Sarah Bowling is on a mission to connect every one with the heart of God while living genuine love. her unshakable conviction that unconditional love transforms everything, permeates every message, and connects individuals to the heart of God. Sarah aspires to facilitate this connection by equipping people with resources and tools that empower them to walk in an intimate and vibrant relationship with God. Sarah is a powerful scholar and spirit-led teacher with a gift to articulate and connect God’s life-giving revelation to our modern moment. Her passion takes her many places around the world to bring lasting change to each of us with the transforming love of God. Sarah also co-hosts a daily television program, Today with Marilyn & Sarah. Located in Englewood, Colorado 80111.
Monuments or Tombstones?
By Sarah Bowling
In a lot of ways, our lives are governed either by monuments or by tombstones. For instance, when I’m driving and there’s a stop sign, that stop sign tells me to come to a complete stop—not a rolling stop, not a partial stop, not even just an afterthought stop, but a complete stop. That’s a sign in my life. We all have signs by which we live our lives. Obeying the law of the land and stopping at stop signs—that’s a monument. But oftentimes we live our lives on the edge—by tombstones.
Setting Up Tombstones
We all have issues in our lives. When I was a child in elementary school, we had Field Day every
year. I hated Field Day. I was the slowest person, never jumped the farthest, always was the lowest.
In all the competitions, I was the worst. Field Day would come up again every year and would just
be terrible. I hated it. That was a tombstone in my life! Maybe you can identify some things in your life from which you have stayed away. Maybe you were poor in athletics or had a lack of
coordination while growing up. I had a friend who wasn’t very good at cooking. When she had the
opportunity to serve her in-laws Christmas dinner, she went to a lot of effort to make it, but it was a total failure. It was so bad that when they went to put the spoon into the dressing, they lifted out a Brillo pad! As a result, my friend has not cooked very often. That’s a sign in her life—she set up a tombstone.
We all have experiences in our lives that shape us. How often have you said,
“I’m never going to do that again”? That’s a tombstone. It’s a graveyard, a death. “That was a bad thing that happened to me, so I’m never going to do that again.”
Oftentimes we don’t even realize when we make tombstones. When I was ministering in Norway, a friend of mine was helping translate for me. Privately, she told me,
“When I was growing up, I had a friend who never could communicate well with me. It was a struggle for her. She couldn’t express herself well. As a result, I was very hurt in that relationship. Finally, the relationship fizzled out, and I never realized until recently that because that friend hurt me from her poor communication, I had made a silent vow in my heart that I would never be friends with anyone who could not communicate.”
That’s a death issue, a tombstone. Then she added,
“God has revealed to me that I don’t have that luxury. I cannot be selective with God’s love.”
Big and Little Tombstones
We all have past failures. Maybe we made some poor financial decisions, and we say, “I’ll never do that again!” Sometimes it’s good to learn from failures, but if we live our lives by tombstones, we’ll be restricted on how successful and victorious we really are.
When I was trying to learn how to do cartwheels as a child, I just couldn’t do them. I wasn’t
coordinated. Finally, I just said, “I will never do another cartwheel ever again.” And so, I made a
silent vow and that became a little tombstone in my life.
Fearless on the Edge Excerpt
Sometimes we put up tombstones in bigger issues: relationships, financial decisions, our outlook on life, even our Christian witness. Maybe we witnessed to someone, but they were rude, so we say,
“I’m never going to witness again.” Whether or not we realize it, we set up tombstones and live our lives according to them. But we don’t have to live by tombstones—we can live our lives according to monuments.
Monuments are the good things God has done in your life. Monuments are the significant markers in our lives when we absolutely know that God was there. He was making the difference, and we are grateful to Him for that. Sometimes they mark a difficult trial of faith that we endured.
They don’t always signify “happy” times—sometimes they indicate painful survival. But when God is involved, it is always worth rejoicing and setting up a monument with thanksgiving. God wants to help you get resurrection from the tombstones in your graveyards. He wants you to live your life according to monuments, not tombstones.
fearless on the edge
No one is spared those panic-packed moments when life - like a car skidding on an icy road - goes hopelessly out of control, rushing ever closer to the edge. Life will always have skids and spins, but you don't have to crash and burn! This book will help you know what to do with every challenge, including how to turn . . .
• Problems into possibilities
• Defeats into miracle moments
• Challenges into life-changing opportunities
This book will guide you to the no-lose zone where God will right the wrongs and steer you from the edge to a delightful destination.