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Dear Stephani,

Dear Stephani,  

11.05.19 Hey girl, I miss you tons. I miss our Saturday brunches and hours of talking about me leaving for the race, our emotions, what the Lord is teaching us, and your seemingly unending wisdom. I bet your stomach is huge right now and I literally have no idea! Now that I’m thinking of it please send me pictures. I need to know everything about Selah so when I babysit her when she’s older I can tell her all about what it was like when you were pregnant with her and how even from across the world I saw pics and got updates and stuff, cause I totally see me being the cool missionary aunt who always gets her cute things. 

I wanted to share with you what has been on why heart lately. I tried addressing this blog as “dear church girl”, but, again, it seemed impersonal (the scrapped title will make sense in a sec). Who better than to share my heart with then my sister in Christ and the BEST mentor ever? Tonight we had squad worship for the first time in a minute since our whole squad split up after debrief (usually we stay with our teams, but the first Monday of every month is all squad, so here we are)! My heart was just feeling heavy with insecurity and weirdness and unsettledness. I was asking the Lord to reveal things to me as my mind ran through events and moments that had happened the past few days that had put me in this weird headspace. 

It started a few days ago when my teammates and I were doing research into our enneagram types — as you do on the world race. I was looking into an 8w9 when something under the weaknesses (of an 8w9) really hit me; it said something like “needs to feel secure and in harmony with people around them, if something is off they feel unsettled”. And honestly, I don’t think it was that deep. If anything it was my interpretation, or more likely the Holy Spirit grabbing me with the words, but either way, it hit home.

I’ve always struggled with this deep desire to be known and wanted by the people in my life: peers, authority figures, family etc. I think you probably noticed that already. I’ve always known that I struggle with craving affirmation, but I don’t think I realized the extent to which it had dominated my life. Side note: I believe I have finally found the answer to that cliche church question “what’s the idol in your life?” that I never seemed to be able to answer honestly. 

I find it important to put examples because even while it makes me uncomfortable to reveal my thoughts, bringing them into the light and sharing it with people, in hopes that it may help them, is more important than me saving face. Also I feel like the Lord wants me to, and lately, I’m trying to be obedient to what He asks of me. So for example, if my team seems the slightest bit off, I’ll be paranoid as to what I did wrong, thinking everyone must hate me now because I was offensive, annoying, or too much. I’ll try to make up for my unknown offense by pleasing everyone but it (probably) comes off forced or in-genuine. Or even at the beginning of worship tonight, I found myself sitting in the back corner thinking, ‘if no one comes over here to sit by me it’s because I’m no one’s first choice’. It’s just so ugly. This insecurity is so ugly to me. I hate that those thoughts run through my brain, and I’m working my very hardest to hold those thoughts captives, but at the end of the day Jesus is truly the only solution. In fact the word solution is minimizing it. He doesn’t just solve the problem — He eradicates its very existence with the insane, perfect, overwhelming love that He has for me. For each and every one of us. 

I know it’s not something I should be ashamed of. Shame isn’t of the Lord, it’s of the world. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him,” John 3:17. I think most people want to be known. The Lord has put this desire in our hearts, so we dolong to be fully known, which is only possible in relationship with Him. The Lord created us to be in relationship with Him, in 2 Corinthians 6:18 it says “and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” The Lord has really been teaching me, and I haven’t managed to get it from the head to the heart yet, that He is my Perfect, Heavenly Father. A Father that when He used His voice to speak everything else into existence, crafted us with His hands. It says in Psalm 139: 13-14 “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 [or set apart]. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” We are set apart in His eyes!Tonight, I was waiting for someone come over and lay hands on me, pray a sweet prayer over me about how I’m fearfully and wonderfully made and stuff. This is all good and true and even scripturally based, so I don’t mean to belittle the words, (I pray them all the time). It’s just the only one who will ever know the depths of my heart is Jesus. He is not only laying His hands on me, but He’s holding me tightly even though my thoughts are ugly and my heart is ungrateful.

My problem is, I love being loved, I love being important, and I love being invaluable. And I care more about getting these things from the world than from my Father. Over the years, what people think of me has became more important, rather, more treasured, than what He thinks of me. Which, again, makes me feel so gross and ugly! But I will not let myself be overcome with shame, because the Lord doesn’t, and will never look at me in my brokenness and insecurity and think that I am no longer deserving of His love. First off, I will never be deserving enough on my own, it is Him who makes me righteous and blameless in His sight. Ephesians 4:1 says “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” I put that in italics because I’m still declaring it again and again, that one day I may know it in my heart.

12.31.19 I’ve been meaning to finish this blog for a long while. I’m honestly stoked because I feel like in the last few months I’ve grown a lot, especially in this area. It’s really easy for me to feel like I don’t grow, or that I’m not learning a ton, but then I read things like this from over a month ago, and I’m like, I have grown, even if it’s in small ways. Last night, again, we had squad worship (we’re back together with everyone in Quito, Ecuador now), and I was sitting there, feeling lonely again, more homesick now, unwanted, uncomfortable, and distant from the Lord. I feel like I haven’t heard or felt him, or even seen him through my circumstances very much at all lately. But what’s cool and different than over a month ago, is that rather than feeling desperate for love and attention from my teammates or squamates, I was able to rest assured on a steadfast love from the Father. Now I know that His arms were around me, protecting me, comforting me, telling me I don’t need to perform, that He’s there, that I’m enough for Him, that His love is perfect and sufficient. 

Yesterday, squad leader asked us to write us letters to her, telling her who we are exactly, how to love us well, what makes us tick, etc. I found myself writing this sentence: “unfortunately, I think my motivation to be the ‘spiritual it-girl’ or fun, big personality is sometimes because I want to be relevant rather than to reflect the Lord.” And while it really sucked to write that and have it be true, it was also really cool to read and be able to think to myself ‘it doesn’t hold that much relevancy to me anymore’. No matter what, I will always struggle with feelings of comparison, or being too much. To my core, I will always strive for people’s love, attention and affirmation. But what will change, and what I can grow in, is how much trust, faith, believe, and love I have for the Lord. How much I choose to believe in His promises to me. How much I choose into relationship with Him. How much I believe and accept that His love is more than enough. How much I chooseHim. I can change my focus, even if I can’t change the ugliness of my flesh. 

I believe the Lord placed this thought in my head last night. “You didn’t come on the World Race to make best friends, you came to serve Jesus, spread the name of Jesus, and first and foremost, get to know Him better.” Which was such a sweet, cool reminder. It’s so true. It’s almost month five and I am bound to find myself in a slump, feeling all the things. But that doesn’t change why I’m here, or the way He sees and loves me. I don’t need someone to come over and hug me when I’m crying during worship anymore, because I can sit there resting in His embrace, content with Him alone. 

Anyway, thanks for reading this. I feel like you sometimes know me and my heart better than I know myself. I think back on your Patmos challenges, on the books you recommended I read, all that, and it’s crazy how relevant it all was. I never realized how the exact things you challenged me on would be the exact things the Lord has been growing me in this year. You freaking knew! Anyway, I love you and miss you a WHOLE lot, you know by the pictures I send of myself crying. Thanks for knowing me so well and exemplifying in even the smallest of ways the way the Father knows me. It has been so cool to learn that for myself, and to be able to look to your example of being fully known by the Father. This one was dang long, but it was my heart. 


Love always, 



  1. Praise the Lord that he continues you to show His immense and deep love for you. Praise the Lord that He is the LIFTER of your head. He wants you to always and continually look to Him. He will sustain you sweet sister. Love you to the moon and back about a trillion times. We are praying the Holy Spirit will comfort you and envelope you in His presence in tough time and doubt. There’s room for all that stuff and you aren’t alone in it. The Lord is legit always with you. Just call to him and He will literally already be there. Growth feels good but can also hurt. The Lord is growing and stretching you and renewing your mind back to himself. Keep leaning into Him. John, Selah and I love you so much. Selah doesn’t even know the awesome aunt she has yet but boy will she know soon enough!! Miss you tons. We will talk soon 🙂

  2. Dang Sarah, What a raw and vulnerable blog – I’m legit crying having read that and related so much. I’m so grateful for the incredible work the Lord is working in you. Praying for you always! Much love,

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