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Author Archives: Healing Eyes

Blessing 6 months in the making…

6 months in the making, the fruits of my labor were shown to me through the glimmer of a child’s smile. Day after day I waited and prayed for God to do this one thing for me. I asked people around the world to pray for this day to come. Just one day with a special girl was what I asked for. A girl that touched my heart back in February when I first came here. She has grown some since then but still she smiles so big that any pain I feel fades away. Affirmation for what I am doing here, for all my solitude and hours of tears, my doubt, my fears, my anxiety just disappear when I see her laugh. Why is that? She has a mother and she has family…yet I connect with her. She is as stubborn as me, sassy, smart, and perhaps lonely. Why God showed her heart to me I don’t know? Today there were many moments of ‘mentoring’ I’d say on both sides. I had to diffuse a fight between the two girls. Teach life lessons about growing older and showing grace to those younger than you when your enflamed with anger. Taking the higher road as you reach teenage years even if your hurt by another’s actions. What its like to be a woman and how to respect yourself. If I can be one of many who mentor these girls than that should be better than making money right?

When I am at the boys and girls club the children there affect me in a unique way. I am awkward and out of place but they keep coming up to me and hugging me saying, “hi Miss Sarah”. Kids I don’t know and kids that are trouble makers.

I am happy amidst my grief. Amidst my lonely hours missing the past. The silence of my thoughts and scars from loss. Forever half complete but perhaps a glimmer of hope is to be found when showing kindness to others. Serving others … I’m ready God to go. I’m ready to see others lives and be touched by their stories. Doesn’t it say somewhere that there will always be poor and those in need…what we do for the least of these you do onto me?

Tomorrow I am sure I’ll be weak again and fear the next transition…the unknown of what’s next. How long I’ll be here and when will I feel more ‘normal’ or ‘sane’.

Transformation? We can’t change who we are…but we can Let Go. Be refined by fire to mold us into what we were always meant to be behind the walls we put up. God does his greatest work through frail people.

Healing Eyes

Hiding behind masked pain

Through brokenness is pain. After the blindness of pain is lifted we can see with new eyes. Without loss it’s harder to truly know joy.

When the walls fall we are most vulnerable and yet most able to accept help.

Have I moved on from my grief?

Doubtful….

If I were to ‘move’ on than I would have forgotten what molded me into who I am and why I am here. I can’t simply put blinders on to what is around me and what irritates me. It seems there is a line one isn’t to cross when publicly sharing a life. Fear of offending someone or pushing the wrong buttons, challenging others beliefs.

What if that wall was taken down? If we could be be free to speak what God has laid on our hearts without judgment or dislike from others.

I see so many fake faces around me…I see kids who just want to be hugged or acknowledged…shown compassion…or shown discipline. Yet adults just pass by or get stuck in the confines of a set schedule of the way things have been and always will be. The kids see it, they learn the ‘routine’ of going through the motions. No wonder they challenge authority and wiggle in there chairs when made to sit still. They want variety, genuine attention, and someone to just fight back their stubbornness. Put down the lesson plans and scripted pieces of paper that tell you want to say and feel. Speak from your heart, teach from your heart, break away from the marketed materials placed in your hands and really truly share a story that MEANS something to YOU. Everyone, kids and adults, want to hear truth! Hear words from the heart and life experiences that they can relate to. Not ancient bible stories that have been pounded in their heads over and over. Genuine love and attention, advice, mentoring, and a connection with their suffering.

I shared tears with a 12 year old girl yesterday about my losses…that is priceless. A real connection that we should be seeking out more than just getting a certain number of saved souls. Nourish the souls around….good and bad. It’s the mark churches are missing…share life experiences, share hope, share love!

We grow up and we stay in the routine….we don’t see what is right in front of us. Pain, Love, Emotions, Screams for Attention!!!!

Healing Eyes

10 Things To Remember

Healing Eyes

lesson in the park

With each day comes change..sometimes its drastic and sometimes its minor. With that said I have moved again on island and this time I have cut back again and am in just a room in a house. It felt like the right thing to do and God made it very clear it was time to move. Perhaps I am supposed to never feel ‘settled’ so that I appreciate every gift given to me. I used to have my own house in Michigan and then I downsized to an apartment…to a room in a house..back to an apartment..and now back to just a room. Maybe sometime it will be a house again ha. I have a mini fridge like in college and I have a roof over my head. Today a friend donated to microwave to me for free so now I have more to be thankful for.

A supporter in Michigan helped pay for my groceries and gas for the week and my Jeep did not break down on the road today. So I am thankful.

The biggest blessing came today after being here for 6 months I got to spend the day with one of my girls outside of the club. Finally! After trying over and over to get a parent to respond to me it just happened. I woke up this morning feeling meh and then I get a text with the mother’s number to contact her about giving her daughter Ukulele lessons. She spoke a bit of english and after explaining who I was and that I am not crazy she said yes. Fifteen minutes later I was downtown in the park teaching the ukulele. It ended up being a lot talking and singing. I was proud when I heard her do the 4 chords I taught her at the end and realized how much I love teaching. We were sitting in a public park by the water when an older lady came by and asked if I did guitar lessons, she had prayed for God to give her affordable lessons. I told her I knew the ukulele and that maybe it was better for her arthritic hands…so we exchanged numbers and I might have another student. If anyone knew me before coming to this island they would laugh at the sight of me singing in the park with a ukulele the song ‘All of Me’. She sang along too and it was quite surreal. A few strangers lingered a long time that day to listen to us.

God had something in mind for me today and it wasn’t what I expected. The ukulele lesson turned into a mentoring session between a young widow and a 12 years old who spoke quite mature. We learned a lot about each other and when she asked if I was a christian I said, “yes, but I used to not want anything to do with religion and churches”. That raised her eyebrow and in my straight forward way I explained to her what I meant and how I have changed from not liking kids to now being surrounded by them. At one point I started to shed a tear and she quickly got choked up too. She said the sweetest thing, “Sarah, maybe your baby is happy in heaven right now and happy”. I said, “I hope so”.

Sometimes it’s not going to church that makes the biggest impact in lives. It’s going out into the world where moments are captured. Perhaps on a picnic table on the park or even in a pizza parlor, either way I have made a step forward and she really impacted me today.

It’s crazy that in 4 hours I could touch on every ‘after to school special’ type of conversation with a kid but we did. She told me I can’t ever leave, or at least not until she turns 18. I’m trying to think if I ever felt so treasured before…I’m told my personality type needs validation for what I do, appreciation for my work. Today I got a big dose of it from God through a special girl.

She now has my pink ukulele to practice on. So my next request is not for me but for her. I would love to find someone that wants to buy a ukulele for her. If anyone knows anyone looking to give back send them my way:) Perhaps we can make this world seem even smaller to a little girl on an island.

Healing Eyes

Ups and downs

I had a crazy day of my jeep dying again (looking to be $500-600 to fix I think). The kids at the lighthouse were so loving to me. The jeep is small in the grand scheme even though I move tomorrow and have no vehicle lol and half my belongings r already on the other side of island. Each day is a challenge on living simple.

Today my favorite girl was extra stubborn towards me but in the end I won her over while working on spelling words. She likes to ignore me and stops talking when I start to give her attention sometimes. I stood firm today with her stubbornness and told her I love her anyways. That my stubbornness to not give up on her was because I cared for her but her stubbornness to me was disrespectful. She eventually understood and opened up. I gave her a big hug afterwards and I think she liked it even though she grumbled. Next week I bet she’ll hug me first. It’s an up and down battle with her.

Her temper and stubborn personality are obstacles daily. But once I break thru she is loving and sweet. Regretfully her anger is getting worse. Please keep her in your prayers. I love her dearly.

I brought my ukuleles today. I did a mini lesson with a girl named Emily who is in six grade and she really liked it. Pray that I’m able to do lessons outside the lighthouse with her. She has a lot of potential and really wants to learn. Pray that I can find a Ukulele for her to have and practice on too.

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Healing Eyes

A shut-in

The last 3 days I have been shut up inside my apartment living off the chicken sandwiches and Ramon noodles I had in my kitchen. I was drawn down into a pit of sorrow longing for yesterday. I had 4 gallons of drinking water to sustain me and on the fourth day of my solitude I started to run dry. It was time to step out of my hole to seek water. While out I figured I should try to get some jogging in, stretch my legs and get the blood pumping. It was already in the 80s when I started to run. I pushed myself and prayed for strength to run at least a mile; I ended up doing about 1.7 miles and nearly collapsed of heat exhaustion. While running I was reminded how in our weaknesses we are made strong. At night I cry myself to sleep sometimes when I realize how broken and alone I am. I read laminations and it comforts me. “ My splendor is gone and all I had hoped from the Lord.” “I remember my affliction and wandering…” “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him.” I sat alone for 3 days, I tried to seek out friends but everyone was gone. I was made to sit alone with my thoughts. I’m not gonna lie I went a bit crazy but my weakness is God’s way of shining through me. Every day I want to give up and go ‘home’. But what is home? My home is gone. Taken away from me when my husband first became sick. Now I am haunted by memories of a year ago when Andy was dead while in his body that still breathed.

“we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts…”

Can these words really mean something thousands of years later? Why does everything have to feel connected in some way. Like a big puzzle to discover.

I am living on an island, what many would think paradise. I just took my Jeep to another mechanic and now it seems the fuel injector is bad and it will be another $250 to fix. I feel my finances being slowly sucked out like the damn mosquitos that bite at my ankles. I am not supposed to grumble though so this is just a factual explanation of my current circumstances. Not at all me complaining about the difficulties of giving my life over to my invisible friend who will provide all that I need.

The after school program starts back up today so I’ll have a reason to my being here again. The irony that kids are my life line when a few years ago I couldn’t stand children. I used to run from children’s high pitched voices and ignore them when they said hello. I was walking with a friend yesterday who is very bitter about kids and was pretty rude to a little girl that came up on the boardwalk to say hi.

We can’t really change who we are but we can let our suffering refine us, as if through fire, into who we were always meant to be. The skills and abilities we have that can be used in ways we never imagined…or perhaps we have imagined but we were too scared to try because of what others might think. Most of the time what we really want seems crazy and too ‘out there’ to accomplish. Maybe that’s part of the trick that evil uses to hold us back. If it sounds crazy and seems impossible than it must be and just go with the safe path.

Horse wandering by my Jeep this morning..only St Croix

Horse wandering by my Jeep this morning..only St Croix

Healing Eyes

A day at the Lighthouse

Every time I bring the ukulele the kids swarm around and smile. I gave up my piano to move to the island but God gave me the ukulele to fill my musical void.

The kids found it funny I didn’t know there ‘Patty Cake’ version and that I kept messing up.

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Healing Eyes

Heat exhaustion

It was a very hot day today and more than once I thought I would pass out. In this kind of heat it’s hard to concentrate and remain patient. Funny that God is continuing to test my patience with staying financially afloat for the kids. Several times he has the kids ask me about if I get paid to help them. They assume that I do since I am an adult and I show up. When I tell them that I am here to volunteer and show them love they are shocked every time. They scream, Impossible! I like that reaction even though deep down I am fearful of how I’ll keep this up. Today, however, God decided to remind me that he’s in charge and that as long as I keep listening it will be ok. Most likely i’ll have a one time donation coming in soon from a church and also Andy’s social security disability has been approved and I’ll see some of that soon. Perhaps more details than I should share but how can I share the entire story if I never tell my readers the moments where my invisible friend comes through for me!

My prayer for more crafts for the kids is also coming true thanks to some ladies back home who are helping out. Those sort of blessings make me smile:) and I know the kids will smile too…such as my aspiring Flower artist at the club.

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I’m tired a lot still from the heat and today marks the 10 month anniversary of Andy passing away but I won’t give up quite yet. Just keep leaving the bread crumbs and I’ll follow…just please please give me a roof to stay under and some food to stay alive for the kids. So funny! Me and kids! Makes no sense even still!!!!!

Healing Eyes

Perseverance worked yesterday

Much better day with the kids. Hot and muggy but no tears and mean words. The kids were super lovey today. Happy feet gave me the longest hug and told me I was a good person (yes in those exact words).

I brought my bracelet maker today and the kids taught me how to make rubberband bracelets with just my two fingers. The boys actually were the ones most interested and very talented. It was a great motivator for good behavior and manners. it was quite funny, we started with about 5 kids but then when the van arrived with a huge load of kids I said, “quick pack it up before they see”. Otherwise all the kids would be grabbing and it would have been chaotic. One girl really understood me and rushed to quick hide the loom.

There was this small boy who over the week keeps finding me. He pulls out his big piece of paper I had been teaching how to make flowers on. He asks me to show him how to make a new flower each day. So cute and odd how he keeps bringing that piece of paper back to me. I wish I knew his name. He’s one of the few boys who complains about how loud it is there. He wishes everyone would stop screaming all the time.

So yesterday was awful but today was a blessing. I got hugged, loved, and treated nicely:)

The Jeep update: My Jeep is ‘running’ but it needs a tune-up now for the distributor. I won’t complain though because it would be triple the cost if it was a newer jeep. So yay this will only break me by $220. Pray that God will keep providing and doors will keep opening up.

I am thankful for free Wifi courtesy of my awesome neighbors. I am thankful for my girlfriend Renee who is going to be my roomy soon. I am thankful for the sun. I am thankful my Jeep starts. I am thankful for the kids who hug me. I am thankful the mosquitos are not too bitey. I am thankful I have gallons of drinking water. I am thankful for Becca who sends me goodies. I am thankful for Cindy who prays for me. I am thankful for my Parents who are proud of me… and I am thankful for my Olaf who keeps me company at night.

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Healing Eyes

Choking back tears of being hated

Today I was at the boys and girls club of America and it was the first time I actually almost lost it and broke down in tears. It was starting off good, I had the handful of kids working on a craft about ‘Decisions’ and teaching them how to make the right choices in life. One little girl said she couldn’t do that craft because it had a bible verse on it and her mother doesn’t believe in that church stuff. So I dismissed her to not cause trouble.

Each day I bring my own personal crayons in since they don’t have many there and I ask them to treat them nicely and take one crayon at a time. Today I had some troublemakers and they wouldn’t listen and slowly the crayons ended up everywhere. I used it as an example of choices in life, they could choose to be nice or they can choose to be naughty and there are consequences. The crayons were put away.

Then it got bad…a group of teenagers came out to sit on a picnic table and I told them they needed to go back to their classroom since it still was Homework hour and they gave me some snotty remarks and then turned around. Few minutes later they come back out and say another teacher said it was ok to come out. Smack right on my face, I try to enforce rules that the club has and I am side swiped by another adult. It’s so frustrating to be not liked and to be treated badly. I am giving my time for free for these kids and I get nothing in return except evil looks and mockery. The teenagers than continued to be noisy and were laughing at me while I tried to keep the handful of younger kids under control. That was when all the crayon madness started and I was ready to give up. Everything was falling apart, except one boy who usually is naughty was being so nice and that encouraged me a bit.

Earlier one little girl made a comment that this was my part time job. I explained to her that I don’t get paid to be there; I actually just volunteer because of I love them. She exclaimed, “That’s impossible”, several times. Another girl said, “But Miss Sarah you have to have a job for money, it’s impossible”. I told them God said to come and take care of the kids and I listened.

Now I feel like it is all for nothing…what a waste of my time to keep giving to these kids when the staff members there don’t back me up.

My jeep was fixed yesterday but now the check engine light is on so it appears I have to bring it back tomorrow. Either way I at least could drive myself back home after my terrible experience with the kids today.
I flipped open my bible with tears in my eyes to try and see what to do and I saw this:

Blessed are you who hunger now, For you will be satisfied

Blessed are you who weep now, For you will laugh

Blessed are you when people hate you

When they exclude you and insult you

And reject your name as evil

Because of the Son of Man

Luke 6:21-22

I have a choice.. I can either swallow my Pride and go back tomorrow and take the verbal abuse for the younger kids. Or I can choose to give up. Is little Happy Feet, J’noy, Davi, Angel, Samaje, and Dilani worth it?

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Healing Eyes