Thursday, August 18, 2011


James 4:14
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

there are moments in life--
that stop you in your tracks.
the ones that cause you to skip a breath, or even start breathing a little quicker & heavier.
those moments where you might just need to blink a few times through,
make sure you heard or read that 'something' right.
or make sure you're near a chair to take a seat.

a moment has come to my mind tonight, that I've never been real sure how I'd breach the subject.
 how to tell the story.
or how to describe something so indescribable.
a moment that's hard to relive or think twice about.
a moment in time, or even days, or weeks....
that you aren't quite sure how to process, if you've truly processed them, or are still processing what you've learned or taken from that circumstance.

it's this situation that comes to mind,
....I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
it's the only thing if I had the chance to ask God, or if a magic lamp existed...
I would go back & change in my life.
Most people say, "Ya know, I wouldn't change a thing" or 
"I wouldn't be where I was today if that hadn't happened..."
and that may be very true, that last phrase.
But I would change it.
in a heartbeat.

Tonight, I learned of a girl I had met about a year ago- we had a mutual friend that was getting married and I was a part in her wedding...she too was around the wedding festivities and got to know her a bit.
long story short-
this girl took her life a month ago.
(while I was in Africa)
Although I wasn't close with this girl, it takes me back to the day I lost a best friend to suicide.
For a moment tonight, I was taken back to three years ago.
I wondered about and felt the pain her family and friends are going through.
I remembered the events of those dark days, and was reminded of the hurt that still shoots pangs of dread through my body upon news of that horrible circumstance 
that God chose to begin to break me through.

While in Africa, tank tops and cut offs were necessary daily attire with the warm weather- 
with this, revealed a permanent piece of art on my shoulder blade.
I've had strangers in line behind me at department stores slide my purse strap off my shoulder, 
sneak behind me on the elliptical at the gym, at Lowes, the pool, 
and can now add African children licking their fingers and scrubbing at it.....
trying to see this embedded ink in my skin.
To either compliment, ask where it was done, apparently make sure it wasn't a sticker/marker/dirt on my skin, how long I've had it, or what it's for/means.
this is the ONLY one I can find- it's like 24 seconds after they 'finished' it three years ago, so it looks fresh, massive, and slightly tender ;)

I almost always respond:
"I had a best friend from college pass away a few years ago, it's to remember him and remind me how to live my life."
Most people nod, read the initials/date out loud, say "Oh", "Hmm", "I see", "Wow!", "I'm sorry", "How'd he die", "What's the verse?", "It's beautiful", "It's big" (my mom), the occasional "Tell me more about him", 
you name it. 
Mostly, a lot of people don't know how to deal with tattoos, 
let alone a tattoo that has a date of birth and death on it,.
Then they feel bad for asking (How would they have known?), 
and I then say in return- "Oh no, it's fine- I wouldn't have tattooed it on me forever if I wasn't willing to talk about it, or share".  

Anyway, I was reminded tonight of my dear friend Steven Dean Bahnsen.
The 'where would we be' in our friendship, the what if's, all of the emotions I've experienced since June 20th/21st, 2008 of living life without this friend.
but most of all-
The incredible knockout, intelligent, hilarious, live life to the fullest, loyal, hard-working, truthful, raw, FUN, lay it all out there, passionate, 'all in' best friend that he was.

Ephesians 5:15-17
Be very careful, then, how you live—
not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  
Therefore do not be foolish, 
but understand what the Lord’s will is.

*** More on how God has used the loss of a close friend and my darkest days following, this verse-
to begin transforming my messy life into a story for His glory, three years in the making....


Jen said...

I so appreciate you sharing this story, Kendra. I can't imagine the pain to have to relive those thoughts and feelings again, but processing and sharing that deep pain can be so good for the soul. I look forward to hearing "the rest of the story" (not that it will ever truly be 'over' but you know what I mean!). Love you!

Lisa said...

Kendra, your last two sentences were so very powerful. What a gift God gives when He takes our sinful hearts and begins to transform them...all to bring Him glory! How awesome He is! You are one beautiful young lady!