Sunday, June 2, 2013

Be Strong and Courageous

This week I was thinking a lot about courage and strength because so many people ask me where I get my strength and courage as I battle cancer. There are a couple definitions of courage—
One: “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear”
Two:  “have the courage of one's convictionsto act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.”

One of my all time favorite movies, “The Wizard of Oz”, has the character, the “Cowardly Lion” who believes that his fear makes him inadequate. Yet, he faces difficulty, danger and persecution and stays true to his character—who is actually brave, strong, and courageous. I think of him and how his confidence changes when he stands up and utilizes that strength and courage.  My sister does a really great impression of the cowardly lion (RUUUUFFFFF) that just cracks me up.  But this strength and courage business is serious stuff.

In the past few weeks I have witnessed some incredibly courageous people.  Four of my teens girls at church shared their testimonies on their journey with eating disorders.  Because they were willing to share and step out—so many people—young teens, girls, guys, and adults were made more aware and were willing to step up and get help for themselves or someone they love. Karli, Caroline, Brooke, and Paige—I applaud you and your families for your courage.

My friend Molly faced her second surgery for breast cancer with grace, courage, and dignity.  My friend Bonnie, just recently diagnosed with breast cancer, is heading to surgery tomorrow for a double mastectomy. She is facing it with courage, strength, and of course, her great humor.

My own boys and my teenagers in Oasis youth group face the counter culture world every day at school and they cling to their beliefs with courage and conviction.

Robert Anthony says: “Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.”

As humans we naturally have fear—we have worry and strife.  But courage is facing that fear and acting with belief and conviction. Does having cancer give me fear and anxiety? Of course it does! But I face it because I have to. It is “stepping out of your comfort zone” and pushing forward.  And in the end, you are stronger, better, and wiser than before.

But it isn’t just your own inner strength.  Courage and strength come from God. 

So how do I answer that question when people ask-- “How do you have such courage and strength as you go through this battle with cancer?”  And my answer is always this, “It is not my strength—it is all Jesus.  He is the source of my strength.”

 Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield;  my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

 On Monday, June 3 I face round four of chemotherapy.  This last round I had minimal side effects and I am praying for strength with this round as well.  It is a busy time for me, and I am still enjoying every aspect of my full life.  God is giving me a new found energy that can only come from Him. My strength comes from God—Maker of heaven and earth.  He is getting me through this. And with all of you, my prayer warriors, and fighters, you give me courage and strength to forge ahead. So as I go into round four, keep your prayers coming, and be blessed with these verses as you face each day.

In His Strength--Kirsten

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 Exodus 15:2

“The Lord is my strength and my defense[a];
    he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
    my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

2 Samuel 22:33

33 It is God who arms me with strength[a]
    and keeps my way secure.


Amanda Orozco (Smith) said...

Thinking of you every day Kirsten!!!!!

Debbie Pederson-Nuñez said...

Beautiful, my sister friend in the Lord. So true! Sending prayers your way as you go into round four in the midst of all of the other life "stuff" that doesn't stop while cancer takes its course. With Him and all of your support, it will be done! Love you, beautiful Kirsten! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristen,
I read abut you in the Walking on Water News Letter. Such a beautiful statement of faith. Each time you write I hear the willingness to walk the walk God has put before you. My son was in a near fatal accident several years ago and my older son built a web sire for him. People asked how we could get a site up so quickly, many don't have family or friends that can do that. My son survived and as to tribute his older brother developed a web site called Anyone can create a beautiful and private web site that only a professional could do. You can post updates, you can post picture and others can easily post their prayers and thoughts for you. It is our hope that when families like you get news like yours they will know that posthope is there for them as we would have hoped it there for us I have to post this as anonymous because I am not sure how to use the other features...sorry. blessings my sister, Dawn Barton