On Loving, Leaving, Hurting, & Healing

You would think that growing up in a “nomadic” pastor’s family that I would have learned early how to let go of people. My heart just doesn’t work that way. When I befriend someone, I fall in love with them. And it’s the “for keeps” kind of love.

I love being able to love people with my whole heart. I can’t imagine trying to hold the world at arm’s-length. I like to think that my loving people deeply makes the world better somehow.

I also have to admit that loving so deeply hurts. A lot. For me, the children in my life have been the most painful. I’ve taken care of a lot of children in the past, and to love them so much and then have to walk away from them… it’s almost like a piece of my heart dies. There are children that I used to take care of that I still dream about at night and wake up wondering where they are, how they are.

It’s not just children, though. It’s people like my friend, Sheila, whose funeral I sang at after breast cancer stole her. And my college roommates, who are now scattered around the world, chasing their dreams.

Last night, an email came that I’ve been expecting for a couple of months now.

Three thousand miles is a LONG way! There’s a lot of real estate between here and there! I am REALLY going to miss you! Are you sad at all?

I’m leaving again. Not just one person, but practically every person I have ever known in my whole life. Am I sad at all? My gosh, yes! I’m also terrified. But I know, in my heart, that it’s what I’m supposed to do. So I am.

Katie says, “We are just called to love with abandon. We are called to enter into our neighbors’ sufferings and love them right there.”

I’ve always loved with abandon. Now, I’m just going to do it in a new neighborhood. Hopefully, this new neighborhood will be a little brighter for it.

And another piece of wisdom from Katie, to close:

“The number of days or weeks we are together isn’t important; what really matters is the way God knits our hearts together during the time he chooses for us to be in one another’s lives.”

This post is part of a weekly discussion that my buddy, Jason Stasyszen and I are having about the memoir, Kisses from Katie. You don’t have to read the book to stick around and discuss, though! But in case you read the chapter and want to post your response, you’ll find the widget below! 

About Sarah Salter


  1. You haven’t left yet? Sheeesh… What ya waiting for? 😉

  2. I know exactly what you mean and going where God leads is always best! He makes a way and opens avenues that blow our minds. It’s a wonderful joy to be where He’s called you to be. Blessings to you, Sarah! Been praying for you. 🙂

  3. Sarah Salter says:

    Dusty – LOL! I’m actually out there this week for job interviews. So, hang in there! Soon! Wanna come help me move? 🙂

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason – I appreciate you and your encouragement and your prayers (!) so much! Mama saw my anxiety Sunday morning during church and passed me a note on the bulletin that said, “Isn’t it exciting to see the next doors the Lord is going to open for you?” I might just keep that scribbled-on bulletin forever. 🙂

  5. Clearly, I have been off the grid for some time! What have I missed here, Sarah girl? Wherever you are headed, I know your steps have been ordered by the Lord and I know you will be a blessing to all you meet! Love you girl!

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