Category Archives: Prayer Requests

Why write right now?

Several weeks ago I had a dream. Dave and I were on a road trip. We stopped at a hotel and got a nice room for a good deal because we had a coupon and they didn’t have many guests that evening. We took ourselves and the stuff we were carrying at the time to the room and let ourselves in. We liked it and confirmed that we wanted that room, so we got one key. Dave promptly took with him to the car to get the rest of our luggage.

While I was waiting for him to come back, a lady walked into our room as if she were evaluating it as her room for the night. I told her that it was mine. I think the hotel owner was there and I told him, too. Neither of them said much to me. They sort-of vaguely nodded no matter how vehemently I gestured. After she gave the place a cursory once-over, she left. I thought everything was ok and kept waiting for Dave.

A few minutes later, the woman let herself in, along with three other people who were in her party. They brought all their luggage and started setting it down and talking about the room as if I wasn’t there. I said, and maybe even yelled, at the lady several times that it was my room, that we were here first. Finally, she acknowledged me, though coldly and as if I were some sort of pesky buzzing noise that just wouldn’t stop. She asked me if I had a key, because that would prove I belonged in the room. I told her that my husband had it, that he was getting our things from the car, and would that he would bring it up in a few minutes. She told me to go get it. I didn’t want to leave, because I knew inside that I would come back to all of our stuff outside the room and the door closed and locked.

I stood at the door. She was holding it open, telling me to leave, and I was desperate and angry. I did all I could think of to do without seriously hurting her–I kicked her as hard as I could in the shins. Over and over.

After several kicks, I woke up. (Doing anything related to karate in my sleep always wakes me up because I want to move but the whole “sleep” thing keeps me paralyzed and my body gets confused.) When I woke up, I was angry, more angry than I remember having ever been.  This anger was also different from what I usually experience.  I get angry as much as the next person, but it’s not usually pure. I can get upset at someone for something they’ve done to me, but there’s almost always a part of that turned inward. I secretly wonder if they were justified in the actions that hurt me, or if most of the situation was actually, somehow, my fault. This wasn’t like that. The lady in my dream had wronged me and I hadn’t done anything. I didn’t deserve that and hadn’t done anything to provoke it, and so I was furious.

I felt like this dream was important. I thought about it, but it didn’t tie to anything. The feelings were real, but there wasn’t a situation in my life that mirrored the one in the dream and there wasn’t anything going on that made me angry. I chalked it up to a strangely vivid dream (I have those sometimes) and didn’t think much more about it.

Almost a week later, I found out that there was a possibility of my job not panning out as planned. I changed jobs in September not only because the program I’m working for now is one I care about, but because they are restructuring and were planning to make me a salaried employee. This would give me all sorts of benefits like added flexibility so I can teach some classes and do more spiritual direction. In two sentences of conversation, I discovered that this all might not happen, that my job might remain exactly the same as it is now. I was stunned.

I spent most of that day (it was a Tuesday) feeling anxious about my job. It’s not that I don’t like it the way it is, but I changed departments for the opportunity to more closely align my work with my training in spiritual formation. The next morning, I talked to my boss to clarify where I stood: if things didn’t work out as we’d planned them, I would stay for the next semester because I committed that when I signed on, but then I would look for something else. She agreed that there wasn’t a future for me in the position if the changes didn’t happen and said she would do everything she could to make them happen.

After that, I went to a friend’s office to get some perspective. I needed to share with someone who wasn’t directly involved but who would understand. As we talked, I began to realize exactly how unjust the whole situation was. These decisions were being made about me based on factors that were out of my control and mistaken opinions about who I am and what I’m good at. I had sensed this before but hadn’t articulated it, and articulating it made me even more angry. In fact, it made me just about as angry as I had been at the lady in my dream.

I went back to my office but I couldn’t work. I surfed the net but didn’t read more than a couple of words on any page. As if I were coming upon myself like you come upon another person, I realized what I was looking up. I was looking for jobs. Writing jobs. Any writing jobs. Something in me had changed; in less time than it takes to say, “Booyah Baby!” I had decided to be a writer. I had realized that the worst day spent writing the most frustrating crap would be better than being in situations like I was in at that moment.

After I calmed down, I began to fear that I was basing my entire future as a writer, whatever that looks like, on anger. But then I realized that writing was what I’ve always wanted and the anger just helped me there. It took the force of that anger to help me blast past the fears that have held me back from writing. I needed to get angry, and to have it directed at someone else, to have the internal energy to overcome these things that had held me back in the past. My dream had been important because my anger was important, and because it told me the future, though on an emotional level and not a physical one.

I took that decision that was made before I was even fully aware of it very seriously. When I found out the next day that it looked like things were going to work out with my job after all, I was actually a little disappointed.

In the end, though, things working out gave me some space to think. The job is good for me right now. It gives me structure and income, as well as the chance to develop some awesome skills and a strong resume. It gives us a good discount for Dave’s continuing education. My co-workers are people I value and who I know value me. It also gives me enough space so I can start writing and see what happens.

With things structured this way, I don’t get to do as much writing as I would if I didn’t work, but I get to do more than I’ve ever done before. I also get to focus on writing the things I care about instead of having to slog through articles and promotional materials that I don’t care about. In the end, I find that I can say Yes! to taking writing seriously, to the process and to the projects I have before me right now, and that’s enough for this moment.

So I’m writing, here and there. I have the two blogs (here and Wisebread), which I intend to keep at least for the time being, several article ideas, a non-fiction book in something like a one-and-a-half draft form, and a novel in pre-writing. Clearly, I can’t work on it all, but it’s all there, waiting for me.

I feel like a whole new world is waiting for me.

PS  Please pray–some things have to be discussed and questions raised and answered before things can truly work out with my job.  Since I’ve decided it would be good for me to be there, I’d like those things to work out…though Dave and I have decided we’ll just figure something else out if they don’t.


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“She’s a pastor’s wife, she shouldn’t lie.”

Apparently, that’s what the lawyer for the insurance company of the guy who hit me said to the lawyer representing us. I heard it yesterday and I still can’t decide what to feel. Amused? After all, it’s ridiculous on so many levels. Sad? Is this really what our legal system is reduced to? Angry? Ok, so you can tell me I’m wrong, but calling me a liar when you don’t even know me seems a little out there. Bemused? As Dave said, “Ok, so our legal system is corrupt and I should have expected that. But it’s such a stupid lie. Couldn’t they come up with one that fit the facts?”

I also thought up some comebacks (I didn’t say they were good, but I DID consider suggesting them to the lawyer):

“She’s a pastor’s wife, so you should listen to her.”

“Actually, she’s not a pastor’s wife, but she pretends to be so the church people don’t get upset.”

“Shhh…she’s in the witness protection program. Actually, she doesn’t believe in God at all.”

Or, to use the same logic they’re using:

“She’s a pastor’s wife, so she must be telling the truth.”

Ok, so can anyone think of one better?

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Please Pray

Human beings? They’re evil. They’ll shake your hand one minute and lie about you the next. I’ve honestly never had it happen to me quite like that before, but that is what’s happening.

It’s this whole car accident. They’re insisting that I somehow did a good deal of damage to my bike and dislocated my shoulder by running into a non-moving truck. That’s seriously what they’re saying to our lawyer. They’re also saying that I said it was my fault. Since I never said that, and since it’s physically impossible for my shoulder to pop out the direction it did if I hit the truck, I’m really frustrated.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ll talk to the lawyer tomorrow and give him a more detailed version of what happened than he has had up to now. I’ll tell him about the evidence I have that what they’re saying isn’t true. But I don’t know that it will do any good.

This is all feeling really nasty, bordering, actually, on violating. I know who I am and what actually happened, and I feel like I have a pretty realistic sense of the whole situation. But I’m being made out as a money-hungry liar who is trying to get the poor immigrant in trouble, and that’s not what I’ve done at all. The idea that lawyers are sitting around talking about me, saying things like this, just feels nasty and dirty and gross. I know that what they say doesn’t change who I am or what really happened or any of that…that’s not what feels threatened.

I feel like I’m not explaining this very well and the truth is that I’m not sure I can do much better. Please pray for the whole situation. It’s frustrating and sad and infuriating all at the same time.

Update: I realized what it feels like. If someone tried to grab my purse on the street, I would feel violated even if I successfully fought them off or yelled loud enough that they ran away, etc. It’s the malevolence, the desire to hurt me (in this case by not giving me what is rightfully mine–reimbursement for losses suffered because of the accident) that I’m responding to and that feels so yuck to me.

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If at all possible, don’t get hit by a truck

Wow…twice in one day. I’m a regular blogging animal.

I got to see my very own orthopedist today (can I keep him…oh, wait, other blog post). He moved my shoulder around, had me move it around, actually listened to me (and that is SO attractive in a doctor) and announced that I have a torn labrum. It’s not a rotator cuff injury, thanks to Jesus. Apparently the little bit of pain and the popping and the somewhat instable feel of my shoulder is not all in my head, and is because this piece of cartilage tore when I dislocated my shoulder. It sounds like almost everyone under 30 who dislocates a shoulder does this, so it’s not unusual.

As far as what to do about it, well, I have a referral for physical therapy. Apparently, I have between a 9 and 80 percent chance of dislocating it again (helpful numbers, those!), but he thinks my actual odds given age and gender are a little less than 50, which also isn’t very helpful. So I guess I try to get it strong and hope and pray for the best.

Please do pray–this whole accident thing is proving to be like a 2 year old–constantly testing and trying my patience. Yesterday I got a letter from the DMV saying that I needed to submit my insurance information because I was in an accident. I called them today and politely pointed out that I was on a bicycle and so that doesn’t really seem relevant, and it turns out they don’t have the police report yet (I guess they didn’t pay their $10 and submit their official letter explaining why they have a right to a copy of it). I faxed it to them and the nice lady said she’d correct the mistake, but still…bizarre. Dave meets with his lawyer-friend next week, so we should know more then about what in the world to do next.


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Answers to prayers

Regarding the prayer requests from yesterday:

1. I didn’t end up seeing my doctor (who doesn’t listen to me. I can change doctors, allegedly, but I haven’t figured out how to work that part of the Kaiser system). She was running way late and they could get me into someone else earlier, so I went. That doctor really listened, and gave me a referral to an orthopedist. The bad news? I probably hurt my rotator cuff in the accident. The good? Most rotator cuff injuries heal themselves, just slowly. Physical therapy may help it heal faster, but it may also hurt it more. Hence the orthopedist. Interesting note: Doctors tend to take you seriously when you say you got hit by a truck.

2. Mom sat at the courthouse all day yesterday, but was finally dismissed in the end. Thank you, Jesus! The case sounds awful–first degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse–so I’m thankful she didn’t have to deal with that in the name of doing her civil duty.

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A couple of requests:

1. I go back to the dr. today for my shoulder. It’s a lot better that it was in the few weeks after the accident, but it doesn’t feel quite right. I know that it could be any number of things (including, “Sarah, it just takes 6 months to heal”), so I’m praying that the doctor gets it right the first time.

2. My parents are supposed to come out for their long-heralded first post-wedding visit this weekend, but my mom might end up a juror on a murder trial instead. Pray that they will be able to come, and that she won’t have to hear and see all the gunky stuff that goes along with murder trials.

3. I’m doing some pretty serious discernment this week, in several areas. Pray that I can clearly and confidently hear God’s voice.


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I’m not going into depth about this on the internet, but something has happened recently that’s deeply painful for me. I’m not sure how it can work out for good at this point, at least in me, but I believe that it can. Please pray for me, and if I’m not around, well, you know why.

You can ask about this if you want to know–I just don’t want it posted here.

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