Hello! I’m Keirsten, and I’m really glad you’ve joined me here.
I’m a native of nowhere, really, but awed by the places we’ve been and had opportunity to live. Yet stillness comes in time, and the flowing rivers and protective mountains of Eastern Washington have become the home that speaks to my heart.
It’s here God introduced himself in a way I could no longer deny, and then with unimaginable creativity and grace, introduced me to the most loving, patient, and encouraging man on the planet. The one I now get to call my husband.
I’m also mom to two amazing boys. They’re complete opposites, really, and all the more wonderful because of it. They’re equal parts fun, funny, creative, athletic, analytical, spontaneous, quiet, LOUD, kind, smart, respectful, adventuresome, courageous, caring, deep thinking, neat and tidy, and oh! oh-so-messy sometimes! But life with these two has been my livelihood; the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. I wasn’t always the best at it, but I have loved it most.
But now I’m a mom whose love has to straddle Heaven and earth. And moms weren’t meant to do that. Our hearts weren’t meant to bear this loss. They’re meant to expand with each new miracle we birth, with each new discovery they make and each new year they live and learn and grow into who God meant them to be.
But when we’re asked to remember they were God’s to begin with… When we’re asked to answer the door to the Marines when our oldest son is just 22… To hear them say he won’t be returning from this deployment… When we’re asked to live with a hole in our hearts the size of our child, and still manage to stand upright, there just aren’t any directions on how to do that.
Because life shatters in that moment. Pain is a palpable that steals the very air we breathe, and if wasn’t that our lungs remembered how, we simply would cease to take it in. The shards catch on everything and are caught by nothing. It’s a grief you can’t find the bottom of, and for a time, have little desire to find.
Grief is complicated. It’s wearying. It takes all your energy in the beginning, and steals it later in ways you’d never anticipate. It’s a desperately lonely place, and it’s as individual as each one of us. Yet I couldn’t do this, I couldn’t carry this unimaginable loss without the loved ones who have supported us through, day by day, and often moment by moment. Daily God has provided in ways I’m still opening my heart to, and writing is the gift He’s given me to navigate the distance between loss and love and longing.
So it’s here where I write my before and after. It’s here where I write through the torrent to hold onto the hope. And it’s here where I want to share the stories, find the places they intersect with yours, share the love that defined //defines// my heart, and see God’s grace within it.
Because in the end, for all of us, our stories matter. It’s how we show God’s purpose in our life and make sense of the tragedies He allows. I won’t understand it this side of Heaven, but together we can navigate the pain, use the grief energy for good, and try on joy again, as we daily decide to hold onto hope.
I’m so thankful you’ve joined me in this journey. We just weren’t meant to do this alone.