Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Follow me in my exciting new journey as Miss Plus Canada 2014!

Follow me in my exciting new journey as 
Miss Plus Canada 2014!

Check out my new website with a new blog, pictures, videos, my platform WINGS Maternity Home and so much more!

Follow me on Facebook, Intagram and Twitter:

(Be sure to like me on my new Facebook page)
Instagram: @sarahtaylorsjourney
Twitter: @sarahtsjourney
(Note: my Twitter and Instagram handles have changed)

I will no longer be blogging to this site so be sure to follow me on my new blog: http://www.sarahtaylorsjourney.com/blog

Monday, 16 June 2014

Vote for Sarah Taylor - Miss Plus Canada's People's Choice Award

In just 2 weeks on Monday, June 30th, I will be competing as a contestant in the Miss Plus Canada 2014 Pageant in Toronto. It has been a really exciting opportunity and we’ve been rehearsing for a fabulous night! 

One of the awards that will be presented on the night of the pageant is The People’s Choice. Could you please take a minute of time to vote for me as the People’s Choice EVERYDAY FROM NOW UNTIL JUNE 29TH AT MIDNIGHT? It’s really easy!

1. Visit this link https://apps.facebook.com/my-polls/jkwsfz
2. Look for my picture
3. Select the little bubble to the left of my photo
4. Click submit
5. Share on your Facebook wall and if you feel so inclined, as your Facebook friends to vote for me too

Here is a little bit about me (my bio):

"Sarah loves to dream and Plus size modeling was a part of that dream.  As a new fresh face to the industry, Sarah’s passion is to help women see their true beauty regardless of the number on the scale – this is what drives her.  Sarah’s story of beauty for ashes is at the core of her passion for helping women excel and see their beauty within.

Giving back is important for Sarah because in her darkest hour, the love and support from those around her helped her to see her true worth and push her forward.

Sarah lives in Brooklin, Ontario and currently works in the nonprofit industry helping charities with their strategy and implementation plans for their online fundraising portfolios. She also volunteers at WINGS Maternity Home in Ajax as the Executive Assistant, Event, Fundraising Manger and mentor.

Although Sarah models clothes, her heart’s desire is to be clothed with strength and dignity and ready to take on life with zeal, passion, drive, excitement and no fear of the future"

If you would like to attend the event, here are the details:
Date: Monday, June 30th, 2014
Doors Open @ 7pm at the Fairview Library Theatre (35 Fairview Mall Dr.)
(the next day is Canada Day – aka a holiday ....no work lol)
Tickets are only $25

For more details or to purchase your tickets online check out the website:www.misspluscanada.com - I also have tickets available for purchase (cash or etransfer)
(if you purchase tickets online let me know so I can flag you as my guests)

Follow the pageant on Social Media
Instagram: http://instagram.com/misspluscanada
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MissPlusCanada
Twitter: https://twitter.com/misspluscanada

My Social Media
Instagram: http://instagram.com/walkbyfaith83
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahRTaylor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/walkbyfaith83
Blog: http://damnshesgotcurves.blogspot.ca/

My platform is WINGS Maternity Home where I volunteer as the Executive Assistant, Event & Fundraising Manager and Life Coach/Mentor to the girls in the home and the community mom’s WINGS Support. Please feel free to check out their website: www.wingsmaternityhome.com . It is going to be an exciting summer at WINGS as we are expanding and moving to a new location in Oshawa – stay tuned on how you can help us as we grow.

I will be posting updates to my Facebook event as the night approaches and if I win any of the awards or am crowned queen - https://www.facebook.com/events/307033142805262

Thanks so much in advance!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


This is a spur of the moment blog post – I had not intended for this one.

But…..this week I’ve had a few people tell me that they’re in a really tough spot.  Whether it’s dealing with some emotional pain or whether it’s not knowing what steps to take next or being in the middle of what seems like chaos or disaster.  I myself have had some struggles this week so I just thought I’d share a word I got about 2 years ago….

Here’s the situation…..

It had been a several months since my ex-husband had left.  He was still playing games and being ridiculous and I still didn't’ see it.  I was so hurt, I felt abandoned, I was in pain….I really didn’t know what to do.  But I had like 4 people in 4 days give me the scripture verse, Psalm 46:10 which says this:

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Now the part for me that was told over and over was the first part – Be still, and know that I am God.

But….I didn’t know what that meant.  Go figure….the girl who was always busy filling every moment of every day didn’t know what ‘Be Still’ meant.  But I didn’t….so I legit googled it.  I thought maybe I could find a book on it, or maybe find some instructions online.  But, nope, there was nothing….so I tried this whole being still thing or what I thought it at least meant - I think I'm still learning it actually. 

And then…a couple weeks later I was reading a book called ‘Breakthrough Prayer’ by Jim Cymbala I was on the train on my way into work….and something jumped out at me from the page. 

(Warning: I’m about to paraphrase a lot here – I’m just gonna give a synopsis)

In Exodus 14 the Egyptians were chasing the Israelites.  The Egyptians were petrified and questioning Moses and Moses says this to the people:

 “Do not be afraid. Stand firm {confident and undismayed} and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Vs 13-14

Then you know what happened, God did the unthinkable – He parted the Red Sea. Combined with the faith that Moses had to listen to God’s instruction to lift up his staff. 

Like seriously, come on, could you imagine that!?!?!

But there you have it – my world was rocked….and you know what happened to me, later that day…. My now ex-husband sent me a text asking to meet to get our marriage certificate so he could file for divorce.

Well, apparently God was at work that whole time and I didn’t realize it.  But you know what – because God had given me that word to hold onto that morning, it didn’t stress me out.  I was actually at peace.  I knew without a shadow of a doubt, my God had me and I wasn’t going to have to do the fighting, he would do it on my behalf and all I had to do….was….you got it….BE STILL!!!!

I am not an advocate of divorce by any means but I was in an abusive situation with an unfaithful man and needed out.  And the last few years, as this blog attests to has been a process of healing, restoration, ignition of new and old dreams, desires and purpose. 

Anyways, I just felt like I needed to share this message.  This has been the biggest portion of my journey the last 2 ½ years and I’m still learning this lesson but am enjoying resting in HIS arms and letting HIM take care of me.  I have it as a constant reminder in my room, above my bed, where I’m meant to rest – see, check it out.

Be encouraged that even if things are dark right now, HE’s got you right in the palm of His hands, so rest in them and ask him to take care of you and help you fix whatever mess you’re in the midst of.  Follow his direction as he guides and he will not leave you nor forsake you.  After all, he loved you so much that he gave his only son for you as a sacrifice. 


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Let the fun begin....

My last blog post ended with talking about getting back to my journaling and resting and being still…one of my verses that has held massive significance in my journey the last few years (Psalm 46:10 – “Be Still and Know that I am God”)….well I did just that after my blog post….I took a 3 hour nap on Sunday afternoon, journaled, read and kept this up for the first half of the week and was so enjoying it…and then something crazy happened in my stillness.  Before I go on, one thing I asked God for during my prayer time was to show me a tangible way that he loved me.  I was really feeling the need for being loved and asked God for something tangible – it was kind of a strange request I suppose but I was needing something a little extra special. 

Now first, before I get into the details let’s talk about my challenges with being still.  Growing up I wasn't really allowed to be still.  There was no being lazy in our home.  Sitting around watching TV unless we were sick or working on packaging phone cards for my dad’s business just was a big no-no.  There was always something that could be done.  So, being still has always been quite the challenge for me.  When God first gave me this word – I legit googled, How to be still, like I was going to find a book on it or something….oy vey lol

Well, it was April 30th … it was like 3 days of being still … And on my way home from work, I get this email

Yup, that’s right – I got an email asking me if I wanted to be in a pageant – the Miss Plus Canada 2014.  I kept staring at the email and thinking – is this for real!?!?  Well, I posted the above picture on Instagram and had so many comments from friends and family right away – encouraging me and telling me to go for it…well I contacted the director and filled out my application that night…

Now see what makes this even funnier to me is that I’m in the tail end of the process for going in for gastric bypass right so that sent me into a whirlwind the next week or so trying to process that.  Was this a sign that I shouldn't do the surgery?  Was I really confident in who I was – regardless of that number on the scale? 

Well the next day…. I got the ‘acceptance’ as being a contestant in the pageant.  No way! Was this really happening??  Even when the first meeting and rehearsal came I felt like - are they going to change their mind and turn me away....There is so much more that has happened around all this and I’ll get into that but let me tell you something else first that happened the day that I found out I was a contestant…

I got a message from someone.  The beautiful Gloria Garvie.  See, she runs a program in Durham schools teaching girls (grades 7 and 8) their value, worth and beauty.  Well, her year-end party was the following week and she really felt that asking me to speak would be a good idea….I had to work out my schedule, but it worked out quite well…Here’s the thing….I don’t know Gloria all that well – she knew my parents back in the day and I have friends who know her really well but she doesn't know my story but she really had it pressed on her heart to ask me to speak.  

So after telling me all about her program and what she was looking for in terms of speakers, I asked her…Gloria, do you even know my story?  She replied with ‘no’, obviously, so I gave her the nutshell version.  My journey to discovering my worth, value and beauty has been a long one but I've felt that I was meant to share it with young girls – and this was my first opportunity to share it with some beautiful girls!

It was such an amazing time and I couldn't believe the response by the girls to what I had spoken about.  I was in awe at the doors God was opening – after being still for 3 days….To God be all the glory. Something else really cool is that one of my very best friends, Natalie was there that day with me – it was so nice to have her by my side on this very special day! (she's the beautiful one on the right)

Just about to go into my talk, someone said, you should record it, so Nat did for me!

Here is a video of what I shared….

What is neat also, is that I had posted in Instagram and Facebook what I was doing and how blessed I felt and again, I had so much support!

I also received a beautiful photo book with pictures from our day – what a special memento to such a monumental day

OK so if being asked to be in a pageant and speaking and sharing my story of God’s love, redemption and peace wasn't enough of a tangible sign of showing me God’s love… I also received a gift…something tangible from a friend.

I received a journal from a beautiful friend of mine…I was called “The Beauty of the Lord”.  It’s a daily devotional journal, which I love because I was trying to figure out a devotional to do everyday and journaling my days are so key.  

So not only was it a gift, it held so much significance and meaning… It again is about beauty and God has been trying to show me my beauty and that it’s not all about that reflection I see in the mirror.  The book itself was beautiful too - obmre actually which I love.  The bookmark in it was on a devotional called, “ I Surrender” which was exactly what I did at the beginning of the week – surrendered my plans for God’s and submitted myself to him to allow Him to work in my life so that I could be his hands and feet here on earth.  

And then….when I opened the inside cover, I also saw my theme verse in all of this – “Be Still and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10

I just cried upon receiving this journal and I’m so enjoying it.  There have been some days where I’m blown away at the relevance it has in my own life, for that specific day – here’s an example….  This is from a post from May 10th, 2014

Something else big happened in May – the WINGS Maternity Home Glitter of Hope Gala.  It was such a beautiful night and the heart of WINGS was really portrayed.  I was soooo proud to see our mamma’s graduate, hear testimonies from some of our girls and the talent through the evening was just amazing! It was a lot of work but it was so amazing to see it all come together! There were performers, testimonies, great supporters of WINGS, our Board, friends, family and Disney Princesses!!!  I even had a couple princesses help me with my hair and makeup to get ready!

I am sooooo beyond thankful at the opportunity I have to work with WINGS.  It’s really neat to be able to use my skills in my professional life (administration, fundraising and event planning) for a ministry and to also be able to pour into these special mom’s and babies that are at WINGS.  I have been blessed beyond measure by those I have met through WINGS and I’m so grateful that God has given me such a special opportunity.

WINGS is in need of monthly donors to help us with the bills associated with running the home (mortgage, hydro, water, food, programs, etc.). 

Here are some great pictures from the night as well as a video from the night if you want to check them out:

Laura’s Song – Laura actually learned the song, bought and relearned the piano to play with it while she sang in less than a week!!!

CLICK HERE to view the video on Youtube

It was taken from this song that was a viral video - CLICK HERE to view the video on Youtube

If your interested in learning more about WINGS and even supporting us, check out our website:

To hear some more great testimonies of our girls – check out some of the interviews on our website:

So during the next few weeks of time I really started wrestling with the whole gastric bypass surgery and all these modeling opportunities and now this pageant.  I woke up one morning and just questioned everything about it – do I move forward with it, am I being a hypocrite doing this surgery and being in a plus size pageant where we are proclaiming that our curves are ok?  The next week or so I really just want back and forth in my mind.  The day this started was the day I also found out from my internist appointment that he thought I had a thyroid issue according to my blood test (which I’ve followed up on and is not the case) and he thinks I have sleep apnea and sent me for a sleep test (that was fun…NOT). 

I think this is a good new look for me….what do you think lol

The result of all the back and forth was this…

I am doing this for health reasons.  My back is still in pain every day and the weight needs to be gone.  I have tried everything and have struggled for so long.  I am NOT doing this surgery because I can’t stand to look myself in the mirror or am not confident in who I am and it’s not because I don’t love myself, it’s actually quite the opposite….I do love myself and I want to be healthy. 

If I win this pageant, than that’s great but it will be for a year of my life and this surgery will have lifelong effects.  I cannot wait to be active again and get back running, hiking, biking and just enjoying life!  This whole thing has been quite the experience and I’m so excited for how much fun it is and will be. We rehearse every Saturday for the pageant – we’re doing a fun dance and includes all the things you see in a pageant – swimsuit, evening gown and…talent.  I really pondered what my talent would be and I decided on doing a spoken word – with my story.  I really feel like this is a place where my story may be able to help others and is a platform for young woman to embrace all of who they are – regardless of the number on the scale.  I am so blessed to be a party of this and to have met so many amazing women!  The pageant is on June 30th in Toronto – if you’re interested in attending – you can purchase tickets from me and online

You can also follow them on Instagram and Facebook to see the updates leading up to the pageant and night of

Check out a pic of some of us at rehearsal 2 weeks ago

Something kind of funny….I started breaking in my shoes for the pageant and the same week I bought a pair of Birkenstocks and was breaking them in – I think I confused my feet quite a bit 

I also received a beautiful painting this month that I’ve hung in my room.  My beautifully, talented friend Laura (the one who sang at the WINGS gala) paints scripture inspired paintings.  I asked her to paint me something and payed her for it.  The only direction I gave her was to make it bright to match my room (which she had never seen actually).  Well, she blew me away!  Here it is!

There is so much significance in this….
-It is bright and beautiful … It has hibiscus flowers which are my fav … the woman (inspired by me) is crowned with beauty (IS 61) and her tears are not going to waste – they are watering her garden… she also gave me a new scripture (IS 58:11) about God directing me and strengthening my frame (my back).  I just love it and I’m so thankful for this piece (I’ve never bought any art before actually).

One more other really exciting thing this month was that I got to go to Calgary last week and speak at the Habitat for Humanity Canada’s national conference.  I got to speak on Online fundraising best practices.  It was so neat!  I was super nervous but my nerves finally calmed when I realized – hey, I know what I’m talking about.  We signed 5 new contracts too so I’d say it was a success. 

While I was there I got to go visit Dawson’s grave site at Queens Park (my brother in law) and I also got to visit with my ‘bro’ and his wife and kids which was so nice!  It was such a great trip.

I took the red eye home Thursday night to make it to my last set of appointments for Gastric bypass…I didn’t sleep on the plane so I was so worried that I was not going to stay awake (I actually got to the hospital at 7am and slept in my car for an hour and half for the 3 hours of meetings).  Well, my meetings went better than expected!!!  My nurse told me that my blood work was virtually perfect (aside from my very low vitamin D – see all those vacations down south are actually needed for my health ;) ) and instead of having to stay in the hospital for 3 days after surgery, I only have to stay there for 24 hour which is amazing!  We talked for a while and we talked about how I will be post-surgery and she is confident that I will do well physically as well as emotionally because I’ve worked on my inside and have learned to love me.  I met with the dietician and she was happy to hear that I understood the process and also believes I will be successful with this and then came the psychiatrist apt, the one I was really nervous about – she only needed 5 minutes with me instead of an hour and also said she’s confident I will do well and succeed with this.  I go on Monday (only a few days away) to find out my surgery date.  A year later and this is finally going to happen.

Life has certainly been very interesting and I sit back and reflect, I think about how thankful I am to have come through what I’ve come through and come out on the other side.  I am confident that the plans for my life our good and I’ve given up trying to control them and just live life.  I have really seen this past month how much I’ve gown and I’m so thankful to be able to say that…. I am the happiest me I have ever been.  I am fulfilled, I am peaceful, I am confident and I love my life.  No, I’m not perfect and not everything in my life is but I’m ok with it.  I’m excited to see what the future holds and what other adventures are on the horizon.  I’m now in the place where I’m able to share my story (mostly without crying) and give hope to others who may not have it today.  I am just so grateful for everything and everyone in my life.  

My heart is full.

I thought I'd share something else with you too that I totally related with... and although for some, it seems crazy to be open with my story - there is healing for me and I'm learning that there is healing for others.

CLICK HERE to read Sarah Jakes' interview with Charisma Magazine on sharing her testimony and the healing that comes along with it.

This was my fav part I think....
"When asked what lessons she hopes her readers take away from her book she says...That they have the grace to try again. Whether it's a divorce, whether it's a teen pregnancy, or whether you were the victim or the villain in someone's story, you really do have the grace to try again.

One mistake doesn't have to define the remainder of your life. You still have time and you still have hope, and if God is with you, He said He's going to complete this work in you.

But we have to really give Him permission to complete that work. And if readers of this book really accept grace and the ability to try again, then I know that God will meet them as He has met me.?

Until next time...

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Purpose in the Journey ...

Well it’s certainly been a long time since my last blog
(7 months) and life has been pretty eventful and interesting.  I find myself in a heightened state of contemplation these days and am waiting with expectation for my bright future ahead.  I chuckle as I write that because it’s been a tough road to get here and yet my outlook has remained quite positive and reflective and very conscious of how far I've come, yet knowing that I still have a ways to go.  I’m humbled by the love and grace those in my life have shown me – both old friend and new friends.  I have so much to be grateful for and my outlook on life has completely changed with the filter of gratitude upon me.

Just a couple of weeks after my last blog post in September, 1 big change shifted a lot of things in my life and looking back it’s fun to reflect how much that 1 change has affected every area of my life…I had to move out of my Toronto apartment due to a bad case of mold that was making me really sick.  My dr put me on puffers and told me I know had asthma.  Within a couple weeks out of the apartment, my ‘asthma’ disappeared.  It was a quick move – I discovered the problem and within 48 hours I had a moving truck and had my parents and a friend from work help me pack up all my belongings after work on a Tuesday and moved back to Brooklin with my mom.  It was a miracle #1 that I got everything out in 1 evening and another miracle that I got everything unloaded in the same night (with the help of 1 friend – thank God for such great people in my life).

The night I moved back something really interesting happened…I was headed back to Toronto to drop off the UHaul and pick up my car.  The 401 was closed at the entrance I usually get on so I had to take a detour and go to the next entrance on and I just happened to see this unmistakable big white WINGS Maternity Home van.  What’s that you ask?  It’s a maternity home in Ajax where this amazing woman (a single mother herself) takes in pregnant and homeless young woman who have chosen life.  The girls live in her home while they are pregnant and usually until the baby is at least 6 months (and sometimes longer).  These girls are given more than just food and shelter – they are taught skills to be great moms, contributing members of society, helping them break their cycle, heal from their pasts and now they can even complete their high school education at the homeschool right in the house.  Well I had been around WINGS quite a bit the last year and moving to Toronto made it difficult to be at the home as much as I used to be.  Well, I flagged Marion down (the amazing  woman who runs WINGS) and she asked what was going on – I told her and she said to follow her to her place and that she’d come with me for the ride – it was 11pm! This was the start of something great and I knew it was God….I’m reminded of Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a good man {or woman} are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way”

Well at the end of that week I was already booked to go on vacation to Cuba with one of my besties, her husband and 1 of her sons.  This was a well needed vacation to rest and get better.  It was a great time away!

Upon my return I got my life organized now that I was back home.  The original plan was that I would live in the basement but mom had a great idea to move upstairs – and I didn't realize how important that actually was.  I had lived in a basement apartment since my parents split so it had been about 7 years since I lived above ground.  Seeing daylight through my beautiful new window felt like such a gift.  In getting organized, it meant washing every piece of clothing I owned because as I started to fold and hang everything my throat and chest started to act up and I realized it was because EVERYTHING smelt like mold.  If you know me and my closet, you know I have a lot of clothes – I probably had 20 loads of laundry or more to do – it was a lot of work and sure taught me patience.

At Christmas time I redid my room to be like my personal oasis – sand coloured walls with 1 coral accent wall – decorated with scripture, quotes and my fav flowers, hibiscus flowers.


Now that I was organized and all set up, I dove in to helping out at WINGS – thinking, brainstorming and putting some plans together to use my skills to help and now help with administrative and online fundraising – which is what I do for work.  So it was really cool to use my natural skills to help an organization that was close to my heart.  I’ve been able to make some great friendships as a result of my time there and I’m also able to help the girls some support when it comes to healing from the past – given my journey the last couple years, it’s really neat to be able to use my pain and lessons learned to help other girls.  I feel so blessed to have this opportunity!

Here are some other exciting things that have happened.

I got a new tattoo – one that means quite a bit.  Proverbs 31:25.  My heart’s desire is to be a woman described in Proverbs 31 and I feel like my journey is helping me get there.  This is my declaration, this is what I wear proudly and it reminds me of the woman I want to be as I walk forth into the future.  My ex-husband would tell me that I would never be a Proverbs 31 woman and criticized me so heavily and I believed all his lies for too long.  But, he was wrong.  I’m so thankful for God’s love and his redemption

Went on my first wine tour with a group of my girlfriends to celebrate our 30th birthdays, some of them even learned to like wine – it was such a great weekend!  And the day before we left, one of my girls got engaged!  

We had our first ever open house at WINGS which was a great success!  We had about 300 people through the home which was really exciting.  We had a bake sale and sold some calendars and note cards of the babies.  We had a new baby born around the time of the open house as well – beautiful baby Destiny 

December 15th, I celebrated my 30th Birthday.  My mom, sister and Marion held a surprise birthday party for me at WINGS.  It was such an amazing surprise and day and I was so blessed by the entire thing!  My sister made me a really cool slide show too of my life – it was so sweet

Check out the link to the slideshow she made me - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151885040402950.1073741832.507537949&type=1&l=0bbe8ef021 

Christmas with the fam as well – which was great and we spent Christmas day at WINGS which was so special.  It was really cool to see how excited Deacon was!  He was hilarious on Christmas day too!

During the Christmas holidays I worked at renovating the WINGS website – which was so exciting!  The company I work for gifted WINGS access to the system which we were so thankful for.  So I was able to build the donation forms and fundraising events to go up on the website too.  Check it out – www.wingsmaternityhome.com  Check out our latest newsletter too if your interested in hearing some of the exciting things that have happened the last several months- http://www.wingsmaternityhome.com/winter-2014-newsletter.html

Something else really exciting happened…

Right before I moved out of Toronto my wonderful mom told me I needed to start dreaming again….so I did. I started dreaming big. I listed some things I didn't think would happen but were on my heart. One of the things that I thought was a pipe dream actually happened, twice.  It’s not really that major but it is cool to see that how even my dreams that I think are impossible, really aren't impossible with HIM.

I was one of several models at a plus size store in Toronto (Your Big Sisters Closet) who was in the display window at the boutique as part of an art installation. I held up signs along with other women expressing my relationship with my body - Signs like - “I have a beautiful body”. There is so much pressure on women - and men too - to look a certain way, have a certain look and really when it comes down to it – the number on the scale doesn't matter. Loving yourself comes first. This has been a major part of my journey the last couple years and I’m still a work in process in accepting all of me – regardless on that number on the scale.   That day I was asked by one of the women there to audition for the upcoming Fuller Women expo in Toronto this summer.

I also went with them as one of the models for a pitch for the dragons den which was exciting.  Who knows what will happen with this but it was fun just to have a taste of this dream I never imagined possible.  I've also met some wonderful women through this experience and I'm so thankful for that as well!!

 Out with the Old, In With the new…had to give this one a title…

Earlier this year a friend of mine asked me if there was an issue with my mustang.  I told her, yeah, I didn't really want it.  It was the car that my ex wanted and although I loved driving it, I didn't want to hold onto any more of my past and it was really expensive commuting with a mustang.  So she told me, well I’ll pray it gone.  I was like OK, sure, but someone is basically going to have to come up to me and ask me if they could buy my car cause I've tried to sell it 5 times (no lie).  At first I started looking for a new car, what kind of car did I want, how much could I trade mine in for and after a few days of feeling stressed about it, I really felt like it was time to just leave it in God’s hands and not look.  I waited a couple months and on March 17th ( a significant date for me) I got home from group at WINGS and there was a letter.  A letter from Ford, saying basically….we are looking to beef up our used car lot and we’re looking for 2008’s and we’re specifically looking for mustangs and your service record indicate your care is an ideal candidate and we’ll throw in some extras for you, you just need to buy a new 2013/2014 car that is on our lot. I actually laughed out loud, like seriously, did this just happen.

So, the next day I went online to see what cars they had and I found they had 1 black 2013 Ford fusion.  It was good on gas, it was kind of sexy looking and it had a Bluetooth phone (perfect timing as that day was the first day the fines increased for texting and driving).  And, what’s even funnier….I looked at a black ford fusion when I was buying the mustang – it was between those 2 cars.  I did some online comparisons with other cars to determine if it was fuel efficient enough.  It was.  I called and booked an appointment to go that night to see if I could make the trade.  Well, after some negotiation and playing some hard ball, the papers were signed and arrangements were made for me to go pick the car up on Thursday night.  Now, here’s where it gets better.  Because of how much I’ll be saving on gas and fixing the car, it’s actually not really costing me much more.  God is good….and learning to trust Him to guide and provide is so exciting.

Its been a busy few months with work and WINGS and new friendships and just enjoying life.  I just got back from a trip to Cuba which was fun (yes, Cuba for the 7th time lol…what can I say, I love it there?)

Now, not many people give an account for the things that happen in a 7 month time period, but these events, and so many more have been so significant for so many reasons.  

Here’s why:

A friend posted something yesterday that basically said - we are so used to telling people about our painful pasts, and instead we should focus on the positive things that are happening in our lives - my past is just a story at this point which has brought me to where I am at and made me who I am.  I will not live in the past any more and I will enjoy all that this time in my life has to offer and enjoy the journey. 

I've learned and grown so much.  God has taught me so much….he’s taught me to trust Him, to lean on Him to provide, guide and take care of me.  Nothing that happens in life is wasted, not even the hard stuff.  He uses all things, even things I never imagined to be useful.  There were some really tough days, days where I couldn't do much more than cry but, I’m still here.  I’m still standing and I’m actually much stronger than I was or ever thought I would be.  Sometimes all we need to do is just say yes to God and show up and he takes care of the rest. 

I am amazed by the people he’s brought into my life in the last year and I’m so thankful for new friends and old friends and for my family.  I am blessed beyond measure.  So much more has happened than even this and I've been journalling it all along the way.  I really felt God ask me back in November to start taking notes on what my days were like, the things that would happen, because things would start happening fast and I needed to be able to recall them.  That time has turned into my quiet time with him, journalling my prayers and my heart’s desires and my heart’s cries.  The last month or so I've not journalled as much, or at all really and am really feeling that I need to get back to it. 

As I was writing this post I actually had a friend send me a message who was preparing for a workshop she was doing on hearing the voice of God - she asked me if I could share how I hear from Him and it was actually pretty interesting timing given my reflective head space.  Here's what I realized....

I find that God usually speaks to me in a few different ways….but I’ll mention how I learned to hear the voice of God and know it was him

I've always questioned, do I hear from Him and about 2 years ago as I was getting through a difficult time I really asked God to teach me how to hear his voice….he picked a fun way to teach me.  God started telling me while I was driving to turn here, go here, don’t go here, etc.  I thought it was really strange but kind of cool because I love driving and I decided to be obedient as he led. 

Learning to listen to his step by step directions has led me to discovering truth in so many ways.  I continue to learn how to discern that He is speaking to me and when I remain in Him, regularly in His presence, it’s much easier to hear him and know that it is Him. 

Often times I will get a random thought – or what I think is random and then God confirms that it is him either with a dream, a scripture he brings to light (during my quiet time or by a friend or in church).  I usually sit with a word for a little bit, especially when it comes to direction for the future and I leave it in His hands to guide the complete the work.  Most recently God has revealed some heavy things in dreams and they require me to pray through things however I kept putting the pressure on myself to figure it out when he wanted me to ‘Be Still’ just like Psalm 46:10 says.  He’s really been teaching me to rest in Him, something I was never really ‘allowed’ to do growing up – being still and doing nothing.  I find now that when I’m still and wait on Him until I have peace to move forward, whether it’s a decision that needs to be made, a step to be taken, etc. he makes the path ahead of me and then bam, things happen fast.  In the past I would try and hustle to make things happen faster and in the last couple of weeks he’s reminded me of how He speaks to me and now I’m finally catching on – Listen for him….be still and wait on him….allow him to complete the work He has started.  Not my will, but His will be done. 

As I thought about this a little bit more I realized something pretty neat to....that my journey in hearing the voice of God has actually been something that He's used as part of my 'ministry' with WINGS (and with some others as well).  A couple of the girls in the home have asked me the question, how do I hear God's voice - how do I know it's Him?  and I'm able to share how He's taught me which is the coolest part - the things God teaches us are usually not just for us - but to pass it on to....so here I am passing my life lessons onto you too...

Here are some major things I've learned and really embraced:

I am not defined by my past pain. 

I am not going to be a good, Godly woman, I am a good, Godly woman. 

I am loved, not for what I do for others, but for who I am and I love me – this outlook has changed everything in my life. 

I've learned that what is on the outside isn't what counts.  I have curves, I dress my curves.  I've had a challenge with loosing my weight and have actually gained some weight because of some major issues with my back from the accident – every time I work out I seem to injure myself (ribs popping out of place, my lower back going out, constant pain, etc.).  Most recently I put my back out and was put on 6 weeks rest because of it.  But, I’m not depressed from gaining the weight.  I’m uncomfortable, yes, in pain everyday , yes, but, I’m happy and I’m not defined by my outside package. 

I am close to the end of the process for going through with gastric bypass – surgery will likely take place this summer.  Some might not be as open about this as I am but it’s going to be evident one day that something changed and I’m not going to be ashamed of it.  I have worked so hard to deal with my weight for years.  Since my accident it’s changed so much and I just cannot do what I used to do and my dr has told me that because my hormones are so out of whack because of the pain I’m in, my body actually fights me when it comes to loosing and keeping the weight off which is why I stropped loosing weight.  This surgery is not an easy pass, it will be hard work and I’m thankful I've learned how to eat well and balanced as I will need these skills the rest of my life, post surgery. There are risks associated, I am well researched, but I feel this is the route I am to take and my doctors believe it will significantly help with my pain, and hopefully take the pain away when the weight is gone.

I suppose I will sign off for now, and hope to not take so long for a post the next time.

Keep fighting the good fight my friends – the fight for walking out your full potential, regardless of your past.  You have no limits on what you can achieve.

Sarah :)