Wednesday, January 7, 2015

All of the "What If's?" Learning to See the Unexpected as a Blessing


Lately satan has been torturing me.

All of my life I have played a dangerous game, a game that is so tempting, yet so terrible at the same time. It's like eating that last piece of chocolate pie when you know you are full, it tastes so good, but then you pay for it with some Pepcid AD afterwards...it's the "What if?" game.

"What if I didn't have CP? What if I didn't go to HSU for undergrad and Masters? What if I had never let depression get the best of me so that when I was 19 I had the same worries as a "normal" teenager? What if I had never pushed my parents away Freshman year of college? What if I had never wanted to end my life?
What if? What if? What if? The dangerous thing about this game is that I will never know. I will never know what might have happened. There are no winners at the "What If" game. All it does is make me sad, worried, angry and regretful.

I will tell you what I do know. Jesus has no "What if's?" When I ask Jesus "What if?" I am rejecting those moments that He planned for.
CP led me to celebrate the small things, to be vulnerable, and to know that only Jesus is the answer. Physical Therapy led me to some of my favorite people. Awkward falls led to some really sweet friendships, and of course CP led me to precious, unforgettable Carmina, my "foot twin."

HSU led me to professors who point me to Christ, acknowledge that they don't have all the answers, and are some of the wisest people I know. HSU led me to my soul sister who travelled to Africa and back with me because of a "random" table on campus, and a motorized scooter that I decided I wasn't afraid to use to get around.

Depression led me to Mercy, and some of the strongest women I have the privilege to call sisters. Depression threw me into the arms of Jesus. And it was only after I fought the battle for my life and won that I knew what a gift Jesus had given me when He breathed into me the breath of life.

Not being a "normal" teenager led me to realize that so many teens are hurting and don't know who to go to because their worries are so beyond junior high and high school. It led me to the 8th Grade girls I lead now, all of whom are "different," and all of whom I love with all my heart.

Pushing my parents away Freshman year at HSU led me to treasure our relationship now, and to know that nothing and no one are beyond redemption. I am safe in my parents love because like the prodigal they ran to embrace me as soon as they saw me on the road home.

All of the lies the enemy whispers only make me fight harder for truth. And now? Now I will never settle for just okay.

My life now is different than I ever thought it would be. For starters, I am alive and loving it. I used to think my whole life would be a sad and anxious lost battle to the end. I live independently (which both my parents and I are thankful for... they can't welcome me home if I never left). I am still in Abilene and though it's not what I planned, I am learning to be okay with it. I want to get married (which once would have been more nightmare than dream). I babysit all by myself, and am learning what being a mom and wife will look like with CP thanks to my precious brother and sister in law who are more than willing to let me "practice" on their girls.

I still have some "What If's?" But I guess the point of this blog is to remind myself that Jesus really does have plan A for me. He doesn't look at me and think, "What if?" He looks at me and says "Here you go Sarah, let me rain down some glitter for you. We sure have fun even though sometimes it's dark." And since I'm pretty confident He knew I was gong to write this blog...Hey Jesus? Thanks for that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Thank You to Those Who Have Let Me Be Vulnerable. Thanks for Helping Me Glitter

"I will give you the treasures of darkness hidden in secret places so that you may know that I am the Lord your God who has summoned you by name. Isaiah 45:3

This Christmas break has been hard. It brought a lot of unexpected dark lots of questions, a few tears, and some silence. I have a shower chair (like I am 60), I have to shop with a walker or chair and still can't change sheets..) All of these moments break a part of my heart. I have shared my Mercy journey 3 times (the number of completion) over the break with women in the midst of a search for strength and truth. The ironic thing is I have never felt less like I am strong enough to share my story, to point these women to my Jesus, because the truth is, I often feel like I have nothing left to give. I feel like I am an impostor. telling them truth while lies still scream in my soul.

"You are useless. You are ugly. You are not smart enough. Your dreams are so far out of your league it's laughable." These lies play a repeat chorus every day. And some days I make the right choices, and some days I curl up on myself and let them play havoc in my mind.

The point is, it's dark lately. Life doesn't change. I have cuts on my knees, I took some chances that backfired but down deep where it matters, I know something I didn't know before. Jesus loves me. The glorious thing about how dark it has been the past month is that I have been given some "treasures" because of the darkness.

I have learned that just because Jesus is quiet, it doesn't mean He's far away. I have realized that trust is a choice, and when Jesus chose me, He chose me forever, and I intend to choose Him forever too.
I have learned that Jesus is my safe place, and letting go of things you never thought you would have to, could just bring you the destiny you never knew you were headed toward.

I have learned that CP really, truly doesn't define me. When my nieces look at me, they only see "Aunt Sarah" who they want to crawl all over, read with, and play "Mama" for as many hours as I have.  I have learned that my family really, truly, forever, loves me. And for the first time ever, I feel safe loving them back. (B thinks my walker is pretty cool, and EK sure doesn't mind sitting in my lap when we go to the zoo.)

Testimonies only have power if in the midst of telling them, people are willing to be vulnerable. So, here is my vulnerability.
I still have "This isn't fair" moments. I still cry, question, and get angry. Even so, I choose Jesus. I choose the treasures I have found in the dark. Instead of isolating like I would have in my past, I choose to be honest. I choose to surround myself with people who will love me in all my mess. I choose my family. I choose to go forward instead of back. I choose to believe I am worth it. I choose to believe for healing in all areas, even when I feel sick and wounded.
I choose Life. I choose Jesus. He is the only choice I know I will never regret.
No matter what,
When you choose life in the dark,
it glitters.