Take a Deep Breath and Jump…

Sometimes it takes the view off the edge of the cliff for me to realize how powerless I am, how very dependent I am on God. I know that I’m about to leap off the cliff in a few short weeks. At the moment, here in Kingston I can rely on my family and church and friends to support me and affirm me and be a landing pad for me.

Once I head to Texas, I’m completely dependent on God for everything. It’s an exhilarating, terrifying journey of faith. But God has brought me through this year triumphant, and when I look back, I gain the perspective I need in order to move forward.

So here’s a brief year in review:

In 2011 I had an incredible year of learning – life learning, spiritual learning, relational learning, and vocational and educational and physical and emotional…. I stand back and am stunned. Stunned. Stunned.

Who am I that God would bless me with this year? Continue reading

Reflections

The other day was a very cold, windy day where dark gray stormclouds seemed to hang a few feet off the ground. It was a very mellow day, and I only realized precisely why in the late afternoon. It reminded me of the day of the funeral of a friend of mine. I remembered the weather, the way emotion hung in the air as thick as the clouds above and as piercing as the icy breeze. I remembered the aftermath, when some dear friends of mine and I began to clown around in the pouring rain, living life passionately and vibrantly. I remembered, and then I went inside and wrote this.

 

 

Days like this.

 

Days where something seems to be missing.

 

Days where every breath comes with a hitch in my throat.

 

Days where there’s a gaping hole in the conversation, where the void has yet to be filled from where you used to be.

 

Days when the mourning is palpable in the air.

 

When the sky itself begins to softly weep, empathizing with those on the earth below; it’s great gray heart aching for those lost.

 

Days where all of the pride, all of the reputation and all of the walls we build up to divide each other collapse with a tremendous and terrible crash.

 

Days when even the coldest heart is melted and resets to human in the face of cruel and untimely death.

 

Days when the lazy breeze is laced with just enough ice to reach through jackets and remind the warmest body of its fragility.

 

Days when my soul bleeds ink from wounds half-healed.

 

Days when I suddenly realize that this all happened years ago…

 

Once

Not so very long ago

I wept

I mourned

I danced

I sang

I laughed until my stomach hurt

I cried until my ocean of tears ran dry

I prayed until my knees ached

I hugged until my arms had no more strength

You died

I LIVED

 

Has it been so long?

 

Have I forgotten what it means to live?

 

Have I forgotten what it means to die?

 

Have I begun to break my red-carnation promise?

 

Have I forgotten my sunflower vow?

 

Have I forgotten the mountain view?

 

The view from your graveside was the most breathtaking sight I had ever seen. Beneath the old oak trees and overlooking the valley of trees, with Mount Rainer jutting up defiantly into the piercing blue sky. I wanted to weep at its beauty, to laugh at the irony. Instead, I prayed. And I was not ashamed.

 

My brother in Christ. My new friend. My happy memory. My lost opportunity. My failure. My moment not seized. My purple bandana.

 

My, oh my.

 

Days like these remind me of you.

 

Days like these remind me to live. To live neon. To wear purple. To run up the stairs and jump on couches and give spinning love hugs and laugh and cry and run until the sharp autumn air whistles through me teeth and I fall down in piles of leaves with the world spinning around me

 

So brilliantly

So abundantly

So magnificently

So blessedly

ALIVE.

My new home

Sunset over Carey Hall

I’m here.

I’m finally here.

It’s almost like a dream come true.

Actually, it is a dream come true.

I’ve wanted to come to the Honor Academy for the last five years, and I’m finally, finally here.

It’s been one full week now, and I’m still amazed that it happened. I’ve been working and pushing myself to my limits in corporate exercise; training for my ministry placement; taking sessions about working with excellence, choosing joy, and the heavenly reward of a life spent for Jesus; participating in earth-shaking, engaging, refreshing times of passionate worship; getting to know my core (small group/roommates); learning from guest speakers like Dr. David Shibley; exploring the 450-acre campus; and generally settling in.

And it’s amazing.

I love it here. I love being surrounded by people who are as passionate (if not more) as I am about Jesus and who push me to pursue God even more.

I’m looking forward to everything that God has to teach me this year at the Honor Academy. I know that I’m grow in wisdom, vision, discipline, leadership, and excellence. I know that it’s going to be incredibly hard at times. I miss my friends and family in Kingston. But I’ve given God this year of my life to mold me and shape me in foundational ways.

Philippians 3: 12-14: Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I’m so excited about what God is going to do in my life this year, and I would love if you would partner with me as I move forward with the ministry of Teen Mania to advance the kingdom of God in the earth. I know that some of you have been wanting to know how to donate to me online, and at long last, my account is ready for that.

You can go to http://www.honoracademy.com/index.cfm/PageID/2732/index.html and select which country you are from (US or Canada), then enter my information as follows:

Sarah Brooks

613-767-9360

ID #: 2627668

After that, it’s a fairly simple process to donate using a credit card. Or, if you’d like, checks can be made out to ‘Teen Mania’ and should be mailed to:

US/International DonorsHonor Academy
ATTN: Finance

PO Box 2000
Garden Valley, TX 75771
USA
Canadian DonorsTeen Mania Canada
ATTN: Finance

Box 472
Bloomfield, ON K0K 1G0
Canada

Please ensure all donations include a sticky note with my name and ID number clearly printed. The memo line on checks should be blank in order for the donation to be tax-deductible.

I’m ludicrously excited for what is going to happen the rest of this year, but to be quite frank, I will not be able to stay unless I have the financial support. I would love if you would prayerfully consider partnering with me this year, whether financially or in regular intercession.

I’ll be keeping the blog updated weekly with my exploits at Teen Mania, so stick around! I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to see what’s going to happen next!

~Sarah