• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: surviving

Dear Andy

Andy my best friend I miss you.

I miss you more today than yesterday…

Last night I had a terrible nightmare. I sleep on the futon now because it seems less sad than an empty bed with you not by my side. I woke thinking the power was out because it was pitch black and then I felt this presence that was evil. It felt like I was not alone in the room and then I closed my eyes hoping it would go away. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder and a creak on the futon as if someone was sitting on the arm rest. My eyes wouldn’t opened, it was as if they were sealed shut from exhaustion but I forced them awake because I was scared. I thought I heard your voice saying something to me but I don’t know what. Perhaps you were trying to comfort me as you used to. That it was only a dream and I was ok. It didn’t work, I only was more terrified by the after taste of that dream. I thought for sure I was not alone. I checked the doors to be sure they were locked and I looked over my shoulder constantly in case ‘it’ came back. I am not sure what’s worse, missing you constantly or sleeping alone.

So many new things to experience and fears to conquer. So many other woman out there right now experiencing the same loss, the same pains in the heart, the same gasps for breathe. Oh Andy, why are we torn apart…why am I left to walk without you.

There is hope…I cling to it..I search for it. 8 months and a few days since you left me, since I last said goodbye to you. Since I last heard your voice and felt your breathe. My sweet sweet Andy I know you are still here. You remind me from time to time that you are watching me. When I visited the dogs you placed a little reminder of your love for me to find. What would seem to be trash to others was a gift from you. The same purple 25 cent ring discarded in the trash after I awoke from cuddling with the pups, cuddling with you. When I saw that ring I smiled, you wanted me to see the dogs and find that ring again. The ring you used to propose to me in that college dorm room when we had nothing to our name. I didn’t care then that we had no money … no flashy ring for us … no we just needed our love. Years later when you surprised me with a new wedding ring You were so proud of it, our birthstones and a gorgeous diamond, you always treated me special. Perhaps that’s all we need in life, love, even if it hurts to say goodbye to it. Goodbye to my love. Goodbye to us. I would marry you all over again if you just asked.

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My little fighter and Love

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Priceless

Andy, today and yesterday were very odd days. I still don’t understand why I am here but you must be laughing when you see the people I hang out with now and what I am doing. So I got burned standing outside yesterday with my friend as his car was broken down on the side of the road. I experienced first hand how no one will stop to help based on appearances..but once you put me there you get a few more people willing to stop since I am a young woman. Then today I gave him a ride around town and then the power went out in Kmart and his plans to buy a new shirt for his trip were thwarted. He was so looking forward to making a good impression when he saw his family again back in the states. So we figured we better just get him to the airport asap before something else bad happens. Determined as he was we tried again to find a polo shirt and we were successful at last. Life is weird..very weird! But my friend is safe in the air now after 10 years apart from his family. I pray he has safe journeys and a loving homecoming.

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Success.. made it to the airport

 

 

 

Healing Eyes

Sick but not beaten

Yesterday I attended an all Black church downtown with my two friends. It was a rememberable time, more so because of the sermon. The music was a bit repetitive but it was loud and full of life which was a nice change.
The sermon was about giving up everything if God commands it. Letting go of precious belongings, enjoyable past times, and acting instead of just listening.

A commitment to Christ is proven during crisis. How we act under pressure speaks to our faith in the unseeable.

Ugh..am I living that life! Faith that I’ll be taken care of. Faith that giving up my material items will produce more than I can imagine. I miss biking and kayaking…I miss my job. I loved my job but it was something I had to let go of. I want to see what will happen and where I’ll be led to next. It’s kinda exciting not knowing what to expect each day.

Andy is gone and I mourn.
The puppies are not in my care and I weep for there companionship.
My house is gone and I miss the memories long gone.
My bike is far from me and I miss those long miles on straight trails.
My career is upside down and I miss the challenge it brought.
My body is weak from being sick since yesterday but it’s only temporary. A reminder that these bodies are temporary. We walk a cursed earth and we look around to acquire wealth and prosperity and a part of our souls are always longing for more.
In the end we die with nothing…Solomon wrote: everything is meaningless under the sun…what was done was done before.

Maybe we are in a constant loop of repetitiveness. There will always be poor and sick to care for. Enjoy food and wine. Love everyone and care for one another. Survive this earth until the true living begins.
Preparation for eternity … The gifts acquired here should come with us..and they aren’t stuff bought at a store.
Gift of compassion
Gift of love
Gift of serving
Gifts of suffering
Gifts of a child’s innocence..that perhaps can awaken in us what was long suppressed…eyes for the beauty all around and taking time to see, truly see!

I tried the giving in the offering plate at church. My last $5 dollar bill in my wallet. Had to walk all the way to the front of the church, in front of strangers to give it. The sermon also talked of the 2 widows in the bible. God provided for them at there darkest moments and they had faith. So the last time I gave I got care packages from a long lost friend in Michigan.
This time, last night, I got my favorite dinner from a new friend !! Chicken, potatoes and green beans!!! I love trusting.

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Healing Eyes

Boing Boing..Jump

My day wasn’t supposed to be all kids but it ended up being that way. I am floundering around and each day it seems I never know what will happen. Today I was with the kids at the club all day and we went to the beach for most of it. As usual I was awkward when I first arrived and shy around the kids.

The staff members talked to me more today, yay! I’m making progress in being accepted.

Then little ‘Happy Feet’ came by and she is so full of life. She has 3 names but today it was mainly Happy Feet. All day she was my little shadow, from bouncing around to being a fish she rode in the water, this little girl kept me jumping. By the end of the day she was tired and grumpy and laid on my lap crying. I taught her lessons on sharing food with others, being nice, how to work a camera, and finally she taught me love. There is a boat we have to take to the beach we bring them to and at the end of the day she got on the first boat back to the mainland while I was on the second. When I got off she was waiting for me, she was explaining to the staff member she was waiting for Miss Sarah and pointed at me. She said she loved me and missed me. As if I had been gone long since it’s just a 2 minute ride in the boat.

Whatever did I get myself into?

They have offered me a staff position when school starts, possibly teaching computers in the lab (it’s a tiny lab so nothing high end). Also seems I may have a graphic arts opportunity in creating a promo flyer for future donors. Today God has thrown more ideas at me and I am spinning. So many kids and I have no idea what to do.

Pray for discernment on this coming school year…it seems I have too many options on what to do.

 

Healing Eyes

A Small Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

It really is the smalls 🙂

 

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Healing Eyes

Ant Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Healing Eyes

VBS

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

What did I get myself into?!

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

Healing Eyes

Everything is Awesome

A Boy sits across from me and taps me on the shoulder, he says, “My name is Eddie Smith, will you remember me”? I look back shocked, “Yes, now that I know your name is Eddie I’ll remember you”.

My chest feels like its been opened up and my heart and all my vulnerabilities are exposed. Like its been in a deep thaw for years and God is pouring hot water on it, burning off the hardened shell and then taking a sledgehammer to it.

The sledgehammer was when Andy died in my arms. Now it’s a little hammer every few weeks that’s wacking off the thin shell that keeps hardening back over it.

Today I was at the Boys and Girls club all day. I didn’t pack a lunch and didn’t bring enough water so I am shocked I survived until 3pm, but I did! Where to begin? It was very awkward at first as I stood around aimlessly wondering what I got myself into. Eventually all the kids were brought inside and then the manager called out my name, “We have a new volunteer today, Miss Sarah. Sarah come over here, we want to bless you”.

Bless me? What is this crazy mumbo jumbo stuff but I was not in control and I went with the flow. I held my hands out with palms out as the whole group of kids and adults started to Bless the fact that I was there and that me being there was important to them and that it made a difference. They then did a very loud ‘HooRah’ at the end. I won’t lie I got choked up and almost cried. That was the first smack on my heart with the hammer.

I ended up in the 5-9 year old room where I met Eden (which was Eddie, he goes by both names). I think he tells people Eddie until he likes you, than he is Eden. The first boy who talked to me right when I went thru the door was Dante, no idea what he said but he was happy. Then there was Kalina, Frank (who I called Fred and they laughed), and Qui’nyah (such a pretty name). I read books to the few kids crowded around me and had them read back some of the words. Played some games and really just felt so out of my element (but secretly liked it).

Outside for snacks and lunch I sat at a picnic table with boys. Very odd since usually its girls I’ve been around. Eden was there and he has a temper I soon realized. Jackie (pronounced not like it looks, he’s a boy) who is really creative and was playing with some jenga blocks, he was making a fort and zombies were attacking it. I later filmed his debut movie of the zombies attack and got them to sing the ‘Everything is Awesome’ song from the Lego movie. During all of this Eden kept losing his temper and I think he was testing me. Kinda like one special girl at the lighthouse. Then I went on the field trip to the bowling alley. Now by this time all the high school kids that volunteer from the states during summer camp  had left (they did the morning shift). Others thought I was with them since I was white and young but nope, I am solo volunteer.

While waiting for the vans to take us back after bowling Eden was really clinging me to all of a sudden and asking me questions. If I had any kids, a husband, how he died, what age was he when he died, when did my baby die, pretty much all the questions adults are afraid to ask. He made me sit next to him on the bus so I must have made it thru some door where he trusted me more. It’s so odd, sometimes it feels like kids don’t see me but off and on at the bowling alley they kept saying hi and smiling. Was I now more credible than the others that come in the morning? I don’t know what God is up to but I feel like an odd duck amongst everyone, no matter how I look at it I don’t blend in well.

Another thing that happened at the picnic table with the boys was a discussion about God and how you get to heaven. So weird how that conversation got started but it was so surreal.

I noticed though that the kids are so used to having there photo taken and as I looked around in the morning I noticed all the high school volunteers from the states were snapping photos. Do these kids think that is all we are about? They come and come and take photos and then move on with there life. By helping are we just making the kids feel like they are only worth a photo opportunity? Too soon to tell I suppose. But I can’t help but remember Eden saying “will you remember me?”

Healing Eyes

psst This Way

My life the movie?! That’s what the person I just got back from seeing about volunteering said to me. Well not those exact words but basically she was excited to meet someone whose life seemed like a movie. Husband gets sick, dies, widow sells it all in search of faith, heals thru helping others, never could have kids of her own and now seeks ways to get past that pain by loving kids.

Hmm ok I guess I can kinda see the screen write for that movie.

This morning started off with a jog and pushups on a rock..yes just like a Rocky movie where I find a random rock on the beach and start doing pushups in between jogging. I am working on my physical health to clear my mind. I hear more from my invisible friend when my mind is clear.

It of course worked because I had an interesting conversation with a girlfriend after running that then led me back to something I have been procrastinating on. I’ve been running from because it’s too hard and too overwhelming to go after. Yes, I am fighting God a bit on this task he put before me. Maybe that’s why I’ve been forced into solitude because of my disobedience. But no more God! I called the person I was supposed to and will meet at 5pm with her. So you can stop punishing me while yelling into my ears to follow through on your request. Geesh already!

Great news to report, I have found my place. Well, I think I have. It has kids and a need and I start Thursday. You know how when you step into a room and it feels right, that after all the searching something clicks in your heart. Well, I think I found it. Last Sunday I had brunch with a few people, which included 3 widows, yes I say widows with pride. Our husbands might be gone but we still are alive, we still need to band together to fight grief and survive. Anyways, it was a brunch of guidance from God. He put some people I knew from a few weeks ago back into my line of site. He showed me how they just quit their jobs and went full time ministry without really much support and they are still alive. I got a contact for the Boys and Girls Club of America on the island from them. The next day I call over there and find out they are just up the hill from the Lighthouse. Funny part is I stepped outside the lighthouse and the person I was talking to on the phone stepped outside and was waving at me from the top of the hill so I could see where to go. It’s like God was finally, literally, waving at me for the next turn in my faith walk. ‘Sarah, come this way, right up the hill and then await further directions’.

Each day is a battle over worrying about money and letting go of my ‘real’ job in less than 2 weeks! The clock is ticking down and the bombardment from every direction makes me feel like a bulls eye being shot at repeatedly. All the tricks and tactics are being used to sway me from leaving my job, packing up and moving somewhere else, and throwing in the whole faith crap.

But I’m stubborn and determined to not give up.

God has every detail in place though, even though I doubt his hand in it too much, he brought me here and then over time he is putting different people around me to keep my feet on the ground. I may feel alone at night but when the sun is shining (as it does constantly) I have plenty of people encouraging me to smile.

Thanks to my landlord who has my back on the Jeep maintenance and safety of where I live. Thanks to the random people I meet when I step outside. Thanks to the woman I chatted with about volunteering and is giving me a chance to fix my ‘kid phobia’. Thanks to my girlfriend who was used to remind me to stop procrastinating and gives me a spot to jog and jump in the pool in my underwear, LOL.

Island life = let me quick throw clothes on cuz I’m always in a swimsuit, NOT! Ok yes, I might have just gotten down swimming when I had a phone call back home with my job, but in my defense it is my day off.

Healing Eyes

Empty me

I cry for my love

I cry for his pain

I cry for memories gone

and memories to never be.

I cry for the pain endured

to finally let go the chains

that held him on this earth.

I weep tonight – I weep for the day yet to come.

For when tomorrow comes without you I grieve even more.

I am left with pieces of a man

pieces of a blessing I held so dear.

If life goes on amidst the pain

then God take my life, take it and make it free.

Free from pains deadly grip upon my heart.

Let others feel my pain thru your plan in me.

My eyes only see fear and doubt but thru my heart find the crack to break me more.

 

A song someone shared with me a few days ago… Thank you friend.

Keep making me. by Sidewalk Prophets

Healing Eyes

Remembering

Having a hard time sitting still and being ‘still’. Isn’t that what one does when trying to listen for what to do? What to do? I served breakfast at the Lighthouse and I did the grocery shopping. Shockingly the groceries fit in my jeep!

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Groceries A nice guy helped me load the car. Thank goodness!

Dan doing dishes. He's camera shy.

Dan doing dishes. He’s camera shy.

So as far as ‘doing’ something I succeeded at something today. Oh and went to the police station again since they misspelled my first name, Saiah isn’t me.

I am stubbornly procrastinating on the task given to me to ‘write’ my story. My logical side says know one would care to read that book and everyone says they want to write a book when your life goes upside down.  I am going thru my old journals and re-reading and typing my past pain..my journey thru infertility. I am noticing some reoccurring themes in my writing. “It is my gift, pain”. Perhaps we all have pain but can’t say it outloud and my task is to yell it from the top of my broken heart that pain sucks.

While trying to procrastinate my writing task I started flipping thru photos from Andy’s memorial service. He sure was a cute guy. He used to be full of life and smiles. The transformation I saw over the years took a toll on his smile. I’m trying to think of something brilliant to write but maybe the photos are enough for those missing Andy today too.

 

In contrast to college and married Sarah…I seem to not recognize this new person. Last weekend I had fun Kayaking, hiking, swimming, and star gazing with friends since. It was a weekend of fun because one of the girls was leaving island and moving back home. During the week volunteer Sarah is sweating and juggling numerous things. I am totally confused on what I am doing. I did drop my application off at the Jeep Tours today and my updated police report with my name spelled correctly. The owner was there, he remembered me so that’s good…I might just be driving Jeep for tourists. Hilarious how a year ago I was in Jamaica on those kind of tours and now I might be doing that? Really? Irony?

Healing Eyes