Be a Light in Our World

In “Come, Let Me Show You the Light,” Kirsten Reed opens up and shares the painful story of losing her child and how she was able to crawl out of the depths of darkness into the light. I found it a privilege to interview her and write her story, as she has abundant wisdom and pulls from the depths of her heart to create amazingly moving and encouraging works of art.

Early during our interview, I learned about Kirsten's bold move to leave her role as a public relations specialist and freelance writer to transition into a career as a full-time painter. That feat in and of itself was inspiring, especially after seeing her beautiful paintings. Her art has so many layers like her personality, and so much emotion captured with every stroke.

As the interview progressed, I later learned about the loss of her child and her battle with depression. Listening carefully, I wondered, “Does she want me to include her thoughts of suicide in her story? Would she like to remain anonymous?”

When I asked her how open about her struggles she wanted to be, she responded firmly, “ I want people to know the truth. There are a lot of people who battle thoughts of suicide and maybe my story can give people hope.”

After my interview with Kirsten, I researched the latest statistics on suicide online. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 2014 Leading Causes of Death statistics chart reports suicide as the second leading cause of death between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death between the ages of 35 and 54 in the United States. I was stunned reading these and other statistics on suicide. I knew it was a problem, but I didn’t realize it was ranked so high. Sadly, these statistics don't reveal the even higher number of people battling depression or the actual suicide attempts. Most people battling depression or attempting suicide never formally report it.

With that being said, I encourage all readers to be a light in our world. Like Kirsten's painting featured here called "Nashville Skyline," you can be the light of the moon, the stars or the sun for any particular individual, community or city. Share Kirsten’s story and other brave stories of how people have overcome depression. Show your light to others by random acts of kindness, like the church ladies demonstrated for Kirsten in her story.

And if there’s someone in your life you suspect needs a listening ear, or if you pass someone by and sense they need help, extend your loving kindness and compassion whenever possible. It may very well save a life.

Thank you, Kirsten, for sharing your story. You are a light in our world, and you have made your life a beautiful example for us all.

With love,


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Painting: Kirsten Reed's "Nashville Skyline"
Featured Story: "Come, Let Me Show You the Light"

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