when life isn’t picture perfect

So here’s the thing.

Life has been a little bit wild and unpredictable of late. I’ve been a bundle of emotions – a rollercoaster of mostly downs and few ups – and I have been less than myself. The enthusiastic, encouraging, bubbly Sarah that some of you might be accustomed to has been hiding in the shadows of fear, confusion, alienation, discouragement, and perhaps some depression.

And because I haven’t had things figured out, have been pretty socially withdrawn and haven’t really cared to let the world in on all the messy details, and haven’t wanted to be a Debbie Downer devoid of hope or the light of some beautiful spiritual truth to lighten the darkness, I haven’t written lately.

So to catch you up to speed a bit, here is a brief recap of what has been going on lately:

I haven’t read my Bible much, but I’ve been going to an amazing church and have the most incredible house church ever. I love meeting with my house church (aka “small group) every Thursday night and have enjoyed growing in community with them and others here in Denver.

For the record, let me state that I have absolutely no doubt that Denver is where I’m supposed to be. God brought me here and while things are pretty uncertain in some key areas right now, I know God already has it all worked out.

So that leads to the next thing. The amazing family I’ve been living with and working for is in transition season themselves and due to that, I am currently looking for a home and a job. They are not kicking me out by any means – they have been nothing but gracious, supportive, and generous as they are navigating their own transition and still looking out for me.

I am not homeless. I am still not sure exactly when I’ll need to move out but I do know that I have a home with them for the time being. In terms of a job, I need one soon. I watch the kids occasionally, but their dad has been able to take care of them most of the time now, so I have had way more free time than I am comfortable with and have been scouting out job opportunities and trying to figure out what that looks like.

Next thing: Because of all of the changes and because I’m not sure where I’ll be working and living in Denver in the next month or two, I have postponed my seminary plans and deferred my enrollment until next fall, at earliest. 

So in the midst of all of this, there has been a lot of swirling fear, confusion, and anxiety. There was one week when I had trouble breathing and was scared to go to sleep for fear I couldn’t breathe. I’ve identified these as panic attacks and realize there is probably a spiritual component to these but mostly were brought on by lots of stress and fear.

There is one thing I do know about this season, though. God has made it clear and is graciously continuing to hold onto me and nurture me through this messy, honest, wounds-wide-open season. 

And it is this: I have been running at an extremely fast pace for an extremely long time and have plunged myself into academic work, ministry, volunteer opportunities, extracurriculars, relationships, programs, movement, etc.

And it has drastically affected me. And it has finally caught up with me.

And this is part of why I need to be here in Denver. Because it is the place that God has brought me to strip me from all of my responsibilities, obligations, and the expectations of people who have seen me in leadership positions over the years so I can step back and let Him minister to me without feeling like I’m letting people down. Now is not the time, I’m realizing, for me to stand up and spearhead a new ministry opportunity. It is the time for me to heal. To focus on my journey with Jesus. And to let Him heal my heart in the wilderness.

I feel, right now, like God is giving me the space to be completely broken, completely stripped, and feel completely empty so that He can do some deeper healing from dark soul wounds inflicted in my past that have crippled me. God is bringing me through a new season of healing, and I have been seeking spiritual and emotional counsel here (which has been amazing), to walk through it – bit by bit – in hopes and expectation that I can come out of this season whole and vibrant and full of life and energy again.

I don’t know how long this season will last. I know I will need a job very soon. Any day now. And then the home part will fall into place, I’m sure. And I certainly appreciate your prayers for provision in both areas. But this season – whether it is one year, two years, or six years – is going to be a defining moment in the tick mark of my life on this earth. Because it is in this season that I finally feel like I can be honest about the gritty parts of my heart, the battles of my flesh, and the wars which have waged against my spirit for some time.

So there it is. An honest update of my life. Because even though I feel comfortable in being alone with God in this journey, I know there are so many people who love and support and encourage me in this journey of life and I want to at least include you in this small snapshot of life.

Because even though I like to hike and post cool pictures of mountains now and then, life isn’t always picture perfect. 😉 

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3 thoughts on “when life isn’t picture perfect

  1. Hi Sarah. Thanks for your honesty. Alyssa and I will likely update our blog soon and it will likely have a similar tone (our latest posts have). I’ve struggled a lot with some similar but different issues having started doing Teach For America while in my first year of marriage. God has a nasty habit of fulfilling his promises, which includes the pains of sanctification. I’ve found that He has been so much more precious to me and so much more magnified in my own eyes during this period of deep emotional and spiritual anguish, and He is glorious, even if the reality of my situation seems hopeless and dark. My prayers go out to you.

    1. Hey Tyler! I’m so sorry for the mega delay. Clearly I took quite a bit of time off of checking comments after I hit publish on that vulnerable post. Yes, please feel free to link back to my site/post on your blog. Thanks for asking permission! Blessings, friend! So thankful that he has been so near to you.

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