Tuesday, September 4, 2012

the trip that forever changed me.

My house is so quiet.
My big girls are both in school full day 
and baby boy is napping.
I'm puttering (I am so my mother) 
 around the house enjoying the silence.
As I putter I'm processing.
I'm processing the trip that changed me forever.
Writing helps me process.
There are no words that could truly describe this trip
but in an attempt to better understand it myself, I will try.
7 weeks ago I was on vacation with my family at the beach.
As we were enjoying the fun and sun we received word 
that a friend, who was also on vacation in Oregon, had been in a bicycle accident.
She had a severe injury to her brain.
Pray! All we could do was pray.
Initially it put a dapper on our vacation. 
We were in shock and we were so sad. 
I realized though we need to keep living and we need to enjoy living.
We need to make the most of this vacation and make memories
for our children to cherish. So we did. It wasn't always easy but we made the choice.
After returning home and getting into my routine of early mornings in Gods presence
I sensed him saying "Go to Oregon."
Um. That surely wasn't God.
The next morning in His presence,
"Go to Oregon"
Oh dear. I think this is God.
* still ignoring*
The next morning,
Yes. He said it again.
This is insane.
What will I do there God?
Cry and be awkward like I usually am?
He said "Just go. I'll tell you what to do when you get there."
Alrighty then.
I cautiously approached Andy.
He is a gracious, low key, laid back man
but what would he say when I tell him I think I'm supposed to fly across the country,
the first week our kids start school and I have no idea why I'm going?

Well he said, "Okay."
Seriously, most laid back guy ever!
We talked with Bill (the husband of my friend who was in the accident) 
and booked my tickets!
This is the dumbest idea I've ever had!
That wasn't the Lord speaking that was me being ridiculous.
"Andy can I get a refund on those plane tickets?" 

The day came for me to leave.
I felt pukish. I may have cried. 
I was terrified.
I had no plan or agenda.
I figured well, I'm a singer so I guess I can sing to her! 
OK. I had somewhat of a plan.
I'm breathing again and feeling less pukish.

I arrived in Oregon and Bill took me to the rehab center where Glenda is being cared for.
Reality hit. And it hit hard.
There in bed lays my friend.
Beautiful but far away from us.
I saw the photos around her bed of her biking, and laughing and eating ice cream.
And then I looked down at her body.
I held in the tears for fear that once I released them they would never stop.
Bill and I spent time talking.
Glenda's parents were there as well. 
As the conversation got hard I felt prompted to sing.
Great is Thy Faithfulness,
kept coming to my mind.
Again, I ignored this prompting.
(Are you sensing a theme here?)
Then Bill handed me a paper; an email he had received.
What was the email?
The lyrics to Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
The tears came. 
I cried and cried. 
I cried for my friend. I cried for her family. And I cried because in the midst
of the hurt God came and showed me he was at work.
Great IS his faithfulness.
I sang.
The Holy Spirit came and breathed his refreshing winds on us.
God was in that room. We all felt him.

I went to bed that night exhausted but knowing God was at work.
The next morning as I sit by Glenda's bed I felt prompted to walk around the rehab center and 
just love on the patients there. I did not ignore this prompting 
(trust me I wanted to! But I knew I would miss seeing God at work if I did).
I walked around and prayed. I asked God to lead my steps 
and show me who he wanted to encounter that day. 
I met a woman with one leg who had been there for four years. She was very lonely.
Her husband had died several years before. The sadness in her eyes was overwhelming.
We chatted a bit. I saw God move as her eyes brightened.
I began to walk down the hall.
I saw a women coming towards me in a wheelchair. I smiled at her.
That's all I did. But I can assure you she and I encountered God in that moment.
I felt His presence like a forceful wind as I walked towards her.
When I smiled, her entire being changed.
She sat up and returned the smile. She was glowing. 
There was something happening in the supernatural. 
That moment changed me forever.
All I did was smile.
But that's all God needed to touch this woman's heart.
Later I met Rita.
Rita was discouraged and angry as her knee surgery went terribly wrong
and she was in great pain and stuck in this rehab center.
We chatted and I asked her if I could pray with her.
She got very nervous,
I told her it was OK to say no.
"Oh thank you!" she replied.
She said, "I think you believe in a God that heals and I don't".
I don't know why she said that but she was correct.
I told her I would pray for her  in the hallway :)
And I did. 
I returned the next day to see a smiling, Rita!
She had just returned from the doctor.
Her knee was fine and she got the OK to go home!
My, did I chuckle at God.

I could continue but this would be a never ending post.
We saw God moving in Oregon.
We felt him all around us.
He is ever present in time of trouble.

I had gone to Oregon with the hopes of seeing healing in Glenda's body.
I did not see that miracle.
But I saw many.
I don't understand the ways of God.
But I'm choosing to trust in him and trust in his goodness.
He loves Glenda more than any of us here on earth do.
I know he will take care of her.
I know he is with her.
And he is with you.
Watch for Him today.
Watch for him tomorrow.
He's moving.
He's working.
And he's changing hearts.
Great Is Thy Faithfulness O God.


  1. Oh my, Sarah. This was beautiful. You truly pulled back the curtain of Heaven for so many lonely souls in Oregon. As I was reading this I thought, now here is what a friend of Jesus, a modern day disciple, looks like. Thank you for that reflection. Love to you.

  2. Beautiful the way God works through you! You are truly blessed! XOXO

  3. Sarah thank you for sharing your story, in a very very weird way, and different than what you would think, God really spoke to me through your words. I'll have to tell you more later, but it was no accident that I just read this post. What a blessing you were in that Rehab, as you are everywhere!

  4. I'm continually amazed at your love and compassion for people. What a encouragement to hear of God's faithfulness when we ( his children ) are obedient to his calling:) Bless you my dear for your tender mercy heart:) love ya!