Friends have never been my forte to say the least. I am more of a have a few really great friends kinda gal rather than have a hundred who don't really care about ya.
You know what I'm saying???
Throughout my life I've learned that many friends come and go but there are always those few people that stick with you through thick and thin and those are the ones that help you grow in your faith and you help them grow in theirs as well.
Being in college I've learned how important it is to find those few solid friends who share your love for Jesus.
I recently met the sweetest soul and her love for the Lord is empowering. And we recently have become friends and I am blessed God threw her into my life when he did.
Everyone longs to grow in their faith and become the person that God intended them to be, but often we need each other to gain it. We need those Jesus loving friends in our lives so that God can use them to tune us up so that our lives can become the beautiful song reflecting God and all His glory.
It's important to have an accountability partner - someone who you can share things with, trust to be honest between each other, share your strengths and weaknesses, and find someone that will encourage you in good times and in hard times when you need it most.
When I think of this type of friend this is what I look for
These traits are just a few but have been something that has helped me grow in my own faith and something I try to be for others. For example, I need a friend who knows Christ at about my same level so as I struggle through life, I know they will send me Scriptures that will get my attention and help me along the path. I need a friend who has experienced trials so we can share those with each other and help each other through those times of doubt and worry. I have found if they are naturally (genuine) a friend of mine, our paths cross enough for them to see into my life so that they gain the perspective to speak truth into my heart and I can do the same for them. The two traits that are really important to me are their ability to keep a confidence and their desire to pray for me consistently.
Life can be tiring and it's important to have trusted friends that help you grow and hold you up in hard times. It's also really important to be honest with each other in those times and sometimes bring each other back to reality. You can rejoice together, cry together, pray together, and praise Him together.
There hasn't been a ton of super hard times that stick out to me but there are a few moments that I vividly remember that will always been times that made me stronger.
So prepare for this post to be super real and raw.
1. THE SECRET MY PARENTS KEPT FROM ME FOR 19 YEARS
A secret say WHAT?! For real... I remember walking into my parents bedroom last year and I had never seen the look they had on their faces. At first I thought something was seriously wrong, like someone died. Then they looked at each other and back at me and calmly said Sarah we think it's time to tell you something that we have kept from you your whole life.
When you hear your parents say this your brain instantly goes to... Am I adopted?!
That wasn't the case, what was the case was the story Im about to tell. They didn't tell me this story because they never wanted me to think that it was a thought in their heads and as parents I think, they want to make sure the right message is relayed to their daughter.
Ive written on this before so if you want to read the whole story click here
Here's why I am grateful for this:
This story is a prime example of the way that God works. It shows my parents strength through a rough process that instead was graceful because my parents had the Lord at the center of it all and relied on him for everything. Im grateful that my parents told me because even though I still despise that doctor and want to send him a letter with bible verses and how incredible God is in his created of all people. I have forgiven and found grace in my heart and know that God will continue to work through me and Im sure that doctor knows what he wanted was not right.
2. THE MEME
I was on a plane to Colorado when I got a message on Facebook from a girl I went to high school with. I was surprised to say the least when she said, "Sarah I think you need to look at this"
As I opened up the link I was terrified and after what I saw I had every right to be.
The moment I saw what someone had created with a photo of me I felt my insides instantly cry for help. I was sitting by myself on the plane, a stranger next to me. I called my parents but their phones were already on airplane mode and I couldn't get their attention.
I started balling my eyes out so angry at the world and why anyone would post this. What did I ever do to them? How could someone lack so much heart? Where is kindness in this world?
You are probably wondering what the meme was... well it is extremely inappropriate so I wont post it on here but basically it was an inappropriate sexual meme of something to do with me having one arm.
I remember instantly contacting my best friend Paige and of course there she was in my worst one arm moment ready to comfort me and show me love. I am so grateful for her heart and for her understanding in these dark moments.
That plane ride was the longest plane ride of my life, or so it seemed.
When I got off the plane I ran to my dad and said dad, I don't know how to tell you this but I have a serious matter that is really bad and I don't know what to do. He didn't really know what to say either.
Here's why I'm grateful:
I am grateful because I learned that even though there are nasty, sickening, people in this world. There are people that love me more that anything that comfort me in these times. Like Paige, and my family. The internet is my friend most of the time but on this particular day it was my worst enemy. But there will always be negatives, you just have to find the positives and keep those at the top. Don't let negative people get to you. Just brush it off, it's not worth your tears or your energy.
3. THAT RUDE BOY
In high school there was this boy, I thought he was cute and I had a crush for sure. I remember we would text but one day I got told from one of his friends about a comment he made about me and my arm. Now I never had much trouble with guys and my arm but this was definitely the worst.
I wore my prosthetic to school the next day to feel "normal" I cried the night before wondering if I'd ever find a guy that loved me for me and loved my one arm life too. (I was an emotional teen, okay) hahaaha
I wont repeat what he said but when I asked him about it he owned up to what he did but the thing was, he would never say it to my face of course because he didn't have the balls to.
This is why I am Grateful:
It taught me that when I run into guys like this they obviously are NOT worth my time. And they are definitely not the right guy God has for me. It made finding guys (the right guys) easier for me. And I realized that guys are dumb and not worth the tears or my time. Those types of guys need to go back to how to be a kind man school and listen to their momma.
4. THE BULLIES
Let's just say high school my junior and senior year were rough and I have no desire to ever relive those moments.
My junior year a lot of really big things happened in my life, and this was the year I developed and decided my platform of Imperfectly Sarah. During these two years I had supporters and I had people that bullied me.
For myself it was all through social media, Twitter was a huge deal when I was in high school and people tweeted nasty comments about me. I had someone in high school tell me to go live my imperfectly perfect life and kill myself.
I told no one, and I didn't really let it affect me too much.
However what I did do was isolate myself from my peers.
This is something I don't recommend doing, because it created more bullies in the end.
This is why I am grateful:
I am grateful because it made me stronger in the end. I was able to just brush it off and not let the negativity affect me.
And I was able to use my experiences with bullying to impact the lives of so many kids in different schools and help give advice on what to do when you are bullied. Know that you are strong, you are loved, and you are NOT ALONE.
5. MISS INDIANA
During the week of Miss Indiana I was on a spiritual high with the Lord.
I learned so much.
The moment I got there I wanted to leave, I told my mom I wasn't cut out for this. All the girls were super serious about it, and most of them already knew each other. Of course there was drama, I mean you get a group of pageant girls together so I expected that.
But during the week God spoke to me more than ever.
Why I am Grateful: because God showed me that my purpose is greater than a crown on my head. My purpose wasn't meant for the process. I was able to see God at work more than ever.
It was a great reminder that God's purpose and plan for me is so much greater than my own.
Fitness has always been a passion of mine ever since I was a kid.
As a kid I played every sport imaginable to get an idea of what I liked and what I was good at and then when it came down to high school I choose my favorites.
I have always loved running ever since field days in elementary. I can remember putting on my favorite black running shorts, my blue track and field shirt with a running shoe on it from Nike and my favorite running shoes and I was the one kid that took field day really seriously.
I am naturally a very competitive person, Thanks to my dad. So those days it was all about the win. I wanted to make my dad proud. (My dad was a really good runner in track)
So in high school I chose to play soccer and of course RUN! I ran cross country and track. If you are a runner than you know that running becomes a bit of an obsession. I remember in high school I wanted to be the best runner possible so I trained with the guys a lot to speed up my times and run at a faster pace, and I ALWAYS got my miles in. 10 miles in the morning, 10 at night.
However there came a point in my life my junior year I went to a running camp over the summer and they asked how many of us wanted to run in college and I thought maybe I want to. And then they told us it's like a job and you don't have much free time. You see, my running turned into too much of a competition and I became too hard on myself, that I no longer could just run for fun.
Now that I am in college and my competitive running days are over, I get to run for fun and it is so much more enjoyable without the stress of "I have to win" on my mind.
Anyway.... a few years ago I competed for Miss Indiana and I began to train for the swimsuit competition with Sharpley Training. This type of training changed my entire idea of fitness. First off, with me having one arm I have to adapt to a lot when it comes to working out. And because I was a runner and my teachers in gym class told me to skip things I never had deadlifted, or jumped rope, or squatted etc. It seemed scary at first but Sharpley made it so easy and they always were encouraging me and they adapted and found out ways for me to do literally EVERYTHING! I am forever grateful for them and what they did for me.
So now I love all of those things! I love crossfit and HIT (High Intensity Training)
So now these are all apart of my daily workout.
1 mile on the track
Just the Bar x 10
Add 10 lbs x 10
Add 15 lbs x 8
Add 25 lbs x 5
Add 30 lbs x 3
Add 35 lbs x 2
Add 45 lbs x 1
10 Box Jumps x 5
5 Down and Back on Prowler
(add weight if possible)
10 Rings x 5
(Put your feet in the rings and pull knees forward)
10 Burpees x 5
Alternate Between these
On the Mat
Toe Touches 20 x 5
Alternate Toe Touches 20 x 5
Candle Sticks 10 x 5
Suitcases 10 x 5
Donkey Kicks 25 x 2
Small donkey pulses 25 x 2
Reverse crunches 20 x 5
Russian Twists 40 x 2
1 Mile Light Jog
By no means am I an expert, this is just what I enjoy doing for my workout.
So typically I write to an audience that is mainly girls but I decided to switch it up a bit. This blog post came to mind when I was walking through campus and sat in my discipleship group. I realized that the majority of people in my discipleship group were girls and was thinking to myself.... Men of GOD....WHERE ARE YOU???
When I think of guys in college, I think of the "guy that likes to go out with all his friends, have a good time (maybe too much of a good time) , goes out on the weekends drinks and tries to get girls. Now... I know that I am totally stereotyping but the moral of the story is...... you don't often see a MAN OF GOD. But I know they are out there. They are everywhere actually. They just might be "hiding"
So what is an example of a MAN OF GOD you might ask??
We will get to that but first, when i think of a MAN OF GOD, I think of my dad (a man that loves Jesus more than anything, a man that loves his family, and sits at the dinner table every night to read the truth." I think of my great-grandpa Dean, (a man that read his bible day and night for hours at a time, a man that I listened to pray for each and every family member and never forgot a single one, this man was truly the biggest man of God I will ever know)
But rarely do I catch a guy deep in his Bible at school, now Im not saying MEN OF GOD don't exist in college, because they do. But what Im saying is that guys....
DON'T BE AFRAID TO BE A MAN OF GOD, in my opinion there is no better man.
Sure your friends might think you are weird, crazy even perhaps, it's probably not going to be considered cool or trendy, but GET OVER IT! You will grow like you never thought you could..
As I always say, why blend in when you were born to stand out.
My dad and I went on a daddy - daughter date the other week and when we were on our way home I was asking a ton of questions about things Im not sure on, like what happens when... haha anyway... my dad said something that really stuck with me.
He said that when God comes we might have to fight, like we could literally die fighting for God.
That I might have to be given the choice to be shot and claim God, or to die and not claim him.
I thought to myself, well duh im dying for God because he died for me and I love him more than anything. But it made me think about those at school, work, etc. That already deny him because it's "not cool" and then I thought to myself, how many would choose not to take a bullet for God.
Thinking of this made me really sad.
Anyway this is an extreme but it got me really thinking about everything. OKAY moving on Sarah...
WHAT MAKES A MAN OF GOD?
I think a MAN OF GOD is someone who follows God, and obey's His commands with joy. A man who doesn't live for things of this life but for the things of eternity, someone who willingly serves God and gives freely. Maybe Micah 6:8 will help you get a perspective.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
A man of God goes against society even though it may be hard. A man of God considers those who are rejected by society, those who are lonely; he is a listener to people and their problems and does not judge.
Now I'm not saying a MAN OF GOD is perfect, he is far from it. We all as humans are far from perfect, We make bad choices, we sin. But God forgives us.
But I don't want the guys I see on campus to hide their faith, or think that it isn't cool.
JESUS IS COOL. JESUS IS THE TRUTH.
The final result is that he walks humbly with his God, knowing that he must rely solely upon Him to be able to live to the full and persevere to the end.
I asked my dad what a man of God was to him and he said,
A MAN OF GOD....Is one to be in the word daily, be in prayer daily. And be a man of integrity
Integrity: "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness"
I think the biggest thing my dad said, was "do what is right not what is easy"
My dad is a great example of a MAN OF GOD. He is always in his Bible, he has led his family like none other and taught me what a MAN OF GOD truly is so that one day I can find one of my own to lead my household. So thanks dad for teaching me to keep my standards high lol
So let's talk about the characteristics that make up a MAN OF GOD...
Characteristics of a MAN OF GOD
You look in the mirror and see a reflection that is unknown. When God created the world, when he created you and I
God said it was good.
It says in Genesis 1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The Earth at first was formless and empty. BUT the Spirit of God was fully present. The light came from the creator. God saw it and said it was good. In Genesis 26 god decided to create man. God said, “Let us make man kind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, over the livestock, and all the wild animals. So GOD CREATED MANKIND IN HIS OWN IMAGE. God saw all that he had made and said it was good.
As humans God gave us the power to make decisions and we made a decision to not listen to God. From this entered fear and shame that turned our colors from God into gray. From God we feel no shame because he is all good and all knowing. But from this world and from the enemy we feel shame and get fear.
Because of this fear and shame we allow ourselves to look in the mirror and point out the “wrong, ugly, or jiggly” about ourselves.
Admit it, you have done it.
I have, I still do sometimes.
It is so easy to get caught up in what the enemy wants us to get caught up. Instead of running to God we run away from him because we are ashamed of our nakedness. We know that we can’t clean it up, but the accuser points fingers and makes us question if we are worthy of God’s love.
Words and thoughts begin to consume us and wreck the self-confidence we have. We tear ourselves down every chance we get because we question god and wonder “can God make mistakes?”
When we shame our bodies and who we are, we are telling God that He made a mistake in us. That He failed to make us perfect, just as he promised us.
Allow that to sink in for a minute…
WHO ARE WE TO TELL THE CREATOR, THE BIG MAN UPSTAIRS, THE HOLY ONE, THE CREATOR OF THE EARTH, THAT HE MESSED UP WHEN HE CREATED US?
THERE IS NOT A SINGLE PERSON THAT IS THE SAME, BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY GOD INTENDED AND CREATED US..
DIFFERENT YET EQUALLY BEAUTIFUL
We need to stop believing words that God didn’t say.
GOD DOESN’T MAKE MISTAKES!!!
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
God wants us to look at ourselves through his eyes, because when we take on the mindset that, “Oh wow, my body is beautiful with its marks and scars and jiggle”, we begin to praise Jesus for it. We begin to glorify our God for creating such beauty within us!
In God’s eyes you are everything that you were made to be and more.
We need to stop looking to the world to feel approved, we long for validation but we look to the world instead of God for proof. God already has given us the validation we need when he created His one and only son to come walk here on Earth. God gave us all the love and truth we need. God doesn’t see you as different. You are perfect to him and ARE HIS REFLECTION.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
You are not a mistake. Your body is not a mistake. Your difference is not a mistake.
YOU HAVE PURPOSE.
Your differences that you see as a mistake have purpose.
So stop believing the words that God didn’t say. You are just believing what the enemy wants you to believe and in God you will find the validation, the light, the truth. YOU WILL FIND PEACE.
So here is a challenge for you,
Every day when you look in the mirror, every time you look in the mirror, thank God for something that He created on your body. It can be external or internal, heart stuff or appearance. Just take the time to acknowledge the beauty that He has created inside and outside of you because each of us is precious and perfect in God’s eyes. And His vision is the right vision.
GOD DOESN”T MAKE MISTAKES.
Well known for her love for Jesus, coffee, and having one arm. Sarah share's stories in her life in hope to help others. She wants you to know that,
"Our differences do not define who we are but are a part of the story that God has written for our lives."
Sarah says, " I hope that I can be someone to relate to in a world of untold real stories. Everything I write is from my heart and real."
"We are all created imperfectly perfect by God, we should be proud of our imperfections and differences, they make us who we are today but do not define us, know that you are beautiful and remind yourself of this everyday."