A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9
In 2018, 2 years after having a near death experience, I was still going through a lot both physically and mentally. God had established me spiritually and that is the only reason I’m here today. Without a shadow of a doubt, had Lance and I not followed God’s leading to move to this city in 2008, joined the church He wanted to place us in in 2013, grown in the word of God and what it means to be a believer, and honestly pray in the Holy Spirit I would not be here today.
What was supposed to be my 1st mothers day with our 2nd baby girl, Scarlett, I was being transferred out of the ICU to a normal room to start the long recovery process. Had the enemy had his way, Scarlett would never have been able to share a mother’s day with me. It’s still heartbreaking to think about, I’m literally crying as I’m writing this, I still get emotional because the enemy is that bad, but my God is that good! So many people asked me over the last few years, how can you live a life so full of faith and with so much love for God the way you do after going through all that you have gone through?
My answer is how could I not? Even through hell on earth numerous times, my God has been my rock just as He promised me He would be in Matthew 16:10. Jesus told Peter that Peter was blessed because the Father had revealed to him that “Jesus is the Son of the Living God and upon this rock (Jesus) which is the foundation for the church and that all the powers of Hell will not conquer it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth, you forbid in Heaven. Whatever you permit on earth, you permit in Heaven.”
Every major step I have taken in my life has drawn me closer to God. Whether they were good steps or not good steps- that’s how good God is. God draws us when we are close to be closer and He draws us to come close when we have taken steps away. Our choices are significant. Our choices direct our paths. When we make the choice to look at Jesus and redirect to follow Him, we don’t have to go all the way back the way we came. God has an emergency exit to propel us “sideways and forward” at the same time. God’s grace is supernatural and He gets us right where He has called us to be without it taking the “natural amount of time” the world says it will take! That requires faith in God and love for God.
My passion and a major part of who I am is sharing with others how much God loves them and encouraging them to simply believe God at His word. This passion didn’t come with having a perfect life. This passion has and continues to come because I have dealt with voices of “you are nobody, you are not good enough, you are just annoying, you will always be overlooked, you are ugly, etc”; depression, suicidal, and even when the enemy couldn’t get me to “follow into suicide”, he has tried killing me more than once. Yep, it’s true.. Crazy, not really.. The enemy has taken away more friendships than I can count. He took away “perfect health”. He took away “beauty”. He took away joy, peace, money, etc. He even tried taking away my marriage and family, not only through physical death, but also through love death. But just as God promised vindication and redemption of all things that which are stolen, He continues to bring them even more back into my life. Divorce is rampant and an epidemic in our country because a covenant means nothing today for a lot of people. I fought hard spiritually for my marriage and my family- for my promised land I shared about last time not once, not twice, not even three times so far in our almost 12 years of marriage. I wasn’t alone in this fight, I know Lance’s spirit fought hard and I know God’s covenant to me wouldn’t fail!
You see, we were established by God. We were growing roots that we didn’t really even “know” he was planting. Again that’s how amazing God’s love for you is! He is planting you right where you need to be. He is tilling the soil (pulling up the weeds in your life) so that your roots can grow deeper to not only withstand the storms ahead, but to be fruitful enough to “cross pollinate” others in your life. I wasn’t backing down from the promise He gave me.
Every attack to our marriage got deeper and deeper. That’s not shocking when you think about it. 1) we had increasingly more to lose 2) we were walking increasingly more into God’s plans for our lives 3) there had to be a shaking and a de-weeding to be able to keep “coming up”; because where there is light, darkness cannot be. There was “hidden darkness” in us that needed to be removed. Some we were aware of and some we weren’t until it raised it’s ugly head. BUT GOD! Once we started going to our church, that was the game changer for our lives. God was able to “really begin” his root work in us from that point.
So while I was pregnant with Scarlett, the Lord began leading me to increased knowledge about the Holy Spirit. I honestly found myself thinking…okay, that’s weird, God. You are going to have to show me this is real and not “Cuckoo” stuff. I had recently started going to our church’s Thursday morning prayer that I felt totally unqualified to even be part of, but I was obedient in going. I remember the first time I heard them praying softly, but powerfully in the spirit (tongues) in the middle of prayer and I thought to myself, “oh geez.. what is this? What’s happening”.. I opened my eyes in discomfort and everyone was normal and calm (haha, no one was waving a weird doll or anything around me), so I kept praying quietly and even thought, “God, I can’t think clearly to pray effectively with all these sounds going on around me… how am I supposed to pray here” (haha which if you pray in the spirit you know this is the point exactly! To pray in a way that bypasses thinking!) When it was over, I left and thought okay, what was that… “why on earth did you tell me to start coming to this? I don’t need to go to that? I can’t even consciously pray while they are praying like that.” I remember where I was driving and He just grabbed my heart and said “I told you to go there to be part of this, you will go again, and I will show you this is real”.
Scriptures began jumping out at me in my normal bible reading (I wasn’t looking for it) and I asked Him to show me more on how this is real, because “I will not be made a fool” here in doing something that is not real. And He did. While I was closer to halfway pregnant with Scarlett I was baptized with the Holy Spirit one evening after one of our church’s bible college class. Our Pastor’s wife was there and she actually came over to me because she could tell I was frustrated. I was frustrated because nothing was coming out of my lips. I was silent, when I could hear the others beginning to pray in the spirit, I started comparing myself and crumbling to disappointment in myself. She took me aside (she is one of my very best friends) and we stayed after the class was over. She believed in me, she encouraged me, she prayed for me, she taught me how to let go of my head and to give in to my heart. I knew I could see things with my heart that my mouth couldn’t say because I had lived a life cultured to rationalize and live based on what made sense. That night I began to pray in the spirit- only like 2 sounds came out, but I knew I had finally received the gift of praying in the spirit that God gave me long before I was born. So from that point forward, I began praying in the spirit. Who knew 9 months after having Scarlett, that gift would save my life.
During the 2 months leading up to May 6th, my body began shutting down. I saw doctors, they dismissed everything and tried saying it was something that it wasn’t. I knew that because I had peace with truth and warnings with false diagnoses and treatments. I prayed even more fervently in the spirit as each day passed because the worldly system I was given was failing. Every avenue the world had to offer me was a dead end. 9 days before May 6th I went from bad to worse, I became bed ridden and lethargic. I went from still breastfeeding my baby to not seeing her at all. My husband had just gone through losing his father to an aneurism a week before this. (It’s like I was given the anointing and grace to be there for him and our family, but as soon as the funeral ended I was barely able to get out of bed.) My husband was sleeping in another room because he had to become the sole provider working 10 hour days out of the house and then the other 14 hours at home for me and our daughters- one who couldn’t even walk yet and was freshly learning to not be able to breastfeed anymore (that’s a huge transition for a baby and a momma). On the morning of May 6th, he came into the bedroom and noticed I never even turned my nightstand light off. The Holy Spirit grabbed his heart and told him to get close to me and from there he knew God said take her to the emergency room again now. He began talking to me and realized I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I couldn’t move much. He took the girls to school and came back to the house thinking I had gotten up and ready to go, but he found me still laying there barely able to move or open my eyes. He took the covers off me and saw how extended my abdomen was and he was shocked. He then took my tshirt off to get me dressed and saw how thin I was. My bone structure was visible in my lungs and my back. He had to carry me to the car. Before leaving, I told him to grab my bible and my journal because we weren’t leaving without them. You see, my spirit had been fighting and prevailing for me every second through that point. My body was dying, my mind was leaving, but my spirit was PREVAILING. I couldn’t eat anything for about a week before that, and mentally speaking I was “not there”, I said enough to get by, but that was it. What I did for those 9 days was lay there praying in the spirit constantly, continuously streaming sermons that God led me to “somehow”, and writing in my journal. As the days grew closer my penmanship was terrible and the words “don’t even make sense” now that I read it, but I believe (which means KNOW) that God was speaking to my spirit. Our spirit understands and speaks things our minds can’t comprehend. My spirit fought for me and won!
Once he rushed me into the ER, they had me in some sort of glass room QUICKLY. They were working fast and knew it was a true emergency. Guess who was on call that day.. One of my best friend’s dads, Dr. Thomas Kelly. Coincidence? Not at all… He knew this was life and death and he needed me in the OR immediately. As soon as he walked out of the room to prep for surgery, the peace of God came upon me like a wave. I “opened my eyes” for a “steady amount of time” and I looked over at my husband, who had just asked the surgeon “what does that mean though? What are we looking at post op?”. Dr Kelly had no answer for him, but God did. God spoke over me and through me saying “don’t worry, everything is going to be okay” to Lance. (Not in a “if I die, I’m ok” way, but in a way that meant every cell in my body is taken care of.) They then placed the angio tube in my chest.
Before I went back to surgery, Lance and my parents told me that I lead a powerful prayer that had even my nurse in tears. I can’t take credit for that? That was my spirit, that was the Holy Spirit of God operating in me! My surgery was long, but blessed in every detail. I was hours away from death, almost septic, should have had to have had my intestines removed, but GOD! I didn’t die and none of my intestines had to be removed! THAT IS A MIRACLE! Those of us trained in medical science know the magnitude of this! Long recovery, but I made it because I didn’t quit and I had all the right people around me to carry me through, including the Holy Spirit.
So about 15 months after nearly dying, God began preparing me for something even “harder”, it was another attack on our marriage. It was going to be big, but I had no idea how big. He began preparing my heart by the leading of His spirit. He showed me, “you are going to have to dig deeper on what my unconditional love is and you are going to have to operate in it, it’s your choice”. I thought what? I love people? I think I love people more than most people I know? But I obeyed, grudgingly and “blind in a sense” as to why.
No one cheated on each other, but the spiritual attack of darkness, blindness, and division rose up. I could barely breath most days, but my spirit was already established, leading me, and fighting for me. I had days of questioning suicide again (I hadn’t had those feelings in close to a decade), but those days where the thought would try to suffocate me, I kept going! I wrote down in my journal things like “the fact that it’s this hard to breathe today, means that my victory is just around the corner!” and I would make myself laugh out loud. It was hard, but I knew I would never give in to it! My life had been saved!! And for what? It certainly wasn’t to die and it certainly wasn’t to live a broken life without my husband or my children.
We came through it all, all glory to God, but not long after our breakthrough my body starting showing signs of unexplainable issues. Stress is like a poison. I was in flight or fight for so long (about 6 weeks), once my body “relaxed”, my system was already in a bad state. I went to a dr who prescribed me a non-titrated dose of steroid to help my body overcome what it had been through mentally and physically. A few days after taking that, my body began to shut down in a different way than before. My lymphatic system stopped working correctly and I had terrible pain in my feet that proceeded to worsen to the point of not being able to walk or even lay down comfortably. It took about 2 months for it to slowly travel up and out of my body.
A week or two after the last symptoms of lymphatic issues, a friend of mine was hosting an introduction to essential oils class and I had the leading on my heart to go. I’m glad I did. That night I had my body scanned by an itovi scanner –super simple and easy, but totally accurate like the testimonies that had already been given. I started using a few of the oils, but no interest in sharing about them because honestly I just still wasn’t sure about them. Not until probably a year later, I started to use more of the oils and product line. I discovered that these were all beneficial and truly could be great tools for God to use in people’s lives, so I knew I needed to share about them.
I wanted to learn more about why and how they worked and what is the foundation for this company, etc. I have always loved science, especially biology, and as well as you already know reading/writing. The more I study science, the more I see God in all of it. We see so many scientists trying to prove God doesn’t exist, but they are only increasing the proof that everything revolves around Him. I can’t wait to share some of my notes on this topic soon. So of course, medicine should revolve around God too.
I am not here to complain about modern medicine, I am living proof that God uses modern medicine! He did for me! God is greater than the strengths of modern medicine and He is greater than the weaknesses of modern medicine, too. God is central to life, that’s unquestionable. He is in every bit of life whether you realize it or not. God wants us to allow Him to be involved in every area of our lives. He is always ahead of us and He is always leading us.
I so badly wanted God to just heal me without modern medicine those weeks leading up to May 6th, 2016, but I find it fascinating that He had to heal me through the very thing that caused the issue in the first place. See, in August of 2011, I showed my first symptom of the meckels diverticulum issue (rare/ born with it), but the dr I saw did no testing to find out the problem and just prescribed me a double dose of strong antibiotics that I later found out was the 2nd strongest common antibiotic regimen that can be prescribed for someone with a KNOWN, PERSISTANT bacterial infection. I did not have a bacterial infection… I took it against the leading of my heart (I remember where I was when my heart warned me not to) and 3 days later I began to suffer with an autoimmune disease that was brought on by wrongfully prescribed medication which then covered up/ “hid” the real, deadly issue going on in my body for the next 5 years. I actually ended up having 2 years of no autoimmune issues (ZERO) from March 2014 to March 2016 after the leading of the Lord to pursue natural healing measures after being told I needed to get on immune suppressants (because after taking a medication that caused me to be in the hospital for a week with pancreatitis that required a stint placement (that was later removed)).
I heard a loud and clear warning to absolutely not go through with this. I didn’t know why at the time, but I knew God said “no” and that was good enough for me. In that 2 year time period my body was redeemed and regenerated cell by cell. We had a healthy pregnancy and I was filled with the holy spirit- victoriously equipped for that near death battle ahead.
God used modern medicine to save my life in 2016 and again to complete my body redemption from the emergency surgical incision diastasis recti in 2019 with my same surgeon who was used to save my life the first time. I’m so thankful for him and all of the incredible surgeons, nurses, doctors, and health care professionals. Again, I am one! I have and use my degree in dental hygiene where I am around modern medicine daily, but I refuse to say there is no other way for treatments when I know there is more. I pray with my patients, Yes, I do. I pray with them for their lives, I pray with them for their overall body health, and I pray with them over minor “dental issues”. God’s love covers the whole scale. His wisdom and methods of wholeness are greater than just “one” way to do things. My goal is for everyone to be open, let go of “pride” in the way of thinking, “well I don’t believe in silly things like essential oils”. Is that what you would say to God if He has given these to you as the tools he wants to use? In my opinion, why not use something God gave us to fight with? (The organic chemistry of plants). Who are we to tell God what to use?
God didn’t put us on this earth to be victims. He gave us everything we needed. Modern medicine was created to be good and a lot of the times it is more than good! I have witnessed it in my own life, as well as multiple friend’s lives, their kid’s lives, and family member’s lives. The issue is that there is a missing link too often in the health issues we are facing and I believe that link is found and rooted in plants. Essential oils sourced THE RIGHT WAY, which Young Living is the pioneer for and still holds the highest standards for this, are incredible tools God gave us. Organic chemistry proves it. If you are interested in learning more, email me and I’m happy to help you get started. And please don’t go buy just any essential oils. That’s dangerous and unproductive. Get wisdom and knowledge, join a trustworthy group, even email me for help.
Much love, Sara