When I was 18 years old, I dreamt of working in the Christian music business. I traveled to Nashville, was accepted to a major university there and then, I went to a concert where I let some random guy talk me out of going. I didn’t even know him, I don’t know his name even today but I listened to the advice of a complete stranger who didn’t know me from Adam and I left my dream behind.
I think everyone has this dream of what life should be, this animated Disney movie of sorts.
I was 17 when I met my first husband, I wore a purity ring, signed my True Love Waits card and was married by age 20. We prayed all the prayers, attended church faithfully, built our marriage on the rock or so I was made to believe anyway.
By age 32, I was divorced.
I didn’t see that coming.
I started a business 10 years ago, built it from the ground up. In 2013, I gained a brutal stalker who went after my business as well as every other human being around me, by the end of 2013, a business that supported 12 people and my family had been pushed into foreclosure.
I had never seen hate in real life, I had never known someone who wanted to destroy every single part of me. But, I know what hate looks like today, the mask it wears does not cover up very well.
Last year, at age 37, my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. I walked with her through chemotherapy, losing her hair, a mastectomy and now multiple other issues. We are too young, I thought. Apparently cancer does not discriminate for age.
In 2017, as we celebrated the New Year, my family received a phone call. My beautiful and young 22 year old cousin was killed in a car accident. He was here and then he was not. Just like that. Gone.
In an instant, life changed.
Let’s be honest, shall we? I’m honest to a fault, it’s all I’ve got. So, here it goes.
Life didn’t turn out the way I thought it would, I’m sure it’s a safe bet your life didn’t turn out the way you thought it would either. And, you know what? That’s ok.
We dream new dreams and we start again and again and again. Some of us have to start over more than others, I don’t know why, maybe it’s our stubbornness? Maybe it’s our ability to take a thousand risks in search of the one thing that sets our soul on fire?
You know, we are only here for a short time. Just a little breath of life and we are gone again. No matter what your life looks like right now just know, the morning is coming. Light is coming your way, it won’t always hurt, it won’t always rain. Take what you have and make the best of it, it’s more than what many people have even if it’s in a million pieces.
Pick up your broken heart and give it to the God of grace. The only one who knows how to put you back together again, pick you up and put you on a path better than the one you were on before.
The world doesn’t see Jesus in perfect Christians holding up their True Love Waits cards (although I’m not knocking that and fully support it) but, the world sees Jesus in those who are broken but still holding onto hope and breathing in grace to rise up and do it all again.
It’s ok if it didn’t turn out the way I planned it to be, it wasn’t about me anyway. My perfection wasn’t helping anyone, in fact, it was more condemning than comforting. It’s in my broken places God really moves and makes himself known.
So, go on and live bold, live brave and do it all again and again. And, don’t you dare be ashamed of your broken pieces, God is making something beautiful out of them right now, something more beautiful than you have ever known.
Sarah Ann is an author, speaker and media personality committed to honesty, vulnerability and authenticity. She has a passion for empowering people who are willing to be honest and walk out life in Christ together, no masks and no curtains. Sarah holds a Masters in Theology and Apologetics, she also owns a clothing company, Ascent516.com, she is creator of SarahAnnSpeaks.com and the Sarah Ann Speaks Podcast and is featured daily on GEB TV.