Meet my beautiful, strong, grace-filled friend Sarah. From the time I started capturing people’s stories for the Live Oaks of Midland Series, I knew I wanted to have Sarah share her story. Her bravery, grace under fire, unrelenting faith and ability to remain steadfast under some of life’s harshest storms… make Sarah one of my most inspiring friends. In honor of Women’s History Month, I wanted to share HerStory with you.
I cannot wait for you to learn more about her AND for you to check out her book!! A long time coming, her book “A Journey Called Grief”, will give you hope, lend you strength and empathetically give you space for deep sadness and the long road to healing. May you read this and be encouraged that our pain can give us purpose, beauty for ashes and we are never alone.
Sarah, will you share a little bit about yourself? -RD
My name is Sarah Schieber! I am a singer, songwriter, author, and speaker. I am also the founder and Executive Director of an amazing non-profit called Project 111. In days-gone-by (2008) my song, Christmas in Heaven, charted on Billboard. More recently, I just published my first book, “A Journey Called Grief.”
My greatest accomplishment in life is being a wife as well as my three children and five grandbabies!
Being wife, mom, and Nanny is the best role ever!
How many years have you lived in in this community?
I have lived in Midland for 27 years.
In what ways are you involved in our community?
Through Project 111, I have the amazing opportunity to connect with thousands of teens every year. Our goal is to reduce traffic deaths. Through our non-profit we get to connect, lead, and encourage teens throughout Midland County. The youth of our community are the future of our country, our precious Midland. I count it an honor to connect with our youth the way I get to through Project111.
My music and book also allow me to connect with our community in a unique way. Through my ministry I have the opportunity to minister to hurting people every day. Beyond that, I am part of Midland Noon Rotary and Midland 100 Club.
-You certainly are making such a positive impact with everything you are doing! We appreciate you so much! -RD
How do you want to change or improve Midland?
I love the phrase, “I am third.” Meaning: God first, others second, me third. My dream would be to see people, and especially churches, become more outward facing. I fear that service, serving others, is becoming a lost art in today’s world. The isolation of Covid has made this even worse. It seems that people are extremely focused on their own lives. Life can be really hard. Survival is sometimes all we can do. But during the seasons when life is going well, my prayer is that we can learn to focus on others, serve others, help meet the needs of others – instead of being focused on only our own good. We live in an amazing community – the flood was a great example of our community coming together and taking care of one another. I fear, though, that once we got through that we went back to being inward focused. My prayer is that we can learn to focus on others better.
I love this… Covid & the flood were really challenging times… it is easy to retreat and move into survival mode… but I am so encouraged by community members who selflessly lend their strength and lean into the hard stuff, become a shoulder to lean on and a soft place to land. We need each other. Life is full of ups and downs for all of us… when you can help, help. When you need help, look for the helpers. It makes me think of one of my favorite quotes by Mr. Rogers, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” -RD
What are your dreams?
My dream is to travel the country speaking to women. Covid really shut down my opportunities to serve in that way . . . but little by little the events are coming back. I can’t wait! I recently had a one-hour interview for a radio/podcast. I got to speak about grief – the truth of grief. Grief is long. It takes time. It is ok to struggle through grief – to question what we know to be true, to be angry, to weep. I dream of taking that message – one that validates peoples’ pain and turns them to Jesus during their pain . . . all across America.
That is so beautiful and a welcome message for sure! -RD
What are you passionate about?1
I am passionate about meeting people right where they are at with a message of hope through Jesus Christ. I am passionate about reaching hurting people. There is so much pain in the world today – death, illness, broken dreams. I intimately know all of those things. I barely hung on. But I found that my God never rebuked me for hurting, for questioning, for struggling. I want to be a safe place where hurting people can know it is ok to hurt . . . and that there is hope through a relationship with Christ.
What breaks your heart?
Hurting people. Others’ pain. Hopelessness.
How have the winds of life made you stronger?
Oh boy. Where do I begin? My first husband dropped dead while running the Chicago Marathon in 2007. He was a strong and healthy 35-year-old police officer here in Midland. Our children were 11, 9, and 6 the day he passed away. Those years following that . . . I can’t even explain the pain. The grief. But in that and through that I found that even though people expected me to “hurry up and get happy,” God never did. He was so faithful to love me, steady me, and gently guide me through the pain. He is so faithful! God is my solid rock and foundation!
Will you share more of your faith story with us?
Sure! I grew up in a Christian home, but my dad walked away from our family when I was 11. We had many difficult years following that. Very poor, but very together. Family and our faith became everything. Throughout the years I have learned to build my life on Christ. Hiding His sweet Word in my heart. In fact, through Scripture we learn who Christ is and who He wants to be in us and through us. Today I get to share with thousands of people each and every year about the importance of building our lives on Christ and establishing Him as the foundation for our lives. He truly is a solid rock. The winds of life WILL blow – that is a guarantee. Having Christ doesn’t make them easier – it gives us hope and a place to run to WHEN the winds blow.
Where do you get your grounding?
Through Scripture and worship music. On the days I’m anxious or troubled, in the times I need direction . . . I turn to worship music and scripture. Two things that are precious to me. So SO precious to me!
Sarah, Thank you for sharing… you have said so many hope giving things… you are amazing and we thakn you for taking the time to tell us your story.
do you have a favorite quote or Scripture you could leave us with?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
one of my favorites…. -RD