A story of overcoming physical & emotional pain to be a light of Christ in the workplace.
I grew up within the church. I went to church on Sundays, and even helped out singing in the “kids” church band sometimes. My dad played guitar in the band and my mom helped out leading children’s bible studies. My three sisters and I did many things within the church growing up. So, in 4th grade, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. In 5th grade, my dad got me a drum set for my birthday and I began to play within the church’s 5th and 6th grade ministry. I remember being a part of leading worship was something that brought me closer to God. I enjoyed being allowed the privilege to be one to help others get closer to God through worship. That was when I really felt that God was someone who was real, and someone who was there for me even in a busy world.
Along with other things young girls struggle with, I was born with a condition called Congenital Scoliosis, which means, a curvature of the spine in an S-shape. It was something I always remembered going to doctors for. Every year my mom would pack up some old papers and we would make the drive down to Texas Children’s hospital. I would have to put on a gown, take some X-rays, and be told by the doctors that “everything looks okay for now.” During my senior year of high School, however, that appointment went a little different. I yet again put on a gown, took some X-rays, however, when the doctors and students came into the room they had something different to say. “Kirsten, I think it may be time for surgery.” Those words rang in my ears. I thought, “Why now God? Right before I graduate High School?” As the physicians and my mom discussed the details, they discussed how the surgery would take place a week after Graduation. They discussed the titanium rods and screws they would need to place to straighten my spine. The ride home was a silent one, both my mother and I trying to process the situation.
So, a week after my High School Graduation, we made another trip down to Texas Children’s Hospital. The 8 hour surgery took place in the morning. I remember praying before the surgery that God would take care of me, he would protect me, and that he would allow the surgeons to perform the surgery well. After waking up with a chest tube, an IV drip, pains I cannot even describe, all I could do was close my eyes. It was a long recovery after my 8 day stay in the hospital. Within the two months before I went to College, I had lost 10 lbs, my hair was falling out, I was emotionally drained, and I couldn’t even walk down the street without getting short of breath. During that recovery though, I felt like my faith in God was getting stronger. I was able to rely on Him emotionally and physically, because I couldn’t do it on my own. I had only Him for strength.
Through the other many struggles in my life, I haven’t always turned to Jesus in times of trouble. But, I know that through those hard times, through those things that take us to our darkest days, God’s joy, love, and faith are those things that help us see the light. We find our strength in Him, so that we might be more like Him in all we do. As I continue to learn to follow Him, I realize there is nothing that will bring me more joy or peace in the struggles than holding onto His hope for us in Jesus Christ.