Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Some of you may have seen me post photos of my Christmas cactus on Instagram. As I took this most recent shot and wrote the caption last week, I couldn't help but think of how metaphorical the words are for my life. To be honest, this year has been hard, maybe not physically or financially, but certainly mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It has also been a year of renewal, redemption, and growth.

After ten years of living in Arkansas (three as an undergraduate and seven as a working adult), I moved back into my childhood home with my mom, dad, and little brother last July. I love my family, and renewing relationships with them was great, but this transition was HARD. I have my own room, but not my own kitchen or bathroom or living room. The house is almost never quiet due to my parents running their small business out of it. We've had multiple arguments and conflicts between family members over the course of the past 10 months. I've probably cried more this year than I have in the past several years. I have been forced to confront my selfishness and lack of flexibility, sins not so apparent to me when living with roommates. Ouch.

Then there was the issue of work. God graciously provided a job for me as a college guidance coordinator at a local charter high school almost immediately after I arrived home. I truly believe that I was supposed to take this job. My students did very well and I developed special relationships with many of my coworkers, but this job was hard. It was not counseling, and after five years of graduate education and internship in counseling, I missed the field so much. I wasn't good at teaching or discipline or recess duty, and I had to learn and do them anyway. The process was painful.

I immediately tried to get involved with church when I got home, but to no avail. They basically put me on a probationary period and did not let me volunteer with the children's ministry, which I so wanted to do. I felt rejected and outcast, like I did not belong.

I did not really take any vacation this year (save for Pat's Run weekend), and I have felt sad, depressed, tired, and overall burned out. I have wanted change, but not known how to orchestrate it. I have even, at times, felt like I did not know myself or recognize what really mattered to me.

Slowly, but surely, God is redeeming, reviving, and growing me. I have not found a house of my own yet, but I have been looking. After agonizing over my decision, I decided to resign from my job at the school and look for a counseling position. About a week after I did that, God brought forth a new opportunity, that Lord willing, starts mid-June. Through the process of not being able to serve in children's ministry at church, I had the opportunities to participate in ladies Bible study and sing in Christmas and Easter praise choirs. I developed relationships with some really awesome people and God reignited my love of singing. I even recently applied to become part of the church worship team (but that may be another issue of watching and waiting).

Like my Christmas cactus, I've still got some dead weight. Certain parts of my life are stagnant and not growing. I've really got to get this self-care thing figured out. But still, I'm thankful. Thankful for God's growing and pruning. Thankful for the rediscovering of previously neglected passions and pursuits. Thankful for new opportunities. Thankful for the loving friends and family that surround me. Thankful that, "He who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Sarah. What a year! I'm sorry it's been hard for you. :( Praying that some good things are around the corner! I'm excited to hear more about your next job!