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Author Archives: 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.

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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

Lose it all to Gain life?

One more possession gone.

One more piece of me taken away.

I asked him his story before he took my iMac away. He was a college student studying music..he was a drummer but now wants to produce music. His little macbook Pro laptop wasn’t cutting it and it was time to upgrade to a faster, sleeker machine. He searched all over the place and the prices were high and then he found my craigslist post. One iMac for sale at an amazing price.

It helps to know the story of the person that buys my ‘stuff’. In some ways it lessens the pain when you know what it will be used for and what good can come from letting go something precious. The iMac was just a computer but it was also something Andy loved. He was my Mac guy! He was THE Mac guy! He was so happy when we purchased that computer a year ago with my bonus check. Although he never really did use it much but it was the idea of owning a 27″ slim iMac that really made his day.  I will take comfort in knowing that a college student will be getting more use out of it than Andy did….that it will be editing and recording music just like Andy used to do. At his job he had a sound lab where he helped students record music…he even let me use the room to have conference calls from when I took him to work when he was going thru treatments. What an odd world we live in, where one minute you are alive and struggling thru cancer and then the next I am moving away to an island and getting rid of all my possessions.

I truly own nothing of value anymore! I have clothes and a bed (the bed isn’t really mine though, it’s my parents).  Who am I? What is God up to?! How will I ever survive this crazy new lifestyle when all I have known is collecting stuff and living for a paycheck.

I am staring at the cash I just got my my iMac and thinking, “Man that’s nice but it’s just cash…it’s not going to bring Andy back and it’s not going to bring my joy. It could pay rent though, or maybe buy me a laptop when I need one”.

Why do we put so much value in material things? They are fleeting…

“It is impossible for you to have a need that I cannot meet. After all, I created you and everything that is. The world is still at My beck and call, though it often appears otherwise. Do not be fooled by appearances. Things that are visible are brief and fleeting, while things that are invisible are everlasting.”

Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

In a little over a week I am flying away, one way ticket to St. Croix! This Sunday I am telling my story to a video camera in my extremely empty apartment. A year ago I was with Andy just finishing up Chemotherapy and dreading the months of unknown re occurrence of cancer…not knowing if he was to live or die or when. Tomorrow I will wake up and wonder again what my future holds because that’s just what I do… constantly worry about tomorrow and paralyzed to live for today. Oh what release to live and truly understand happiness. Is it possible to live with little and gain more than my mind can ever imagine?

Healing Eyes

How can one know?

What to do when all is quiet .. And your heart still aches for the past of who you once were. Is it worse to mourn the loss of a spouse or the loss of a past version of ones self?
So quickly can you surrender everything to follow a dream. A dream not known ever existed. A dream that has been sleeping silently in my heart, awaiting the right moments to be opened.

Someone asked me, “How do you know when God asks you to do something?”
I replied with hesitation because of fear of sounding crazy.
“For me it’s a tight pain in my chest and I feel crushed from the weight of something I can’t control…a feeling of being out of control. A voice whispering in my ear that I stubbornly pass as being my voice mixed with a crazy person. Sometimes when I give up control of thinking and just say ‘Ok’, a peace comes over me.” How can I ever know when something is real or make believe? Normally I’ll ask for clear direction and then soon after I suck up my pride and take a step out of my comfort zone and instantly my worry is answered.
My latest moment was Sunday when I was struggling with when to vacate my apartment. I went to my brothers church and all thru the service I felt uneasy and out of place, I never quite feel right yet in a church. After the service we went to find the person who wanted to interview me for my story and I introduced myself to her. She said she felt like we need to do the interview in an empty room with one chair, perhaps an empty apartment.
Lol!!
I have just that! Seriously?! Just like that I had my answer after i gave up my struggle that morning to God. So it’s settled, my interview is this Sunday at 2pm in my empty apartment. Sadly last night a couple bought my very last piece of furniture, A Chair! It was a glider rocker that andy and I bought for the would be nursery. Of course it went to a pregnant lady for her nursery, really God!?

Each day and moment is a chance to listen and let go.
Each day is a chance to fight that battle of wanting control.
Each day I grieve for my past life with andy and the excruciating pain of cancer.

It’s not getting easier with each passing day. Time is not healing the loss of Andy. Time amplifies the severed limb that once was my marriage.
In our final months andy faded so quickly from sight. His eyes revealed the pain he fought so hard to keep from me. In the end that pain was a disease that polluted our bond. It weakened our hearts and took its final blow. I can’t ever escape the guilt of being weak and gasping for air but I know I’m not alone. The guilt might eat me alive but God wants so badly to save me and turn my pain into more. Into a life that can have hope and life. In two weeks I will leave behind my comfort zone and begin my journey to learn how to be stronger and have faith. It won’t be easy or pretty but it will change me because every step anyone takes is a chance to breathe and create change.

Caregivers stay strong and never consider being weak a weakness because thru weakness and pain is growth.

grace by Laura story

Healing Eyes

iMac

I am in the thick of self doubt.. Doubting my decision to move..to pack up my belongings into boxes again. This time even smaller boxes…

Downsize again from what already is sparse. My head says stay but my heart says go. I have about 5 bins left of my stuff and it still seems like too much but if I ever come back I need warm clothes right? If I ever come back I need my stuff. My brother will read this and think, ‘great, where am I going to store more of my sisters stuff….’.  Garbage can? lol.

I have about 2 weeks left and I need to vacate my apartment by next week. I will be sleeping in my brother’s basement..oh my word I truly will have no place to call my own now. The beginning of a hobbits life for me.. Why? Why Me?

I have one more belonging left that is worth money. Andy’s and mine 27 inch iMac..its soo gorgeous and sleek. I want to drewl all over it when I stare at its glossy, shiny monitor. In fact I am a staring at it right now while typing and its soo beautiful.  Now I could store it and let it collect dust and depreciate or I could sell it and use the cash for a smaller more mobile computer..I know the answer but it doesn’t make it easier. Andy bought this computer over a year ago now and he was so excited to use my bonus check to buy it. He said he was going to make so many videos on it (but never really did)…he did make just one special video on it that I am glad he did, his valentine’s gift to me, his final goodbye but he didn’t know at the time it would be his last homemade video for me. I’ve put a link to it numerous times but it seems fitting to do it again since it was made on this glorious imac 🙂 Valentine Gift.

Don’t be mad Andy if someone buys our iMac.. Don’t put a raincloud over my head..It’s someone else’s turn to enjoy staring at this machine for hours on end. I promise I will instruct them to always wash there hands and absolutely No Food by the Keyboard. It’s awful when you spill Root Beer on a keyboard or even a computer….as you explained time and again to me.

 

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little link to a fundraising page…

..if you can’t tell I’m not very good at fundraising. I’ve been asked though what will I do there. Well i want to build my faith…help others in pain…learn to be loved and to love others. What more could God want from a lost broken heart like myself? God Knows. But I will eat ramon noodles, english muffins, and cereal until I find out what path I am supposed to take over the next few months in this transition period.

Healing Eyes