13 March 2008

what she needed to hear

I've been remembering her. I can't say much here right now about what or why she chose not to remember. In a way, it started with declaring aloud thoughts about my body. That brought me to writing a book proposal and finally to confronting a place where memory failed me.

And then I started to wake up. Numb places came awake with sharp pinpricks of feeling. So I sat with her. I began to earn her trust, slowly. She began to speak, and I just listened. I didn't turn away. I let her cry out loud, and I cried with her. We still have yet to find the bottom of the wound.

There is more work to be done and I know that there will be tears on the path ahead. But I'm thankful that at a time when she was tender and receptive, these words crossed her path again. Words that she had heard before, but ran over her like water over a rock. And now she is like a sponge, soaking them in. Daring for the first time to believe that they are not only true, but meant for her.

that I would be good
alanis morissette

that I would be good even if I did nothing
that I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
that I would be good if I got and stayed sick
that I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

that I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
that I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
that I would be great if I was no longer queen
that I would be grand if I was not all knowing

that I would be loved even when I numb myself
that I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
that I would be loved even when I was fuming
that I would be good even if I was clingy

that I would be good even if I lost sanity
that I would be good
whether with or without you


  1. what beautiful lyrics to your thoughts. What an innovative theme for a book proposal especially with so many so focused on looks. May you be blessed in reaching out to so many women and men with that problem. May your words heal the next generation. Peace sister to your journey in Christ.

  2. beautiful kirsten . . . this song touched me deeply. you had shared about it with me on our phone call, but listening to it here made me realized i had never heard this song of hers. it wasn't on the cd i owned in high school. it's another one i'm going to have to download from itunes. and yeah, i cranked it three levels higher by the second verse. the song brought tears to my eyes . . . such a haunting melody and voice she brings to it, and lyrics that touch us both in the place where we now sit.

    once again, i am struck by the wonder and beauty of the woman you now are and are continuing to become getting to be the one who sits with that young girl inside you who needs exactly you, right here, right now, all of which is ultimately God flowing through you. i am struck once again at his perfection preparation over this past year of huge change and growth and blossoming tenderness toward your adult self . . . that is just the person he knew you would need to be to meet your young-girl self right in this moment. God is so amazing in all of that. it totally fills me with wonder and worship and amazement.

    i love you, girl. much love to you as you take all of this with you to california on friday, a handful of days apart from the madness and the immediacy of your memories in the places that currently surround you, a handful of days to be present and receive whatever gifts God has to offer you in that place.

    i wish i could be there with you, holding your hand as we take a walk in the woods, catching your eye and laughing at the same time to something funny we hear a speaker share, moving our food trays along the same lunch lines and then finding a table together to eat with others who might cross our paths (boy, this image reminds me of biola days in the cafe!), and then talking for hours each night under the stars as we share the movement of God in our hearts through the events of the day.

    God is going with you. he has already gone before you. he will come with you back home. this is all his, and he is sharing it with you. be blessed in the obedient offering you give to him by saying yes.

    love to you this night, this weekend, and always.

  3. Wow...no thoughts, just prayers for you as you continue to excavate into the caverns and dark places.

    "Let your light shine, it is your time. Walk into dark places and share your great light." -some wise person.

  4. wow...my heart needed that so much. lately I feel like all i see are my failings, my weakness, the ways I fail people and God and myself. and this reminds me that it doesn't matter so much what I do. Thanks.

    And Kirsten, you're beautiful, and you're becoming beautiful-er every day.

  5. :: Joining the throng of those praying for you ::

  6. scott - thank you for your thoughts here. this song is kind of an anthem for me right now.

    christianne - dear girl. it was so healing to talk to you last night, as it always is. so good to hear your voice, to know you were listening intently as i rambled on & on.

    incidentally, this tune is off of the album "supposed former infatuation junkie". in my mind, that album really embodies the whole alanis mentality i mentioned of "i spent a lot of time & did a lot of hard work in therapy & this was thes result". ;o)

    i really feel like i am in a place of becoming right now, unfolding & discovering & learning. watching those petals unfold. and who knows what it will reveal? i don't need to tell you that "becoming" can be a painful process as we are restored & made into who God always intended for us to be: unselfconscious but aware, reflecting the beauty of the one who made us.

    wish you were here too, wish you were coming with me. i will take you with me, like a treasure in my pocket. :o)

    carl - those are some wise words!! thank you for your encouragment as i continue to step into what God has for me.

    sarah - this song is so encouraging, isn't it? i think almost anyone -- especially women -- could resonate & find something healing in these lines. it expresses something i was & sometimes am unable to express. it's just so lovely.

    sean - thank you for your prayers, brother. i know i am not in this alone.

    blessings all,

  7. i still crack up at your analysis of alanis: i spent a lot of time in therapy, and this is what i learned. hee hee. still makes me laugh. :)

    off to itunes to see what i can see . . .

  8. hello my dear friend and sister (:
    i just read your last 3 posts and i'm feeling more and more deeply connected with you. i was showing my brother joey your blog along with christianne's and i told him, "these are our sisters dude." and he said, "really?" with a big smile on his face.
    i love you sissy! and i'm praying for you!

  9. kirsten, (if danny and joey are your brothers, does that make me your mom?)

    this was so good. i never heard this song either, but i like it. a lot. i'm going to have to download it and crank it along with toad. so glad that kid is getting this message and starting to believe it. she's lucky to have you as her advocate and friend. bless you girl.

  10. Music that speaks directly to us, our hearts, what we need to hear. . .ah, what an exhale.
    May you continue to be so tender and gentle with yourself, allowing space to come awake and thaw and heal.

  11. by the way, i hope you know i was kidding about the mom thing...i know you have a great relationship with your mom and, believe me, i'm not looking for more offspring. :)

  12. Terri you are everybodies mom and it has nothing to do with age, it is a term of endearment and respect like that whole mother Theresa thing.

    All that means is that you are wise and that we love you.

    This song is awesome i love it! missing ya you are in my thoughts and prayers the next few days.

  13. hello beautiful girl . . . just stopping by for the fifth or sixth time to watch and listen to this amazing song. it brings tears to my eyes. it seriously moves me. i want to adopt it as my mantra.

    thank you again a thousand times for sharing it. it now fills up a space in my heart reserved for those tender and vulnerable places of need for love we all have, and my compassion for those places in this world.

    thinking of you often. praying for you tons. sending you love across the miles. hoping your time at mount hermon is blessed beyond all measure.

  14. Kirsten, I wanted to let you know that this song has weaseled its way into me. I even wrote my own version, for the things I wonder if I'm ok about...maybe I'll share it sometime.

    I'm sending prayers your way, hoping for God's moving at Mt. Hermon. Love you, sister

  15. christianne - i just calls 'em like i sees 'em ... & i trust that alanis girl has done some hard work in therapy & is sharing the fruits of it all with us through some rather stellar tunes. ;o)

    danny - serious love to you, brother. i'm glad you got to read them & love that you took the time to get to know your sis better. means a lot to me.

    terri - ha!! would it be weird if i still thought of danny as my brother, but of you as a really hip older sister? why not, we're all siblings anyway. really.

    bella - as always, thank you for your tender strength & deep encouragement.

    tammy - miss you too, girl. missing you too.

    christianne - this song has been in & out of my life since i started listening to this album about 2-3 years ago & every time it grabs me: how simple the requests are, yet how deeply & profoundly needed by someone who has been wounded (um, that would be all of us!!). it's my mantra too.

    God is meeting me in ways that i've not expected here (much like we talked about on the phone). i'm not sure what to make of it, but i am following his lead, even if i don't get it. okay, i never get it. but i think i get Him enough to know i can trust His leading. the sheep know the shepherd's voice, do they not?

    love to you, girl. missing you so much.

    sarah - i would love to hear your own adaptation of this anthem if & when you ever decide to share it. it's something i'm glad i could share (hooray for youtube!) & find that its resonance is so pervasive.

    thanks for your prayers, girl. even if you are too far away right now, we're in the same state which is still pretty cool. hugs & love across the miles ...


  16. Kirsten
    I cant wait to hear what is happening with you. I am excited for you. Hey i just have to say one more time wow that song is awesome. I love it! I keep popping over here to listen to it.

  17. hi tammy - thanks for your thoughts & love. i am glad you like the song. it makes sense that it's resonating with so many people ... we all desire validation apart from our performance, apart from our attempts at perfection, apart from needing to do do. i think we all desire validation & to have our value & worth affirmed simply because we are. we exist. we are His.

  18. There is a feeling of loyalty to her which seems to compel me to indulge in mournful thoughts.

    Do not mistake.
    Relief is coming.
    I am more like myself
    more hopeful.

    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893)