5 years…

Dear Sara,

This is me writing to you from 5 years after that life-changing event. Here’s what I have learned and grieved as life doesn’t look anything like I thought it would, but God is good in the chaos of life.

  1. Nothing is a coincidence. I feel like I already kinda knew this, but I have really felt this lately. It’s not a coincidence that on one of my hardest days, a friend texts me out of the blue or I get a letter that encourages my soul.
  2. We need people. We can’t do life or get through hard things without certain people. I mean, you must choose the people that surround you wisely, but I can’t count the number of times that I was “this” close to giving up, but certain people took me by the hand and walked with me. 
  3. Everybody goes through something, but don’t let it define you. Sometimes it’s more obvious and sometimes it’s more subtle. I’ve learned in the past couple of years that I am more than my accident or brain injury. Yes, I do have chronic pain and I deal with migraines, but it makes me a better nurse because I get it. 
  4. Life is not simply about my happiness or comfort. Growing up, I knew this fact but there’s a difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge. Life is about glorifying God and His desire to rescue humanity. If God can use my story to advance His kingdom, who am I to stand in His way.
  5. I probably wouldn’t have a few people that have impacted my life-my husband being the most significant. I met him shortly after and he put up with me finding myself again before I could offer anything to him. We are still growing and figuring stuff out, but he is my soulmate and my accident put us in the same circles quicker. 
  6. It’s necessary to put down roots so you have a place or people to go home to. Throughout my nomadic childhood, I put my roots into people rather than the bevy of places that shaped my worldview. I’ve always wrestled with the idea of staying vs going. I’ve learned the necessity of walking the tension of both. It’s exciting to go to different places and see exotic things, but there’s also a strange kind of comfort in being known by the barista in the local coffee shops or the guy at the front desk at work. There’s something about being known and seen.

This is not a comprehensive list of what I’ve learned and grieved in the past couple of years, but as 5 years rolls around, I’m learning that I’m a complex person. This is part of my story but not the entirety of it. It complicates life a little, but it ultimately makes me a better nurse, daughter, best friend and wife.

Love, Sara

Step Off The Ledge


I’ve been challenged this week on taking risks. I tend to play it safe when it comes to certain things. I tend to stay inside my comfort zone-willing everything to stay the same.

God is not about letting everything stay the same.

Following God means taking risks. If you don’t take risks, you’ll never understand and experience  the presence, power, and peace of God.

Sure, if you take the risk, it very well could end badly, but it might end up being SO much more than you expected. You don’t know if you never tried.

I had a boy in swim lessons this week say, “I’m terrible.” He proceeded to pout and cross his arms. “I quit.”

I looked him square in the eyes and said, “The only true way to fail is to not try or quit.”

Oftentimes, we are like that boy. We pout and won’t take the risk because it’s scary stepping of that ledge into the unknown. We like our comfy lives, just the way it is.

Sometimes, God upends our comfy lives. When we get a semblance of order in our lives, we cling to it, like a little clings to a safety blanket. We fear chaos again.

I know I did.

Life has been pretty good lately.

Too good. Or so I think.

I keep waiting for the other foot to drop. At the same time, I find myself clinging to what I do have afraid that it will get ripped from me again.

I’ve fallen in love with the littles at school.

I’ve found my corner of the world-right now. I’m content.

I was challenged this week to keep taking risks strategically. Keep pushing my limits for God because He has shown me again and again that He does more.

He continually bursts-like fireworks-out of every box I try to put Him in. Even this year, He did more than I ever expected-allowing me to go to Ukraine and fall in love with the littles at school. I returned to driving. I crossed oceans by myself and added two new countries to my passport. I grew closer to Him as He sought my heart. I returned to swimming.

Like my Mom reminded me tonight, it’s like God’s provision and goodness is like a rope tied around our waist. The other end is tied around a tree, but the only way we feel the tension on the rope is if we step off the edge.

It’s the same with God. The only way we are going to see-like really see God’s goodness-is if we step out into the unknown and step off the ledge.

That’s my prayer for the last month and a half of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.

Let go of whatever is holding you back and step of the ledge with me.  

The Great I AM

I was thinking the other day about God and how it’s pretty incredible that he created people and languages. The incredible thing is that He hears and understands everyone in every language. One of my favorite moments ever was in the Dominican Republic. We were sitting on the beach watching the sunset, and we eventually started singing. We sang “Great I AM”. It was one of the coolest moments because some us were singing in English and some in Spanish our voices mingling.

God heard and understood every single one of us.

He is the great I AM.

Languages are fascinating. As a missionary kid, I learned the importance of learning whatever language is dominant because that speaks to people’s heart. It’s one thing to know the trade language, but to have people communicate in your first language—the language of your heart—is powerful. It means these people and maybe this God loves me enough to come to me and meet me where I am.

God loves us enough to meet us where we are and the more we know about Him makes us love Him more.

There’s a song sung by Kari Jobe that states:

“The more I seek you

The more I find you

The more I found you, the more I love you

I wanna sit at your feet

Drink from the cup in your hand.

Lay back against you and breath, feel your heart beat

This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand.

I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming”

The more we seek our Creator who loves us enough to speak our heart language, the more we fall in love with Him.

This might mean setting aside time in your busy schedule to slow down and meet with Him.

This might mean skipping something that could be good, in order to sit at the feet in prayer of the One who placed the stars in the sky.

Whatever this means for you, I greatly encourage you to seek the Great I AM. You won’t regret it.

Let’s Be Wild

I was self-conscious before, but now I am really self-conscious. I feel like my voice sounds weird, weirder than normal. I feel people staring at me when I walk. I must look embarrassing because I feel really awkward. When I try to write, it is difficult. I perceive my scars are blatantly obvious, like they are flashing lights on a billboard.

I struggled with insecurity since I could remember. Before my accident, I was beginning to get a handle on my insecurities. I was beginning to let God’s love diffuse through my soul, erasing my insecurities. Now, I am really learning what it means to not compare myself to others.

I have a lot to be insecure about now. I have several scars. I don’t walk normally yet. My speech is understandable, but it is not back to where it was. I am insecure about everything, it seems like. 

But, I am learning to see myself the way God sees me.

I am learning that I can’t change who I am. I can’t change my scars or my limitations. The stuff that I am insecure about makes me—Sara Beth. I can accept myself-my scars, my limitations-and allow God to be glorified.

I shouldn’t be insecure about what God created. If I frown on what God has created, it’s like a smack in God’s face.

Through this season, I am learning what makes me—Sara beth. I am diving into who God made me and striving to not focus as much on my insecurities.

I am choosing to be wild. Not wild as in acting crazy, dressing unique, and rebelling against society. Wild as in the living and growing in the natural environment.

It’s going to be hard, but I am deciding not to listen to what the world says. So, I choose to listen to who God says I am. I let God diffuse over my insecurities and my fears. Considering all I’ve been through, it is not surprising that my insecurities are rising back to the surface. I can choose to focus on them, or on the One who put the stars in place.

I am trying not to care what other people think about me. It is a progress of throwing off the things that I have believed my whole life and putting on who God says I am.

Yes, I have scars but they are proof that I survived. I am a survivor and that is something to be proud of.

Yes, I walk awkwardly. I get looks when I walk. People ask me if I need a wheelchair, but at least I can walk. There was a point that my parents didn’t know what would happen to me.

Yes, I have difficulty speaking. My rate is slower. My voice sometimes sounds nasally. I don’t put enough emotion behind my words. At least, I can talk.

I might have insecurities, but at least, I am alive.

So, I am deciding to be wild.

I am choosing to accept myself just the way I am-my looks, my fears, my limitations. I am choosing to be bold in the pursuit of what I like-what I am passionate about.

Let’s be wild.

Let’s throw off the expectations of society. Not because we don’t care about them, but because we don’t need to care too much about them.