Life's Little Curveballs

or... Where We're Meant to Be


We’ve all had times in our lives when we just knew (or thought anyway) that we were going to be in a certain spot forever - a house, a job, a church, a relationship... and then life throws you a curveball and what you thought was going to be forever ended up being temporary. That’s been happening to me every few years it seems. If you had asked me five years ago if I was ever going to go work somewhere else besides the pediatric clinic I was at, I would have told you no, I was going to work there till I retired. Then two years ago I moved to home health to work with the elderly population that I had always said I did not want to work with. I only wanted to work with kids. Friendships that I thought were going to last forever have fizzled over the years. 

The most recent change has been in churches. Ten years ago, after our previous church imploded, we wandered around looking for a church where we belonged and were needed. We’d been music leaders for the last 10 years at our old church and still strongly felt the call to lead music. We were eventually led to a little church that felt like family and where they did very much need music ministers. We thought we’d be there forever, but God has a sense of humor and some time ago we started feeling like we were supposed to go somewhere else. But where? And why? We were still needed where we were. Our kids got saved in that church. Everybody there was like family. We’d tried a lot of the other churches in the area when we looked before and none of them were a good fit. If we left, they’d have no instruments again. I was pretty sure I didn’t know how to function without being a music minister. Finding chords, learning new songs, and leading music is well ingrained in my DNA at this point after 20 years of doing so.

So we didn’t really make any effort to look for another church because we didn’t know where to go or why, and we didn’t want to leave them in a lurch. Then Covid and lockdowns hit and we didn’t have church anymore. I knew... had known for some time that we were supposed to be elsewhere. That was made clearer to me when we had no church at all during lockdown and I didn’t miss it. I missed the people, but I didn’t miss church. And that’s a problem. We were all in agreement and felt the same. But the question of where and why remained. 

Some weeks after lockdown ended a friend invited Bree to her youth group. The church was pretty far off - a 30-minute drive, but she was so excited to see people her own age that we went. The first night there she found an instant best friend. We have been praying for a friend for her for years. Years and years. First night there - answered prayer. I always joke and say I’d like God to send me answers and directions in crayon. Email will do, too. This time it was a text message. I’ll take it. 


I did not go in with the other adults because I was too chicken to go in by myself. Stupid, I know. So that Sunday we went to their church and it was like coming home. I could almost hear God saying, “There you are! You finally listened!” What’s our purpose there? I have no idea yet. They have music ministers and teachers and plenty of people to do all the things, so there’s not a glaring hole waiting for us to fill it like there was before. Maybe we’re just supposed to be there for our kids. Whatever capacity we’re supposed to serve in, I know it will be revealed eventually. In the meantime, we’re going to enjoy this new church home and family where we’ll be for the foreseeable future. In health coaching, we talk a lot about various areas of primary food and how one area being out of whack can make everything in your life feel off, and it’s so true. Things just felt wrong for the longest time. And now that we’re where we’re supposed to be, everything feels right again. So… maybe I’ve learned better than to think in terms of “forever” for some things. Forever or until God moves us elsewhere. 

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The Opalturtle

Sarah Sanford

615-308-0982

sarah@theopalturtle.com

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