Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

The Story I Promised to Tell You

2016 caught me off guard – an unexplained illness early in the year kept me in bed for weeks as winter faded to spring. Somewhere along the way, that illness developed into a numbness, then a shadow, then a shaking. Depression and anxiety found me after a long absence. So 2016 was also the year I made a couple new friends named Celexa and Atarax.

I admitted that sometimes, all the faith in the world doesn’t heal your brain and your body the way you want it to. Sometimes, medication is the only way to care well for yourself. Sometimes, it’s not admitting defeat but the best way to fight. I also started counseling and the long, slow process of unraveling unhealthy thoughts and emotions stemming from past trauma. It’s been exhausting, but the best gift I’ve ever given myself.

I’d been working at Mercy with young women who also knew hurt and heartache, sharing my life and stories and small bits of wisdom when I could. I listened and wept with them; I spent nights in the ER and early mornings laughing over breakfast. It was the epitome of grace to walk with them. But I learned I’d been spending so long caring for others, I didn’t know how to care for myself.

So I bought myself flowers. I lay in the sun. I counted gifts and things that made me smile. I kept working in counseling to change broken mindsets and hurts. I wrote and wrote and wrote – mostly words you’ll never read. And, when it seemed time, I took a long break from writing.

I wrote something about “letting the land lie fallow” last July – about taking a break to rest and recharge. I knew I would eventually transition out of Mercy. While it is an incredible ministry and I am overjoyed to have experienced it, my role was especially demanding and draining. Eventually, a role I love fell into my lap with Keller Williams.

But the greatest gift that came out of that season has a beard and takes photos. His name is Micah and we had our first date over tacos. By the second date, we were starting to fall for one another: he teared up as I shared about my work at Mercy, and I made an unexpected “your mom” joke. (I mean no disrespect to any mothers!) Clearly, we’re a match made in heaven 😉

A fun summertime romance grew into something deeper as the leaves began to turn. Micah kept showing up, strong and stable and generous and kind. We laughed and slowly opened up, and I was struck by his courage and honesty. I got scared and tried to run; he handled it with grace.

Micah isn’t what I saw coming, but he’s so much better. We laugh and make up stupid songs and dream big dreams about changing the world together. He treats me like a queen, sees things in me I don’t see in myself, is patient and gentle with me beyond anything I’d hoped. He’s also kind of a punk: sarcasm is his love language and he is all black and white.

I sure wasn’t looking for love as I came through such a tough season. I looked for reasons to run for about the first five months, certain that love and life couldn’t be so good to me. But Micah stayed and taught me grace in ways I’ve never experienced. He’s carried my pain and shared his, sat with me through anxiety and made me laugh through my tears.

As things became more serious, we decided not to talk about the future until after the holidays, and we didn’t say those three all-important words. We wanted them to carry the weight of more than feelings and affection, but commitment and intentional care. “If and when anything more is spoken,” he said, “my goal is that there isn’t a doubt in your mind that it’s true.”

He took a photo of me, lounging in pajamas on Christmas Day. “I don’t want you to criticize this photo,” he told me, a new urgency in his voice, “because I happen to really love this girl right here.” A warm quiet spread wide in my chest as the smile reached my face. He’s a man of his word and I knew the truth of it with all my being by the way he’d been caring for me for months.

So here we are, on the brink of this brand-new season. I’ve written a lot about the in-between, and I’m in a new one now. I’m learning to live a life alongside someone imperfect as me who loves me harder than anyone I’ve ever known. We’re dreaming about the future now, about grand exploits and mundane little mornings. And I never knew life could be so beautiful.

Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to read these words and let me share pieces of my heart with you. There will be more to come soon – I’m refocusing on writing and can’t wait to connect more and more with you here.

In the mean time, if you want some hope and encouragement, click here to get my free ebook on living a meaningful life. 

About Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah. I love coffee, pancakes and street tacos. I'm a learner, a traveler and a creative mess. I've got a thing for redemption and seeing broken people living beautiful lives. That's the story I've lived, and the one I want for you. Let's be friends!

4 Replies

    1. I’m a fan of you, Mr Steve!

  1. Fiona Kalu

    Sarah, as always, your words touch the deepest part of my heart. Your test has become a testimony for everyone to read, shed tears, and praise God for the beautiful life He has given us. Thanks for sharing.

    Fiona Kalu

    1. Thank you so much, Fiona. I hope life is treating you beautifully!

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