Thursday, March 14, 2013

Trials and transparency

What a glorious San Diego day! I had more energy today, and I went on my usual morning run.  The surrounding hills are brilliant green and all the spring flowers are blooming in bursts of purple, orange, and yellow. I spent some time in my backyard (which happens to be my favorite place in the world--with Puerto Vallarta coming in a close second) and as I sat in the sunshine I had the joy (sarcasm) of making all my cancer appointments--lots of numbers and different places to call--but got the MRI scheduled for next week,  and then the PET scan, and then moving forward with discussions on treatment.

I want to share a few thoughts on trials.  My current trial happens to be a physical one, but all of us face trials  in life. Many of you, my friends, are enduring emotional, relational, financial, spiritual, or physical trials. I happen to be sharing my trial publicly and not everyone needs to or wants to do that. But I do want to encourage all of you to make sure that you don't deal with your trials alone.  We were created to be in a relationship with God and with each other. We are designed to desire to be in relationships and community. So maybe you won't write a blog, or post every issue you have on Facebook, but please make sure that you are transparent about your trials and difficult times with someone.  Choose one or two (or more) close friends, talk with God (and listen to Him too), or reach out to a community of people who can walk you through any trial you have (big or small). I know that fear holds us back from telling others that we are struggling with something. We live in such a judgmental and critical world, and there will always be people looking at our "public image" and making prejudged thoughts about who we are, or how we should act....without knowing our inner world.

Because I have a job in which I am highly visible, many people make assumptions about me (and that is okay--it is normal).  I hear things like "You are so strong and independent" and "How do you do all the things you do?" and "Oh my gosh--you have so many people in your life, I don't want to take your time...or burden you...." These statements are all fine, but they are certainly not entirely accurate. Let me be transparent--I am not strong all the time--I have to rely on the Lord for my strength.  I have to work at balancing my life--and often times I am a huge stress case (just ask my boys and my husband). I do have a lot of people in my life--but I have time for people--that's what is important to me. I constantly tell myself--"People over programs, and people over schedules."  Sometimes I fail at that--I get driven by my "to do list" and I forget people. I get tired, I get grumpy, I get all "control freaky" about things, I get impatient, I say unkind things (again, just ask my boys and husband).

But when we are transparent and we share our weaknesses, struggles, and burdens--an amazing thing happens.  We find we are not alone.  There is always someone who has gone through this before us, or is struggling now. We hear someone say, "Oh my gosh, I thought I was the only one who felt that way!" And let me just say something about pride--we all have it--and it isn't good. We want to look good, or have an appearance of strength, or have it "all together"....and then we compare, and judge, and beat ourselves up.
Let's stop doing that.  Let's be real with each other.  Let's not try to be "super mom" or "top dog" at work, or "community volunteer extraordinaire".  Let's just be people who acknowledge that we are flawed, but that despite those flaws, we are loved by the God of the universe.

Cancer changes every little thought you have.  I am being transparent about my physical, emotional, and spiritual trials through this blog. I do NOT have it all together.  But I do have a faith in Jesus Christ and I will be transparent about my beliefs and my faith. I hope that my words and my journey will help you, my friends, to be transparent and real, and that we can be authentic and honest with another.  Maybe then, our world will begin to change.

With blessings....John 16:33

(a logistic note--a number of you have said that you try to comment on my blog, but it doesn't work.  Go to the bottom of the post and there is a section that says "Comments"--just click on that and it will take you to the other comments (or if you are the first one to comment--you start!)  There is a box on the side that says "leave a comment"--then sign in and publish. And it is okay--you don't need to make your comments public--you can just read this, or you can comment--what ever you choose.  Some people are private and want to email or message me and that is fine too--I just love all the encouragement.. Or simply read.....and be blessed. Thanks for your prayers.


Molly said...

I'm glad you had some peaceful time in your yard today. I was praying for you on the way to work and will just keep that up. You are on my short list now sweet sister in Christ. I love your faith.

Irene said...

Kirsten, you nailed it! When you are done this will be the beginning of a wonderful book. Consider publishing!

Cathy said...

Kirsten, I love reading your blog. You are very inspiring! I look forward to reading more.

Edie Davis said...

Preach it SISTER, amen!

Esther said...

Kirsten, This is so beautifully said. My prayers are with you and your family. Your candor & transparency is a beautiful testament of a remarkable woman!

Esther A (Poway Youth Soccer Team)