About the Author

I'm the mother of two little girls, the wife of an amazing husband who'd rather play the guitar than anything else and I love to write. I spend my weekends watching my daughters ride horses and play soccer. I blog daily and my greatest wish is to see women healed...

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Oh sweet Sarah, I am so sorry that things were difficult last year. I wrote a book about my struggle with depression and I would love to share it with you if that’s OK http://kingsdaughters21.blogspot.com/2010/10/hopes-journey.html

    I totally agree with you, I too am trying to find the joy in my journey this year as last year was all work and no play which left me a bit tired. Can you recommend any good books on this subject, I know Joyce Meyer has a book on joy, I am thinking of reading that, do you know of any others worth reading?

    Lots of love, blessings and JOY for you for 2012.
    Angela
    xxx

  2. This is such a great post. I have learned that God is with us, whether we see Him or not, during times of loss. I know that sounds cliche but it is so very true. I lost a grandma and also one of our twins that we were expecting. Sometimes what we think should happen and things we think God is holding out on us is just the opposite. He has a greater plan that will come to pass in His time. Hard to meditate on in the midst of a storm but oh so true!

    • i’m so sorry for your losses brittnie. what heartwrenching situations to go through. i love your perspective, though. thank you so much for sharing here. =)

  3. My New Year’s pronouncement is to see God in everything, everyday… a butterfly fluttering past, the smell of cupcakes baking, the smiles on my babies’ faces… to be more intentional, and yes, to pursue JOY and a stronger relationship with the one who made me.

  4. Babe, it sounds like we should have been calling each other! Very similar year for me, too.

    I’m still trudging through it and learning from it.

    Love to you, friend.

  5. I was reading this nodding, smiling the kinda smile that says, “Yeah…I get this from LIVING it…” and it occurred to me there are a whole lot of us walkin’ around hurting and probably misreading those around us.

    One thing I’ve learned the past year and beyond, loss reveals gain the way shadows prove the sunshine. The gain and the light are much more precious when you’ve seen them against a backdrop of loss or darkness (does this make any sense??).

    Anyway, I think your words will resonate with many and provide healing just from the fact readers can relate to them.

    xo

    (p.s. my husband gently exposed to me how I had been whining, too. Ok, maybe NOT so gently but effectively. I’m done. 🙂 )

  6. Wow – you wrote about my 2011. I am a minister’s wife, and went through a lot of loss this past year through friends leaving because of something my husband did that they disagreed with. It hurts so badly to love people, and your love to be personal – but their leaving your life is not personal – I am letting go of the pain, and trying to figure out how to love well as a pastor’s wife – but not die inside when the people I have loved passionately leave my life. I have been a pastor’s wife and in ministry myself for a long time, and thought I had this figured out – but this year was different and I realized that I don’t really know how to do this. Ann Voskamp’s book helped me to focus on HIM, and that is how I made it through 2011 – I am going to keep counting gifts in 2012!

    • i’m so sorry you had a difficult year too, Steph. it’s funny – i think we all get to a place where we think we have it figured out and then we really don’t. i’m right there with you.

      thank you.

  7. Choosing to See these challenges as a blessings is beautiful worship.

    Rich blessings as He draws you ever hearer to His heart, sweet Sarah.

  8. Oh, I hear you! Over the past five years, I’ve just been losing friends in droves. It was as if I had a sign on my forehead that read, “Unfriend me, please!” But when I sit here, reading your words and I take a good look at what I have now, I realize the unfriending left wide open spaces for things like wandering the streets of Savannah on a lazy afternoon, with two amazingly beautiful new friends. Love you, Sarah!

  9. This has been a year of losses for me as well, and I found hope and joy in your blog today. HOpe to go on another year, and find the Joy God has for me in it. I especially tuned in on your loss of friends – I lost most of mine last year, and still do not know why, but God is in control. He has forced me to look for the treasures I had trampled underfoot.
    Thanks for your insight. I hope my hard times prove to be a blessing to someone else as well.

  10. Thank you for a very moving and open post, Sarah. My pronouncement is to boldly follow Christ’s leading, even when I am terrified and want to retreat. Boldness means not sitting back and waiting for something to happen but to take it by the horns and go for it. Yikes–it’s scary! Also, sharing your joy, a quest I began last August.

    • oooh! so brave! i love that – to follow Him even in fear. I love that your quest is joy and courage because I think both are required to live a full life. thank you for your comment Julie.

  11. Love this Sarah. I am going through similar paths. But it’s more like…redefining what my friendships look like now that I am a working wife and mother.

    I grieve the loss of time with friends, but I just cling to what God HAS given me. Three amazing boys (1 husband, 1 son, 1 son-to-be!)

  12. It is so much easier for me to look back and appreciate all the beauty He brings, but I have had such a harder time recognizing the good He is doing, in the moment, when it all just seems so painful and hard. I am getting much better at this, gratefully. He has been nudging me to press in to Him regarding two words this 2012: humility and relationships. I pray for opportunities and He is already answering so clearly, so beautifully — and I enter in stumbling, not knowing what the right words are in a social situation that is awkward and filled with past hurts and/or unknowns. He continues to provide for me, moment by moment in these new relationships He is encouraging me towards, and the renewal of old ones that have suffered from my neglect. Bless you as you continue to stay in step with what all the good He has! Thank you, Sarah.

  13. I feel this. Just two days ago I wrote about this same idea of becoming empty to make room for the good He has planned (www.messageinamasonjar.com). For me it was a literal clearing of land that He used to flabbergast me in 2011. And I’ve also felt it in the last few years when friendships have crumbled and there’s not a thing I tried that could’ve kept them whole. Since I know the Lord withholds no good thing, I figure that there must be something they bring out in me and my husband that God doesn’t want there (and maybe vice versa) and there must be someone else He wants us spending our time on, maybe the faithful ones in our life or maybe making room for a new friend whom He wants to connect us with. I absolutely LOVE your metaphor of the water rolling out and leaving behind treasures in the sand. Such a great way to visualize the reality that He clears the way for a reason.

  14. Bless your heart… I feel your pain. I walked through something very similar in my late twenties. My Sweet Hubby and I had a group of friends that we had for a very long time. Things began to unravel, changes came upon us… people moved on… we moved on… for whatever reason, everything was different. I began to internalize it and say… “Is it me Lord?” We ended up moving away and found out much, much later, God was preparing us for something big. He had moved us away from those relationships to help us to build first, our relationship with Him. Second… to bring others into our lives that were to be a blessing through something He led us through in our life. Third… because about 15 years later… every single one of those couples were divorced or had something serious going on that we did not need to be around.

    I tell you this because… as it turned out for you, God had something better for you. I have been there… and I know how it felt. :o/

    I love what you said about the ocean. That was beautiful.

    Blessings to you for sharing your heart today!

  15. Wow, Sarah. I could have written this exact post about friendships in the past year. I’ve grieved so many lost ones in the last 12 months. I’ve whined and “kicked and screamed” about it, both to Hubby and to God. But now, coming out onto the other side, I’ve found peace in knowing beyond doubt that my God knows what I need. And He gives the people I need for the time in which I need them. It’s all for His glory, and I’ve learned to deeply trust.

    Blessings and prayers! Thank you for blogging your heart.

    -Katie

    • thank you katie!! sigh. so many lost friends in these comments. i love it that i’m not alone but its sad to hear of everyone else’s pain too. i’m praying that 2012 is a year of redeeming what has been lost in the last one. =)

  16. Hmmm….I had that kind of year in 2010…and spent all of 2011 recovering…this year I walk with excited trepidation. I love the idea of putting joy in front of me as I walk out this journey.

    I, too, found that friendships changed during this time, and while some were gone, some were richer, and new ones were fostered. I feel….richer somehow….in spite of the loss.

    Thank you for your words to remind me that I am not alone.

  17. Sarah, I’ve had years like this too… and can totally relate. I love how God can use the hardest, ugliest, parts of our lives and make beautiful things out of it. Praise God for His healing, His nurturing, and His presence in your life daily!
    If you ever need to whine to someone, count me as one to listen…
    Grace and peace,
    marina

  18. A perpetual flip calendar that I have enjoyed for over ten years that has quotes from Max Lucado, C. S. Lewis, Billy Graham, etc. – has a quote on yesterday’s page from Mother Teresa that says:

    “Life is a promise: fulfill it.”

    That’s all it says.

    But it makes me smile when I reflect on it.

    I am still thinking about that short quote today. And it sounds like a perfect pronouncement for the new year.

    I think of God knitting me in my mother’s womb, knowing how many hairs are on my head, the number of my days on this earth. the plans He has for me, and yes, I know this life He’s given me is a promise and I think the beginning of a new year is a time to be intentional in fulfilling it, I’m seeking Him in how He wants me to do that this year!

    In the seeking, I imagine there will be treasures to discover…

  19. To work at being more joyful & Christlike in all things. I vow to stop whining so much about trivial things ;).

    Praying that 2012 is a much much better year for everyone. May God bless us all in ways we never even thought of!

  20. Praying you find JOY in 2012, Sarah Markley! I have a tendency to let everything pass right by me without noticing any of it. From my kids, to my parents to my husband to opportunity, etc. I let it all pass by without savoring it, without opening my eyes and my heart to the true blessings being poured out to me. I ignore (both the good and bad) things, people and situations. My pronouncement is To Be Present in 2012. I will have to dig deep and look UP to find the discipline to do this, but I know I can do it!

  21. I wish I could click “like” on so many of these comments because they say what I want to say. How Robin said the shadows expose the light for what it is – pure glory. As Deidra said, the pruning makes way for new buds (pun intended. heh.)

    Love you madly, wish there was more sleep, more hours and most definitely more joy in these days. Praying for it with expectation!

  22. Sarah. You are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful gift with us. I’m so sorry about the loss of your friendships. I went through that too but was so blessed with people God put in my life that love me, pray for me and support me. Shining example of how much God loves me! I think for 2012 I will seek to look for and find the Christ in others, especially my husband. I also want to show God how much I love him by how I love my husband. Thank you again for your beautiful words and testimony.

  23. Such a great article. Thanks for sharing. It truly is inspirational to read another woman’s words concerning her own struggles. We are all women of process…Praise God that He does not leave us in our unfinished state. Revelation tells us we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and by our testimony. Every time another woman reads of your struggles, you are overcoming and you are helping her to overcome. It is sad to feel the loss of friendship(s), but sometimes you must give up good things to have great things. I hope your 2012 is a year full of those great things!

  24. Beautifully expressed. I can just picture myself on that beach watching the tide go out and stamping, “no, No, NO!” but then seeing the treasures left behind and charging forth. I pray that it continues that way for you too.

    I just stared Ann Voskamp’s, “One Thousand Gifts,” too and I think this picture and that book is going to set me on a path for 2012 that will be beautiful and poignant and grace-filled no matter what it looks like or where it goes.

    Also…I love what Robin said about the “shadows proving the sun.” Lovely imagery!

  25. I was a goal setter every year for the last 5+ years. Every January I would set goals, not resolutions, for a semantics reason that ended up being splitting hairs. I realized at the end of last year that I have never once in 5+ years achieved any, ANY of the goals I set. Not one! This year possibly came the closest because I was able to lose 19.5 pounds by about May/June and have kept it off all year. A feat all the more impressive because my dad unexpectedly died in April.

    So as I looked to 2012 I decided to make a Focus instead of a list of goals. Much like your Pronouncement. After part of a single day I have my Focus, my Pronouncement.

    SEEK GOD.

    That’s what I’m looking to this year. So far I’ve done ok with it.