I was going to make this my cover photo on Facebook, but just couldn’t. It’s too personal, too deep. Not to be taken lightly. It deserves an explanation, and a disclaimer.

Disclaimer 1: I don’t want your “sorrys” or “It’s gonna be okay.” If you’re thinking, “Sarah, it’s been 23 years – get over it already,” fine, keep thinking it. I couldn’t make something so personal, so me, so my heart and soul and mind my cover photo because I don’t want to draw any attention to myself. I wanted to cherish the tears that flow as I read these sweet words. Words of a stranger, that mean so much.

I don’t cry in front of people, not usually. I’ve lost a lot of people in my life as I’ve loved a lot of people in life. I learned at a young age to be strong. I’m not sure how I learned this, I just knew as I attended funeral after funeral, that people needed someone strong, so they could be weak. Later on, when I was alone then I could be weak and God could be strong. It’s worked for 26 years, not fool-proof, but for the most part, I’ve been able to be there for people.

Disclaimer 2: I’m usually a pretty positive person, [and I’m completely sound and okay]. As you read the next bit, realize that part of me wants to point out all the little blessings of this past year. Some quite epic amazingness, but overall…

This year has sucked. Terrible. I cannot even begin to count the amount of times I’ve wished for it to be 2015 already! Where are you 2015?! Yeah, this year can be over, like now.

There was a moment this summer when my “strong for everyone else” bit flew out the window. And I bawled, right there on that boat, as everyone else had a jolly good time. It was my brother and his fiancées rehearsal dinner. We took a dinner cruise along the Mississippi. We all were joy-filled and love-inspired, as would be expected. But then, we all noticed something. A bridge. Police lights shining. Coast guard. And suddenly life was a whirlwind of slow-motion around me. Photos snapped. Staring. And then life continuing on joyously.

Except for me. I was bawling. Drowning in my own tears. As I have been too many times this year. “Your soul knows.” Most comforting words I’ve ever heard. Yes. Darn empathy. But also, I had been there. On a metaphorical bridge. Too many times. Here friends were taking pictures, and continuing on with their jolly lives, when I knew deep, deep, deep, deep, deep down. That could have been me.

Now don’t get me wrong. Emphasis on metaphorical. I don’t think I could ever do it. I care too much about my family, and about God’s purpose for my life. But it was a rough year. Passion-less. Obstacle-filled. Exhausting.

Losing people hasn’t gotten any easier for me. I’m not a better griever. With time, I do believe I’m becoming a better lover. Perhaps that’s it. Loving more makes losing harder. Also I yearn for Heaven. Heart me is really excited for my welcome party – to see my family – my friends – my dad. Soul me is so excited to fall on my knees and weep in a passionate life-giving way before my Savior, Jesus Christ. To shed away the sin-filled human self, and become fully soul – image of God. Maybe that Heaven will be much more than my heart has ever dreamed – I’m positive it will be – but all that will matter is for once I’ll be whole. For once, I’ll be home.

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