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Author Archives: Healing Eyes

Why do I have a guitar?

The day started without one and now I appear to have one in my possession.

I have learned about 3 cords that I think I still remember and my fingers are a bit numb and red from pressing on the wires. 

Guitar

It all began because this morning I was filled with grief. Sometimes the grief comes in waves and drowns me. I am learning to admit to my weakness of grief and seeking help from God to navigate thru it. It seems today the answer was ‘Guitar’. So sure why not I’ll try it…if all else fails at least I can say I know 3 chords.

You know how sometimes you know you need to share your feelings but you don’t want to. Most of the time you just shove them back inside and suffer thru your day? Well this morning I decided not to do that. Instead I unloaded on a friend about the stabbing pain in my heart that comes with losing a partner. I lost my partner, my life line, my strength for all of my adult life.

Yesterday I found out the manager of the condo house sits until November. That was a bit saddening to hear because now I am alone in this little building by the Sea. Yes, the other building is just a few feet away and my other friend lives there but one thing you come to realize on the island is that things seem farther way than they appear. Something about the heat that slows you down and makes things seem faaaaar away. Anyways, I was sad and again felt like God wants me to be alone in order to to teach me to lean on him. Why does God have to be so greedy? What makes me so special that he wants me all to himself? Grrr I scream because I really am lonely at night. The waves crashing on the surf is quite nice but it doesn’t hold me at night. I suppose I will have to start to learn to accept my solitude and enjoy the ride.

Today was a long day and filled with so many unexpected blessings. I decided to take a mini half day vacation and went to the beach. Yes yes a beach! How Cliché! But this one is the far end of the island and is very secluded. Don’t fear I did not go alone because that would be slightly dangerous. I tried snorkeling again, I am not a huge fan of it but I am on an island so I should give it a shot. A sting ray decided to visit me and that freaked me out a bit but I survived.

photo 1 (2)

After my beach/hike escape I found out that it was the last night for the kids club at the church. This meant I could find Gracie one more time. I went expecting to just be happy finding Gracie and instead God put another lady into my life again. She was a nice lady I met when I first came to the island, we shared some tears the last time. I was sitting in the white plastic chairs and she walked in, at first she didn’t recognize me but then a flash of recognition lit up her eyes. ‘Miss Sarah!’

We sat down and caught up a bit and she confessed something to me that made me laugh right out loud. ‘Sarah, I have to confess, and it might sound bad but I prayed for a white friend.’ That just made me laugh and smile so loudly. I said right back to her, ‘You know I also have always wanted a black friend’. So funny even now thinking back to that conversation on how straightforward that was.  She also happens to be my neighbor, it seems she has a house very close to my new place. So odd how when you least expect it you get a little blessing you never expected or asked for. So perhaps I won’t be so lonely.

At the end of the kids club the little girls hugged me and swarmed around me on the way to the church van. One girl asked if I lived here and I said that I moved to the island. She seemed happy about that. Another girl said she wanted to stay with me and they all walked close to me to the church van. When we got to the van a girl said she didn’t want to go home but I said come to church on Sunday and i’ll see you again. God knows why these kids want to see me again…they must be really craving love to need me. If I can make a bit of difference in there lives by just showing up then that’s enough reason to stay here on the island. I don’t know how but if God wants me to learn something and sacrifice my comfort for others than why not.

Tomorrow I am going to get up super early to see the sunset from the West end of the island. Should be amazing!  I don’t know what my future is but right now I am exhausted and feeling ‘ok’. This faith walk is exhausting, if you ever get bored in your lives and want to step out than be ready for a lot of ups and downs because God likes to be unpredictable and sometimes illogical.


 

Prayer request: I really need to get some wifi at my place and stop using my phone as a hotspot. It’s convenient but really limiting to my blogging.

bible lesson ball

 

Healing Eyes

Hop Hop

If God is for us, who can be against us? Rom 8:31.

If God gave up his son for us.. gave it all up.. how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

If God could give it all up for us (me) than why is it so ludicrous to think it’s not ok for me to give it all up in return? Why is it so hard to fathom that he wouldn’t take care of me if I gave it all up? If he is telling me to do one thing and that one thing is very clear in my head than why wouldn’t I say yes without any fear of the consequences. Shouldn’t we all support that kind of radical thinking and radical change if it brings about an abundant life?

I am laying in my bed right now in physical pain but the guilt of having such a nice place right on the Sea is weighing heavier than my body not feeling well. That’s kinda crazy? I can’t accept this abundant gift from God because I don’t think I deserve it, I’m just not religious enough for this journey. However, God has me right where he wants me, on an island dependent on him. Maybe since I am listening and following him then that’s why he gave me such a great place to rest and listen. Yes when I first got on island I was not living by the Sea but in a room provided by a very gracious and loving host. She gave me a launch pad from the airport to where God has now placed me. He has placed me in a very nice, clean, and safe residence. My condo is right next to a very friendly couple who manage the property and are a hoot to hang out with. They have made me feel at home and safe here in this oasis by the sea.

Now for anyone that knows me they would know I am not a bible verse person or a church goer. I can’t quote them off the top of my head and I doubt I ever will be able to. So I rely on others to inspire me and I’ll follow the bunny trail put in front of me with my handy study bible.

——

2 Corinthians 6:10 – Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich, having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

The bunny trail then led me to..

2 Corinthians 8:9 – For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

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What if God wants me to live abundantly.. and what if I just have to live with that and appreciate it..

What if me taking the step forward in this ‘faith walk’ just means I have to take the blessings that inevitably comes with it? Ok, this doesn’t mean its always going to be peachy keen.  Those darn crazy ants are everywhere, I’m too cheap to buy food, and my jeep makes some interesting sounds. All of this is quite a step down from my Mini Cooper S, Mr2 classic car, and bug free 2 story house complete with AC. I lost a lot in coming here, I gave up a lot of my stuff, my Andy is gone, my dogs are gone, my cat is gone. The list could go on and on. But one thing I am realizing is a theme that if I give up things dear to me I may just get something to replace it and I might just appreciate it a whole lot more since I have a greater appreciation when reduced to lower expectations.  I shouldn’t limit what God can do because of my brainwashing to think if you follow something invisible than it most likely means it won’t be very good since I can’t really SEE it before I BUY it.

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Ephesians 3:20 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably MORE than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

I don’t want to just wake up and have one devotional for the day. I want that one devotion to lead me on a bunny trail to hop around and see other hidden gems in my day. I want my eyes to always be open and searching for more. Isn’t life about wanting more and more? Than why not more of the invisible?

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Romans 16:25-26 – Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the MYSTERY HIDDEN for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith!

Makes you think .. well makes me think? I love puzzles and connecting pieces. I think God knows that and he knew it all along and that’s why he is so vague sometimes with me. He likes it when I follow the breadcrumbs and get something personal out of the words in front of me. Words there all along but I couldn’t see because I didn’t want to. Maybe this all davinci code and conspiracy thinking but I sure think God is real and enjoys watching each of us figuring things out with a bit of prodding.

 

Healing Eyes

A story unfolds

I think God has a funny sense of accomplishing a plan. Let’s take someone who has been used to doing something for all of his or her adult life with a partner and then take that partner away. How does this person survive? That’s where it gets interesting because some people could just latch on to someone else to get him or her thru it. In my case I am latching on to someone I can’t see. That sounds so odd really. How can someone rely on an invisible man? Could a book really have all the answers to this person’s success or failure?

I started my journey of faith by packing up my minimal belongings onto a plane and landing on a tiny little island cut off from everything I ever knew. I emerged myself into a culture that has been foreign to me for years, the Christians. It’s a strange new world. I don’t like labels so let’s just call this culture a super nice group of people with lots of love.

Now the stage is set. Little island in the Caribbean and part of the US virgin islands. Palm trees, blue water, blue skies, and hot temperatures. It is an island in economic trouble and jobs are slim, food costs a lot, and water is only found thru a wallet and a ‘rain’ water machine. There are people who have money and those who don’t. There are children in need of love and direction. Really its just like any other place except for the whole water and sun thing, oh and the high prices, and bugs. Ok maybe it’s not quite like everywhere else.

This girl we shall call, the Young Widow, steps off the plane and feels the rush of heat and salt air on her skin. She smiles a little because it doesn’t feel quite as foreign as when she first got here. At first she can’t find her two totes of belongings but with some patience she locates them in a little office with a slightly grumpy lady. Sigh of relief. She loads them up on a cart and then waits by the curb for a ride. Sounds kinda funny looking back, a widow alone in an airport with just two totes and a carry on luggage waiting by a curb in the Caribbean.

The house she will call ‘home’ for an undetermined amount of time is familiar to her since it was the same place she landed 2 months before during her exploration phase. The room seems smaller and the heat is more intense. It feels a bit claustrophobic this time. Perhaps it’s the finality of the moment sinking in. The fact that the house is not hers, she has no car, and she has no idea what she is doing could be weighing heavier now.

What is the invisible companion up to? Perhaps he’s right by her side and guiding her weak body along, directing her path in a most uncomfortable route to encourage growth. If you imagine being dependant on another person for years and then now he’s gone you may feel disoriented and gimpy. Maybe this new friend knows what’s best to teach her how to walk again, how to feed herself again, how to wake each morning and decide to still breathe. During the dark nights he may comfort her with a presence that is unexplainable. Take away everything to rely on something foreign. Which seems ironic as now this girl is surrounding herself with foreign objects and people.

Each new morning in this place is difficult. The loss of a house is more traumatic than she had expected. It’s as if on top of the loss of a husband she now has no control of anything and no space to call her own. No comforts of her past life except clothes and books.  As the days go by she realizes how important those comforts were. Slowly her new friend introduces them back into her life to remind her how precious each of them are. A deeper appreciation of hot showers and electricity are fostered.

It’s hard to describe what a widow’s heart feels like. Let’s imagine a whole heart full of dreams and hopes for a future. Now apply pressure to it over a 2 year span and begin to chip away at its blood vessels. Choking off parts of the heart that supply oxygen so that parts of the body get sick from stress and worry. Each part of the body suffers from the introduction of a great suffocating pain. The pain of fear creeps into the heart and slowly takes over. With no way out it can fester. Now take the one person away that was keeping that weak heart pumping. This heart is now basically screwed because it has lost all its source of life.

The plan set before the girl is as clear as the words ‘Go’ at this point. Over time she starts to see it’s really a training course she signed up for. Lesson 101 on how to rebuilt a heart after all its life is sucked out.

  1. Get up
  2. Eat
  3. Optional cold shower
  4. Work and volunteer
  5. Read
  6. Write random words
  7. Eat
  8. Sleep

The invisible friend never leaves and is relentlessly working on his plan. Only letting her see glimpses of it so that she learns to follow by faith. He introduces a haven by the sea with a friend. He gives the opportunity to sleep there for a few days. He opens a door for a room to rent there. He closes the other doors to coral her into a narrow path of acquiring this room. The one bedroom condo is white and lofty, it overlooks a crashing sea at her feet. It has the bare necessities of living and is safe. All the while in her head she feels unworthy of such a lavish gift. The pain of her husband is lingering in her heart and is being used against her. In the middle of the night she awakes in a night sweat from a loud noise. The door had slammed shut and the curtains were blowing wild. Fear grips her little heart as she is used to curling up to another body who would say its ok…it’s just the wind. The voices start putting thoughts of fear in her head. She musters up the courage to turn the light on and open the door, slowly she embarrassingly looks around the corner and sees an empty living room. Crawling back in bed defeated by her fear she lets it continue and replays the last day of her husband’s life in a cold stark hospital room. All the sounds of the ICU come crashing back in as the waves outside her wind swirl in madness. There was so much pain in her husband’s eyes and fear of the unknown that awaited him in death. All of this reawakened in her heart from a door slamming in the middle of the night in a strange new home. The invisible friend tries to comfort but the voices are stronger in her head and crowd out that source of comfort. Pain and regret are the great immobilizers.

The morning comes and she lingers a bit longer in bed because getting up means facing another day alone. Another day with no companion to look forward to a future with. The thought of a hot shower finally woes her up out of bed. What a gift to have a quick hot shower at her fingertips.

She now has a stove too and a toaster! How perspective changes when you lose everything to rebuild. Eggs and toast. In the past her husband would have made eggs for her but this morning it’s her turn to do it. She is being taught how to care for herself. A dangerous line of being too independent though, which is an easy trap to fall into. In this new place there are still bugs, they are called Crazy ants, and they magically appear anywhere there is a crumb. So now it’s clean the dishes right after eating and leave no sign of food. Everything takes longer to do and with more foresight of consequences if not done correctly.

Healing Eyes

Lost Dreams

For the first time I am realizing I have no dreams left. All the dreams me and Andy had together are now gone.

 

We dreamt of having a bigger house and a large garage for all our cars.

We dreamt of having kids.

We dreamt of getting better jobs.

We dreamt of growing old together.

We dreamt of having a cabin in the wood in the U.P. together.

We dreamt of retiring together.

We put all our hopes and dreams on a life together forever.

 

Now

It’s gone…

Just like that there is nothing left of that dream.

 

I am sitting in a beautiful little condo by the Caribbean sean. The wind is blowing, the waves are crashing on the rocks literally feet below my deck…and I am sad..I am crying and clutching Andy’s wallet. His wallet untouched from the final day in the hospital. When I took his final belongings with me and his body went to a room I never saw. His sweatshirt he was wearing is now covering my laptop to keep the salt from ruining my computer. If Andy was here he would be going crazy about the effect of salt on electronics.

 

My dreams are gone… lost in the wind that now beats on the windows. Will I ever get it back? Will I ever dream of a life that doesn’t involve Andy? Right now it feels too soon and somewhat like betraying him to think I should live and dream with out him. Though I go to bed tonight and close my eyes I pray I dream of Andy and he smiles at me one more time. I feel his loving embrace and his eskimo kiss on my nose. If that were to happen I would wake smiling, knowing he is at peace and that I should be too. That is a fairy tale though. Life is far from a fairy tale.

Healing Eyes

Long day on da island

This evening I had a very sudden burst of grief overwhelm me. It’s been at least a week since that’s happened. I saw a man that was skin and bones , literally , not exaggerating. It brought back painful images of Andy’s body being ravished by starvation. His first started the month before we learned he had cancer. He lost 30 pounds in a month! After his stomach came out he began losing more. After his final chemo rounds it just kept getting worse. The month of his death he was so frail. To hug him was to feel bones protruding under his skin. He walked slowly and bent over a little. He just looked sluggish and confused. When your so close to someone sick you see it but you also kinda don’t see it because it’s a slow progression.

I drove home in the dark crying and repeating , “Andy was that skinny, Andy was that skinny”.

I miss Andy. I ache for Andy.

I dreamt last night about him. He was not healthy in my dream. He rarely is:(

Prior to my melt down I had a good day. The kids last day of after school program at the lighthouse. They were extra extra loud and crazy. Little Gracie was up and down on emotions. She has a hard time with anger I notice. Also she craves attention and will do odd things to get it. I think she is testing me to see what she can get away with. I of course am a push over and have a hard time getting her respect. In the end I did get her to apologize to me in return for her fruit snacks. It’s so weird being around kids. I’m getting better though. It’s sad it’s summer vacation now and my practice with kids will lessen:(
There was one point today where Gracie noticed I had my bracelet on still that I made with her. She asked why I had it still. I said it was because I made it with her. This was during her anger spell and she wouldn’t apologize for misbehaving. So then the other girl with us said how awful it was that Gracie was being mean when I just said how important my bracelet was. Then Gracie seemed to understand more that she should be nicer.

I have a lot to learn about kids. But that must be why I’m here. One of a few reasons at least.

Tomorrow I pack my two totes up and move to my one bedroom apartment. I’m pretty excited about that…but also scared I’m splurging too much on myself. But it seems God wanted to spoil me this time and I need to not fight him on it.

 

 

 

 

Healing Eyes

Transparency thru honesty

There was a friend in my life that was very kind to Andy and I. She gave us meals during chemo treatments and offered encouragement to us during our journey thru cancer. I didn’t know her prior to Andy’s diagnosis and treatments. There were many people that offered support to us during those months of hell.

Why is it that during the most trying moments in our lives we can make some of the worse choices in our lives that will stay with us forever.

I just finished this booked called ‘the healing power of Forgiveness’ by George Foster and it really struck home.  There has been hurt caused to a friend that only showed kindness to me.. I have carried this guilt with me for many months.

As this blog has been a tool in being transparent and honest with followers around the world of Andy’s and mine journey through life it seems hypocritical to leave out a part of the journey that affected so many people and molded the grief that lingers still after Andy’s death. The grief of dishonesty. It seems that this world really is a fallen word and than sin is so easy to fall victim to.

Andy and I went so many years facing life’s challenges together and dealing with pain as a couple. We relied on no one else but ourselves, God was not a source of strength we tapped into. Perhaps that makes it all more fitting to realize now that the third loss in our lives, cancer, was what did us in and revealed how impossible it is to endure life’s trials without his help. We really can’t make it thru challenges with out God’s voice to guide us to do what’s right. It might seem like it for years since we do make daily success stories of surviving the odds but eventually it catches up to you.

Those last 2 months of Andy’s life and our marriage were the most difficult and destructive months. The disease of cancer was doing its best to destroy us both. One thing I didn’t realize was that it was killing me too, it was killing our marriage and the very core of its foundation we prized so much. Honesty was what held us together. Complete transparency. Thru infertility we were honest about the pain and expectations of the outcomes. Adoption opened up the door for exploring what our marriage was to the outside world. The disease was now to inflict its final blow on us by causing us to turn on one another. Andy hid his pain from me in order to spare me more pain. Spare me the worry of not taking care of him enough. The feeling of never doing enough to fix his pain was developing. Andy loved me so much and wanted everything for me and it killed him to watch me suffer at his side.

I began hiding things from Andy in order to seek an escape from the pain. Watching him die each day was taking its toll on my body. I was becoming sick to my stomach and the anxiety attacks were increasing. I kept telling myself I was in control but honestly I wasn’t. The search for why God was doing this was starting.. the search for believing in something took hold in my heart. I feared rediscovering that side of me would push Andy away and so I hid that from him. The dishonesty took its first steps in our marriage.

Cancer changed Andy and me. For me the ‘honest’ Sarah slowly died and looked for ways to escape the pain. To find answers. Sometimes I felt the need to sneak around to rediscover who I was. I missed my relationship with God and with Andy. I mourned it long before Andy died. The disease robbed me of the one thing Andy and I held dearly. And that was honesty. Honest about our feelings, pain, hopes for a future together, happiness were all accessible before cancer. But slowly it ate away at that core value of our love. I was not patient towards the end and didn’t wait on God, as a result I got too close to another person and relied on him too much for support I should have been seeking from God. As a result I now carry a burden of guilt towards a friend hurt in the aftermath of Cancer’s poison. I am so sorry to this person and I regret my actions and I ask for forgiveness even though I do not deserve it. She was nothing but kind to us.

To anyone starting or reaching the end of Cancer’s hold on your life I pray that you will seek out support and direction from God. Even if you may not believe or think its all bologna.. I once thought it was and I even ran from his embrace. He so wanted to help me but I was stubborn. So much pain and suffering in this world that can never be taken away, this world is screwed up and sadly Cancer is most invasive disease since it affects both patient and caregiver.

I have reached out to one of Andy’s past doctors and we have become friends. She talks me down when I am in the grips of despair with words of encouragement. Caregivers take on so much guilt of what they could have done. I never realized the effect cancer had on me. I did but I didn’t. It really does damage loved ones..it’s no excuse for our actions, but it does expose our weaknesses. When we are weak we fall…it doesn’t care who you are or how you used to live…Cancer sucks!

I flipped open my bible in search of a verse about Weakness.. instead I found a story about vulnerability. Which makes sense, we are most vulnerable when we are not in God’s hands. Genesis 20:2.  I won’t recite it but I will write the footnotes, which may have more impact. “Abraham had used this same trick before to protect himself. Although Abraham is one of our heroes of faith, he did not learn his lesson well enough the first time. In fact, by giving in to the temptation again, he risked turning a sinful act into a sinful pattern of lying whenever he suspected his life in danger. No matter how much we love God, certain temptations are especially difficult to resist. These are the vulnerable spots in our spiritual armor. As we struggle with these weaknesses, we can be encouraged to know that God is watching out for us just as he did for Abraham”.

I am not perfect. Andy was not perfect. No one is perfect. But maybe accepting that is the first step towards healing from a past we can never forget.

Healing Eyes

Returning to the island (again)

I am putting my ‘island’ clothes back on. Off with the business clothes and on with the lightweight colorful clothes. What a contrast between the two. One is to be portrayed as smart, successful, and businessy. The other is to be comfortable, cool, and relaxed.

Shouldn’t we all want to be the second? That’s probably why when we go on vacation we seek out hot climates to relax. What if you decided to live in that ‘vacation’ spot? Does that mean you will always be relaxed and carefree? No! Definitely not! It seems the complete opposite result, at least when first adjusting. I don’t want to go…I want to go north and snatch my dogs back up and get a cozy apartment with hot water. However, that wouldn’t do Andy justice. I owe it to Andy to push on and see what could be…  He didn’t suffer for nothing, his pain will never be forgotten! Getting past the caregiver’s guilt is my next hurdle. The true test of endurance and accepting this new future.

20140503-121827.jpg IMG_2173

Healing Eyes

Exhale…yup still weak

“To suffer passes; to have suffered never passes.  .. But people who have suffered are the very best equipped to help.”

“My grace is sufficient in you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Oh what pain I feel in my heart today.. it feels like a knife is being pushed into my heart and I have great pain in breathing. There is a huge weight on my chest that won’t budge it seems. Last night I got the final cut of the video that my church made before I left for St. Croix.  It was quite amazing to watch and see the words come out of from my heart so freely. I still don’t know who that person in the video was that was speaking. She looked strong and weak at the same time.. as if being held up by some invisible force. Perhaps when we are at our weakest we find the greatest strength.

I think it was one of Paul’s letters to the church that spoke about God’s pattern of reaching out to the lowly and the weak in order to show his power to strengthen us when our own bodies can’t.

Beatitudes: poverty, affliction, sorrow, and weakness can actually be means of grace if we turn to God.  It seems the weaker we feel the harder we may give in to God’s help.

I always tried to do things on my own and have full control of everything.  Andy and I were in control for many years and it wore us down.  In that weakness God found his way in. The crack thru the wall was exposed and he knew exactly how to strike..to push his way in. My weakness of self-sufficiency was the key to breaking me and Andy. Andy was dependent on my strength and when it was tapped dry I collapsed. A lot of things happened in that final month of Andy’s and mine journey.. some was for the good and some was to later cause me immense guilt. Working thru the past over and over in my head I try to validate each choice made and each decision. I find myself dwelling on the past and thinking ‘what if’… ‘what if I did more…’what if I acted differently’…’what if I never gave into God’…’what if I had died instead of Andy’..

This mind set will either suffocate me slowly or if I let God maybe it can strengthen me even more. I pray that this pain would be redeemed or transformed to benefit God’s plan for me on the island and wherever he might lead me next.

 

Where is God when it hurts? The answer is simple.. he is there all along but the pain is in the way.

 

Slowly I am starting to see that there is no coincidence in life. That word is a lie that we use to discredit God at work in the tiny tiny details of our lives.  At this moment I am on a plane flying back to the United States and I am filled with a desire to write down my thoughts. The pain in my heart is still throbbing but as I start writing it feels a bit better. I pulled out from my bag a notepad I had used during my business trip and on it I had written over and over a bible verse I was trying to memorize. Of course it was perfect for my current anxiety and feelings of despair. God really is in the details!

“Humble yourself, 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.” 1 Peter 5: 6-7.

Tomorrow morning I make my final journey back to the island from a week away on business. This business trip sucked the energy out of me and tempted me back to my past life. Above all it has made it hard again to be alone in this hotel room knowing I am to get on a plane again tomorrow to readjust to the island. I feel as if I am Jonah avoiding what I am supposed to do…I know what it is but I am scared to go all in. Which is worse…. not listening and struggling thru the road blocks that now pop up to frustrate me … OR .. listen and see the doors open, the unknown unfold before my eyes but at the cost of being terrified to change.

 

Healing Eyes

Peaceful

I was angry when Andy died.

I was angry when Hope died.

I was angry when Adoption failed.

But this morning as I awake on the island at my friend, Beth’s condo by the Sea…I hear the waves crashing on the rock wall and the wind blow the palm tree on the window. I smile! I smile so wide because the pain is easing. The tears are slowing and my heart is thawing. I am not as angry as I was about losing Andy. I am not as angry as I was for losing Hope. How can I be when I have a new love that is slowly taking hold where all the empty was. The dark pit that consumed me and threatened to pull me under is getting smaller and smaller. Tomorrow I could easily fall back in, or the next day, or the next day after. I’ll let tomorrow worry about itself! Right now I realize how much God loves me…it’s crazy to say after so many years of living my own life. Living for myself and feeling the need to control the outcome of life. 

Let go to live!
Let go to BREATHE!

I have kids now. I was motherless but now I have several kids that like me.. dare I say Love me? Last night at kids club Gracie ran to me and latched onto my waste. Literally! She wouldn’t let go. I was walking around with an 8 year old girl strapped to my waste. It was nice to be hugged even if it still is a bit odd for me to surrender to a love of a child. Maybe it was God hugging me thru Gracie saying it will be ok Sarah. stop worrying about tomorrow or even today…isn’t it enough that you’re here doing what I asked you to? Let me work on your heart and teach you a new skill. Or perhaps its an old skill buried way down that I suppressed…maybe I’ve known how to be a kid all along.

The kids were playing on the field and Gracie and I went down there. Well I mean I walked down there with her attached to my waste. I tried to encourage her to play with the other kids but she refused. She is very stubborn! hmm reminds me of another person i know, Me. The other girls called out my name, Miss Sarah! A very small girl named, Magalina, hugged me:) She always falls asleep during the lesson, perhaps from the heat or maybe its because she is so thin and tiny.

I’m going off island for a week and I am sad about that. I just was getting comfortable and adjusting and now I have to be ‘business Sarah’ again. The look on Gracie’s face as I said I was going away for a week touched me. The look on Carla’s face when I said I would be gone on her birthday made me sad. It’s nice feeling wanted even if it is such a small thing that I bring to their lives. However, I think they like knowing someone loves them and wants to be around. It seems people come in and out of their lives often and they never know who is sticking around long term. I pray that God will keep me here a bit longer to build those relationships up and to learn all their names…maybe watch them grow a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not setting up roots here, but maybe just maybe I am learning some new skills about kids that I can take wherever I land. 

 

Healing Eyes

Working with kids can help mend old wounds.

Andy and I struggled to have kids of our own for several years… dare I say our entire marriage was shadowed by never being able to. I think looking back it might have slowly eroded that child like self in each of us. We had lots of fun together but we desperately wanted to share our love with another mini version of us. When that couldn’t happen we thought treatments could solve the problem. When that didn’t work we turned to adoption. But as our story unfolded that wasn’t to be either. The main thing I am starting to realize is that over the many years I hardened my heart to being around kids…it was such a huge part of Andy’s and mine dream that never came true that we buried the pain over the years. Better to avoid the pain and find other fun things to do or buy. It worked for us…we made it work.

So now what?

Andy is gone and I am alone to pick up the pieces. All that brokenness can be put to work it seems. God has found a way to weasel his way in and light a match inside my heart. It’s a very slow burn but it takes time to change…to change a way of thinking and living..to change perspective on life…

I am starting to look past my own pain and misery by helping others. I don’t know how much of a difference it is but maybe it’s the small stuff that works. We are used to always thinking we have to ‘do’ something and it has to be noticeable to mean it’s working, that we are impacting the world. What if it’s the tiny moments that over time snow ball into something more?

My afternoon was a happy one. Yes, I said it, I was happy. I started by making some mother’s day cards for the kids to color for their moms. Looking past my own heart ache of Mother’s day I succumbed to printing and unjamming a printer over and over to make 10 cards. Later I realized there was a copy machine that made it way easier to duplicate the cards. This coming Mother’s day would have been 4 years since our baby Hope miscarried. She had a wee little heart beat that just gave out unexpectedly in a very painful day before Mother’s day. Sadly Andy never got to hear the heart beat since he missed the doctor’s appointment but he was so happy to hear me share the experience. That day she died Andy and I grieved together.. I’ll never forget the look on Andy’s face when it happened. He tried to go into work that day while I was passed out on the couch but he turned right back around to be with me. That day killed a piece of our hearts…a piece that Andy never really got over until he died, his final words were he would take care of Hope in heaven.

I think it’s a small thing to hang out with the girls while they color and do there homework. I told one of the girl’s I would be up in a minute after I hung out with the 2 older girls. When I got upstairs she had been waiting to pick her colors for her card until I arrived. I was a bit surprised she was waiting for me and very glad I followed thru on my promise. So odd that a kid would want to hang out with me! When we finished coloring we took photos together and the two girls giggled and fought over who was in the picture. Adorable really.

One of the girl’s back downstairs was finishing up her card and when I saw the colors she picked I smiled. She colored just like I would have by alternating colors and outlining the teddy bear…very artistic. But she was shy and thought it was ugly but I assured her it was Amazing.

Gracia coloring her butterfly

Gracia and Perla

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but today was enough to know that coming back to the island was a good idea. If I were to die tomorrow I would feel good about listening to the voice in my head that said “Go”.

Helping with Homework

Helping with Homework

Healing Eyes