My name is Sarah Antonija. The Hebrew meaning of Sarah is princess. Antonija is after my Grandma's middle name. It is Bohemian in origin and the meaning is priceless. So here I am, the priceless princess. Corny? Wait, it gets much better. I went further to look up the definitions of priceless and princess. (You may think they are self explanatory, but I am most always seeking a deeper answer).
Princess - A woman who is a ruler of principality; a hereditary ruler; a noblewoman with various status of rank; wife of a prince; a woman regarded as having the status or qualities of a princess.
Priceless - So precious that it's value cannot be determined; used to express great and usually affectionate amusement.
Names and their meanings are hugely important to me. The meaning doesn't have to be in the defintion, it can be personal or familial - whatever, names are significant. You carry them around your entire life. It's obvious when strolling the parenting aisle of a bookstore...baby name books abound. I even had a book in which not only was a baby name meaning given, but a also stereotypes of what people think when they hear a name (based on public surveys). I don't consider it conceit that I believe the descriptors of my name are quite fitting. I consider it faulty that I have lived my life being afraid to live out who I am as a child of God- His princess. His priceless princess. I honor the gift of the truth now that I understand, this is who I am, this is who he created me to be. My name is not by accident. I am willingly and purposefully letting go of that which I have clung to which hurts my heart. It's a daily process and an often moment by moment choice to do different. But seriously, how cool is it to have waken up to the realization that I really am a true princess? Even cooler will be watching myself continue to put my trust in my God as I learn to step into who he made me to be.
I've been a little overwhelmed lately. We are getting ready to renovate our home; the loan process has been a long one. My Dad's dementia tends to be a whole family disease process and though there is beauty in the ugly, sometimes it's hard to find. Nathan and I go to Dallas every couple of months to volunteer at Pathways, the organization that changed our family, our marriage, our children's futures. We desperately want to give back the gifts God has given our hearts. Our son is going into fifth grade, our daughter into second....time flies. Just really full plates. I remember to be thankful that my plate is full and that I can choose to eat it one bite at a time. The natural consequence for me when I get overwhelmed and lose my focus = caring for myself goes down the tube. My walks /writing/praying (my sanity savers) dissipate, fast food replaces our home cooked family dinners, our home becomes a disaster area, and I get infamously grouchy. Not pretty. What do I usually do when I hit this point? Sometimes, but less often, I isolate. More often I talk, and I talk, talk, talk....which leads me to the point of this post.....
Yesterday at church an Elder spoke briefly of although we may be in the battle of our lives, victory better than we have ever known it may be right around the corner. Believing the best is yet to come and the worst is behind us is not my natural inclination. But I know God has his best for me, so I try not to doubt. And I very humanly fail. As he spoke, my tears started to fall. I did nothing to hold them back. I let them flow freely for the next hour. I had no shame. That's very new for me. I used to do all I could to not cry in front of people. SARAH SMILES. That was the rule. Well....Sarah is working real hard at being authentic so tears happen, and they happen often. They do not make me weak, they make me feeling. And that is so good. Because if I can't feel the pain I sure can't feel the joy. It hit me as my tears were flowing, I'm kind of lonely. And I talk way too much. Not only do I talk too much, I don't always talk to who I should be talking to. I just kept having these aha moments. I have lost three really good friends since going to Pathways. One to a stupid argument, one to a slow toxic distancing and one to anger ruling a heart. Looking back, they weren't such healthy places to be. I have hurt deeply over these friendships, even more so because my children have lost dear friends due to grown up behavior. I have been mourning and am making a concious choice to let go and replace the mourning with gratitude. Sure, the relator in me may alway wonder a little bit why things worked out this way and what I could've done. In the end, I see that God has a gift for me here. In pruning certain people from my world, I have been forced to reach out to others. More tears as I realize the ones I have been reaching out to are total comfort zones for me. They are a soft place to land. And that is okay. What is not okay is that I am seeking out those who 'need' me so I can enter into the friendship with a purpose. I can rescue, enable, have my self defeating behaviors approved of.
OK God, I'm getting it. I go to class last night and the first topic is defining friendships. What should they be? Give/take, safe, trusting, encouraging, loving, honest, fun and so on. I realize I am repeating old patterns and settling in for what is easier, comfortable, sometimes discouraging, distrustful and not fun. What am I doing? Am I so needy that I accept whatever is given? No. I am not. I am priceless, I am a princess and more than that I am worthy of true friendships. How many people have I been hurting and missing out on because I have not stepped out of my box. Too many. I am missing out on those friendships that exist purely because I am me and they are they, not because I am rescuing or filling a need. And I believe those authentic friendships are worth some heavy duty searching because to have friends like that will feel amazing!
The biggest blessing, I already have the most amazing, loving, cherished and cherishing friend right in our home; he is more than my roomie, he is my heart. How often have I blown my Nathan off because I had already spent so much energy talking, talking, talking to the wrong people and what did it do to his heart to know that I had no sharing energy left for him? I know what it costs my heart to 'get it' and I know beyond a doubt that I am ready to do different.