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Beating Cancer: An Interview with Sarah Weber

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Sarah Weber is a beautiful soul inside and out. She has helped model for Poppy shoes in recent campaigns. More importantly she is a cancer survivor. We wanted to share her story and words of encouragement to others who may be going through a rough season in their lives too.

 

What is your Current Gig/Passion Hustle?

I get to serve people coffee five days a week with a team of people I love! I work at Breakfast Culture Club in Santa Barbara. We have coffee, art, neat books, and retail for sale daily. My passion is Jesus and people. 

Quote you live by: 

“We are the Beloved of God, his kids.” 

What small thing will you do today to make your world/community a better place?

Smile and pray. I want Jesus to shine through me daily. As I walk with Him I know that it will bring others closer to their Father. So my task, although simple, can be a pull this way and that forgetting that I am walking in step with the Creator of the universe who wants to touch people’s lives so they may know Him. 

Walk us through a day in your life:

 Each morning I get to wake up next to my sweet Husband Nathan, and our pup. I am so thankful for each of them! We then make some coffee and enjoy the songs of the birds flying around our house. Like anyone, days fluctuate…some days I work morning shifts others I work in the afternoon! Typically, I have the opportunity to workout, or walk my dog at least once a day! Some days are certainly more rushed than others.  I am so stoked we live by the vast and beautiful ocean. Seeing the ocean daily is one of my favorite things. Once I get to work, it’s go time. People are priority, both customers and co-workers. Once I am off work I’ll call Nathan and we cruise together, hanging with friends or family most nights of the week. We do save a few nights for just the two of us, but we certainly love the people God has put in our lives. 

What has been your journey to get to where you are now in your life?

God has led it. I always knew I wanted to live by the ocean. Dreamt of marrying some handsome Jesus loving surfer…(who wouldn’t ;) ) and working with people was always something I knew I’d be doing. How all of this would happen? I hadn’t the slightest clue. But the desires were there, and I believe God works with our desires, plants them too, and here I am. The journey hasn’t always been very clear, or easy, but, it has been a good one.

What was the biggest struggle you had to overcome?

In August of 2016 I was out with our group of friends, and I got a call from my doctor, “Sarah, the results are back from your biopsy and I’m calling to tell you that you have Hodgkins lymphoma…it’s a cancer… highly curable, but nonetheless you’ll need to start treatment soon.” I was quite surprised. 

Twenty-two years old at the time. I had just graduated from Azusa Pacific in LA and moved to Santa Barbara to live the dream! Cancer was not in my vision of the future. When I found out that I had cancer, my mind was mixed with crazy peace, and the tug of curiosity as to how this was going to play out. Since this type of cancer was known to be highly treatable I didn’t totally spin out. There were many tears off and on though. Moments of fear or sadness at this new little chapter. I cried when the doctor assured me that my hair would fall out. Long story short, I started treatments about a week and a half later.

I wasn’t going to do chemo, I had decided to go a more natural route. I needed to raise money for this and spend time back at home where I had grown up. This treatment plan took about 2 months long and reduced the cancer by 60%. All along I had hundreds of people praying for my total healing. So thankful for that.  I believe very strongly that no sickness or destructive thing is from God, and I also believe that King Jesus is a healer. People were praying. I didn’t ever feel very sick. Just more surprised that this was actually happening.  My family, friends, and boyfriend at the time (Nate) were such champions. They encouraged me with faith in Jesus and healing, calls, prayers, time spent sitting me with for the 4 to 5-hour treatments, etc. A lot goes into medical type struggles… Anyways we learned that I needed to do chemo in November. So, I decided to take a month and a half break. During this time Nate proposed! We had always wanted to get married, and the timing was just as we had expected but the cancer stuff was not, nonetheless Nathan stuck it out, loving on me and entrusting me into Gods hands daily. We married 4 weeks later it was such a fun party! Praise God. A week after our wedding I started chemo. Six months of chemo with 12 rounds stood in front of me and I truly didn’t know what to expect.

I didn’t want to put parameters on what God could do. I read the online forums, pamphlets, and talked with others who had gone through it…but I maintained faith that Jesus can make the worst things entirely better.  I started, and it was a challenge. Days of sick groggy nausea took over, however after 3 days of recovery I had about a week and a half of smooth sailing and regular exercise in between rounds. I know not everyone has the same experience with chemo, I know that Gods hand were all over how well it went. 

I learned after just a month and a half of chemo that Jesus had healed me. No more traces of cancer were left in my body! Praises! This was huge. My doctor was such a kind man, and people’s support was made evident. The team of docs decided that because I was young and could handle the chemo they would prefer to have me stick it through and finish my scheduled chemo time. I had four and a half more months to go. I was so grateful but challenged in many ways.

Being newly married and needing so much help, scheduling, and encouragement was a lot. Insecurities flew to my doorstep daily. Taking my thoughts captive in a powerful way was not my strong point at the time, and so this was a definite challenge. My hair started to fall out and grow thin, so I decided to buzz it all away before I looked frightening..;) My sweet husband and I sat in the bathroom with the hair buzzer and we both trimmed and buzzed the locks off each of us! Tears rolled down our faces. My hair had always been something that was a beauty staple of mine …all of the “wow! your hair is amazing” comments were something I was accustomed to. So, when I shaved it, I felt so naked, and weird. I hadn’t realized how much security I had put in my looks instead of who I was in Christ. I felt as though I was not myself and odd looking. I really struggled with it. Off and on I would feel “cool and edgy” or “horrible and ugly”. The tensions would pull, and I really had to work hard most days to not feel disheartened or consumed with it. Knowing though that I was cancer free was huge though!! This evil thing no longer had an ounce of power over me. I got to finish that chapter in June of 2017! It has almost been a year now, hair is growing back, and life is simpler. The things I learned from this season are radical. Two months after I finished chemo I was called by Breakfast with a job offer to serve and love on people through coffee. I was so stoked. 

What was the driver for you to pursue your current career/passion side hustle?

To enjoy people and serve up a quality good that they are interested in buying. To love them with the Father so they may see Him. 

What is your favorite story from the work you’ve done?

Hard to pin down one but laughing with customers and coworkers is my favorite. 

What prepared you the most for what you’re doing now?

Time spent working with people over the years. Growing up in a family of six, working in leadership positions at school and at camps really helps all the interpersonal and conflict management type situations. 

How do you balance life and career?

Life and its opportunities are endless. I am learning weekly which opportunities and people I should be saying yes or no to. Taking little 20-minute naps are so helpful! Seriously a game changer especially when I work an early morning shift. Taking time to pray, think, and exercise are also huge! We are mind, body and spiritual beings! We are stewards of each of these elements, and I want to steward well. 

How do you use what makes your heart sing to make the little bit of world around you a better place?

I really enjoy nature, and people. I think giving someone a friendly hello, and a reminder to look up at the sky or at the ocean is a huge blessing that I know impacts people’s lives. 

What do you wish more women would do for themselves?

I wish that we as women flung all of our insecurities to the wayside and claimed who we are in Christ as Gods beloved children and operated out of that daily! 

What is something you hope our readers will do after they read this interview?

I hope that they will be blessed by knowing that they were created by God for God. To be loved and to love. No other thing can take the place of God the Father in people’s lives, and I hope you can know how much Jesus loves you. 

What does it mean to be an everyday hero to you? 

Serving people. I am not perfect at this or anything by any means, but I’m being refined daily and serving is such a radical idea to our human brains. Serving is unnatural at first but so impactful in the end.  

Thank you for letting me share my story and reading along! Enjoy today. 

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