My name is Sara. What is yours?

There are a myriad of things I could be doing right now (and probably should be doing) but I wanted to take advantage of the quiet, the sunshine, and the delicious cup of coffee to clear my head and make sense of all that has been happening in our lives these last few months.   I have felt so much like Mary lately.  In Luke 2, right after Jesus was born and the shepherds had come to visit, it says in verse 19, “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”    I have been doing lots of treasuring and pondering, but today I wanted to do a little sorting.

These last few months have been some of the hardest spiritually that I have ever experienced.  Everything in my circumstances has challenged my faith.  I have felt numerous eyes look upon my family and me and even if they haven’t said it with their mouths, inside they were definitely saying, “These cats are crazy!”  I even told one of my dear friends here one day, I feel like I am walking that fine line between “living radically for the Lord” and just being flat crazy.  I have questioned the Lord.  I have even been angry with Him at times.  But, I have also praised Him and sent up many, many prayers and songs of thanksgiving.  But, the battle has been fierce.  It has been strong.  I wanted to run.  I wanted to hide.  I wanted to just wake up and for everything to be in its rightful place and for all to be well.  

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I am not at all trying to make my circumstances and experiences bigger or worse than what they are.  My point is just that spiritually speaking, I have struggled.  I have battled.  I have doubted instead of trusted.  I have fretted instead of praying.  I have chosen anger and feeling sorry for myself instead of being thankful.  

But, last week I felt like the clouds lifted a bit.  It was like the fog was clearing away and the sun was beginning to peak through.  What was once nothing but confusion started to have meaning.

Saturday night I was up late talking with someone very dear to me here in Guatemala.  We have chatted quite a bit lately actually, but on Saturday she told me she had something that she had wanted to share with me for a while but hadn’t had the opportunity.  I figured it was something related to another big life event that was happening with her, so I was just kind of focused on that.  But, this is what she says to me instead…

                “I just wanted to tell you that I don’t think it is an accident that your name is Sara.”

In my mind, I am thinking, “Well of course it isn’t an accident, my mom always wanted to name her firstborn daughter Sara, so not so much an accident.”  But, I remained quiet.  She continued. 

                “I mean I know it wasn’t an accident but I just think that the Lord really wanted your name to be Sara.  I think He wanted you to be named Sara after Abraham’s wife Sara.”

I can be a little dense sometimes, so I am totally not following where she is going with this.  I am trying to be encouraged as she seemed to feel an urgency to tell me this and for me to understand, but I just really wasn’t following.

                “I think God wanted you to be named Sara because you are going to have many children.”

Stop right there.  This girl ain’t having a bunch of children.  I can barely keep up with the three I have.  I admire all those mamas with their full houses, but I am just not seeing it happening here.  Unless of course we really want to do crazy…cause I can show you crazy. 

                “I don’t mean that you are physically going to have a lot of children.  I think you are going to be like Sara in that you are going to be the mother of many generations.  God is going to use you to be a mother to so many that will never have a mother of their own”

Silence.  I couldn’t speak.  Tears are starting to fill up my eyes.

                “He really is already doing it.  But, I just don’t think you have any idea what is still to come.  God gave you the name Sara because you are going to be a mother to more children, teenagers, and even young adults than you can even imagine. I really think you just need to get ready.  God is going to use you like that.  I am sure of it.  That is why your name is Sara.”

Okay cue the waterworks.  

It was just too much.  For the last six months, I have fought and fretted and stressed and cried and gotten angry.  I have questioned the Lord.  I have asked Him, “Why did you pick us?  Why do we have to do this?  Isn’t there someone else?”   And, then in one short conversation, it all became clear.  

I moved to Guatemala with the desire to serve and love the motherless, the fatherless, the abandoned, and the sick.  This was my vision. It was my calling. It was why I was here.  But, for some reason, it is like I always saw my role here as just another one of many who had dedicated their lives to the same thing.  I didn’t really understand that God wanted to use me…Sara…for something unique.  

Please hear me.  I am not trying to put myself up on some pedestal.  I am no more unique or special than the next girl.  But, for some reason I saw my work here in Guatemala with the same way that I always viewed my very name…ordinary.  Sara was an ordinary name.  Ask any of the other “Sara’s” from my generation and I bet they will tell you the same.  We were one of many.  In elementary school instead of being called by only our first name, we got the “special privilege” of being called by our first name and first initial of our last name.  Whoopee.  

Ordinary.  That is honestly the way I have always viewed my name, myself, my ministry, and pretty much everything about me.  So the fact that this dear friend of mine used my very name…the very essence of why I always felt ordinary to tell me how God was going to use me here in Guatemala…well let’s just say it rocked my world.  

No, I am no more important than the servant next to me.  God is using her in a mighty way too.  But, it is unique.  It is one of kind.  How He is using me isn’t the same as how He is using her.  My God is extraordinary, and in His eyes so am I.  He wants to do much, much more in my life than just “ordinary.” 

Guess what, friend?  You aren’t ordinary either.  Maybe you are a stay at home mama.  Guess what, Mama?  You aren’t ordinary.  God sees you!  He values what you are doing, and in His book, you are a Rockstar Mama!  Maybe you are sitting at a desk, inside a small cubicle, in an office building filled with hundreds of others also sitting at desks, inside of small cubicles.  You aren’t just one of many.  You are one of kind!  You are unique!   You are unmatched.  There is not one like you.   

This isn’t about making much of ourselves.  This is about making much of our God who doesn’t make ordinary.  His specialty is extraordinary, one of a kind, exceptional.  So stop looking at what you do, whatever it is you do, as ordinary.  It isn’t ordinary.  God is doing a work in you that doesn’t look anything like the work He is doing in the one next to you.  

This I know to be true.  Since the moment my friend shared these words with me, I have been living my life differently.  I think since I thought I was ordinary and my work here was ordinary, I didn’t feel much urgency.  If I didn’t do it, oh well, I am sure someone else would come along and do it.  But, now I see that God wants to use me, SARA, in a way that is new and fresh and completely and utterly different than any other Sara on this planet.   I am not just one of many.  I am one completely loved and cherished by the only ONE that matters.  He sees me.  He knows me.  I am His.  And, I am not ordinary.

“Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, Oh Lord, you know it altogether.  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me….For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well”

Psalm 139:1-5,13-14

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Some bits and bobbits about this blog...

This blog is mostly just ramblings by yours truly. I talk about my ups and downs being a wife, mother, and missionary in Guatemala. I have a tendency to get off on "soapboxes" as those who love me say but it is my desire that this blog can be a place of encouragement in each of your pilgrimages with Christ. At any moment if this blog becomes more about me than about Christ, than it will be done and please help me stay accountable. To God be all the Glory, Honor, and Power!

Books I am currently reading...

  • Eight Twenty Eight
  • Interrupted
  • The Connected Child
  • This Momentary Marriage
  • Unbroken

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