Hidden Refuge: Sarah Swafford

Growing up, Sarah Swafford was great at playing the part. She was the validatorian, involved in all the extra-curriculars, and had the popular boyfriend. Even amidst all of this, Sarah was left with bitterness and emptiness. She was only able to find her true path in life when she turned to the Lord.

Building a Relationship with God

1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Sarah reminds us that no matter how often someone tells us that we are good and that we belong to the Lord, no one can make us believe it. We have to allow the word and love of God to penetrate our heart. He isn’t going to force it on us. But, if we do allow Him in, we will find an unshakeable refuge.

So how do we know what God wills for our lives? We pray. Sarah quoted Mark Hart as saying, “Prayer does not merely ‘help’ our relationship with God. Prayer is our relationship with God.” We know we want to have a relationship with God, so we must pray. And, in order to pray–in order to know the will and heart of God–we must sit in silence. We have to sit in the stillness and address the hurt and the pain that we are hiding away from everyone. We must bring those inner thoughts and wounds to Jesus. Sarah says that we, “need to sit in the gaze of Jesus Christ and allow Him to heal [us].” That is where we will find our refuge.

Sarah told us about the experiences of St. Peter. After Christ was resurrected, Peter went to Rome to preach the Gospel. Rome was a place full of cruelty and sin, and Christians were persecuted and killed for their beliefs. At first Peter attempted to abandon Rome. But our Lord came to him in a vision and walked past Peter. Peter asked the Lord, “Quo Vadis,” which means, “Where are you going?” Our Lord told Peter that He was going to Rome to be crucified again. Moved by this experience, Peter went back to Rome–knowing that he would undoubtedly be martyred for the Faith. Peter knew that his true identity was found in Christ.

Where Jesus is, there we find our refuge. The world offers temporary happiness, but we can only find true and lasting joy in the heart of Jesus. He knows you, and He loves you. Do not be afraid to entrust your heart to Him.

Click here to see Sarah’s talk on the live stream!

Written by Amanda Jelavich