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Sabrina Gauer

Faith, Life & The Journey

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Relationships

Practice What You Preach

“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” – Matthew 6:33-34 (the Message)

 

Focus. Breathe. Repeat.

I know it’s currently trendy to have a “mantra”, but that’s about as close as I get to one right one. Lately, it’s as if I haven’t been able to turn off my brain with the amount of ideas I have swirling around in there.

And sleep? Forget about it. I can’t remember the last time I woke up truly rested. Continue reading “Practice What You Preach”

The Credibility of Being Different

“Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s okay. You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand.” – Anonymous

There’s something so interesting about swimming upstream. Especially in the face of chronic illness, cancer, and disease. It’s a difficult hill to climb, with very few who are willing to hear you out or believe in your journey when you choose something different for your body, treatment plan, and healing.

My story is no less credible just because it’s different.

Initially, I had written this post from a place of anger and justification. It’s exhausting when you’re passionate about something so personal, but feeling the need to give yourself credibility to those who should know better. Finally, I came to the point where I needed to just let it go.

My story is no less credible just because I chose differently. 

I used to be known as a singer/songwriter and worship leader. These days, I’m usually known as the stage IV cancer survivor who healed naturally. I’ll admit, the labels are hard sometimes. But I also know the intentional path that God has led me down, with health coaching and holistic treatment and research. Others may joke about it, pat me on the head as if I’m somehow less of a cancer patient because of what I decided for myself, or brush off my personal experience with a shrug. But I don’t need to justify myself to anyone.

My story is no less credible just because I am different.

God is using me in ways I couldn’t even begin to fathom prior to cancer. The amount of people I talk to DAILY who are searching for answers, the rise of AYA (adolescent and young adult) cancers, the dreams God’s putting on my heart for the future…

Yes, I’m a different person than I was two years ago. Two years ago, I was still sure my place was in full-time ministry within the four walls of the church. I was broken, feeling that my dreams had come to halt with circumstances I was facing at that time, dealing poorly with stress, and fighting through the pain and anxiety of trying to be someone I wasn’t, but who everyone kept telling me I should be.

And now? I wish I could wrap that girl up in a hug and tell her to hang on tight because the curveball was about to hit her straight between the eyes and change everything forever.

I am proud of who I’ve become through all of this, and I’m waiting on my God-given future with hope-filled expectancy. I know that my passions and dreams are deeply rooted with a Divine purpose, and the things that used to seem so important have become so small in comparison to this journey. Full-time ministry, as a follower of Christ, means you are called to serve WHEREVER you are; not just on Sundays or being employed by a church. Worship is how you live your life; not the music that you hear on a Sunday morning or throw on your Spotify account every now and then.

How I am choosing to live my life is distinctly MY CHOICE. I am no longer afraid to say no, to set boundaries, to stand up for myself, and to be my best advocate. Whether it’s my mind, my heart, or my body — down to the very cells that make up my being — I am making these decisions through prayer, personal experience, and trust that God knows exactly what He’s doing, even if I’ve had to walk through some horrific and dark moments to find the light on the other side.

And if I have credibility with Him, then that is all that truly matters.

The Day God Gave Me A Backpack

“I will restore to you the years the locust has eaten…” – Joel 2:25

The UPS package was sitting on my porch when I arrived home from work. It had been a stressful day, and the weighty feeling of frustration lay heavy on my heart. Everything seemed so uncertain lately; where I once felt absolute clarity and optimism had dulled its shine into a jumbled heap of ideas, dreams, and feeling too small to attain any of them.

My overachieving self-sufficiency was at a stand-still.

I lifted the box off the porch and walked into the house. I immediately saw a million things that needed to be done right away: dishes in the sink, sweeping, a basket of my unfolded clothing by the couch. The days were so chaotic that by the time I arrived home, all I ever wanted to do was mindlessly Netflix and chill.

Getting caught up in busywork, I forgot about the box for a while.

Finally, fingers pruney from the dishwater, I grabbed a knife and cut through the packing tape. I hadn’t ordered anything- or, if I had, I didn’t remember!- and was curious. And what was inside shocked me. A brand new backpack, filled with travel items and snacks for my upcoming trip, along with a few cards signed by children who were rooting for my health and wellness through cancer, and some travel money in an envelope from the organization that was sending me on the trip. Tears filled my eyes and I sat down on the floor, holding the card open in disbelief.

You see, this was so much more to me than a thoughtful gesture on their part.

This was the hand of God.

Cancer changed my life. Such an understatement, but truly the only way to express it. Taking my whole world, shaking me up, and setting me in an entirely new normal. It was an illness in my body, but it was also an attack on my spirit. I didn’t know what my life would be like if I could never speak or sing again. I didn’t know what I would do for a career. I didn’t know what people would think of me with scars and a speech impediment. Fear seemed to have a grip on my dreams. I didn’t know if I’d live long enough to see my 28th birthday.

I didn’t know. But God knew. 

Last summer, celebrating almost a full year of a cancer-free body, I was accepted for a fully paid trip to Montana for a whitewater kayaking adventure with First Descents. In my excitement and preparation, I had bought a brand new backpack. It was black, with multiple zippers and pockets. I had it in my bedroom, leaning against the wall, ready to be stuffed with travel items.

And it was one of the items stolen when my apartment was broken into, two months before the trip…yet another blow to my spirit.

So, here I was, months later, about to embark on a totally unexpected journey to Maui with Athletes 4 Cancer, and holding a beautiful gift from the Cassie Hines Shoes Foundation. What is probably standard procedure for them to send out to every travel scholarship recipient was such a sign to me that, yet again, God is listening and cares about every little detail.

He even cares about my backpack.

Fast-forward, I’m now back from Maui and processing the amazing trip I was blessed with; surfing, paddle boarding, swimming with sea turtles, hiking through bamboo forests and swimming under waterfalls, heart-to-hearts with people who were strangers only days before (ohana), laughing until our sides hurt, cheering on fellow warriors with tears in our eyes, feeling overwhelming peace, and watching God do some beautiful things in an incredible setting.

This concept of restoration and God’s grace just blows me away. Every time.

If He can surprise me in the small things, He’s more than able to do above and beyond all I could ask or imagine in the big things…

Blessed assurance.

 

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