Not going to lie. This is a difficult blog to write. On many levels. And at the same time, it’s exciting, adventurous, bold and most of all faithful. All the things that make up my family.
Why? Because this is the last time I write in this home.
All my life, I have been a dreamer. Going after visions and making them realities. My spunky often gutsy personality has more than one time ended me up in some pretty crazy, adventurous even bizarre situations. And yet, there beside me, has been my best friend. Chasing after the same crazy dreams. Some we conquered, others we let go. But dream chasers none the less, we have been together.
There was one dream that was truly all I ever wanted in this life.
“To make HOME the nicest word there is.” Laura Ingalls Wilder.
And without a shadow of a doubt, I have been blessed to have had this dream come true. Our home, was a revolving door. All were welcomed. A save place for not only our children, but all their friends and extended family.
If there is one thing life has taught us, you never know what’s around the bend. Four years ago, Derek went through a trauma that unfortunately led to a spiraled effect of damage. Resulting in waking a sleeping giant of a disease in him. This was not a part of our plan. I think it would be fair to say, no one in their right mind, would ever wish or dream of an illness sweeping through your home. Chronic, long term, no cure are not words of comfort. Having the front row seat of watching Derek fight to get through each day the past four years, has been most challenging and heartbreaking to say the least. Four years. To even write that, brings tears to my eyes. I can’t believe it has been this long.
I do not share this to bring pity, or sympathy on Derek, or any of our family. Our lives are not any more difficult or challenging than anyone else. For we are all in this thing called life together. Each bearing our own cross. The only difference is, two years ago, I began writing. Simply because in the middle of the night, a voice spoke to me over and over again. “Sarah, write.”
Besides the fact that I’m probably losing it, and hearing voices instead of sleeping at night, why would I share such personal stories?
To show my children, that when adversity hits, simply rise up. Never give up. To encourage others going through a tough time, that ‘With faith, all things are possible.’ To be Derek’s advocate. To shed a light on this wretched disease that I have watched attempt to strip his life away from him. To help others who don’t have a voice.
You cannot chose what happens to you. But you can chose how you handle it.
Amidst the storm I have also had the beautiful privilege to witnessing miracle upon miracle. When devastation was knocking on our door, countless beautiful miracles were performed right before my eyes. Revealing to me that blessings do come from dark days.
Here’s the real truth. Derek has suffered greatly. Most days, this is how he looks. If you see him in public, or someone stops by, he puts on a great front. Never trying to draw attention to himself. And most certainly never complains. Behind closed doors, the reality is every day is a challenge for him to just get through the day.
Yet each day as the morning sun rises, he does as well. This man is relentless.
He’s not a fighter, but a WARRIOR.
Though there is much I don’t understand, and have no answers why this has happened, what I can say is it has also led us to a GREATER PURPOSE. It is in times of great adversity and hardship deep within the human spirit, faith arises.
This disease, messed with the wrong family.
So, what IS the plan?
Nothing will change if you don’t change. Just Jump.
We sold our home.
Where are we moving to?
Absolutely no idea. Sometimes following your heart, means losing your mind. We have never lived like everyone else. So why start now? What I do know is we will go wherever we have to, to find help for Derek.
What was it like being alive at our own estate sale?
Totally weird. And at the same time completely freeing. A true release. And yet, I still have a bunch of junk I don’t need. We collected way too much over the years. To let go, is a beautiful thing.
Here’s what I do know. Years ago, we had a vision to turn an abandoned property into an organic, beautiful dream. Through hard work, tears, and sweat we built a beautiful life for each other and more importantly our family. Raising our children in an amazing community surrounded by the dearest friends and family. For 20 years, we have been blessed with the best neighbors and incredible friendships. They were there for us in times of need and celebrated our joys. To be a part of this community has been nothing but a dream in itself.
But life isn’t always about a bed of roses. Sometimes it’s about sacrifices. Giving up of yourself, to do something greater. This was a hard knock lesson not only we had to learn, but so did our children.
When you love someone, it’s just what you do, sacrifice. Without a second thought.
The reality is we all want Derek better. And we are willing to do what it takes. His disease is not supported in the medical community, and there is very little help to offer him in the Midwest. Unfortunately all the treatments, therapies, and alternative options that have helped him are far away.
Operation: ‘Finding Derek’s Miracle’ is officially underway.
The decision has been made. Let go, and let God be. We chose FAITH. Which means letting God decide where we live and what the next dream is. If we are meant to finish what we started and build our “Little House on the Prairie” farmhouse on the farm, we will be back.
If not, we are open to the new adventures that await us.
Don’t waste your time looking back on what you’ve lost. Move on. For life is not meant to be traveled backwards.
Virtual schooling our son Gavin, he will travel with us on this grand adventure. Fueled and powered by Shaklee, we will run our business on the road. To be able to work from anywhere, at any time is a true gift in itself.
The one question we asked of ourselves in all of this, is how we can help others from what we have learned?
After much thought, we have partnered with an amazing group of families and have created an OVERCOMER CLUB and FREE ONLINE webinar series. Our goal is to inspire, empower and share the tools that have impacted not only our lives, but so many around the world. The knowledge we have gained through our hardships, gives us a renewed passion to pay it forward to all of you.
“Suffering passes, while love is eternal. That’s a gift that you have received from God. Don’t waste it.” Laura Ingalls Wilder.
It’s time for all of us, to take ownership. Our encouragement to you, is find one or two things that you want to overcome in 2017.
I’m not talking about a silly New Year’s resolution that will be broke within a few weeks. I’m talking about real life changing decisions. The kind that start with small, simple steps you take each and every day. Just as Derek rises every morning.
We will encourage you to
If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, struggling with an illness, stuck on a prescription drug cycle full of side effects, struggling with weight, living paycheck to paycheck, wanting a career you are passionate about, or looking for a greater purpose, join our club for support. We cannot fix your life. That’s for God to do. Be we can rally around you in encouragement. If nothing else, you won’t be bored watching our crazy adventurous life.
Together let’s not waste any more time. Life is a gift.
A doctor once told Derek, “You will be miserable at home or in Japan. Guess the question is where do you want to be miserable?”
Derek has made it clear to me, that he has every intention, on being completely adventurous even with his condition. I would expect nothing less from him. If there is one thing I have learned being married to this incredible man, I can never be fully prepared. Because he is always one crazy adventure ahead of me. There are no guarantees in this life. But one thing I’m certain about, is life with Derek will be dull.
Many years ago, he carried me. Derek, now it’s my turn to carry you. And all I can say, is Thank GOD, He is carrying both of us.