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Sabrina Gauer

Faith, Life & The Journey

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Singing

The Empty Stage

“I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;                                                                                        I will glorify Your name forever.” – Psalm 86:12

 

If you could do anything in this life, beyond what you think is “possible”, what would it be?

I used to answer that question with, “Become a famous music artist, travel, and play shows.” That was literally all I wanted to do.

The thrill of the stage, the lights, and the pounding of the music. Having people in the crowd below you shouting your lyrics and being moved by what you created. It’s adrenaline-inducing and addicting. To be known as your music and identified with your ability and praised for it.

And then, life shifts that perspective.

In the grand scheme of things, music will always be a part of who I am. But it’s not my identity. I needed to learn that when I faced my surgery and recovering in the months after. That need to be known as my ability was washed away, replaced with a new identity — my worth in Christ.

Continue reading “The Empty Stage”

2016: In Review

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 40:19

2016 has been a year of so many new beginnings and complete endings.

Looking back on everything, it’s almost a blur of puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly, while others are floating around, still waiting to be connected. And now, with the last week of December almost at a close, I’m reflecting on it all and excitedly peeking into the new year with anticipation.

In the past year:

  • I stepped down from full-time ministry as a career, and have watched God open doors to ministry every day as a way of life
  • Pursued my health and healing through total mind/body/spirit change
  • Discovered so much about myself and about the God I serve- grace and truth above all
  • Was declared stage IV cancer-free by disbelieving doctors after my October PET scan, but more importantly, heard from God in February that “It is FINISHED” and trusted Him through the process of healing my body through alternative medicine and changing my lifestyle to clean eating, essential oils as medicine (and I love to share and educate about them, so contact me for information!), other alternative methods, and true self-care; He is truely faithful to His promises, and loving toward all He has made! (Ps. 145:13) 
  • Began my health coaching certification in September- I will be a certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® and taking clients in 2017! So exciting!
  • Said goodbye to Titan, our family dog for 14 long and happy years 😦
  • Moved from my one bedroom apartment of three years to a cute little home with my sister
  • Got involved with 13thirty Cancer Connect and First Descents; making great friendships and connecting with others who have experienced the same challenges
  • Traveled to Punta Cana, Montana, and Manchester-by-the-Sea (outside of Boston)- hitting my goal of at least two new places a year!
  • Stepped outside of my comfort zone more than a few times (such as whitewater kayaking- WHAT), and watched the amazing changes that happened in myself as a result!

    Lunch break by the river during FD1 Tarkio in August!
    Lunch break by the river during FD1 Tarkio in August!
  • Dreamed big dreams– and set some awesome things in motion that will be revealed in the next few months. The site is still under construction, but keep an eye on updates about Going Rogue Collective!
  • Working at a juice bar and helping others to discover health and healing through real nutrition
  • Saw God work in and bless my family in HUGE ways
  • Pushed my writing to expand its reach, and was published in Cottage Hill Magazine this past November!
  • Experienced the full circle of relationships, both friendship and romantic; seeing how God removed the toxic and strengthened the life-giving. I am so incredibly grateful for the people in my life who are still standing with me.
  • Played a few shows and got back into music and leading worship; an absolute miracle after my surgery
  • Mourned and rejoiced with loved ones who saw amazing blessings this year and experienced hard losses

And a million more things.

It’s been an incredible journey. If I can leave you with anything in this final blog post of 2016, it’s this: Trust in the Lord with ALL of your heart, and don’t rely on yourself to figure it all out or to understand. Commit it all to Him. He will make your paths straight, your footing sure, and your plans succeed when they are fully surrendered to Him. You have no idea what He’s up to for His glory and your good. I’m not going to say that I’ve got it all figured out perfectly, because that’s a big fat lie. But I can’t deny His power and how I’ve seen Him work this year.

Here’s to a new year. Here’s to the crazy awesome ways that God is going to keep working and being faithful. Here’s to new adventures. Here’s to friendship and love. Here’s to the unexpected and the dreams. Here’s to lessons learned and character built.

Here’s to you, 2017. Let’s do this.

The Reality of the “New Normal”

“After you have suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through Christ, will give you His eternal glory. He personally will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever.” -1 Peter 5:10

A few weeks ago, I was asked by 13Thirty Cancer Connect to be a part of their annual gala. It was a beautiful night of the Rochester community coming together to support the organization and listen to our stories as teens and young adults who have gone through the unthinkable. I narrated the presentation titled “Cancer Can’t Mask Me”; a montage of audio clips, “masks” we wear in our cancer journey, and introducing our real selves to the crowd as the men and women behind the masks: raw and vulnerable, but strong and thriving. We finished the evening with everyone joining me to sing Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” (of course!), and it felt like such an amazing moment of victory and fist-shaking in the face of disease and brokenness.

On October 17th, I had my one-year PET scan. There is something we survivors in remission have dubbed “scanxiety”, and I was feeling it. I had a peace deep down that, no matter what the scan was going to find, I’d be okay. But the needle in my arm, the sound of machine whirring and beeping as it searched my cells for abnormalities- I couldn’t help the “what-ifs” swirling around in my brain. What if I was wrong to fight alternatively? What if It comes back? What if I have to go through surgery again? What if…?

Yet again, that still, small voice in my heart whispered, “Do you trust Me?”

And the results came back absolutely CLEAR and NEGATIVE for cancer!

I rejoiced. I felt so exhilarated and on top of the world. To know that my body was healing, healthy, and whole. That no matter what this life throws my way, I can say that I once stared Death in the face, and with the strength that only God can give, I came out victorious!

But with every high comes the gradual descent. And just a week later, I was sitting up alone one night, staring at the wall, wondering what in the world do I do now?

For the past year, my “identity” had to do with my cancer. I was fighting. I was healing. I was being an example for others. I was processing and rising above the chaos, learning who I was in this “new normal”. But now, praise Jesus, I had the green light of freedom and closing that chapter, ready and able to move on to the next season. So, why was I feeling so lost?

I think identity-crisis hits us multiple times in our life. But I was reminded that night that my identity isn’t rooted in my circumstances- because they change in an instant. On my windowsill is a rock from the riverbed in Tarkio, Montana, where I had written all the things that I know in my head about myself, but don’t always remember in my heart. I picked up that rock and cradled it in my hand that evening, rereading what my August self had proclaimed at the river: Chosen. Redeemed. Alive. Free. Passionate. Child of God. Warrior. Whole.

THAT is my identity. Firmly rooted in Christ, and not based on situation, disease, relationship, or the opinions of others. My purpose and my journey are being used by God for His glory, and my promised good. I can hold on to that with certainty, with expectation, and with peace that passes all understanding.

Cancer will always be a part of my story. It doesn’t define me or mask me, but it will always be something that changed me- literally and figuratively. It’s hard to explain this to people- “But you’re cancer-free! You’re fine now!” I wake up every day with a dry mouth and a half-numb tongue, a sore and muscularly dysfunctional shoulder, scars and nerve-damage to remind me of that battle. Yes. I fought hard. Yes, I came out victorious. Yes, I can move on with my life in joy and embracing it fully, praising God for every new morning He gives. But I can’t ever forget what I went through or act like cancer didn’t affect me deeply and forever. Because it did. It indoctrinated me into the world of cancer-survivorship, beautiful experiences that are only available to those who have faced the unimaginable at such a young age (First Descents, Athletes 4 Cancer, 13Thirty Cancer Connect, etc), support from so many different organizations and people who GET it, and a forever altered sense of what really matters in this life – feeling deeply, loving to the fullest, and embracing every day with brand new eyes to the blessing all around me.

Yes, I live a “new normal” these days. But I cannot wait to see what the next chapter holds…because I know the One who is writing it has great plans for me.

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