Waiting with Expectation

Expectation. That is the word I picked to define my year.

Expectation (n.) a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.

This year, I’m expecting to make tons of progress in my healing. I’m not even halfway through the season that the most healing will occur. This year, I have a lot of things I hope to see improve. I’m waiting on God to move drastically in my life. He has done amazing things in my life this past year. I’m waiting with expectation for Him. There’s a lot of unknown in my future but it’s kind of exciting because God is changing my dreams. I never thought I would consider rehab nursing, but it would be a good mix of my desire for nursing and my experience with my TBI.

Expectation goes hand in hand with the word I choose a couple of years ago.


I am not audacious. I lack courage. I shrink from things that God calls me to because I fear failure.

This year, I am turning over a new leaf. I choose to be recklessly brave in the pursuit of a living, loving, saving, sustaining, almighty God who shapes my heart.

I desire to be bold; sharing the gospel from my backyard to the ends of the earth.

I aspire to be gutsy; challenging myself to do things that make me uncomfortable.

I strive to be brave; living life with everything that I have.

I desire to wait with expectation for God to move while being audacious and stepping out of my comfort zone. This is the year I will be stronger, braver, kinder and unstoppable. This year I will be fierce in my expectations of a living, loving God who hold my heart in His hands.

Trusting in the One Who Holds My Heart.

Trust and Faith. These words radiate through my journal entries over the past couple of weeks. This past year has been a journey of learning to hold my dreams loosely as I hold tightly to the One who first instilled the dreams in my soul.

Almost 12 years ago, I left the country that I considered home. I moved across the world to a country that should be home, but felt hollow. I left my heart behind.

Confused, I wrestled with accepting this new change. How could I be more comfortable in a foreign country than the country of my birth? Moving “home” should have been exciting, but I felt numb.

Confusion. Excitement. Frustration. Betrayal.

These emotions clouded my vision of America, and encouraged my desire to travel the world. Somehow, I felt that if I travelled, I would find that piece of my heart that I had left behind and I would be whole again.

Approximately 5 years ago, as I started on my college adventure, I made it my goal to graduate and leave the country for the great beyonds. I desired to move somewhere I would be interacting with people of different cultures and backgrounds.

I chose my major and minor with the intent that going overseas was my only goal.

These past couple weeks as I began to think about my future and the reality of my dreams, I realized that my dreams had changed slightly.

I had fallen more and more in love with the idea of going overseas and changing the world, but God convicted me.


Why did I desire to go overseas? Was it because I was trusting God’s plan for my life, or was it because I was more comfortable with dirt floors and no electricity?

If I truly analyzed my motives, I would find that my reasons were selfish.

In my heart, deep, deep down, I believed that if I was not going to fit in anywhere, it would be easier to live in a different culture because then my differences would be as obvious as skin color.

Selfish reasons regardless of the fact that the outcome was others-focused. Something was changing within me. There are no words to convey how profoundly and deeply God touched my heart as I began to realize this truth.


As I searched for the answer to this question in my heart, God continued to remind me of the beautiful aspects of life where I am.

>>The beautiful Ohio sunsets.

>>The rain as it falls on a spring afternoon.

>>The vibrant colors as fall creeps in.

>>The sound of my siblings aughing down the hall.

>>The thud of books I breathe a sigh of relief after work

>>The companionship of friends

What if by dreaming big, I am putting God in a box? What if I am narrowing my view of God and life to only being happy in the mission field? What if God is asking me open my mind to different chapters in my life, not all of which includes overseas missions?

Four years ago, possibly even last year, that thought would have stunned me. I would not have considered any aspect of life but the one that took me far away to unknown people groups. Now, I am learning that my limited view of God and his plan for my life caused me to miss out on some pretty great things about life in America. I was so focused on going “home” that I lost track of the fact that America is also my home. Ten years later, God takes the emotions that used to cloud my vision of America transforming them with the grace radiating from the center of who He is.

Excitement. Joy. Gratitude. Serenity.

God transformed my view of both him and the world as I began to be content where He has placed me.

Throughout the past year, my view of God grew as He continued to burst out of every box that I attempted to put Him in. Looking back, I should not expect less from a living, loving, saving, sustaining, almighty God who shapes my heart. He placed these desires in my heart for a specific reason, but it may not look exactly as I desire it to.

As I consider the idea that God is challenging me to step out of my comfort zone and live in America now.

He places a new call in my heart.

I will follow you.

Where you go, I’ll go.

Where you stay, I’ll stay.

If this life I lose, I will follow you.

I will follow you.

God is present here, just as much as in Haiti or Nigeria. Therefore, my call is to follow God as he moves in my heart and in the lives of those around me.

A year from now, I do not know where I will be. Maybe I will be in Africa, South America, Montana, or Ohio.

I do not know where I am leading but I am realizing that God comes first.

Not my plans. Not my dreams. Not my desires.

Rather by letting go of these dreams, it frees up a hand which fits perfectly into the hand of the One who consistently show us how big He truly is.

Simply follow God first. Everything else falls into place.

In the words of Sarah Bessey, “And this is where I learned that sometimes our most holy mountain-moving faith looks more like spending our whole lives making that mountain move, rock by rock, pebble by pebble, unsexy day after daily day, casting the mountain to the sea stone by stone rather than watching a mountain suddenly rise up and cast itself.”

Sometimes, the biggest blessings come not from restricting God to a specific dream, but by letting go of those dreams to hold on to the hand of the Creator of the Universe.

Choose Joy

I lost my joy. I am not ashamed to admit it.

A couple weeks ago, I realized that I wouldn’t return to floor nursing as soon as I thought. I could push to return, but it wouldn’t be smart to rush my healing. It hit me hard.

Like really hard.

I picture floor nursing as normal. That, in my head, was the defining factor of being a nurse. That’s what everyone I graduated with is doing. However twisted or false the thought was, I thought floor nursing makes someone a nurse. I hadn’t even been a nurse, a floor nurse, for 6 months.

I lost the will to fight. I thought, “If I can’t be normal, why even try.”

The only reason I made it this far was that I was a fighter. If I couldn’t do something, I would try again until I got it. I was determined.

So when I lost the will to fight, I got more irritable and grumpy. I used the word “stuck” in reference to staying in Mansfield. I lost my joy.

I wrote things because I know I used to believe it or I should believe it, but I didn’t. I hoped by writing them, they would sink into my heart.

I keep saying I won’t be normal again. I wasn’t normal before my accident. I grew up in Africa so that makes me different. Normal is overrated anyway. I won’t be the same Sara I was before my accident, but I’m still Sara. I may have different strengths and hardships, that is inevitable, but I’m alive. I am still making progress. My rehab doctor says it takes about two years for the brain to fully heal.

I’m only 6 months into a 24 months period. I have made a ton of progress, but I still have a long way to go.  

Today, I decided to fight. I gained back my will to fight. My brother says, “Those who say they can and those who say they can’t are both right”. If I have the attitude that I won’t do it, then I won’t return to floor nursing. And maybe I won’t return, but at least I’ll go down fighting.

So I’ve decided to choose joy. Joy is not happiness. Joy is not an emotion, it’s a choice. Joy is believing that God is in control and that God is good. It is to base your joy on something that is eternal.

I choose joy. I’ve decided to get my joy back.

Especially when it’s hard, I need to choose joy. It will not always be easy to choose joy. It is easier to sit in my bed, moping about the fact that I won’t return to floor nursing as fast as I hoped. But, that is not beneficial to me or the people around me.

That doesn’t mean I’m always happy. This is definitely not how I pictured my life going. There are plenty of times where I yell at God, and wondering why me.

I choose joy because regardless of how I feel, I know that God is good. I just lost sight of that for a moment.

Even when it feels so far away, I choose joy.

Stepping Into the Big Picture

My head spins as I lay in bed, trying to sleep-attempting to push the worry out of my head.

I admit that I am a recovering chronic worrier. Most of the time, I struggle with handing over the reigns of my life to God because I like control too much. Hence I worry about things that are out of my control. I tend to drive myself a little crazy with the constant worrying, but I have a hard time shutting it completely off.

This summer started out with an ample amount of unknown changes that honestly scared me. I hated not knowing what the next few months of my life would look like.

Simply the thought of not having control sent my soul into a panic because my default setting is to rely on my own strength.

Selfishly, when things didn’t work out the way I specifically thought it would, my carefully placed plans in my head caved down around me.

I do not have the control I thought I did. Looking back, it all seems really ridiculous because I had nothing to worry about. God had it all worked out, but I believed that I had to have everything figured out to be successful.

I love to plan. I breathe a tiny bit easier when my schedule is organized and I know what is coming next. I want to believe that I am flexible, but the reality is that I strive for order in the chaos and knowing over the unknown. I am the girl who had the rest of her college classes figured out during her first advising meeting. I arranged and organized a plan for after college that I believed was God’s plan for my life. I had everything all figured out-where I would work, where I would like and what I would be doing with my life. I had this plan in my head and I dismiss anyone and everyone who told me different. Looking back, I realize that I acted ridiculous What person in their right mind picks a path and refused to acknowledge any other options.

But God had a different plan.

Not for lack of trying, my plan did not appear to be making any process.

Nothing was happening.

Frustrated, I wondered why God was denying me what I thought I wanted-why He wasn’t moving the way I wanted him to. Consistently, people reminded me that maybe I should begin to move towards other areas—areas where the door did not appear to be shut. Stubbornly, I resisted their advice, arguing that I could make it happen. A wise friend reminded me that God does not usually express His will through flashing signs, lit up to show us the direction he wants us to go. He often lets us make decisions and moves and directs our path if we are heading in the drastically opposite direction. We simply cannot sit around waiting on Him to show up-some of the responsibility is on us to be faithful in taking action.

Eventually God challenged me to trust Him. He challenged me to let Him guide me. I simply needed to let go of my particular dreams and open my heart to listening to what he might have in store. As soon as I took that step-trusting that if it was the right step, God would move.

He did.

He moved in and showed me that He had control.

Terrified, I had to give up what I thought was my dream, but God has a bigger and better plan for my life. I cannot see the future, but all He is asking of me is to take the next right step.

Admittedly, I claimed to trust God, but I clung to a ridiculously small view of what I believed that He could accomplish in my life. He continues to burst out of the boxes I place Him in, repeatedly reminding me that He has everything under control. He did more in 2 days than I could accomplish in 2 months. He eradicated my fears and doubts by reminding me that I cannot see the big picture. I only see snippets of what He is doing in my life. In 48 hours, I had passed my NCLEX, gotten a job, and found an apartment. Everything thing that I had stressed about, prayed about, and worried about months was resolved.

After all that, I left to explore the wild mountains of Montana. There is something incredible about standing on the side of the mountain—looking out over the land and other mountains. The mountains show both the creativity and wildness of God as they tower high above the world daring all to challenge their creator. 

It is a healthy reminder of how small I am.

Often in life, I begin to believe that I am the star of the story. Because I am human, I forget that my life is not all about me. Standing in the midst of the vast spaces and grandiose mountain reminds me of my smallness in the midst of the world.

Sitting in the midst of these mountains reminds me that everything that God does, He does for His glory.

He created me for His glory, thus my life should be about His glory, not my own personal gain.

All that is asked of me is to be faithful in the small things, trust Him and step into the big picture of His plan to redeem the world for His glory.

Being Brave.


That is a word that I chose  to define my attitude about this year.

Graduation. NCLEX. Adulting. Moving.

As I approach the newest transition in my life, it is getting harder to be brave in the face of seemingly stormy and unknown skies.

Being brave isn’t always easy, pleasant or fun, but necessary.

It tries our patience and challenges our souls to trust.

A dear friend reminded me that it is time for hard and scary and holy things. Her words wrapped up all of my feelings about the next couple months. Hard. Scary. But still holy.

They will not be easy because God is asking for trust, patience, bravery, and growth as I lay my plans down, believing that He has got them.

Being brave comes not from being alone, but from having people around you saying, “You have got what it takes to be brave”.

Being brave means having hard conversations, but knowing that the communication will deepen your friendship.

Being brave shows up when you love someone through the messiness of life, knowing you can’t do anything but listen.

Being brave sprouts out of the desire to accept the love you deserve from the God who shamelessly purses your heart.

Being brave appears as you share bits of your story with people, striving to be known as a fearless Child of God.

In my striving to be brave, I succeeded graciously, and I failed miserably.

Sometimes, bravery looks like admitting that you were wrong and acknowledging that you have areas that need broken down and built anew.

Being brave means being willing to tear down the walls of fear, shame, guilt, and insecurity slowly shattering the hold they have. Only then can God build up walls of courage, grace, love, and confidence redeeming the broken aspects of my soul.

Being brave means acknowledging that there are many answers I will not have right now about my future, but trusting that God will reveal the next right step as I move forward in obedience.

Being brave starts as a choice each and every day-as I seek to more like the One who calmed the troubled waters in the middle of stormy seas.