honesty

This is a year for honesty. I’m getting really honest this year unlike ever before.

Secrets are getting unearthed, lies are getting uprooted like weeds in a garden of beauty where death and destruction have no place.

I’m taking steps towards freedom.

And freedom always has a cost.

Always.

There will be a price for this freedom. But I’m fortunate to be in a brand new place where barely anyone knows me and I don’t have any expectations to live up to.

Believe me…that in itself is crazy freeing.

It’s time to dive into the mess and focus on rebuilding. On restoring.

There is a time for everything. A season for everything under Heaven.

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

The time is now for so many things. And the time isn’t now for so many others.

Change is good. And a change of scenery is a catalyst for so much more change.

So here I am. Not quite myself. Not quite who I want to be.

Just someone in between.

Ready to dive into the deep and sacrifice who I think I should be so I can reclaim who I am.

With peace and grace as my promises and Christ as my guide, I’ll embark on this journey.

And I will walk it alone. Because no one else can journey with me to the depths.

No one.

But Jesus will. And He’ll lead me back.

And for freedom, I will be free.

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my tragic flaw

tragic flaw (n):  a flaw in character that brings about the downfall of the hero of a tragedy

My name is Sarah. And my tragic flaw is that I don’t know how to live in the present.

In my last post, you might have noticed that I’ve lived in a lot of different places in the past 5 years. Which is beautiful and amazing, and yes, it’s an adventure.

But with every new adventure, there is a slew of new goodbyes and a cold wave of loneliness which sweeps across my heart.

And this has become a lifestyle. Maybe it will always be my lifestyle.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that when I started to pull out of my friend’s driveway last month and her son ran around to my car, crying, to give me one more hug and say goodbye, something inside me broke.

And all the way home, I cried my eyes out and cried aloud,

“Why do I always have to say goodbye? Will the goodbyes ever end?”

And the simple answer is no, they will not end. Because even if everything about our lives stayed the same for the rest of our lives (not likely), the lives of those around us would change.

And goodbyes are bound to happen. Because this isn’t Heaven. This earth is the place of goodbyes.

So how do I live faithfully in this life? With a heart surrendered and longing, but not broken? How do I give God the pieces of my loneliness, aching, and questioning and just believe that He is enough in the present?

When I was in the Czech Republic in 2011, my heart was often in Nashville. And when I was in Nashville after a summer in the Northwoods of Wisconsin in 2010, my heart stayed in the Northwoods. And the rest of me longed to be back there. Often.

In South Africa, I missed my church family. A lot. But South Africa became home. Yet the tension remained…my heart was never just in one place. Which caused me to miss out on what was happening right in front of me because too often, my mind was consumed with what had happened in another time, in another place.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have daydreamed about living in Colorado. Years worth of daydreaming, let me assure you. And now I’m here – in this beautiful state. And I see pictures of my friends returning to South Africa and my heart weakens. And my soul longs for that home. Because Muizenberg became home and the people there from 15 different nations became my family.

Yet God has called me here. For such a time as this. And it is one thing to believe that He called me here and has reasons and purposes for me. But it is quite another to learn to be content in every situation, as my brother Paul learned as he engaged in a life of continual ministry. 

See, a tragic flaw is a trait that leads to a character’s downfall. And I know that if my gaze is continually fixed on a time, place, or group of people other than Christ and the place and people He has placed in front of me now, then 

I will 

surely

fall. 

I know that in past transitions – and oh, how there have been many transitions – God has used the feeling of loneliness and isolation to draw me into deeper intimacy with Him.

Yet sometimes, I run to my memories and call upon my old friend nostalgia to keep me company. But this is poisonous to my soul. Because while there is so much value in memories and recalling the beautiful adventures God has already brought me through, to dwell on those memories and think of them as better than the life before me is nothing less than idolatry. 

What? A memory can be an idol?

Sure. Anything that we place as more important or preferable to God in our midst now can be an idol.

And while I don’t intend to disappoint…this post doesn’t have a resolution. There is no “and this is what God showed me and how it is all going to be better.” Because I haven’t arrived at that point yet.

I’m living in the middle of this tension. Recognizing my tragic flaw and living in the awareness that a tragic downfall is the most logical conclusion if I continue down this path of the restless heart. 

But there is hope.

Because Jesus.

Simply put, there is hope because JESUS.

He is. He was. He will continue to be.

And He is the hero that has redeemed me and will redeem all of my flaws.

So hands open, heart hoping, I confess my weakness and pray that He will tame this restless heart.