6 months down, a lifetime to go.

Now I still have so much to learn about marriage and about Sean, but we’ve made it halfway through year one and we started our journey in the throes of a pandemic. Here are a few things that I’ve learned in the hardest and best 6 months:

  • Marriage is a commitment-A promise to someone else. It’s promising that the other person will always be the first priority in your life. It’s promising that his happiness is valued. 
  • Marriage is a collaboration-rather than a compromise. A friend once told me that in compromises one person usually lose something but in a collaboration both parties work together to a common end. I think that’s true. Both parties are often more satisfied with the end result.
  • Marriage is an endless sleepover with my favorite person. I look forward to coming home and seeing Sean and curling up next to him. I think someday I’ll get over it (but I really hope not).
  • Grand gestures are nice but it’s the little things that truly mean a lot. Flowers and candy are always appreciated by me but it’s more about the gentle way he holds me when my emotions are fragile or the way he waits till I wake up in the afternoon to mow the lawn.
  • Loving well means you need to learn the other person’s love language. 
  • Communication never goes out of style.
  • Love is a choice-even when the feelings are there.
  • It’s not all about a wedding, but marriage does deserve to be celebrated. 

So here we are: 6 months down, a lifetime to go, and a whole lot more to learn and fail at the first time. Sean is my favorite person and I can’t imagine doing this marriage thing without him by my side. Marriage is hard but worth it nonetheless.

Airplanes and other flying things

There is just something about taking off in an airplane.

There’s nothing quite like take-off.

You feel the momentum mounting under the souls of your feet. 

The plane starts to speed up, the energy building up and then you feel it take off from the ground and start to soar. That’s how I feel like these last six to eight months with God were. Here’s a few things that God has been indwelling in my heart recently with my move to hospital nursing, the Dominican Republic, and the pandemic.


  • God is here. He’s in the breeze and the rain. He’s in the quiet moments. He’s still there even though you think He’s absent. He’s there in the midst of chaos offering a nugget of peace if we choose to cling to Him. In some of the darkest moments and some the lightest recently, I recognized that God is still there even though I can’t see Him.
  • Smiles are the same in any language. Recently, I went to the Dominican Republic. We ran a clinic. I know a little bit of Spanish, but it warmed my heart that I could communicate God’s love simply through a smile as I was taking the person to see the doctor. God’s love abounds in those who allow it to permeate through them. I hope I am the hands and feet of Jesus in my daily life not just of mission trips to the DR.
  • Never underestimate the power of a well-placed kind word. We are all stressed out to the max-especially since the pandemic. We are all afraid of the unknown and then our bent is to lash out because we are afraid. In that case, a kind word means so much more because every word surrounding that is angry, fearful words. When people are hurting, a kind word is like a lifeline of hope. Be that lifeline of hope.
  • It’s okay to not be okay. I feel like this is a lesson I learn time and time again. I just recently had to deal with this mentality. I was coming back from the DR and I got a migraine. It knocked me down for a little while and I realized that I need people in my life. I need people to bring me food when I’m not feeling well enough to go to the cafeteria to eat. I don’t have to have it all together all the time-but I need to accept that I’m not okay all the time. God holds me up in those times and surrounds me with people that hold my arms up.
  • Those who say they can and they can’t are both right. There’s a fine line between accepting limitations and just sitting on my butt and complaining. A year ago, I chose to sit on my butt and accept where I was then, I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be dating the love of my life and I wouldn’t be loving on little and bigger humans at the hospital. It took a lot of brave small steps to get me to when I am today, but I think if I didn’t have people reinforcing the idea that I can do it. I couldn’t do it without them.

Broken People Loving Broken People.

As Christians, with whom do we surround ourselves? Who do we let in to our sacred space, and with whom do we choose to share our story with? We are constantly growing closer to God, so automatically we are going to choose to surround ourselves with people who are growing as well.

But the need to share the gospel with them diminishes because they already understand this organic relationship with the Creator of the universe. He is already working in their hearts.

Like attracts like.

But, should it?

A community of believers worshipping God, and sharing what He is doing in their lives reveals a piece of God’s heart for his people. God thrives in the middle of sacred moments like Sunday mornings or bible studies. Wherever two or three are gathered, God is in the midst of them.

God-honoring community and fellowship is a beautiful thing, but if that is all one focuses on then they are missing the entire point.

Jesus calls us to help spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. If we simply choose to remain within the confines of God- honoring community, we become stagnant.

We are not forwarding the kingdom.

Jesus surrounded himself with the least and lowest. He interacted with tax-collectors, Pharisees, prostitutes, women, and the poor. Jesus walked with the misfits and lepers. Jesus repeatedly reached out to those at the bottom of the social pyramid—poor people, women, Samaritans, lepers, children, prostitutes and tax collectors. Jesus was also eager to accept people who were well-placed, but he made clear that all regardless of social position, needed to repent. Needed Him.

The people he interacted with were looked over and discarded by society, but Jesus saw them. He was not afraid of their messy lives or dirty faces. Should we?

Jesus loved them and welcomed them into his story. The merciful story of redemption.

Jesus shared meals with them and did life with them. He laughed and cried with them.

He welcomed the women and the children into his story, when no one else would.

He opened his heart, life and arms wide to allow all the brokenhearted and oppressed.

How much more is our call to share this Jesus with broken people?

This Jesus who chose a small boy to be the bearer of the meal that feed the five thousand. This Jesus that saved an adulterous woman from being stoned. This Jesus that offered the Samaritan woman at the well living water. This Jesus that made the blind see and the lame walk. This Jesus who cast out demons and healed lepers.
This is our Jesus.

This is the Jesus who advocates for and liberates the oppressed.

Our call is not to simply socialize with people who already know him, but to fill up during those God-honoring fellowships and take Jesus to the brokenhearted.

They need Jesus-His love, His mercy, His peace.

As we branch out and reach out to the people in our midst who are brokenhearted, overlooked, oppressed, disconcerted, and lost, we reflect the One who gave us life.

We reflect His work in our lives so that the people we are allowing into our life and story can see the impact our Jesus has made.

Jesus speaks for Himself when we allow His light to show through our messy lives.

We do not have it all figured out as we reach out to others—that is the beauty of it. God works in our life as He changes theirs.

The change comes when the people we are reaching out to feel loved and cherished as humans because we are welcoming them into our lives and homes, not afraid of their pain, baggage and hurt.

It simply starts with a smile and “Hello, would you like to do life with me? You are a valuable human being, and I choose to let you into my sacred and messy story, Jesus’ story.”

“I want to be outside with the misfits, with the rebels, the dreamers, second-chance givers, the radical grace lavishers, the ones with arms wide open, the courageously vulnerable, and among even—or maybe especially—the ones rejected by the Table as not worthy enough or right enough.”

Sarah Bessey