• sarah@healingeyes.org

Author Archives: Healing Eyes

Earning My Stripes!

Take that leap and go out and live trusting God! Do it! I dare everyone to try it….wow….but don’t expect instant results. It really is a minute by minute commitment to not give up. I’m glad today I stuck it out and went with God’s direction, as much as it confused and scared me.

For some reason God wants me to learn to drive Jeep and crawl up steep scary inclines. For some reason God wants me to learn to public speak by being a tour guide. For some reason God wants me to lose that shyness and let loose with other people. Today I went on my second training with driving Jeep. Now when I say ‘driving Jeep’ I need to clarify what I mean. It will involve being happy and showing a lot of patience and diligence. It means not getting angry when the Jeep breaks or when I am tired from the heat. It means performing for a group of 4 guests per ride and selling the island and its beauty to them. It means letting my needs come last. It also involves driving up some damn steep hills and learning about teamwork to the extreme.

I thought today I was going out alone with the teacher but there was another newbie driver and I had to show him what to do when first looking over the Jeep. Need to check 5 things in the engine and survey the undercarriage for any broken parts. Then we picked up a second driver who used to drive for the company and he turned out to be a bonus in my learning experience.

I picked the same Jeep as before and we were off. 7 hours later I am finally home and exhausted. To sum it up on the way back up the road to the tide pools and being the one to drive while the other 3 guys watched me, I failed getting up the hill and then the Jeep died. The gas line had a leak and the entire tank was dry. Now cell phones don’t work so well out in the bush so me and the second driver walked back down to the tide pools (the ocean) to try and find a signal. Luckily we got thru and a Jeep was on its way with gas (the owner of all people). A nice dip in the Tide pools while waiting was a must! As well as pleasant conversation about life and food. He is also a chef and he asked me how my husband died and I explained how food became our enemy. It’s so refreshing to talk about Andy and cancer! He might cook some meals for me and show me the restaurants that have great food. One thing he said to me was, “We need to not have you being all depressed anymore”.

Some time later help arrived and then the true fun started. I wasn’t getting off that easy from making my first successful trip up that hill. So I have 3 guys telling me how to do it and I am getting scared and frustrated at myself. One of the drivers in training bailed out the back of the Jeep, lol he just has no guts it seems when the Jeep slightly tipped a bit, it made for a good camaraderie experience with the other two guys on the drive back. They assured me that I have more ‘balls’ then that guy and to not worry.

Did I make it?! I sure did! The Jeep stalled a lot but I finally pressed the gas and sucked up my fears (with a little help of a tool box behind my back to support me from falling back in the seat) and drove that Jeep up that incline.

So the owner of the company and his son both had so much patience with me and I learned what true teamwork is today. They didn’t give up on me, and thank you God for giving me the strength (stubbornness) to not give up.

A great day of smelling exhaust fumes, sweating, African killer bees, and conquering one of the inclines on the trail. Maybe, just maybe I earned some of my stripes today!

When God wants to give an abundant life to someone he doesn’t joke around. I’m in the Caribbean volunteering to work with kids and I get to have a piece of Andy back with being around mechanics and learning to drive. Andy loved teaching me how to drive…he loved playing cars with me.

Healing Eyes

Uno

Uno is the card game of choice for the kids at the club. I was a hit since I had a new deck of cards and would play for hours (I mean hours!). Slowly the kids are realizing I am going to be around for a while and they wander up to me while I am sitting at the picnic table. Today’s conversation jumped from if God can die to Jesus Dying on the cross and then finally me explaining the deck of cards were Andy’s but he died before he could play them. Kids are really great listeners.

Another kid read me several books (one was a joke book and the other Berenstein bears) and then later we played Uno for hours. He was a soft spoken kid and a nice change from all the screaming I normally receive. The two girls in the video came by later to play and normally they scream during Uno but I explained this was ‘quiet Uno’ and they respected my request. Each time I go back I don’t know what to expect and I am nervous and hesitant to go but then the kids surprise me and slowly accept me.

The bathroom is broken there so everyone stateside appreciate those flush toilets…the porty johns get very hot in the middle of the day.

Healing Eyes

Ukulele

When I first learned the Ukulele I thought I would never be able to sing while strumming. But now after hours and days of practice I’ve done it! Little by little I got the hang of it.

I wonder if that is what life can be like. Diligence and persistence to learn new things and to stretch oneself beyond what was thought possible.

Maybe that’s why God picked me…put me in these circumstances…knew my stubbornness…and is gonna take advantage of the gift he gave me.

Today I had my first Jeep lesson with Tan Tan tours on the island. Let me say this, being a driver is not just driving a jeep! Holy crap its gonna be like Jeep boot camp. I need to check all the fluids each time and look for broken parts on the Jeep before going out. (The radiator overheated going up the Tide Pools road and I got stuck, I guess no one makes it the first time. I later found out he set me up and he knew the radiator was gonna overheat and he wanted me to experience it)

I will have to learn facts about St. Croix to share with riders and also get them to love me by the end of the ride. So my people skills will be rigorously improved, maneuvering a Jeep over rough terrain, and then mechanic skills will be improved. If my goal is to someday be working in a third world country for neglected kids I think working at Tan Tan will help build my patience and diligence required. From drunk to high maintenance vacationers I should learn to work with a lot of personalities from this training opportunity and flush out that whole introvert personality. When I agreed to God rebuilding my life I never thought he would be so creative in his methods.

Before

After

Healing Eyes

A Small Life

The approach to raise $5,000 for 5 months of service on the island wasn’t the right approach. Well it felt right at the time, thinking of how will I make it after quitting my reliable paid salary job. Every two weeks I got a check that would let me buy food and pay for lodging. It was a very enticing lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong…I miss it terribly! That was one of my passions that is now gone. The laptop is in the FedEx box waiting to go back to Michigan.

photo (11)

I just finished listening to another sermon from Ada Bible. For some reason last sunday’s and this sunday’s keep resonating with me. From the Ant Power to now the Barb Wire discipline. Over last week I would remind myself to be like an Ant, be consistent and diligent even if it was hard. Every morning drag myself out of bed even if I didn’t want to. Eat food even when I don’t want to. Now today I am reminded its the Slow and Steady commitment I am after in my life. My blog is the most consistent thing in my life. It’s always been there for me. I consistently update it even if I don’t like what i’ll write about or how it might affect others. I try to be raw in my writing even when it sounds depressing. Life is broken!

Yesterday I got a gift from someone I never met in Michigan but talked to over email. I am realizing its not My journey now, it’s everyones journey. For the people that can’t pick up and just go, sell everything, live off faith, be a free spirit…that isn’t something everyone can just Do. Inside us all is a passion to make a difference, to touch lives, and to make an impact. Not like what I am doing is that impactful, half the time I feel like I am failing and I see no fruit from my labor. Perhaps when little Divani at the club says, “you came back”, makes a difference in my perspective. It’s not just those moments that make my heart feel good, actually my heart leaps when I see friends and strangers joining me in this adventure. The adventure to live life to the fullest and to not wait for my life clock to run out. Andy didn’t know he was going to die at 34, if he had then he would have lived more abundantly. I want others to feel this amazing gift of compassion, denying self, and pain for others.

It’s the sum of the smalls that wins hearts. It’s the sum of the moments that make a life. It’s living beyond what we think is possible that makes it all worth it. I want to live a resilient life by longing for more than what this broken world can give me.

Yesterday God gave me another $60 thru one of his family members. My Paypal account was empty from paying rent and then he filled it back up with $60.

Everyone can’t have their Mountain top experiences. Life altering moments that rip everything away and we are left to start all over. I pray that not everyone gets that wake up call. It’s not pleasant and it scars you. Every morning I need my eyes constantly reopened to what is around me. I hate being slow at things! I hate being patient! I want everything Now and then act on it. My lesson to learn is patience and resilience. Doing great things over and over again!

It really is the smalls 🙂

 

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Healing Eyes

Living on Luck

For the first time in years i have no income, I am scared…I won’t lie.

Andy is gone, my house is gone. If God is real now what? Well I just looked at my PayPal account to see what I have saved up in order to pay my August Rent. What do I see? The exact amount I needed for rent! If I am to live month by month at least I know that August Rent is taken care of. The food and gas will figure itself out somehow.

I have learned to survive on little food and plenty of water. My freezer has frozen chicken breasts, and my refrigerator has fruit cups and granola bars. 

Vacation Bible School is done and I survived! The computer box arrived today to ship my laptop back to my old job, so now that chapter is coming to an end. What’s left? I guess giving in to the task at hand, write a novel and walk with kids.

 

Until then..

Needs: Food to not pass out, Rent Money to stay on the island, and Prayer for strength and direction

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Healing Eyes

VBS continues

What if all that we do each day is pointless?

What if the little things could add up to more?

As much as I don’t want to refer back to me and Andy’s days trying to have kids it seems something I can’t avoid. We tried for over 8 years to have a baby and failed miserably at it. Sometimes it just isn’t meant to be and making the choice to stop is a hard one. We invested so much time and money into making a family that it became a mission almost.

Now I am almost done with my first week teaching kids at VBS. Whatever would Andy think of all this? I can’t even imagine since I can’t remember ever seeing Andy play with kids. Deep down he wanted a child but I think to not hurt me he tried to downplay it. We talked one night about how if we were to try adopting we would never have a mini Andy running around. We weighed the pros and cons of that and decided to give up the ‘natural’ way of having a family. When Andy got sick we were almost thankful we never succeeded at children. We still talked once and awhile about how if he was gone that there would be no living legacy of him. I would be left alone and no little version of Andy would be around to comfort me.

Yesterday I was feeling sick but I still started setting up the classroom with the color sheets and crayons. Sitting in the tiny kid chair reading the lesson plan and feeling sad. Then a little kid snuck in and said Hi to me and wanted to see what sneaky stuff I was up to. I told her she’s too early and needed to go eat her food. She said ok but before she left she asked me, “Can I give you a hug first?”

Was that Andy? In that brief second was he looking down at me and trying to encourage me with a hug? It’s hard living on after he’s gone, it’s hard trying to be someone different without sharing it with someone. The days don’t get easier after you lose your husband. Every night the tears come and I curl into a ball missing Andy but that darn sun still rises and still pushes me to get up.

First two days of VBS we had 12 kids, then we had 18, and then there was 21!

 

Healing Eyes

Ant Power

Whatever am I to do? I’m not the person for this job I keep telling myself. Most of my career I hid from people, I was an introvert and proud of it. Put me in front of a computer and I can work some magic and at lightning speeds. Then for some reason over the years I was drawn out of my comfortable seat and made to speak in front of teams and travel around the globe. It made my stomach twist and turn every time I spoke to people. Surprisingly over time it got easier and then I actually liked it. So twisted!

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

Even while I was doing my own thing and living life I was being molded behind my back. Ugh that’s not what I wanted to hear.

“You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you.”

Every fiber of me wants to do the opposite and go back to way of doing things. That image of what my life was. Until it hits me that life can’t be. It can never be exactly as it was, Andy is gone. He was my light in the darkness.

A guy named Jeremiah in the bible didn’t want to do what God wanted, he even thought he was too young and inexperienced for the job. Sigh..that’s me! I am not cut out for so many kids. My ears hurt and my heart hurts. That office job and its air conditioning really does sound awesome right now. I know that world. 

“Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing.. But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds.”

Oh what comfort that is. My mind and heart have been feeling that over and over that this wound will never heal. I will wear this pain for years and it is forever a part of me.

“In the days to come you will understand this.”

How is it possible for words written a bazillion years ago can apply to my situation so perfectly. What’s crazy is another person in the world can be feeling the same exact way and/or read the same verses and see nothing. How can a book be written that is so alive! It hurts my brain to even try and dispute it. I have been beaten, broken, and worn down to the point where I can’t even try to fight it anymore. To top it all off the author of the book Lamentations was written by Jeremiah! Seriously, my favorite book of the bible that I get so much comfort from was written by Jeremiah too!

Today I went to the boys and girls club and as usual was awkward as hell around all the kids. It took hours before it turned around and I ended up being accepted again by the kids. This warm up period is driving me crazy. My heart aches for the boy named Eden. He has such anger issues and has no idea how to control them. The other kids are afraid of him and don’t like him because he is so mean. He wants to be nice I can tell but he doesn’t know how to take the high road and to just breathe when he is upset. He’s seriously going to hurt someone someday. I just have to remember, Ant Power. The sermon from an online church I watched Sunday…to be diligent and consistent. Every day get up and suck up my own problems and desires and show up for kids like Eden. A tedious job that doesn’t pay financially, it hurts mentally, and it’s hot. All this just for those few minutes alone with a boy to try and give him tips to control his anger. Small steps can add up to more…if ants can be diligent as they consistently bite and irritate me then I can try to be just as stubborn.

 

Healing Eyes

VBS

First day of VBS and I am exhausted. Did I enjoy it? 12 kindergarten kids for the first day…and we told them to bring a friend tomorrow. That means it could double!

What did I get myself into?!

I might be missing that cozy office job right about now!

Healing Eyes

Prayer Request

After a long day of sitting around and feeling sorry for myself and being bored I gave in and started typing up my old journal for my ‘book or novel’.

I noticed that after Andy died I prayed that God take me life and use it. To distance me from loved ones so that I could find myself again. Who would have thought he would have literally answered that prayer. Be careful what you pray for! 

So now I pray a new prayer.

God please take my life again and use it to help the kids in pain, suffering, and feeling alone. If for the time it’s in St. Croix than I thank you for that opportunity. I pray, however, that you will take me even farther and give me a chance to be with kids who are dying from illness, neglect, and abuse. Expand my territory. I seek the kids in other countries that need a stranger’s love and compassion. Give me the feet to go and feel their pain, to cry with them and to be present in the suffering. No more do I want to feel just my loss, let me feel the pain of others! I pray for even more than what you have given me. My heart can withstand it, you built my heart for such a purpose. You knit me in my mother’s womb knowing ahead of time what my purpose would be. Give me the training I need now to heal the wound of infertility but leave a scar behind to remind me of how precious life is. 

Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

 

Let the power of prayer begin?

Healing Eyes

Blessings and goodbyes

Today was it. The last day with my job in Michigan. I’m a bit stunned still but after tonight it’s gonna be ok. I’ve gone all in and am now unemployed but with a purpose. To serve kids and find myself in the process. I’ve been given the gift of time and I need to embrace it.

After I said my last good bye than my night began. My friend came over to work on vbs for next week. We ended up making too many little booklets since my math appears to still suck.
Then I walked back with her to her home and pet my new puppy friend on the way.
I haven’t been eating too well since I don’t cook and I am trying to save money by eating cheap. But I got to eat my first goat meat! Yup a little goat! Tasted like meat lol.
Had some plantain too and passion fruit! Then left with a blender and two bottles of fresh passion fruit!
What a great gift from God. He said go to the island. So I listened. He said stay on the island I am trying to listen. He said let go of the job that you love and submit. I finally agreed. Result is I got a home cooked meal and great company.
Little by little I’m shedding my grief and finding that Sarah beneath.
Little by little I give in to that voice and a blessing appears.
Little by little my faith grows and I feel safer.

20140718-200834-72514289.jpg

20140718-200833-72513600.jpg

20140718-200834-72514643.jpg

20140718-200833-72513948.jpg

Healing Eyes