn’t have friends or family staying with her and that my sister and I were an answer to prayer. That we could provide even some comfort to this beautiful warrior was an honor.

Over the course of our conversation, we learned that Christy was a foster parent in Georgia in her “spare time.” I just assumed being single might make you “ineligible” for such a program. But as we all know, it’s not like Christy to wait for society to give her permission to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable among us. Christy hosts children who are in crisis situations; she includes them in her fascinating life (she’s ranked #1/(all the other volunteers) in popularity)…most importantly Christy reminds them they’re loved and important.

She excitedly tells us about her new beau, Tim. After a guy saves your life, you don’t have much use for Tinder – that’s for sure. Christy’s characteristic sense of humor sparkles still. Oh, and she shares the plans for a Foundation to aid amputees in developing countries. This woman is just getting started; my sister and I start thinking about who should produce the movie that will chronicle Christy’s bad@$$ life.

The next day we returned to the Center for the Intrepid and found Christy (aka Intrepid Incarnate) hard at work in physical therapy. She is an athlete – her determination coupled with her innate ability is breathtaking. We watched her twist and torque to keep the volleyball from touching the floor. All in a day’s work – after all, she is a professional athlete for the next few months at least. After she finished, we (including my mom this time) lunched on epic tacos and margaritas at Torchy’s.

Outside of Torchy's Tacos: Gabrielle, Lindsey and Ardith Kirchhoff with Christy
Outside of Torchy’s Tacos: Gabrielle, Lindsey and Ardith Kirchhoff with Christy

After we dropped Christy off, we all remarked that being with her profoundly impacted us. It’s as if a dump truck unloaded 2,000 pounds of lemons on her doorstep – inconvenient right? They’ll spoil in the hot sun; they are really useless. Undaunted, Christy surveys the situation (imagine being covered in an avalanche of lemons) and decides to let everyone know she’s in need of sugar, water, and some very large containers ASAP. After all, she’s not wasting the lemons – she is a visionary who knows that beauty and goodness can come out of pain. If we could trust God like Christy trusts, hmmm, how would our own lives change? That said, Christy feels pain and struggles – she’s flesh and blood like us. Let’s be faithful to offer up prayers on her behalf – for patience in the pain.

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. ~ Psalm 13:5

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