Looking for Thin Places

Hey again, it’s me Sara. So here we are I am in my second week. What to write about this time around? My challenge last week hopefully opened some doors to make a difference, perhaps it caused someone to smile and maybe helped someone out in one small way. Being open to different ways to be the change can be so easy sometimes and so challenging at other times. So this week how does one find inspiration for such moments? That is a question I still ponder at times.


Lets face it life throws us curve ball after curve ball. We all know those moments well. Some utter and complete idiot cuts us off in traffic. A perfectly wonderful go with the flow morning can be snatched away by a person accidentally stealing your coffee because they never read the name on the cup.( It happens more often than not.) Taking caffeine away from anyone is so not cool in my book. Or maybe it’s the moment when you find out someone has passed on to the other side. That you will never see them again walking this earth. Or what about when a person that you thought would always be there for you all of the sudden up and leaves. Yes people are people and they will fail you even when they don’t mean to. You are left alone, in the quiet and in the storm of emotions the size of small hurricane at times. We all get lost in the questions of why, what did I do, and how do I deal with this?


I will admit it, I am a feeler and a fixer. I want to fix everything. I also want to make your day instantly better whether or not you want me to or not. If I can get you to laugh just once, maybe crack a smile, or just lighten your load, my mission of the day can be somewhat full filled. As life would have it, I have learned that not all things are that easy to fix. Sometimes, words are not quite enough to make that moment of the “struggle being so real “any better. And no matter how much I love and hug it, it does not always make it better. Today I still have to remind myself that I cannot fix everything for everyone. I can support, love, and be a silent presence for them and that alone IS enough.


Several years ago to count I was that person struggling to keep my head above water. I had just moved out on my own. I wasn’t making the smartest choices when it came to partying and who I hung out with. The very first love of my life had left me high and dry for another girl, I had just switched jobs and hated it! Dancing for the first time ever wasn’t fun anymore. I was at that moment just a fat girl trying to make it in a skinny girl dance world. Living life was becoming harder and harder. To top it all off I had just found out my Grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She had one month left to live. My dad and I booked flights and rushed up to Idaho to see her one last time. It was so surreal and scary to realize this would be my last time seeing her on this side of heaven.


There was a pivotal moment that made me grow and find inspiration in all of my brokenness. It was and still is one of the thinnest moments of my life as I recall this memory. It was found one day while I was helping her into her wheel chair. I was trying so hard, to be strong and not cry. Let’s just say I was not very successful. Not even a year earlier she had not even needed a wheel chair. Emotions of, How is this fair?, Why her?, Why me? OK Sara, be strong, love her, and above all make sure you laugh raced through my head. I was filled me with utter and complete helplessness. I began to push her down hallway and she stopped me. Grabbed my hand and held it to her shoulder and said, “You know that I love you and that I am so proud of you.” In my head I felt so undeserving of such love. Didn’t she know that I struggling with being young dumb and stupid? I stopped hugged her and said, “Gram, I love you too! Thank you so much but I am really not all that awesome.” “But you are, you are here with me, you are dancing, constantly laughing, living and learning about life. Dancing is what makes you so happy. Dancing has and always will be a special part of you. You light up when you dance and you make people feel what you feel while dancing. I for one, will eagerly await the day you come to heaven. I will be standing at the front gate and then I finally get to dance with you.” she said. My eyes welled with tears.


My sweet little Gram in one small quiet moment had managed to encourage me to not quit dancing. To continue on my journey with life and that life was well worth living despite being so broken. She looked at me with such happy tears in her eyes. She said “ I am just so tired. I am so ready to go home. “ That day my little Gram was my saving grace. God knew that I needed to hear that despite all my faults, I mattered, I was important, I was loved beyond measure and that I could do this thing called life despite all of the curve balls I had been thrown. This world was only the beginning and that the next one promised so much more. This became the first of my thin places.


The remainder of my visit was spent celebrating her last birthday on earth. So bitter sweet but I am so glad that I got to celebrate with her, we went for long walks around the duck pond, car drives, and so many family stories told by her, I know that I will always treasure them. I went home after one week. She passed onto heaven the following week. She left behind a legacy of love, patience, and a quiet certainty of a promise of something greater than I could could have ever imagined. She had shown me love beyond measure, so unconditional and true. The way love is supposed to be felt. I knew that I wanted too. But how could I find it? That became an even bigger question.


Sure loving people can be so easy when they are easy to love. Even those that aren’t easy to love deserve love. Patience is easy for the most part until it’s not. Patience is not nearly so easily attainable when one finds themselves exhausting all boundaries of patience border. (Yup, I made the mistake of praying for patience once and I am still learning about it, lesson learned.) The certainty of a promise of so much more than this world, can be begin to be seen in the smallest ways. But is only accessible when we truly decide to look for it.


Where to find those moments, that is the question? Roughly four years ago I had the privilege of taking a class in church called ‘Thin Places”. The definition of a thin place being “ A thin place, is a place where the boundary between heaven and earth is especially thin. It’s a place where we can sense the divine more readily.” It intrigued me to no end and I found myself searching for thin places everywhere. I see this drawn like a picture in my head , there is heaven on one plane and earth is on another. Then this crazy awesome God filled moment happens and the two planes are connected and collide. It in that moment that a thin place is created. Almost as if a barrier of divine beauty, peace, and holiness is broken for a moment. Those moments can be so hard to find in the hustle and bustle of the world.


Were these thin places to be found everywhere? Not quite and for a period of time I was incapable of finding any thin places. I searched with every bit of myself longing to feel the presence of a greater power beyond my own understanding And still nothing. One day the thin place found me. I was walking through the quiet of a park soaking in the sun and I felt this quiet peace, the whisper of something greater being present. An ultimate sense of peace fell upon me and I knew that a “thin place” had found me in the middle a park in Birmingham Alabama of all places. How incredible was that!


This began my journey of discovering thin places in the most unlikely places. Sometimes it was in church. Which is pretty easy to find while the sun was shining so perfectly through the window panes, other times it was in the laughter of my Godchild and her sweet hugs goodbye as I would leave the house, sometimes I found it in the smiles of my customers as they came through the drive through at Starbucks. Other times slightly bigger moments where found in mission trips to Honduras watching the entire team work together as a perfect unit serving and loving beyond measure. There is something to be said for a team that can show so much love after treating seven hundred patients. But in truth the people that came to our clinic were the true reason it became a thin place. Love was seen everywhere. Thin places can be found in a beautiful piece of music. Almost as if heaven and earth are one singing in perfect harmony all for something bigger and greater than I could ever imagine.


So this week I bring the challenge of being open to those “thin places” They are found in everything we do. They are sometimes profound and can’t be missed. Other times they are almost silent and a whisper in the wind. All we have to do is look for them and they will be found. Inspiration to #bethechange #lovealways #bekind It’s more than worth it! #talesofasiren

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