My friends are going to get nervous.  This is the second post in a row about something a friend said.  I promise, it’s not a trend.  You can talk to me without being quoted here!  But a good friend who has been through a very, very rough season recently remarked “Those blog posts… man…” and shook her head.  Ok, that may not be an exact quote.  But I realized that to her my words here are hard for her to read.  They are heavy, full of mortality and pain and they remind her too much of her own pain and struggles.  In hearing her words, I realized that my intention is quite the opposite.  I hope to write words that, despite the hopelessness of dementia and disease, are full of life and meaning and hope.  This is meant to be an empowering blog, a place of hope and redemption.

The heart of the Christian story is redemption.  Right?… life out of death… light in the darkness… peace in the storm.  Here’s where this blog becomes my pulpit.  These are intended to be words of life, of truth.

The prosperity gospel is not THE Gospel.  Having an illness, a diagnosis, is not the opposite of being “blessed.”  We are mortal.  Our bodies will all age and change and eventually die.  Disease or death is not “failure,” it’s simply a part of life.  How we respond to disease or react to the death of others (or our own impending death) is at the heart of one’s Christian life and worldview.

I am not discouraged, and I am not down.  I feel God’s presence even more strongly now that I’m aware of my diagnosis and my genetic frailty.  In my weakness, God is strong.  That is not a depressing thought, it is an empowering truth.  I don’t have to do this alone.  None of us do.  If you are raising a child with profound special needs, you aren’t alone.  If you are married to a partner who has serious mental health challenges, you aren’t alone.  If dementia, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, or any illness is affecting your physical body in noticeable ways, the disease has no power over your spirit, your soul.

These “Thoughts from below” are serious, they aren’t light-hearted and jovial.  But I pray you don’t find them depressing.  If so, I’m missing the mark of what I feel called to write.  I am hopeful.  Hopeful that there will be a treatment by the time I begin to have symptoms?  Yes… but that’s not what this blog is about.  Ultimately that’s not what’s most important.  I am hopeful that no matter if I begin to have symptoms of dementia or go farther down the quiet, mysterious path of memory loss, I will not be alone.  My life will not be without beauty, meaning, and purpose.  I am more than what I can do or what I can say.  You are too.

So be of good cheer!  If you are reading this, you are enjoying the precious gift of life.  Enjoy it… do not take it for granted.  Use it well.  Give thanks.  And live!  That’s all I’m trying to do.  And I think, it’s enough.


2 thoughts on “Be of Good Cheer!

  1. Thanks Kendra for these words. They have weight and presence. The last phrase, it is enough, resonates with the end of Psalm 22 which may also have been Jesus’ last words from the cross, “It is finished”.


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