Friday, April 26, 2013

Five Minute Friday.

Hey, lovelies.


I'm sorry I've been so absent. I know I say that every time, but really. These last few weeks of the semester are killing me! There's just so much to do in so little time! Oh well, I'm loving and soaking in every last moment of the college experience while I can. Anywho, here's the point of this post! Haha.

Topic: Friend

GO.

You know, real friends are hard to come by sometimes.
But I'm so glad I found you.
You are precisely the definition of the word, you see.
You encompass everything a friend should be.

You can tell me my favorite color
And which words I absolutely detest.
You know what dressing I like on my salad
And what I order every time at cookout.

You make me laugh on days when I don't want to smile
And you offer up a shoulder when I simply need to cry.
You hold me together when I fall apart.
You sing back the song to me that's in my heart.

You aren't afraid to dance in the rain.
You are honest, especially when I need it most.
You share my love for music, written words, and people.
And your heart breaks in the same ways that mine does.

We share parts of each other.
Your puzzle piece edges match up with mine.
We no longer are separate things
But rather part of a bigger one.

Thanks for being there for me.
And thanks for walking by my side.
You remind me of the good in the world, and in myself.
I couldn't ask for a better person to share life with.


Love,
Sarah

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Therapy... with 300 people.

Hey guys!
Sorry I'm so absent lately. Life is so hectic, I don't even know which way is up! We only have two more weeks of classes left in this semester, and then one week of exams! I am so excited to be done with classes. I'm not so stoked to be leaving Boonetown just yet, but I'm definitely ready to have a lighter work load. Anywho, that's where I am in life!

This past Thursday, I was asked by the counseling center that I used to go to to speak at an event that they were hosting for some fundraising efforts. I was honored to be asked, and even more honored when they told me that I would be the youngest speaker there. There were around 300 people in attendance, which was quite intimidating. Give me 300 seven year olds, and I can speak whenever. But adults? It's a whole different ballgame.

I attended therapy at Cornerstone Counseling Center beginning in the eighth grade. I have been blessed and honored to be a part. I had an amazing therapist named Jackie. She literally changed my life. Without her, I don't think I'd be here today. She has done amazing things for me that I will never, ever be able to thank her or repay her enough for. I am blessed and honored to have been a part of this amazing center. I put my speech on this post, but I didn't say exactly what was on here. This is the basic gist, but I elaborated some, and God really took over and spoke through me, which was an amazing experience. But I just wanted to share with you guys what a blessing it was for me to be able to share my counseling journey with the 300 people at this event and get to speak about how God used this counseling center to walk me through really hard times and situations, like cancer and depression and loneliness. God is definitely at work in this counseling center, and I'm lucky to be a part!


Hello, my name is Sarah and I am 18 years old and a freshman at Appalachian State. I walked into Cornerstone for the first time at 13 years old, the spring of my eighth grade year, just months after finishing the last leg of my own personal cancer journey, as well as embarking on a new journey of walking with my childhood best friend as she faced the same disease. I was lonely, scared, and struggling to see the good in the world… struggling to see the God in the world.

Being thirteen years old can be intimidating, especially intoday’s world. There are so many things being thrown your way, from school to society and more. Add on top of that a cancer diagnosis for you and your best friend and an uncertain and unhealthy relationship, and life quickly becomes a lot to handle. There were so many days, from thirteen all the way through my high school career, when I simply didn’t want to keep going. Days when the world was too heavy, especially as I was trying to balance it all on my own shoulders. There were moments when giving up seemed so much simpler than the tasks before me. There were days… seasons, even… that I almost didn’t make it through. But counseling was a major reason that I did indeed make it… a reason that I am standing in front of you now.

When I first began counseling sessions, I was quite nervous and didn’t really want to talk much. I had a lot on my heart, and I wasn’t much of a talker to begin with per say. I was much more comfortable putting my words down on paper than letting them flow from my mouth, which is part of the reason that I’m reading this speech to you. Writing was a major outlet for me, and one that my counselor really encouraged. Today, I am an elementary education major with a focus and minor in English for this very reason. Cornerstone really became a safe haven for me throughout these years. It definitely took a while, though. Bearing your soul to someone you have never met isn’t a quick process by any means. After a few months, though, counseling sessions became the place where I could carry my burdens and concerns and lay them out in front of a someone that I knew wouldn’t judge me for what I was feeling, really had my best interests in mind, and truly cared for me. And it was someone who would pray for me. Knowing you are prayed for makes a world of difference in life. In my counselor’s office, I could be completely honest and transparent about my strugglesand concerns, regardless of what they were, or how big or small they seemed to me, which was so refreshing. Together, my counselor and I would dive into thedeepest parts of my heart… the parts that I didn’t always want to face at all, much less face them alone… and hand in hand we would work through the things that were there. We took on the monsters that were lurking in the shadowyplaces, so to speak. We faced the hollow, consuming loneliness that rendered me desperately broken for seemingly endless seasons. We walked through the heartbreaks, the unfulfilled longings, the gut-wrenching pain. We took on the adolescent heart, a difficult and fragile thing in and of itself, and we waded through the messiest parts of it. We cried together. We dove into the Word to see what God had to say about things, and we prayed often and much. That was the best part, really. Counseling was one of the biggest ‘God-stops’ in my life. Now, I know many of you may not know what a God-stop is, so let me explain really fast. God-stops are any moment or situation where God reveals himself and you can see His invisible hand at work. Christian counseling at Cornerstone was definitely that for me. No matter what I brought to the table, my counselor never looked at me any differently than she always had, and most importantly, she never gave up on me. It was through this counseling relationship that God really began a work in me, and mended very broken pieces of my heart. He taught me one of the most important lessons I have learned to date: that no matter what happens in my life, no matter how bad I may think that I am, or how un-fixable I seem to myself… no matter how far I think I’ve run away from Him, or how badly I’ve messed up…He will never give up on me. Ever. And no matter what, He has promised that He will never, ever walk away. I now understood why God was often referred to as ‘counselor’ in the Bible.

Overall, Christian counseling at Cornerstone really changed my life and shaped me into the person that I am today. Without my time there in that small haven of an office and the amazing Godly advice I have received, I honestly don’t know if I would be alive and standing in front of you today. In fact, I can probably tell you that I wouldn’t. And even if I were, I definitely would not be nearly the same person that I am today. God really is at work in a big way here, and He is definitely changing lives, and working miracles. I am a living testament to that. Thank you.

Love,

Sarah


Thursday, April 11, 2013

04.11.13

Things I hope for you:

Your days are full of sunshine
And when they aren't,
I hope the rain is gentle
I hope you laugh
And when you can't,
I hope you know that things will clear up soon.
They always do.

I hope someone tells you how wonderful you look
With that crooked tooth
And the crinkles beside your eyes
And that one color that you look amazing in.
I hope that your hair grows,
And you have to get it cut again and again.
That's one of life's small joys, you know.
That, and wearing a new outfit.

I hope you take the time to feel the grass between your toes
And really listen to the waterfall.
You let the child run their fingers over your face
And you let the tickles bring belly laughs.

I hope you remember to look up at the stars
Count them until you're lost in the wonder of it all
And then remember that you, too
Are made of stars.

Remember that everyone you are scared of
Is 65% water
And that bumble bees die after they sting
And that every storm runs out of rain
And that nothing is infinite
Not even heartache.

Remember that you'll be okay.
Remember that I'm pulling for you.
Remember that I believe in you.


Remember me.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Just a day in the life at ASU.

So, I live in Boone. And it's beautiful here. True, it snows far too much, and it stays cold about 10 months of the year, but this time of year is glorious. There is no humidity, no sweating, and it's just perfect. I am in love with my little mountain home.

This past Saturday, a few friends and I went hiking. We went to this place called Beacon Heights and we hiked three different trails! It was glorious, and I wanted to share some pictures with you guys! Hope you enjoy! (:

 Filter!

Look how breathtaking these mountains are. 

 I know, lame selfie. But no one would climb up to this part of the waterfall with me, so I had to!

Gorgeous.

Just chilling in the falls! 

Yet again, look at how amazing these pieces of creation are! 

 Okay, I know, but my friend Halle snuck this picture of me and my boyfriend, and it's just so darn cute I wanted to put it on here too! So sue me (;

Love,
Sarah

Friday, April 5, 2013

Five Minute Friday.

Today's topic: After.

I really tried to think of something creative, but my creativity levels have been zapped by the excessive amounts of homework sitting in front of me that I don't want to do. Oh, well. Here's my five minutes!

Go.

I think of my life as split into two parts so far: before cancer, and after cancer. Don't get me wrong, I don't define myself by my cancer or anything, but it really does mark a big shift in my life. It marks the time when I became thankful for things I never imagined I could lose (like my voice, my thyroid, my ability to lift my head off the pillow on my own). It introduced me to this whole world of people who bless me on a moment by moment basis. It brought my best friend and I closer than either of us could have imagined. It's brought amazing other people into my life as well, just through conversations begun about the scar at the base of my neck. Having cancer taught me how to value every single second I've been given. It reminds me to be thankful in all things, and to live every single moment. It has made me very much not superficial. Cancer hurts, but I've learned so many important lessons, and relatively early in life. And not to mention that my relationship with God is closer than it ever would have if I hadn't been placed in a situation where I was required to trust in him alone.

So, yeah. Basically. Haha. Cancer changed my whole entire life, and in a weird way, I'm really actually thankful for it.

Happy Friday!!

Love,
Sarah