A Patient Heart – Coffee with Sarah

I ease into a booth at Harvest Café and gingerly slide across the bench. My muscles scream at me after a weekend of gardening. I rub my thighs in an effort to soothe the ache. The hurt is worth the beauty that will blossom and the veggies that will sprout up from beneath the ground.

I will need to wait for my garden to grow. That’s the hard part. We always need everything right now.

Why aren’t we satisfied to live in the moment?

Pulling out my notebook and pen, I set aside my thoughts on planting and concentrate at the task at hand—interviewing the wife of a Patriarch.

Abraham’s Sarah.

A woman who knew the meaning of the word wait.

The side door of the café opens and an elderly woman shuffles in. She’s hunched over slightly, but straightens herself once she pushes her covering further back on her forehead, revealing her identity.

I gasp.

Her crippling body masks the youth of her face. The vibrancy in her velvet brown eyes sparkles in the sun beaming through the window. A snow-white curl escapes her head dressing and bounces forward.

I rise to meet the beautiful mother of Israel.

“Sarah?” I extend my hand. “I’m Darlene.”

Her smile widens as she accepts my gesture, shaking firmly. “So nice to meet you, dear.”

“Let’s sit in the corner.” I motion to the spot I chose. “More privacy.”

garden

She nods and slips into the booth.

I remove my recording device. “I like to tape my interviews. Are you okay with that?”

“Of course. Where would you like to start?”

I press play.

“I have to admit. You’re not at all what I expected?”

She threw her head back and laughed. “I get that a lot. Let me guess. You thought I’d be old and decrepit. Grumpy perhaps?”

My readings in Genesis earlier in the week come to mind and I avoid her gaze, fiddling with my pen.

She puts her hand on top on mine. “It’s okay. I was that person, but ever since my Isaac came along, God restored my laughter and gave me joy.”

I glance at her eyes. Sad but peaceful. Was that possible?

Yes.

I check my first question. “You had everything. Wealth and prestige. And then Abraham asked you to give it up and move with him. How did you do it?”

“Kicking and screaming.”

We laugh.

“I won’t lie. It was hard and I’m ashamed to admit, I loved my life. I didn’t have to lift a finger. Now all of a sudden I was travelling with a bunch of people and stinky animals. It was awful!” She wrinkles her nose. “But I loved Abraham too much not to go.”

“That’s commendable. Today, a lot of women wouldn’t do what you did. I have to know. Abraham told Pharaoh you were his sister. Why did you agree to the charade?”

“My devotion outweighed my dignity. Plus, I feared if I didn’t, we’d both die. It was tricky times back then.”

“You are selfless.”

“Hardly. God gave me the strength even when I didn’t trust Him.”

The waitress approaches to take our order. We both choose raspberry iced tea for a refreshing drink on a warm day.

I turn the page trying to decide which question to ask next just as three teenagers bolt through the door, interrupting all the patrons. Their boisterous voices raise above other conversations in the small café.

Sarah’s eyes darken for a fleeting moment.

What is she thinking? Dare I ask? 

I return her earlier gesture and put my hand on hers. “Are you okay?”

“Yes. I was reminded of the times I reprimanded Ishmael for being too loud. Seems teenagers haven’t changed.”

“Not all are the same, but yes, I’m afraid not.” Her words bring me to one of my questions. “After you found out Hagar was pregnant you didn’t treat her well. Do you regret this?”

“Hagar’s attitude toward me changed and I still don’t know why. I do regret some things I did, but I know God has forgiven me. It was all part of His perfect plan.”

There’s that again. God’s plan. Not just any plan.

His perfect plan.

I’ve been hearing that a lot lately.

I get it, Lord. Thanks for your gentle reminders.

I look at the heart of my questions. The biggie. The one I’ve been waiting to hear her answer to.

patient

I take a breath.

And exhale.

“Did you know in your heart you would carry a baby or had you given up on your dream?”

She smiles, eyes widening. “I had grown old. My womb had closed, so yes, I had given up. Who wouldn’t?”

The waitress returns with our drinks. Sarah takes a sip, looking into her glass as if gathering her thoughts on how much she wants to share. When she glances up, her eyes glisten with tears.

“My heart’s desire was to feel a child growing inside me. To feel him move, kicking me robustly. To hold him in my arms. To smother him with kisses. When I turned 90, I knew God’s answer to my dream was no. It was gut-wrenching to accept that.”

“But then you overheard the men tell Abraham you would conceive and have a son.”

“Yes! And I laughed. I didn’t believe them. Who would? How ridiculous. How could someone so old become pregnant?”

I sip my iced tea, studying her face. It radiates joy.

“My wait was finally over. The Lord opened my womb and fulfilled my dream even more than I first imagined. I bore my precious Isaac and when I held him in my arms, I burst with laughter.”

“So, the wait was worth it?”

“Absolutely!” Her melodic voice ripples in our corner of the café, others glancing in our direction. She smiles back, meeting their gaze clearly not embarrassed by her outburst.

I digest her words and think of everything I’ve been waiting for lately.

Bone marrow transplant. Healing. Agent contract. Book contract. Publication.

Seems like the waiting is endless. Our society lives in an immediate day and age. We need everything NOW.

However, it doesn’t work that way. Things take time.

In the meantime, I will spend my time focusing on Him and the dreams He’s placed on my heart. I will ask myself questions. Why haven’t I pursued them harder? Am I too afraid? Too disappointed? I need to give them to God.

Did Sarah give up too easily?

I can’t answer that. She waited a long time.

And was rewarded.

Can we do the same?

What dream are you waiting for? Are you struggling? Share with us.

Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

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  9 comments for “A Patient Heart – Coffee with Sarah

  1. June 8, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Dar, I can’t help thinking that knowing patience is a virtue doesn’t help put it into action! You are so right about ‘waiting’ for God’s plan and Sarah is a perfect reminder. I could fill this space with lots of ‘impatience’ as I wait on Him, but suffice it to say, I’ve been reminded, yet again, that wanting things NOW isn’t always in God’s plan…in fact, it seems my ‘wanting’ is not on His list of priorities for me…it’s the lesson of “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD (Psalm 27:14). Thanks for this timely reminder, Dar. Blessings, Ruth.

    • June 8, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Hi Ruth! This is a biggie for me right now too. Waiting is SO tough, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart. Miss you!

  2. June 8, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    What a beautiful post. The waiting can be SO hard and sometimes it’s hard to know I’d His answer is “No” or “Wait” Then I have to cling to the fact that either way He’s working for m good and His glory.

    • June 11, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks Rose. I hear you. Hearing no or wait is tough! Definitely. Thanks for stopping by. God bless.

  3. June 8, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Dear Darlene,
    First I want to say I love how you wrote this. I couldn’t stop reading from the minute I started. What a unique way to write about Sarah. Second, waiting is so tough. Especially when there are big dreams in the mix. I am waiting for God to show me the path to take for my career and sometimes it feels like I am running out of time but I know that what I am doing right now is where He wants me and that He will continue to lead me in the path I should take. This year my verse is Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your way to the Lord and He will establish your thoughts.” I’m learning that by fixing my eyes on Jesus and committing myself and my writing and career to Him that He will show me where to go even during the waiting season. Thank you for this post. I really enjoyed it and I tweeted it. Blessings, Marcie Bridges

    • June 11, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks Marcie for your kind words. Yes, waiting is very tough! That’s an awesome verse to claim. I appreciate you stopping by and for tweeting my post. God bless!! I wish you the best in your writing journey.

  4. Susan Steeves
    June 9, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Sissy you have hit on one of the hardest things in life in this study…I call it study as I feel every time I read your blogs I am learning more about these incredible woman in scripture that we can learn so much from. I love the sentence you write: God gave me the strength even when I didn’t trust him and how you remind us that it’s God’s plan not just any plan. Thanks for you encouragement through this story. Love You!

    • June 10, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      These blogs have been such an encouragement to me as well. Learning lots myself! Love when that happens. xo

  5. Diane Spearing
    July 20, 2015 at 7:24 am

    I am so thankful God’s plan is figured out for me an all I have to do is trust!!!! Somedays it’s hard… but God’s got this

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