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Author Archives: Healing Eyes

One day

After a miserable night before missing Andy and doubting my future. Thinking about all the parts of my life that have gone wrong..such as..losing Andy, failing Andy, and losing all my belongings to God.

I woke up groggily and not looking forward to breathing. Dragging myself to the shower and praying that the water heater was not unplugged only to realize it was. So a cold shower to start a day I was already dreading. My breakfast consisted of an english muffin with peanut butter…only the bare essentials on that one since I’m lazy and watching the budget.

Even though my outlook on the day was gloomy God didn’t give up on me. Instead he decided to fill my day with online meetings and a lot of familiarity of my job. Just what I needed..some ‘normalcy’.  I even got advice from my boss about not working too hard and giving time to listen to God and not try and rush things. Needing to surrender more to his will and let him drive my weeks to come. Even though I have a looming deadline of May 15th where I need to know more of what I am to do…stay on island or leave island or really just some direction would be nice.  I even prayed this evening while sitting on a rock on the beach for guidance, silly me I was going to ask God to tell me what to do and a big wave slapped me in the face instead. So I understood that message…don’t worry right now about that one Sarah!

I found my favorite beach today…it reminded me of Marquette Michigan, my favorite place in the world. There are rocks you can climb on and perch up on like a little birdie or perhaps a cat laying out to bake in the sun. It had a nice little cubby hole of water that I could lay in that was warm and clear. So awesome!

Earlier in the day I met with a contractor that is going to help with construction of the medical center near the building #1 of Lighthouse Ministries. Very cool to watch how God made it so easy to start building…things can be easy when you let go. Am I to help out with this? Who knows but I was there today. Perhaps it’s all about just ‘being’ in the moment at the ‘right’ time.

Next hurdle is finding a car while on island. Needing to be patient on that one….time will tell if I get wheels or get to walk.

What do I need?
1. Car
2. Patience
3. Food
4. Bike
5. Fruit Gushers or Fruit Roll-ups
6. Gift Card to Kmart (yes there is a kmart on island!!)
7. Care packages with protein

Healing Eyes

I’m thinking I think too much

Today we beach hopped since the rain clouds wouldn’t leave us alone. Finally we landed again at the free pool (thanks Beth!). Why didn’t we just start there? Because that’s logical and all logic leaves on this island.

As far as progress being made on deciding my length of stay on this island I haven’t really made any headway on that one. However, after paying a few bills I am starting feel the squeeze of relocating and the food budget. I have a feeling that will be the deciding factor on ‘length’ of say…of course money drives my mind still. Probably wrong to do that but old habits die hard. You can take me off the main land but you can’t take the main land mentality away, no matter how gorgeous the surroundings.

Day 4 it’s probably ok I have no clue of my plans…should give myself a break I guess. Let’s see what would Andy say…hmm well first of all he wouldn’t have gone so extreme as I did. He was so practical. He would say, ‘Eat ramen noodles until you know your financial situation’.  He loved ramen noodles in college until we ate too much and got sick off them. But during cancer his appetite returned for them, oddly enough.

Let’s see what else did I do today. I mopped my floor…that was something different. It really isn’t an exciting or glamorous life here.

Finished my night making tuna casserole at a friends (since she has a stove ) and watching mindless movies on TV. It almost felt like back when Andy and I sat around and had dinner while watching tv. Just was missing the dogs curled up by my legs.
I miss my dogs so much and my past life. Even though the ocean is beautiful I am sad thru the bone. I knew it would be hard and god was gonna break me more but my doubts are rising and that plane is looking mighty inviting. If god exists than he sure isn’t making it easy to love him with this strange part of unknown and tiny bugs that bite my ankles.

Healing Eyes

I woke up in a sweat last night from a terrible nightmare. Andy was in the hospital and I went to find him but I couldn’t, no one knew where he was. So i insisted he was in ICU and that was where I left him. Finally he magically appeared. Sadly he looked awful…his head was tilted up and he had a oxygen mask on. His eyes were wet from tears and his face was contorted oddly. He had wires hooked up all over him and was was groaning in pain. The smell of the hospital was all over me, suffocating me in my sleep, a smell of hospital gowns and chlorine. The lights were bright and he was in a room with several other patients.. it felt so humiliating seeing Andy stripped down to nothing as if he was just a number in a line of sick hospital beds.

I held his hand tightly and cried, “I love you! I love you!”. Andy replied saying he loved me too, over and over we said these words. I told him please don’t go.. please don’t leave me..please stay.. over and over I begged him. He was laying on his side and crying with me crying over his shoulder. The nurse came in and prepared some pain drugs, it was a very large cocktail and I asked lots of questions about why so much and what they were. One of the drugs was a hippopotamus tranquilizer (why I don’t know).

Slowly the nurse pushed the drugs into his IV and Andy convulsed and slowly calmed down. Slowly he drifted off and his eyes died all over again. Over and over I see his eyes die in my dreams. At one point he crawled out of his bed and had no arms or legs. The nurse quickly scooped him up as if he was a baby and slammed him back in the bed. She yelled at me saying you have to keep him in that bed otherwise his IV lines will come out. I stared at Andy and cried, screamed for him to stay, Don’t leave me!!!

Then I woke up!

Back to reality of where I was. In a room in someone else’s bed wondering why am I here. Why the hell am I here? I am miles away from the familiar and alone in my bed. Andy is not there to comfort me after a nightmare…he can’t hold me or stroke my hair. Nevermore will he be and nevermore will I hear his voice. You can’t just erase 13 years of companionship, it stays with you like a ghost in the room. Quietly sleeping in my shadow until something stirs it and it suffocates me with its misery.

Sleep Andy.. and haunt my dreams no more. Speak softly to me with encouragement but please take those hospital memories away! Your agony and feeling of desperation of doing nothing to save you. I was helpless to save you. I failed you as a caretaker…that feeling of guilt will never go. I know it’s normal to feel this way but others out there must know they aren’t alone! There has to be a way to have peace about watching someone die and being helpless to stop it.

 

Healing Eyes

Cost is High

 

 

The juxtaposition of beauty — Palm trees and roaring waves in contrast to the high cost of living it.

Sticker SHOCK today as I went to get a few groceries to get by with… I spent $30 on 9 items, the grapes are what did me over as they cost about $5! The cereal box was $6 but I figured it has fiber and I need that. If I can eek by on minimal food but with some nutrients I might survive. Yes the ramen noodles are definitely NOT healthy but it is food and it will be easy to make since I don’t have a stove.

If I go back in a month than I’ll at least go back with a deep appreciation for the abundance of food State Side. If I survive long enough that is! I am cheap about food and I am lazy about food so this is going to be interesting. Let’s take bets on how long I last when I crave a Snickers bar.

Aside from the cost of food… I am still breathing, “barely”.

Day 1 almost done and I want to go home. Not gonna lie..I want to go home. I miss my dogs, I miss cooler weather, I miss my pathetic apartment, I miss friends and family, I miss Andy.  The last one I can’t really do anything about though but I still miss him. A year ago he was alive and we had a house and he was on the upswing (kinda).

Day 2… Let’s see what happens …

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Healing Eyes

It has begun…now what

And opened our eyes

to

follow the signs.

——-

I woke up this morning not wanting to leave. Fighting the decision I made to go 2 months ago.

Over the years I have made friends and connections. One of those friendships became a life line to opening my eyes to more. Opening my eyes to a life I had long thought gone. Today I said goodbye to that friend..what will come of that friendship I won’t know because it is not my time to know. It is just my time to…Go. That friend forced me on this plane, held my hand as I cried, encouraged me to live, to find myself, and to above all follow God. In that airport lobby we prayed..we actually prayed outloud for strength to follow thru with the decision I couldn’t deny anymore. It may be a month, it may be several, but I can’t force God’s timing or know when I am to come back. All I know is that there was and is a path laid out and the signs are driving me mad.

On the plane the movie Walter Mitty was playing and it may be insane or I may be searching for signs but I know that movie was something I was meant to watch.

A daydreamer movie and a movie about dreams given up when younger..given a second chance to that person again.

So what do I do? I pull out my phone to jot down some notes (since that’s what I do now). The first line in my notes App was something I wrote awhile back but have forgotten about. “Here I am  lord send me’.

Seriously! Why was it at this moment ,on a plane I do not want to be on, I was to read that line of text I wrote down weeks or months ago.

 

I like to think that I am on a path where there is a fork in the road and where those paths diverge I must step out onto one of those. The one I chose isn’t well lit or enticing, it’s quite dark right now and scarey. Perhaps I step out onto this path now to find life…hope? Or maybe its all a bunch of crap.

 

Live in the moment and love. Love everyone. Compromise nothing and you lose nothing. It’s not what you capture for memories but how you live while creating those memories.

 

Life!. Our Motto!

 

If you had to write your resume today what would it read? What if we all took a chance?! What if we all had a part to play but we each feared the outcome of stepping out into the blackness. What if the blackness wasn’t all dark when our eyes finally were opened. Open to the light that we could never see because of the pain. The pain of life. A life that can be more if we don’t fear the darkness but think of it as a time to curl into a ball and cry while being comforted by someone bigger than our small problems that seem so big.

 

This morning I was miserable and right now I am miserable still but I am seeing a small crack of light (even with the screaming kids on this plane). I am not strong enough or open enough to see what God’s plan is yet. But that crack of light will grow bigger…I just need patience. Grrr patience.

 

 

Healing Eyes

Trust ?! Really?!

Today’s reading from the Jesus calling book by Sarah young.
Hmm similarities on how I feel before getting on that plane at 9:30am

It’s been 4 months since Andy passed away on today the 15th of the month.
I fly to the unknown on the 15th of april, 4 months since Andy left me.

April 15

Trust Me, and don’t be afraid. Many things feel out of control. Your routines are not running smoothly. You tend to feel more secure when your life is predictable. Let Me lead you to the rock that is higher than you and your circumstances. Take refuge in the shelter of My wings, where you are absolutely secure.

When you are shaken out of your comfortable routines, grip My hand tightly and look for growth opportunities. Instead of bemoaning the loss of your comfort, accept the challenge of something new. I lead you on from glory to glory, making you fit for My kingdom. Say yes to the ways I work in your life. Trust Me, and don’t be afraid.

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”
—Isaiah 12:2

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
—Psalm 61:2–4

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
—2 Corinthians 3:18

Healing Eyes

Scar Tissue

So true

Healing Eyes

Saying Goodbye

Friday was a great day..

I started it off with volunteering at Degage and saying goodbye to friends. There was one guy in particular I wanted to see before leaving and that was my ‘Old Andy’, aka ‘Toast Master Andy’. I met him on my first day volunteering at Degage Ministries downtown Grand Rapids. It was shortly after Andy died and I needed to distract myself and try something new. It was very out of my comfort zone serving food to strangers. Little Sarah yelling out names in a crowd of strangers to bring them their breakfast. If you ever want to improve on your introvert tendencies than I suggest volunteering somewhere and stretching your limits, I promise you won’t regret it (well at least not after a couple tries).

Degage Andy

Salon

Thursday…

I met my hair stylist for a final cut and color. I figured my short hair wasn’t quite short enough and why not splurge on some fun color. When I first met Amanda I was quiet and needless to say with my personality I didn’t like talking while having my hair cut. I never liked talking to people, that darn introvert side. In my long line of hair stylist hopping she ended up being a perfect fit because she didn’t make me talk! It was awesome, I could get my hair done and not do the tedious chit chat that most gals like doing while sitting in that stylist chair. So over the years I kept going back and slowly I would talk a bit more and I found that she was even cooler than I imagined. As Andy and I were going thru the adoption process it was great sharing our story and how excited we were to being growing a family that way. Then when cancer hit everything went dark and she was a great friend to share that miserable story with. One day I returned from traveling abroad and I shocked her by wearing a DRESS! I finally was girly:)
The day before the funeral she was so kind and loving as I prepared for one of the worst days of my life…but at least I would look pretty doing it!

 

 

Last Goodwill drop

Friday I did a final drop of ‘stuff’ to Goodwill in my Rental Car. I laughed when I said to the volunteer there that after this I was getting rid of my car (well a rental car).
Can you imagine singing and smiling while giving away more of your stuff! Seriously, I liked my stuff and now most of it is gone. The radio was playing my favorite new song as I was unloading, so I embarrassingly turned the volume up…
What Faith Can do‘..how crazy or was it God saying hang in there Sarah because if you keep trusting its gonna get fricken amazing!

 

Moving out

 

Now I have no Apartment and No home! My two totes are next to the bed in my brother’s basement and I was numb as I stared at its contents. Thinking, ‘Ok, now what? Is this too much stuff to bring cuz it sure seems like it’.

I have to confess I do have a few other totes buried in my brother’s basement…Sadly some of them are Andy’s things and some are memories that I can’t dispose of quite yet. Perhaps in a year after I grieve a bit longer I can unearth those totes and downsize again.

What’s next? Well, perhaps I just don’t know! Perhaps I shouldn’t know quite yet because otherwise I may not get on that plane. One day at a time…maybe I’ll be a full time writer or maybe I’ll find what I need to and then come back.

Healing Eyes

TV episode or Real Life?

Dinner with Friends..their identities will be kept hidden for their own safety…

‘Crystal Thunder’ and ‘Yolanda Banks’ joined me Sarah for a going away dinner and walk down memory lane.

It seems that my life has turned into a TV drama or a crazy movie. This evening was the scene where the 3 friends meet up when they are all grown up and each are extremely different in personalities. One friend we will refer to as ‘Yolanda Banks’ is a peppy, lovable, mother of three, peace keeper, and very joyful personality. The second we will lovingly call ‘Crystal Thunder’, now she is quite boisterous and giddy, always has a sarcastic tone and cynical view, although she hides her lovable side we all know she just wants to be hugged like a fluffy bunny. Then there is ‘Sarah’ the world traveler business woman, young widow, in search of who she is, a writer wanna be, and most likely to be voted crazy due to her propensity to always go all in or nothing.

Three opposites that can sit back over dinner at the Olive Garden and laugh for hours about some pretty random and stupid things. At times the conversation can turn from serious to light hearted with a mixture of inappropriate comments on the others life stories. I would repeat some of them but then I fear I might be outed from the trio of misfits since most of what is said will be lost in translation.

In a nutshell a great night and an encouraging one. My path is set and I’m following it. Yolanda can’t quite believe who this new Sarah is since a year ago this Sarah wouldn’t be saying lets pray on it or what would God do. It’s shocking really to think what great pain can do to ones heart and the ripple effect of its awakening. Pain is the one true method to awaken dreams, long lost over trying to be a responsible adult in chasing the American dream.

Feelings come and feelings go
Feelings are deceiving
I rest my heart on the Word of God
Not else is worth believing

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Healing Eyes

Tuesday

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this island. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you  – Genesis 28:15

My Last Tuesday in Michigan…a peace comes over me as I realize Andy is smiling from heaven at this journey ahead. I know not how long it will be nor when I’ll return but ‘I go’.

On Sunday Ada Bible came and interviewed me in my empty apartment. I told them my sappy love story of pain and trials over the last 13 years. From infertility – to – adoption – to – cancer and finally – to – death. The cameras were intimidating and the questions struck hard but for some reason my voice kept coming sounding and words flowed out without knowing where they came from. Tears fell silently as the journey unfolded in a series of questions and answers that once spoken reaffirmed the choice to lose everything for more.

A life with more promises and more trials…

A life with more unknowns and more uncertainty…

A life with no Andy and no cancer…A life made broken to be filled again with new memories…

How precious memories are … even the difficult ones …

 

Healing Eyes