“As if having a chronically ill husband, a lost home, and seven children to take care of wasn't enough hardship, my dear friend Sarah's rebellious son was missing. Being the oldest son, he left home and eventually ceased communication with his family, not letting them know where he was. Sarah and her husband knew he was somewhere in Hawaii, but did not know where and did not know if he was alive or dead.
“And it was about this time that Sarah's teenaged daughter contracted a fatal cancer, a disease that would claim her life at age eighteen. One evening, in the midst of all of this hardship, I was at Sarah's home and she started to cry. ‘Shawna,’ she said through her tears, ‘I love you and will always love you, but I need to ask you a favor.’ I was very aware of what was happening in Sarah's life and that she was facing a mountain of problems that most people would never have to face in their lifetimes. I was not surprised with what came next: ‘I can't handle hearing about the details [of your abuse] right now. There is so much going on in my life that I just can't handle any more.’
“It broke my heart that Sarah was going through such deep trials. My heart ached for her and I completely understood and accepted her need to limit her exposure to my traumas. And despite these trials, Sarah wanted me to know that she would still be happy to see me and love me, but she simply couldn't deal with the burden of hearing about the abuse. What an amazing friend!” (My Tears Fall Inside, pages 172-173)
Sarah’s remarkable behavior in the face of overwhelming life and death family problems was astounding. It was clearly evident through her tears that letting me know her limits was breaking her heart as she did not want to cause me any more pain. Yet she showed incredible amounts of courage, grace and love to give me the message while still being able to reassure me of her love. She was not trying to get me out of her life. She still wanted me to come and visit her because she truly loved me. Her huge heart made room for me. I hope some day I can become like her!