Monday, May 5, 2014

See Beautiful Woman of the Month: Sarah Rodriguez

Sarah Rodriguez is beautiful. I've stared at that first sentence for a few minutes now, trying to figure out the way to best celebrate Sarah and her beauty and words can't contain it. I can try - and I will - but know my words don't do her justice. I had the unique opportunity to recently meet Sarah in person (which I don't often get to do with our See Beautiful Women of the Month).  Sitting across the table, over our shared love of black bean burgers, Sarah inspired me. She moved me to tears with her strength, love, ability to see beautiful, and of course THIS NEWS that she should share with you herself. Sarah's story is one that could have left her void of the ability or will to seek beautiful in her life, yet she's rooted her everyday-focus in life on seeking, finding, celebrating and creating more beautiful in the world - not just for herself, but for her son, her husband, her community and the world. Yes, Sarah is beautiful in every way. Thank you, Sarah, for this opportunity to celebrate you and inspire others with your story.

See Beautiful Woman of the Month: SARAH RODRIGUEZ
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Sarah Rodriguez. Shared with permission.
                                                                                                      Written by Sarah Rodriguez

My life used to be one that from the outside appeared quite beautiful. I had a good job, a lovely home, an incredible husband and a beautiful baby boy. Life was as perfect as it could seemingly be, that is, until three days after my son was born. That was when we received a phone call telling us that my husband’s cancer, which had been in remission, had returned and spread to his lungs. We felt like the floor had collapsed beneath our feet. We finally had everything we ever wanted and prayed for. Now in the blink of an eye, it all seemed to be slipping away.

My husband fought cancer for the next year, through chemo and every type of treatment available. Nothing worked. In the end they advised he have surgery to try to remove the cancer. That’s when things took a turn for the worse. After he came out of surgery he suffered an unexpected and debilitating stroke. He miraculously recovered from the stroke, only to have yet another one. This time there would be no recovery. On July 23rd, 2013 my precious husband passed away.
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Image shared with permission by Sarah Rodriguez.
The beautiful life I once had was now shattered into a thousand pieces. I lost my husband of 8 years, my love, my very best friend. At 31 years old I was now a single Mom to a baby boy who would never know or remember his Father. I never knew such pain could exist in the world. I certainly never believed it could happen to me.

The only thing I had to cling to were the promises of God. I read a verse in Isaiah that talked about Him bringing beauty to my ashes. I didn’t know how that could ever be, but I prayed every night His promise would be true.

Through my despair God began to whisper a phrase to the secret parts of my heart “purpose to your pain”. A fire started to burn in me. One that declared my husband’s death would not be in vain, and that my tears would not be wasted. As I continued to pour my feelings out on my blog, I started to receive emails from others. These emails were from people who told me how inspired they were by my husband. They told me how seeing our family persevere gave them hope. They told me their faith was taken to new levels because of our families refusal to allow what has been to rob us from what will be.

I’m now part of a ministry that ministers directly to widows. The most painful thing I have ever endured has now become a vehicle to bring healing. God has taken our story and used it for His glory. He has taken our brokenness and brought life to others, who have brought life to others, on and on it goes.

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Image shared with permission from Sarah Rodriguez.
My husband’s purpose did not end when his life did. His purpose is alive and well in my son and I. As we continue to press on, refusing to break, others have seen and are changed. Our desire is to inspire others to hold on tight to His promises. We have seen and know them to be true, little by little, day by day. His mercies are new every morning and His hope springs eternal. We hold onto that hope, we lift up our eyes, and look towards the horizon. There you will see the beauty that’s beginning to rise again.
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Image shared with permission from Sarah Rodriguez.
Connect with Sarah and by inspired by her journey on her website and through her writing here: http://journeyofsarah.com/
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1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful choice and an incredible inspiration. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for sharing your thoughts & helping others see beautiful too!