The Screamer

Anyone who has spent any amount of time with me can tell you that I’m a pretty high-strung individual. I’m easily excitable, easily frustrated, and easily depressed.

I’ve never been a half-way kind of person.  I see things in black and white.  I either love something (like the beach) or hate it (like okra).  When I’m happy, I’m ecstatic.  When I’m sad, I’m bereft.  When I’m angry, I’m irate.  That’s the way I am.

I suppose that in some ways, that’s a blessing.  It may take a while to convince me of something, but once I’m convinced, I am dedicated to it.  It took my friends and family four years to convince me to try college.  I moved into the dorm, buckled down, and got my bachelors degree in three and a half years.

Being an “all or nothing” person has its downsides, too.  I’m terrible at establishing balance in my life.  I have a tendency to get focused and fixated on one area of my life.  I pour all of my time and all of my thought and all of my energy into it to the detriment of everything and everyone else in my life.

This summer has seemed like one big, long trek through the minefield of unbalance. From working seventy and eighty hour weeks during youth camp in June to traveling halfway around the world and back in July to a series of huge back-to-back events in August, I’ve spent the better part of three months on a rollercoaster of emotion and exhaustion, trying to hang on for dear life!

Tonight was the end of our last major event of the summer. Camp Meeting. In the last ten days, I worked double my normal amount of hours and so tonight, when we finished our session almost an hour early, I couldn’t wait to leave. But strangely, I wasn’t in any rush to get home. I walked slowly to my car and then made the impulsive decision to drive to the far side of the neighboring town to get a cherry limeade from Sonic.

I took the back country roads, like I normally do, avoiding the highway or the stoplights of town. The sky was clear and the moon was a beautiful, yellow crescent hanging just above the treeline. Green Path Road led to Arrowhead Road and just before I turned onto Chicken Farm Road, I realized that I had neglected to turn the radio on and that I was really enjoying the silence. And for the first time in days, I felt totally, utterly, and completely at peace.

Be still.

I’ve been hearing those words, over and over, in my mind for the past couple of hours.

Be still.

A while back my friend, Missy, invited me over for a visit and like most good, Southern women, we ended up in her kitchen, chatting over sweet iced tea. Her two oldest girls were in the back of the house, playing quietly in their rooms, but after a while, I heard the baby wake from her nap and start to cry. The cries grew louder and louder and after several minutes, the oldest girl brought her wailing sister to Missy. The sweet mother took her youngest child into her arms and began to try to nurse her, but the infant was practically inconsolable. The comfort of her mother’s breast was right there, but she was so wrought up that she couldn’t calm down and receive it.

At that moment, I heard God say, “Sarah, you’re just like that baby.”

I know it might seem like an odd analogy, but it makes perfect sense to me. I know that peace and comfort are only found in God and He is always with me. But I get so wrapped up in my worries and emotions and exhaustion that I don’t see that He’s holding me in His arms, trying to calm me down. If I would just be still and stop wailing, His comfort is right there waiting.

“Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10a

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

On another note, I’d like to share a prayer request. Today, I learned that a 26-year-old missionary (friend of a friend) named Joy who has just arrived on the mission field in an undisclosed location in SE Asia has fallen ill. Just after arriving in country, she passed out and was carried to the nearest city hospital where she is now fighting for her life. My understanding is that she hasn’t regained consciousness. Even as I write this, a team of neurologists are discussing surgical options. Please pray for Joy and for her family and friends, who sit in SC awaiting news.

About Sarah Salter


  1. Be still, Sarah. Your writing has a way of doing that for the rest of us.

  2. That’s what the Lord told me during one of the hardest stretches of my life … and of course continues to. He speaks in stillness it seems …

  3. Stillness is difficult…especially with a wild and crazy three year old in the house…, but it is so necessary to our survival and effective living.

    Praying for you and for Joy.

  4. You don’t like okra? I had a hard time getting past that. Friendship over. Ha! Fried okra is one of my favorites (that I can’t get around here).

    Peace is very necessary. The only kind that lasts is in Him. Praying for the missionary you mentioned too.

  5. We are a lot alike Miss Sarah. Be still. I need to do that too.

  6. “Be still” has been on my mind a lot lately too, my friend. I will keep Joy in my prayers.

  7. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, my friend. I need to be still as well…you know by now that we suffer from the same affliction! This post was right on time for me. Love you!

  8. As relevant today as ever – thank you, Sarah.

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