Monday, March 4, 2013

The post I've been waiting to write for 2 1/2 years

Boy oh boy, it's been a banner month.

Lots of you know I've been inching my way toward health for the last year, which, in doctor's terms, is semi-hopeful. In Sarah terms, however, it is a doozy of a deal. I don't like inching.  I'd much rather run balls to the wall toward an obstacle, and then sprint over it, leaving it far behind me.

But sickness has a way of breaking bodies and turning personalities inside out. So I've been feebly inching and occasionally hoping that one day I'd remember again what it feels like to be me.

Along the way, I've been trying to practice gratitude by celebrating my small health victories, on my blog. So if you've been reading for awhile, then you know that, over the last 2 1/2 years, I've gone from indescribable fatigue, muscle aches, clouded thinking, and general incapacitation —essentially functioning at about 20% of my "normal"—, to eventually functioning at about 50% of normal, with energy for occasional walks, or a rare outing with friends or a date.

Then, this fall and early winter (post-tonsillectomy), I felt like I was functioning at about 70% of normal, which means I experienced occasional bouts of 'normalcy,' but still had to cautiously ration out my energy, and was generally limited in what I could do.

And then the February skies dawned bright with winter light, and something in my body drastically and gloriously changed.

Not an inching along change, but a 100-meter sprint change. And the change hasn't just been physical, because, as I've learned, we are so marvelously integrated that a person can't have a broken body without experiencing significant emotional and mental changes.

So now, the only aching I feel is the ache to somehow put this miraculous experience to words, so the people I love can enter this renewed and glorious place with me.

But rarely in my life have I been confronted by the limitations of words like I have this month. So I stumble and search for the perfect words to explain how it feels to go from dying to living, and I sing, and I laugh, and I dance, and I run really, really fast, and I keep searching for words.

Maybe one day I'll be able to string together enough syllables to aptly communicate the thrill of returning to my old self, and the delight of seeing more clearly the extent to which God has used my suffering to renovate my heart, so that I'm more fully my true self than I've ever been.

In the meantime, I'm hoping a photographic tour of the last month will act as a trumpet fanfare for the good work God is doing in my body and soul:

The first week of February some friends and I went on a last minute weekend getaway to San Diego. Normally, I'd be nervous that I wouldn't be able to make it through the weekend's activities without landing in bed, but it's amazing how a strong body'll give a girl confidence.

It was a lovely weekend. We went out for dinner, and then danced late into the night. And I, the girl who's needed an average of 12 hours of sleep a night for the last 2 1/2 years, slept 3 hours that first night. And I was fine. 

I had energy to enjoy the city the next day, and then go to work the day after that. And I didn't have to spend days recovering from the trip like I would have three months ago, nor did I get sick. I just slipped back into my routine, just like that.

And that's when I knew Action Jackson was back in action.

So I've run, and hiked, and gone on sunset strolls along the boardwalk.

I've hit the beach, splashed in the [freezing cold] waves, and gone on more hikes.

My friend, L, and I found some caves to explore.
No cave exploration is complete without a "Circle of Life" reenactment. It turns out my African chanting could use some work.

Last weekend, I went on another mini vacay to a ranch in Hemet with my cousins, where we spent the whole weekend on quads.

We tore across miles of brush, raced around old dirt bike trails, and hit jumps with gusto.

And I noticed that the paralyzing fear I'd been fighting the last two years was gone. I was no longer inhibited by the fear of mishaps, injury, and loss. I was the Sarah who loved a challenge, and sought adrenaline-inducing adventure.

And when my cousin's girlfriend turned to me after a day on the quads and said, "You.are.intense!" I wanted to do a jig, because I felt free and known, and it's never felt so good to be me.

I'm also loving exploring where I live for the first time since I moved here three years ago. This last weekend some girlfriends and I explored the high seas: we went whale watching.

And, of course, no perfect month is complete without loads of dancing. I'd forgotten how much I love to dance. It's such a fun blend of athleticism and musicality, and I love love love that God gave us bodies that can sway, and spin, and get low, loow, looow, looooow.

Gettin' ready for a little line dancin'

My line dancin' partna

And life just keeps getting better and better, folks, because my sister is coming to town this weekend. And then I'm heading to Palm Springs later this month with my girlfriends.

And the thought of all this LIFE makes my soul swell so big it's threatening to explode out of this small, healthy body of mine.

So I keep singing, and laughing, and dancing, and running, and searching for the perfect words, and I think I finally understand why the angels in the book of Revelation don't stop singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!"

They don't stop singing because they can't not sing.

They are so full of joy they've got to let it out somehow — they've got to sing praise to the One who heals our souls and our bodies, turns loss into gain, and breaths resurrection life into the dry, dying places.

And oh! I think the healing I've experienced this month is just a flickering foreshadowing of that glorious day when Jesus will give me a new body, and I'll fall at his feet singing, and he'll take my new hands in his scarred hands, and say,

"Let's dance, shall we?"

© by scj


  1. I love this! I love that through having to slow down, you've been reawakened to the beauty of things that I (and others, I'm guessing) have grown to take advantage of! Weekend trips and nights out dancing and getting to be outside...I yearn to the be genuinely EXCITED about those again!

    1. Thanks, Lauren, for your comment, and for being glad with me. :) Yay for God, and for the beauty of the little things!

  2. I love, love, love it! I'm slowly going through a process with my body similar to your journey, and your timing could not be better. I needed the encouragement that is given when seeing someone else's miracle. ((hugs))

    1. Sharalyn,

      Oh no, I am very sorry to hear you're experience health problems. Are they similar to Gryphon's problems? Or related to your sinuses?

      Love you,


  3. Oh, this is marvelous. And yes, honey. You.Are.Intense. Praise the Lord.

    1. Thank you, Julianna. :) Yes, praise him!

  4. Sarah! Your love and joy for God our Father is contagious! Praise the Lord!

  5. Sarah, This is amazing! I am so happy for you and so glad to hear about your miraculous recovery. God is Good and Faithful to heal us!! I love that you are living life with such joy again! :)

    1. Thank you, Heidi! It's so good to hear from you. I miss you, and hope I can see you again soon. :)