And, an embrace.

486The day before Sean was transferred to the ICU, we woke up in the morning around the usual time- when the nurses change shifts and the new nurse for the day comes in to check vitals. Sean looked over at me on the cot I slept on next to his bed, and asked how I was doing. Those words took me by surprise and melted my heart. For over a week prior, Sean was very sick and not thinking clearly enough to interact with me more than just to answer questions. I squeezed into the available space next to him in his hospital bed, his arm around my shoulders. It was a sweet moment, and the last time he held me.

The way I’ve always experienced God is like that sweet moment. No crazy visions or miracles before my eyes, or auditory voices booming from heaven. God is just there with an embrace, encouraging and uplifting me in a subtle, sweet, and overwhelming way. This was my experience as God carried both Sean and me through cancer, and everything attached. The subtle way he continually gave me strength for every day, though I may have been exhausted and drained. The way he provided for all of our needs and beyond through amazing family, friends, and community. The way he helped me process so many feelings, and I never felt abandoned to feel them by myself.

There were times I was tired.
There were times I felt alone.
There were sleepless nights. Stress. Frustration. Helplessness.

But there was always, always hope. I never felt despairing. I never felt that we were trying to make it on our own. I knew God was with us. With me. I never felt God physically holding me, or heard the voice of God in the middle of the night. But he was always there- carrying me through the day to day and maturing me all the while.

Now, this journey continues without Sean next to me. What a whirlwind of nine months, with so many feelings now creeping up on me. There is so much going on in my mind as I am slowly coming out of the fog surrounding Sean’s death, and beginning to feel his absence. As a move forward to live life without him, a now-familiar ache in my stomach begins to take the place of Sean’s arms around me. A sharp pain in my chest.

But now, I know that though I feel all these painful realities of cancer and death and grief and all the ugliness woven throughout, there is still an embrace. God is still taking care of me, and walking with me through this. Having felt him carrying me along such steep a path as cancer, I rest a little bit amidst the chaos. Even if I don’t know what to say to him now. Even though it hurts the most at night. Even though Sean and I didn’t get to do a lot of things we planned and hoped for. I feel all of it.

And, an embrace.

26 thoughts on “And, an embrace.

  1. Wonderful insight ………..if we learn to live more deeply out of our personal losses we will most certainly walk closer to God. You’re amazing Sarah. I have followed this story all along and have known Sean since he was a 12 year old camper at Gilgal.

  2. Thank you Sister! Your devotion and dependence on God is an encouragement and motivator to all who know you and know Him.

  3. Thank you for sharing your heart Sarah. It’s true ..Gods presence with us is so sweet and can sustain us in dark,scary places we didn’t think we could stand. He is so real. Praying for you .

  4. thank you for sharing sarah it made me cry .its true Gods presents with us is so sweet , it can help us go thru tought times .my love didnt die but it feels to me like it did , so i undestand how you feel. . this is lucy

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your heart Sarah. I have had you on my heart and mind so very much. I cannot imagine the pain but I pray that the embrace will make you strong and brave and able to continue on whatever path God has for you. Your faith has always been such a blessing to me. May His Spirit bring you peace. Much love to you from me!

  6. Beautiful words, Sarah. Our hearts and prayers are still with you as yo move into the next season of life that God has for you. And you’re right – He’s ALWAYS faithful; He’s ALWAYS there.

    • Sarah, precious girl! This post made me cry. I, like you, experience God’s love the SAME way. Sometimes a bit stronger and sometimes a bit gentler, but HE is AlWAYS there. Thank you so much for encouraging me today. I need it badly! I love you and trust that our Abba has you in HIS hands. Mine are always here too!

  7. So good to hear your heart today. How beautiful you are in Him. Though it is not the same, I lost my dad to cancer and my brother to suicide a few years ago. I felt the echoes of your pain through your fight and now I remember the hollow hurt of loss and grief . . . and the embrace. Love and peace sweet girl. He will continue to hold you up. If I can be anything for you, I’m here.

  8. Sarah, precious girl! This post made me cry. I, like you, experience God’s love the SAME way. Sometimes a bit stronger and sometimes a bit gentler, but HE is AlWAYS there. Thank you so much for encouraging me today. I need it badly! I love you and trust that our Abba has you in HIS hands. Mine are always here too!

  9. Still praying for you. Thank you for sharing your heart through all this. I know God is using you and Sean to help someone else who will need the powerful words of your testimony.

  10. Thank you for sharing you faith and courage in these days. I am praying for his embrace to continue faithfully in your life.

  11. Sarah, I’m a friend of Julie and Rivkah. A family member of mine lost her husband to a violent suicide in the early 1980s. She told me that she thought that never a day would go by that she wouldn’t think of those images or of the loss. But the good news is that time does heal most wounds. There will be a day in the future where you’ll wake up and recognize that you haven’t felt the pain or thought of the trauma in years.

    It will get better. I promise you that. The nights will get easier.

  12. I’m still praying for you, Sarah! Your faith is nonpareil and whether you intend it or not, you are an inspiration to me and so many others. Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into your heart and your walk with God. Thinking of you often! Much love, -Wiebke

  13. I don’t know you, Sarah, but was captured by Sean’s story and the faith of his family. You have put into words what I have felt in the past seven years after losing my adult son tragically and unexpectedly. I was comforted by this & hope you continue to write as it is a gift to others. God keep you in his embrace always.

  14. Hi Sarah, God put it on my heart to specifically be praying for you through this ordeal and now. Reading your post was like hearing Him say ‘see how I’ve used your prayers.” I’m grateful. There are blessings even in sorrow.

  15. God is magnified in my emotions as I think through your words. Messiah you are good in all season–in all season you are always embracing.

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