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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Facing Home

I just returned from a job in Chicago feeling physically tired but spiritually inspired. I interviewed Kristen Jane Andersen. Her book, Life in Spite of Me, came out yesterday. She's an incredible girl who tried to commit suicide by lying across a set of train tracks. Thirty train cars ran over her body and left her without legs. She survived and is one of the most remarkable people I've ever met. I visited her in her home just a block away from the tracks where her life nearly ended. We went out to the railroad crossing and stood just a few feet from where the accident occurred. I was struck by the fact that she hears the train go by several times a day and isn't haunted by it. Instead of running away from the pain in her life, she has embraced it. At the close of our conversation, she said, "I don't miss having legs because I don't really need them." In the context of where this young lady has been and where she is today, that statement is loaded with wisdom.

I returned to a messy house, a stack of bills, and all the stress of my busy life—including the old ghosts that keep me awake and bug me during the night and the condemning voices that tell me I'm not good enough. For years, I've shoved all of that stuff as far into the dark corners of my mind as I can. Today I'm wondering what would happen if I turned around and faced them. And, like Kristen, actually trusted God to let them shape me.

An aside: I'm doing a short TV segment on Kristen and will also publish a print story about her. I'll let you know when those come out. In the mean time, go by a store and pick up her book!

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