Welcome to my very first blog site and very first post. After years of being an English teacher and teaching teens to capture their thoughts in the written word, I have decided to share my own. Up until now my thoughts, burdens, prayers, and dreams have been chronicled in my little private journals that are stored away in my grandmother's antique chest at the foot of my bed. I pull them out often to review my life passages so I can reflect, grow, and find out where I am getting "stuck."
I have thought often of starting a blog, but made excuses--"takes too much time, invasion of privacy, who wants to hear my thoughts anyway, everyone and their brother has a blog these days." But then my life perspective changed drastically on March 1, 2013--the day I was diagnosed with cancer.
I have only had nine days to process this news--nine days of thinking every thought and scenario possible, nine days of going down rabbit holes, and sleepless nights, and hard conversations. Nine days of sharing the news with key people, nine days of incredible encouragement, love, support, and prayers from my family and friends. Nine days of clinging to God's Word, His promises, and His love for me.
The doctor's initial report is promising. Colon cancer. Early detection. Treatable and curable. On Friday I had a cat scan to make sure the cancer has not spread. On Tuesday I meet with a surgeon at the Morse Cancer Center at UCSD. This is my world right now. Each step is the unknown and I pray daily for the strength to endure the WAIT.
As a Youth Director at Canyon Springs Church, one of the many things I want my teens to learn is that being a Christian does not make us immune from sickness, pain, sadness, death, or tragedy. We do not live in a bubble, we live in a fallen world that is broken. Jesus said in John 16: 33: "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Jesus never once promised us an easy life, but He did promise that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus is my hope. I rest on the promises of His Word and the foundations of my faith that are rooted in the inerrant Word of God.
I am not going to lie. I have many moments of anxious thoughts. I feel fear. I am control freak and I have no control over this situation. I have to give it all to God. Every day. Every minute. It is so much easier said than done.
But I truly believe these words with all my heart and soul...words from the song "Our God"--
"Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other
Our God is healer, awesome in Power, Our God, Our God
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?"
I pump that song up on my I-phone when I run, and I run faster and stronger. And I am singing that daily so that I can run faster and stronger through this trial.
I do not want this news to be a distraction or an anxiety or a burden for any of the people I know and love. Use this news as a way to grow deeper with God, to seek Him out, to know His ways, to learn about His Word, to draw nearer to Him. That is what I am doing with this trial.
"When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James 1: 2-4
This blog will be a way for me to communicate what is going on with my health--it will be a little bit medical, a little bit reflective, and little bit spiritual. It will the easiest way for me to disseminate information to a lot of people in my life in one simple place. I value your prayers, your encouragement, your support, and your love. Thanks for joining me, and to God be all glory....
Thank you for so bravely sharing your heart with us.
I absolutely love this, Kirsten!!! I am so thankful you decided to open up the pages of your journal for us to know and love you even more. I love you and your heart more than words. xoxo
Love, love!!! What a blessing that you have chosen to go "outside of your comfort zone" and share this journey. God will work mightily through this/through you...of that I am confident! I love you, beautiful friend!
You are an inspiration for so many of us; I'm confident you will conquer this and be yet another example of being a good and faithful servant, trusting in God through it all. I know you realize God has your back, but know that your earthly friends have your back as well.
For anyone reading this, you know Kirsten probably won’t ever ask us for any help, but as my good friend Vito would say, Just Do-It. Get off your seat and do something for the lady that has done so much for all of our kids. Call her when you’re at the store and pick up something they might need. Offer to take the boys to practice. Bring her a coffee.
We love you Kirsten and look forward to reading more entries and watch you beat this.
Thoughts and prayers are with you as you fight this battle.
You've always been there for us (and our kids). We're all behind you now.
Thank you for being brave enough to share. You are an inspiration to us all. I know God is with you on this difficult journey and will be a great source of strength and comfort. Please know that I am here for you and will pray that you lean on me for whatever you need. We love you. XOXO
You are the person who taught me so much about the beauty of words and the power of writing. And yet, no words seem adequate enough to tell you how much I love you. I am in awe of your courage, your strength, and your honesty. It is a true testament to your character and the amazing person that you are, that so many people are rallying behind you to express their love and support. Please know that I am one of them. You are in my thoughts and my prayers- please let me know if there is anything more I can do. All my love to you "Ms. J."
Thank you Kirsten for showing us about faith, love, and trust. We love you, and will be here for anything! - Alissa
Kirsten, you truly are an inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you go through this challenging time. - The Douglas Family
Hi Kirsten ~
You are in my thoughts--your strength is inspiring. Sharing a couple of my favorite quotes with you: You are "Powered by Optimism". . ."Carpe diem". . .you love life, and life loves you back, so I have no doubt that you will beat this!!! The former Poway Tidal Wave Soccer moms are here for you! Watch out--live hugs coming your way soon;D Sending e-hugs, faith and love! -Ester
Kirsten, I know Greg from early in high school years. We serve an awesome God and I am so thankful that you have a strong and firm faith in Him! He will sustain you and this is His battle! You will be in my prayers as you walk through this trial! I know He will give you the perfect measure of grace, as He is our gracious Heavenly Father! A favorite verse and one that I clung to as I recently awaited the results of test (a dear friend shared this verse with me)..."When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul." Psalm 94:19
May His perfect peace rest upon you....Fondly, Debbie Schulte
I know your hubby from high school...thank you for sharing this trial and your faith via this blog! Thankful that you are a child of God and that you are using this opportunity to share your faith in our great God!! I pray that He will richly bless you as you walk thru this - in ways neither of us can even imagine! His grace and His mercy are plentiful. I know that He will supply the perfect measure of both! Please know that I will be lifting you up in prayer. Recently I was waiting for some test results (thankfully I was negative for ovarian cancer) and a dear friend shared this verse with me. Such a comfort..."When my anxious thoughts multiply within me; Your consolations delight my soul." Psalm 94:14
Praying you can rest in His perfect peace!
A sister in Christ, Debbie Schulte
Dear Kirsten ~ You are in my thoughts. Your strength is inspiring! Sharing a couple of my favorite quotes: You are “Powered by Optimism” and ”Carpe diem”. . .You not only talk the talk, but you also walk the walk. You love life, and life loves you back—I have NO doubt you will beat this! The former Tidal Wave soccer mom [groupies] are here for you—and watch out—live hugs coming your way soon! For now, sending e-hugs, faith, and love your way. –Ester
I love you so much Tia and I'm so proud to be your niece! You are an amazing person and role model and follower of Jesus. We are all praying for you and will stand by you through your journey. We love you! xx -Mimi
Kirsten, Peace be with you. It takes great courage to go through what you are going through and even greater strength to make yourself vulnerable by sharing. I have found comfort in 1 Corinthians 10:13: No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. Prayers for healing an hope, Dianne
God does work through all. So Thankful for you. Thankful for your faith, thoughts and sharing this situation. Moving through any diagnosis can be all consuming, unless we see the "reminder". Not to mention fear can smother everything, hope, love... God is more than all of our earthly experiences, although it can be all to convenient to replace our connection with God.
The words within this blog are powerful. A reminder of how God created us to be in community and perhaps just a little less or a lot less judgemental towards others and ourselves. Without a doubt the making of appointments, marching through test, waiting for results, and healing from surgery is much for anyone to navigate, but your words and giving examples of leaning on God is so hopeful. I know God holds you and your family in His grip. Praying for peace, acceptance, strength and some laughs along the way. What a blessings your words are to me. Love you beautiful lady!
i love you kirsten! you are amazing and without a doubt the strongest person i know! one of my friends once said: "god gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers"
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