• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: mission

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

Heat stroke

It appears I might have been affected by the heat today which is odd since I wasn’t hanging out in the sun today. I think it’s a mixture of humidity and staring at a computer all morning.

My day today went better than expected. I got some work done for my Michigan job and then let the day unfold as God wanted it to. I ended up getting a ride from a new friend to the insurance agency to check out prices for my Jeep to come. Had some tacos for the first time since coming to the island and bought another crucian bracelet. This bracelet simplifies ‘Gratitude’…which is fitting since I need more of that lately. I have been moaning a lot and complaining soooo it’s time to try harder on that one. So the bracelet will remind me to stop it!

Gratitude: Readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Gratitude means thankfulness, count your blessings, noticing simple pleasures and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. I just means we are aware of our blessings.

The other bracelet in the photo means ‘infinity’. I got that on my first trip to St. Croix in memory of Andy.

Infinity: Reflects the endlessly great feelings invoked by the Caribbean blue sea and the local color of its people. Wear as a symbol of everlasting friendship, love or memories.

IMG_0607

 

In the afternoon I went to the Good News Bible Club for kids down in one of the projects. It was an interesting experience. We sat on sheets out on the grass under some shade. The kids came and went and were a bit hyper. There was one little girl in particular that wouldn’t sit still so eventually I ended up with her on my lap and trying to calm her and stopping her from hitting other kids. It went ‘okish’. Perhaps I am better than I give myself credit but I still am extremely awkward around kids. I even joined in some of the kids songs which was very very out of my comfort zone. I can’t lie though it did feel kinda nice to act like a kid again, even if I was awkward.

There was another older girl there that was asking some serious questions. She asked what if someone was very sick and in the hospital and they had to bring a preacher in to try and save that person before they died. If that was something people did and if there was enough time to do that. I wanted to scream out, ‘Yes, Yes that really does happen! Andy and I did that very thing…but I held my tongue, it didn’t seem appropriate to butt in’. It’s interesting to see how some kids can be quite serious and others very hyper in the same group. Just an observation from a motherless 30 something widow..but kids are interesting to watch. Maybe some day God will succeed and I’ll be singing and teaching bible studies without feeling awkward..hmm let’s not hold our breaths on that. God only knows!

Healing Eyes

Conversation at Sunrise

I am spending the night next to the Sea! Literally, I can hear the waves crash on the surf and I can smell the salt… and what am I doing… I am bawling my eyes out missing Andy. Guilt is weighing so heavy on me right now of the all the hospital visits I am starting to blur together in my head. This evening I tried to document them all and went back at my calendar to find correct dates and procedures. If I forget the last 2 years I feel like I am losing another piece of Andy. The piece of Andy that fought so hard and suffered so much. The piece of Andy that shined so brightly when facing death. This morning I realized he had such a peace…a wave of peace came over him in that hospital bed that was God’s doing. I saw it first hand and yet it took me months later to really come to grips with it.

This morning I sat on a beautiful patio overlooking the Sea and I was sad. Seriously?! Stop being sad Sarah!

Why is it that when I wake up I can’t be happy and free? Because when I awake I remember I can’t wake from my dream of forever being separated from you my love – my other self. I will forever awake each morning in mourning for you. The loss felt is forever etched in my soul.

While others smile and welcome the day I fear the pain to come.


 

Job 33:

In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on people
    as they slumber in their beds,
he may speak in their ears
    and terrify them with warnings,
 to turn them from wrongdoing
    and keep them from pride,
 to preserve them from the pit,
    their lives from perishing by the sword.

 “Or someone may be chastened on a bed of pain
    with constant distress in their bones,
 so that their body finds food repulsive
    and their soul loathes the choicest meal.
 Their flesh wastes away to nothing,
    and their bones, once hidden, now stick out.
 They draw near to the pit,
    and their life to the messengers of death.
 Yet if there is an angel at their side
as a mediator to tell a man what is right for him..


Andy I knew the words to speak to you. You told me before you died I had a way of reaching you. That I always knew what to say. The day you died I felt useless and words seemed desperate to save you from death. I long to hear your voice again – even if for a flash. What joy I would feel – but quickly it would be replaced with agony as I know I never can feel your embrace again or your breath on my cheek.


and he is gracious to that person and says to God,

    ‘Spare them from going down to the pit;
    I have found a ransom for them—
 let their flesh be renewed like a child’s;
    let them be restored as in the days of their youth’—

“God does all these things to a person—
    twice, even three times—
 to turn them back from the pit,
    that the light of life may shine on them.


Speak no more of woes but take care my child that Andy lives, he lives in your heart and those that he touched with his struggle of life. His pain is gone and he smiles at the sight of you. One day when you wake the pain of separation will be replaced with peace — knowing that Andy is at peace in my arms.

Healing Eyes

Moaning widow

Why am I writing this pointless rant of my boring life. Am I blogging to sound important or to update followers? Just to hear myself rant and complain? Well for today it is for the pure joy of complaining and being completely disappointed in the the turn of my life. So if you want a fluffy, happy, encouraging blog than stop here because it’s gonna get ugly.


 

Let’s list out all the things I don’t have anymore:


 

  1. Husband
  2. Soulmate
  3. House
  4. Cars
  5. Puppies
  6. Cat
  7. Couch
  8. Safe bed
  9. Full time job
  10. Freedom
  11. Sanity
  12. Michigan weather
  13. Bathtub

 

Instead I have:


 

  1. A room
  2. 90+ humid air
  3. A bed with a Centipede in it while sleeping last night that chose to bite me in my upper thigh and it fricken hurt, still does hours later! They are creepy and fast bastards and I lucked out and met it last night
  4. Minimal electricity which means when the sun goes down at 6:30 I am in darkness
  5. Fast cold showers
  6. Books (several)
  7. Bible (2)
  8. Clothes
  9. Friends
  10. Skittles

 

Now then why am I doing this to myself? I have no idea! I can chalk this up to momentary insanity after losing a loved one and started hearing voices. Mid life crisis brought on by a traumatic event which led me to think I could change my life. So I am going to give it until July before going back home. Back in Michigan I can easily get an apartment for one person and 2 small dogs. Have a bathtub and running water I can drink. As much electricity as I want and no CENTIPEDES that crawl on me at night! Yes, this grieving widow is miserable and pissed at her current circumstance. Yes it is a pitiful sight to see. I have knee high socks on since my 3am incident out of fear of another bite (yes its 80+ here and I slept in Andy’s sweatshirt and wool kneehighs). It took me 3 hours before I fell asleep on top of the sheets since I didn’t want to cozy up next to another bug unexpectedly. Am I blowing the bug incident out of proportion? Maybe, but I don’t care… we all get a few moments in life where we can complain and be mad.

Andy called me in my sleep last night and I bolted for the phone.

“Where are you?! Andy, I need to know and I miss you!” – Sarah

“I’m at a friend’s house, why do you care? You left me anyways”. – Andy

I sobbed in my sleep..

“Andy I am so sorry, please let me come to you.” – Sarah

I woke up in a sweat and remembered I was in a bed not of my own and living on an island where I don’t belong. Reality sinks in and I want to run. In my dream I was looking for a first flight out of here but my Internet refused to work. Now I am fully awake and contemplating if I should look up those flights still but I won’t. I will give it until July before going.

There you have it…a blog post worth laughing at… the ‘I told you so’ post about why I shouldn’t have come. All the doubt I had about why not to come is true. Question is what will I do with it? Stay tuned…maybe my day will not be as I expect it to turn out. Until then I am going to lay here with Andy’s wallet and stare at photos of him and I together (yes that’s what this widow does when alone, supposedly it can be helpful when dealing with loss)

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

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