About the Author

Sarah Sandifer is married to a military man and is a mama to three darling and rambunctious girls. With their adventurous life comes her ability to discover abundant life in unexpected places and she writes to encourage women how to design their own abundant life within their actual life, too.

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  1. In the midst of the awkwardness, even if you didn’t find the ideal words to say, and even if you hadn’t said much of anything at all, you were still incredibly kind to this woman. Many women would have been alarmed that a near-stranger was crying while holding their baby, and would have taken the baby back as quickly as they could politely get away with it. But you let her hold your baby and didn’t shame her for crying. You were Jesus to that woman.

  2. Sarah,
    I know that awkward feeling when someone says something to us that is painfully real. We feel like it is up to us to say something profound, or scriptural, or we wind up saying something awfully cliche. I have found that not saying, “I know how you feel,” is best because if I’ve never walked in their shoes, I don’t. I take my cues from Jesus who, at the Lazarus’ death, didn’t say a word to His friends – instead He hugged them and wept. I may not weep, but I will often ask if I can give the other person a hug. And if I say anything it is, “What can I be praying specifically for you?” This invites them to open up more, if they care to, and invites more listening on my part. Or, I can take my prayer request with me and return to their level of comfort. Less about me….more about them. What a great offering you gave this woman to let her hug your baby and let her tears flow. Offering the gift of letting others be real is worth the price of awkwardness. Great post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  3. This touched my heart your beautifull person because you gived the best of you to her Gid Bless you ❤

  4. I wonder how often we miss the opportunity to show His love because of the awkward….thank you for the beautiful message to encourage us.

  5. What a beautiful message. I felt that women’s pain as I pictured her crying and holding your baby. In her mind she could have been holding baby Jesus. Thankful you allowed her that time without the fear of what she would do to your baby. God made that possible through you. Blessings and thank you for sharing…☺

  6. Sarah, thank you. It takes courage to be ok knowing I’m not enough, I can’t fix the other person’s problem, and simply rest in God’s sufficiency for the both of us in awkward moments like that. But how amazing that you chose brave and beautiful anyway. Prayers for your friend as she battles cancer. And thanks for your example.

  7. Thank you! I needed a reminder. I have no problems talking about the abuse in my past but sharing what’s going on in my life this very second and asking people for help because I feel overwhelmed and alone is one of my weak points. I have been blown off too many times which fortifies the walls I am trying to tear down.

    • Oh Heike. I totally understand what you’re saying. It is an entirely new level of vulnerability to admit what’s happening *right now* instead of something you went through in previous years. Keep up the good work. It’s worth it. xo

  8. Such a beautiful heartfelt story you share Sarah. It’s so sweet how you were open to her . . . a “stranger”. I had a similar experience when a woman (who I met had for the first time) shared with me, and a few other women who were with me, that she just learned she has liver cancer. We were the first people she told. You are so right that “we’re not competing and we need not try to impress each other”. God wants us to be involved with each others lives and help carry the heavy things. Thanks for the good reminder to stay tuned to the needs of others . . . even if they’re “strangers”.

    • It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job loving people well, Joy, as evidenced by this woman who entrusted her hardest hard with you. Well done, good and faithful servant!

  9. I have a sewing business out of my home and sometimes while I’m doing dress fittings the client will open up with all sorts of personal trouble..family situations, heartbreak, worries …and I find myself listening, trying to emphathize but when leave praying ‘Lord did I help or did I offer just platitudes?’
    And find myself praying for the right things to say or to know whether I should just listen

    • I have a friend who is a hairdresser who says this same thing- something about what y’all do make people feel safe with you. I think you’re doing the very most important thing- being present and covering it in prayer.

  10. I think how you responded was in itself a selfless gift. Thank-you for sharing your heartwarming story with us Sarah.

    Have a blessed day,

    Penny

  11. As someone else here said, “Less about me….more about them.” Amen. This is so on-the-mark what our Lord means when he tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. And, sometimes I’ve just come out and admitted I really don’t have the words but that they have touched my heart and that God is right next to them, ready and more than willing to love and help them. So thankful for that!

  12. I struggle so often with just how transparent to be when asked or offered the opportunity to share what is happening in my life. Being single at age 41 and deeply desiring a husband and family is a hard topic to broach. But I get that tightness in my chest when loving on my nieces and when confronted with friends that are in the stage of life I desire to be. I fight the “I’m fine” storyline so often….

    • I just had quite the conversation with Jesus about you, Jenni, because right now I myself found an absence of words of what to say to you in the midst of your ache so I prayed for you instead. You want to know what I heard? He’s crazy about you.

      • Thanks so much Sarah. I need the reminders of others helping me to believe this fully for myself.

    • Jenni,

      I’m praying for you. It is so hard be single and watch everyone around you get married. God right now wants to be your husband. Let Him love on you. Praying that God , in His timing, will send that special someone for you to love.

      (((((Hugs)))))

  13. Thank you for this beautiful perspective. I have recently been navigating how to be in that woman’s shoes. I’m 28 and am going through a divorce after two years of trying to work through my husbands continued unfaithfulness. So many people innocently ask questions about my husband or about why I love where I do etc. Its been humbling and encouraging to be honest about where I’m at and not expect that others always know how to respond, but simply allowing them in.

    Thanks for sharing part of you.

  14. “When we invite others into our hurts, we learn we’re not alone after all, and neither are they.” – I’m VERY slowly realizing this. I have always struggled with trust and vulnerability. So much so that I tend to run from people who even try to get to know me. I’ve learned a lot and God has done amazing work on my heart. I am thankful for the moments of truth that allow me to feel like I’m not alone in the things I go through and struggle with. It’s an on-going battle but I am finally allowing myself to lean into Christ when I feel myself pushing away from others!

    • I’m working on this too- instead of focusing on myself to keep my eyes fixed on him, knowing I will be drawn into his liberating truth instead of my fear. And as we lean more into Jesus we also find deeper connection with others which is just a bonus!

  15. Hi Sarah!

    Thanks so much for writing and sharing this story. Authenticity is hard and sometimes awkward but it really is worth it. Thank you for the encouragement that enduring the awkward is valuable because we invite others in to carry us. Sending you hugs today!

  16. Sarah,

    I have found that just being with people is more important than saying anything. Sometimes people just need us to be there and allow them to be themselves-broken and all. It can be hard and awkward to express how we are really feeling. It is true joy for the other person to carry our burden. Thank you for letting that woman hold your baby and just cry. Sometimes pain hurts deep down and we think no one will ever understand. God does and we can love them right where they are in the midst of their pain and ugly. I’ve been in the midst of ugly and realize not many people can know the pain and frustration I’m feeling. Knowing I needed hugs and God’s love I told some people my problem. They prayed for me and hugged me. They were Jesus to me & I made it through that trial.

    Blessings 🙂

  17. Oh, yes. This. I pondered “awkward” as a potential “word” for 2017 for this very reason. Choosing awkward for the sake of vulnerability is a good trade always.