A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘God

Jonathan and I have been married for nine years.

Nine years.

Calculated a little differently, that’s 108 months; or 472 weeks; or 3309 days. Or, just a really long(ish) time.

Y’all know I don’t front about things that are hard. I don’t put on a shiny face or pretend like things are blissful, when in fact, they aren’t. I’m honest for a myriad of reasons, especially when it comes to life’s hardships, because I think being dishonest about the hardships of life sets us up for failure. And when it comes to marriage, there are hardships.

Here’s the thing we need to make really, really clear. Hard isn’t bad.

Did you get that?

Hard isn’t bad.

Just because marriage is hard, doesn’t mean it’s bad. Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean you bail out, give up, move on. It’s just the opposite. You press in, you give more, you hold on.

And when hard happens, it can lead to great.

There was a time when I thought my marriage would never be “great”. Sure, we’d stay married, we’d raise babies together, walk through life together. But I wasn’t sure that in ten years we could look back and say we had a great marriage.

Then all hell broke loose. We spent 8 months wrapping our heads around our new life. Our hard life. We dealt with depression, with anger, with loneliness, with guilt, with all the feelings you can feel. And it was HARD. Like, super hard. Yet, somehow, in that hardness, in that anguish, our marriage came back. We started talking again. Like, really talking. We started opening up, started praying together. It was as though we started fresh, but with this whole beautiful, messy history to look back on.

Slowly, things got better. Sure, we still argued (let me rephrase that, argue), but things are different. Now it’s a whole lot less arguing about each other, and a whole lot more arguing for each other. For the first time ever, I think Jonathan and I are playing for the same team, going after the same things, holding each other up. And it’s beautiful. And it’s wonderful. And it’s still hard.

But, hard it’s bad.

Because when things are hard and you fight even more for it, you realize just how much you want that one thing. Just how valuable that person is to you. It makes the hard not bad. In fact, it turns it into great.


Folks, I’m teaching Kindergarten this fall. The story of how I came to this new adventure is long and winding, but as has been the story of my life, it was just so perfectly God.

This past spring Jonathan and I began praying about school for this next year. We weren’t sure if we could stay at Veritas or if we would need to homeschool full-time. My prayer started off that I would have peace with either decision and then I started praying that God would make the decision completely, perfectly clear.

Oh, He did.

At the end of May, I applied as a kindergarten teacher at Veritas. At the beginning of June, I interviewed. By the end of June, I was offered the position.

If you had told me ten years ago that I would be teaching kindergarten, I would not have believed you. It’s something I never expected. And yet… and yet, I am absolutely thrilled. Like, butterflies-in-my-stomach excited. Tomorrow I meet the rest of the teachers on the kindergarten team and next week kicks off our week-long Paideia Conference where I get to meet my students.

You know, it’s funny, how life moves and changes. How God stops at nothing to bring you to a point that you never expected. But when you stand still, looking back at what lead you to this spot, you see how perfectly He wove things together. As a dreamer, I like to plan big dreams. Yet, something God has shown me over the past 10 months is that my plans are small. So, so small, compared to His. And while I can dream, it’s so much better if I just let Him move in my life. Because, even when things seem out of control, when hope seems lost, when darkness feels like it’s winning, it’s not. It’s all part of His plan to change, to move, to do something incredible.

This next path, of teaching kindergarten, is His plan. Laid out perfectly by Him and I cannot wait to see where it leads. I have a feeling it’s going to be better than I could ever imagine.



Funny, how life changes. Just like that. How things go up or down, in a single breath. I suppose that’s what life changing events are. Events that alter the course of everything.

Jonathan got a job.

Did you read that?

Jonathan got a job!

He started working this past week for Cisco. From home. Like, as in, he works in the other room. A-maz-ing. Seriously. And such a huge answer to prayer. Not only did God provide the best job, He provided the best job that allows us to stay connected as a family.

I just can’t get over it.

Not just the job part, really. I mean, that does completely blow me away. But, honestly, deep down, I can’t get over just how much God loves me. The past 9 months have been hard. Seriously, hard. I’ve wept. I’ve been lower than I thought possible. Life has felt like too much, felt too damn hard. I’ve failed repeatedly. I’ve hit rock bottom on many, many levels.

Yet, there, at the end, at the bottom, in the worst possible times, there He was. Whispering “I love you. You, Sarah, are Mine. I will stop at nothing to save you, to sanctify you. I, the God of All, love you, the woman with nothing.

Time and again, He’s shown His crazy love for me. Through my friends (oh, precious friends, you’ll never truly understand how you did more than I could ever repay), through His Word, through the church He gave me. It’s humbling to know that you are so loved, so cherished, so desired.

And part of it is terrifying. Terrifying that I’ll give my heart away to someone (or something) other than my beautiful, wonderful Jesus. But, (and what a strong word that is) BUT, He has sealed my heart. Even when I am prone to wonder, prone to leave the God I love, His love is strong enough to cover and seal me to Himself.

It’s a story worth repeating. And repeating. His love is strong enough. His love is everlasting. His love redeems. His love sets right. His love saves.

Here is by far my favorite hymn (sung by one of my favorite bands). My favorite lyric is ::

O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.


Repeat the story. Repeat it over and over again. His love. His love. HIS LOVE.

He Is

Posted on: April 11, 2014

I sincerely wish that we had news to share that was “exciting” or allowed others to rejoice along with us in triumph. But I can’t. Our situation hasn’t changed, our lives are still up in the air.

But, over the course of these last few months God has taught me more than I can fully unpack at one time. Yet, I want to try to give you an update. I want to give God glory.

Romans 4:20 says

No unbelief made him [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God.

As I sit here and reflect on all the ways that God has preserved us, cared for us, comforted us, loved us, I am moved to tears. Y’all, we serve a good, good God. I seriously forget that sometimes. I forget how amazing He is just because He Is. Not because He gives us things, not because we feel happy (or feel anything for that matter), but because HE IS. He is faithful. He is merciful. He is all-knowing. He is our source of comfort, our provider, our rock and our fortress. He is true to Himself. He is our God and our Father. HE IS.

God deserves every bit of glory in our lives. He deserves to be praised when we wake and when we go to sleep. He deserves to hold the highest position in our lives, in our thoughts, in our hearts, because HE IS.

He is a God whose grace is sufficient.

He is a God who called/who chose/who claimed me for His own.

He is a God whose blood was shed.

He is a God who rescued.

He is a God fully worthy of every moment of my life.

When I compare myself to God, I see I am weak, I am faithless, I am wrathful, I am a sinking ship.


But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  

1 Corinthians 12:9

In our suffering, in our weakness, in the darkness that covers us, God isn’t telling us to fend for ourselves, fight our own battles. No, He is whispering into our hearts – “My grace is sufficient for you.”

He is sufficient.

So friends, if there is one way to sum up all that I have learned in the past six months, it is simply that HE IS.


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Today has been a hard day. I’ve felt anxious and overwhelmed. There isn’t any specific reason for it, just a tugging at my heart of heavier things.

I want to curl up and sleep, block out the low feelings for a little while until my cheery self returns.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14

I read those verses today. Delivered from the domain of darkness. Transferred to His kingdom. Redeemed. Forgiven.

There is such comfort there. Comfort that this darkness can’t hold me. I am redeemed from it.

I may still feel like curling up, resting from the world a bit. But in that feeling, I can cling to the hope that this world is not my world, this darkness does not have dominion over me. I am redeemed. I am forgiven. I am His.

Rather than enter the politico scene, I prefer to let others engage in politics. Bordering on apathy, I’ve found that world events don’t effect my daily life quite like caring for three young kids. And because of that, I don’t pay attention to them.

But as the civil war in Syria exalts to a deafening tone, I’m struck by my apathy.

If my husband, brothers, father, friends, were being killed, would I want others to be outraged?

If my children were gassed, would I want other mothers to weep for me?

Or would I sit back and say

“It’s ok. You can’t do anything about it, so don’t even worry about us.”

Hell no.

As a mother, I would want to know that other mothers are weeping at the loss of my child. I would want to know that they see my pain, they see my devastation, and they mourn with me. Not because we even know each other, but because we are mothers. And as mothers we are united in our love for our children.

I can sit back in the comfort of my home and blissfully ignore a war that is raging. I can block out the bad. I can ignore the pain. I can dull my senses. Because that is far easier. It is far easier to not know, than to know and be helpless.

Yet this morning as I listened to NPR, I realized that I cannot ignore Syria. Syria needs to matter to me. It needs to matter to me because I am a wife, a mother, a woman. But more than that, Syria needs to matter to me because it matters to God.

God calls His people to be a light in this dark world. God calls His people to pray. God calls His people to love like He loves.

While I am not naive enough to believe that I can change any issues in Syria, I refuse to willfully ignore their pain and suffering.  I refuse to let my comforts override their needs.  So, I challenge myself to let my heart break for the Syrians. To push off my comforts and imagine a life that is riddled with pain and suffering. And then to pray. Pray that God’s light shines. Pray that God’s glory be known. Pray that God’s Truth bring healing to the brokenhearted.

Let us not be a people so wrapped up in our own comforts that we are not willing to let other’s pain effect us. Let us be a people who view this world as God views this world. Let us be a people who love those we do not know. Let us be a people stand before the Lord on behalf of those who cannot.  Let us be a people moved to pray.

In September of last year, I started a development program with our church, The Austin Stone. The program is a year long training to equip women {and men} with biblical knowledge and truth. It was pretty intensive at times, but God grew and challenged me in ways I never imagined.

Part of the women’s development program is to participate in a mission trip. For the past several years, the program has worked with a mission organization in London, England. The women who go get to spend a week sharing the Gospel with Muslims in London.

Today, I am one of those women.

I am leaving for London in less than 2 hours. We will arrive early Saturday morning and launch into our training. Then we will spend the next 7 days loving and serving others and bringing them Good News. I am nervous and anxious, yet feeling peaceful and calm. An odd combination, I know.

The last month in preparing for my trip has been kind of a joke. If you can think of something that might possibly go wrong, and it’s gone wrong. This past week? Even more of a joke. I’ve lost my passport AND my driver’s license {thankfully my passport turned up. On a copier. At Kinko’s. My driver’s license is still missing}. I’ve felt more overwhelmed then excited as I have raced between prepping for the trip and spending the week in training for Julia’s school this fall. And speaking of Julia.. she is so upset that I am leaving, that she’s asked me several times to cancel the trip.

But you know what? God is proving to be the calm in my storm. A week before my trip and I was still $475 short of my funding. When the funding deadline came and went, I may have cried as I found myself grasping at straws on how to round up the remaining funds. Then, like I beacon of calm, my friend Adriane prompted me to start asking more people about helping. It was perhaps the last thing I wanted to do – it felt embarrassing and scary. But, I did it. I sent out more emails, called more people and God blessed. I truly didn’t expected it, but He pulled through the remaining $475 in two days. Two days. It blew me away.

So now my bags are packed, my passport is safely in my wallet {whew} and I am ready for my trip.

I don’t know what is going to happen over the next 9 days. I’ve laid all my expectations to the side and decided to let the Lord do as He wills. But, even though I don’t know what may happen, I know this :: God is in control. And He is always good and can always be trusted. 

When you read this, would you take a moment to pray for me? Pray for safety and godly wisdom. Pray for my family, who will go 9 whole days without their wife and mama {the longest time ever for the kids}. Pray for God’s glory to be known and for lives to be changed. Thanks my sweet friends. Your prayers mean a lot.

As reports of the Boston Marathon bombing keep pouring in, my heart is heavy. My family has stood at numerous finish lines waiting for me to cross and I can’t help but wonder, what if this happened to us?

Running is my release, my happy place, my passion. And today that was torn away. A senseless act has put fear in my heart. Fear of the finish line, fear of running. While watching about Boston, my mind wondered to the tragedy of Newtown just four month ago. Another senseless act that put fear in my heart.

My children aren’t safe in their schools.

I’m not safe while running.

Fear. Overwhelming fear.

That’s the tragic part of tragedy. It puts fear in us. Fear that was never there before. It makes us suspicious and doubtful. It makes us grow weary. Quietly, this verse came to mind.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

I can’t say that I won’t be fearful when I cross my next finish line. I can’t say that there won’t be suspicious and doubt lingering in my heart when I run. But of this I am certain – Fear will not reign over me, because God reigns over me. He has strengthened me. He has helped me. He is upholding me. No shooter, no bomber, no tragedy can ever change that.

Fear will not reign over me, because God reigns over me. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to Boston and the runners. You’re in my heart sweet folks, stay strong.

If you live in the Boston area, here are places you can donate blood.

The life of a grad student is challenging. Especially if they have full time jobs and family. They literally work non-stop 6 or 7 days a week. There are early mornings and late nights. Breaks are far and few in between.

The life of a wife married to a grad student is challenging. It’s single parenting 6 or 7 days a week. There are early mornings and late nights. Breaks are far and few in between.

Tack on life commitments, theology studies, marathon training, new jobs, little sleep, and even fewer dates, and you find yourself in a revolving door that never slows down.

This is where Jonathan and I have been for nearly a year. Constant go-go. Never stopping, just pushing through. Holding everything together, tediously keeping it all from collapsing, all from breaking.

Until it breaks.

About three weeks ago, after another long week, Jonathan called to say he’d be home late. Again. During the conversation he said “Babe, you need to let me know when enough is enough. We are in this together. I need to know how you’re doing.” Enough was last June. Enough was last December. Enough was yesterday. We are past enough. Immediately, pride crept into my heart. I thought “If you can’t see that I’ve had enough, I’m not going to tell you.” I went silent on him and our conversation ended quickly after. I found myself left standing in my house clinging to my pride.

My evil, lying pride.

In that moment along side my pride, like a flood washing over me, the Holy Spirit prompted this thought ::

This is how divorces start. 

Divorces don’t just happen. You don’t go from honeymoon happy to bitterly divorced. Divorces start off like a disease; small and unseen. And when left untreated, they grow until what once lived dies.

So in that moment, that moment of realizing that this life I had built, this love I had cultivated, this relationship I cherished could be killed, I hit my knees. I cried out to my Heavenly Father because, I knew that in my own power, in my own selfish desire, I would divorce Jonathan. This life can get too hard, and I don’t like hard. But… {oh what a wonderful word} with Christ’s power my marriage will continue to stay strong, even when it’s hard.

So I prayed. Prayed for my heart, prayed for my attitude, prayed for my marriage. And then I told Jonathan how I felt, what I was struggling with, my loneliness and frustration. I talked, he listened. He talked, I listened.

That weekend, Jonathan and I talked to our closest couple friends. They already knew what was going on, but we still needed them to help us in the thick of it. Help point us to truth. Help us remember our desperate need for Christ. {Where would we be without good friends?}

Then we booked tickets to New York. Just Jonathan and I. No kids, no obligations. Just the two of us.

We leave this Friday. {And a chorus from heaven sang “hallelujah!”}

Things are still hard. Life is still busy. But this truth has sunk down deeper in me than ever before :: Divorce is not an option for our marriage.

For that moment, standing in my bedroom after that phone conversation, I saw the path my life could go down. And I don’t want that. The heartache, the tears, the pain. It’s not worth it. So instead, we are fighting for our marriage. We are not letting this ship sink, we are not backing down, we are not giving up. Together we are clinging to our sure foundation.

Confession :: I didn’t do one single Easter/Resurrection craft with my kids. 

Late Saturday night, I was perusing Facebook seeing pictures of all these clever crafts that other people had done and I thought “Oh crap. I should have done that with the girls! I totally missed the chance to share the Gospel.” Immediately I felt guilty. And even as we were going to church on Sunday, I was struggling with the guilt of not doing enough, not talking about Christ enough.

Then when Hannah announced that she was so excited it was Easter because then she could wear her pretty dress {the same she wore for Halloween and Christmas} I knew, just knew, I had failed to make them understand the deep meaning of Easter.

And it’s true, I did fail. If it were my job to save my children, to “talk them into the Gospel” then I am a failure. I will never succeed at that. There are no words within me that are powerful enough to lead my children to salvation.

Thank God for that.

Thank God that my children’s salvation is not in my hands. Thank God that my own salvation is not in my hands. Because if it were, I’d fail. We all would fall short of God’s glory. We would be condemned.

But, Easter is proof that God is in charge of my salvation. That I am not capable of saving myself, saving my children, and therefore Christ did it for me.

Thank God for that.

So I missed a Gospel centered craft. So Hannah liked Easter because of her dress. So I failed to make my children understand the overwhelming power of Christ’s resurrection. Thank God for that. Because it shows me all the more how dependent I am for Him to move in my children’s lives, in my life, in order to move us closer to Him.

And while I know, and treasure, that it is my job as their mom to share the Gospel with them, to speak of God and His amazing works, I rejoice that it is not in my ability or words or power to save them, but in Christ only.

Thank God for that.