Thursday, December 12, 2013

I Believe: Help My Unbelief: My Come to Jesus Meeting

I'm hesitant to write this post because it makes me vulnerable. It makes me acknowledge something...I'm afraid.
I'm afraid because I graduate in two days and the enemy keeps whispering to me, "No way is this actually going to happen. You're going to be too sick to walk across that stage. YOU DO NOT DESERVE THIS.
Last night I lay in bed extremely nauseous and talking to the Lord about healing.
Much like Nicodemus I stole to Jesus in the night and said (pathetically) "Jesus, take this away. Please heal me. I call my body to function the way you meant it to...and I would feel better for awhile...and then I would start thinking....NO WAY is this going to work. I can't believe I'm getting sick right now, and then I would feel sick again.

Jesus asked me, "Do you think I can?"

Hear me, I think medicine has a place, and it is a place I am THANKFUL for, but I got convicted that medicine is my "go to."

So, I told Him, "Yes! I do! I believe." Then, I would whisper "Help my unbelief."

Because here is what I know about healing,
Faith plays a role. And, here is what I know about me, I can be wimpy.
But here is what I know about Jesus. Sickness is not His will for me. He lives inside of me.
He has called me to LIFE!

EVERY TIME I accomplish anything, the enemy says, "don't get too happy, you are destined for (insert terrible adjective here.)

Here is what I have to say to the enemy
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.

I am delivered. I am called to wellness. 

I will walk across that stage, and every step will be praising the Lord. 

You, enemy, lose. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Learning to Live the Life I Deserve: Mourning the Years Lost and FInding Freedom

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
2 Cor. 7:10

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted 
Matthew 5:4

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Eph. 3:20 

The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us').

This post is to force myself to be brutally honest. 
I have been in a season of mourning. 
I mourn the lost years
of the little girl who was so hurt and angry
she forgot to dream
like other little girls. 
It is to mourn all the years
she spent pushing her parents away
and all the memories she never shared
because she was too wounded 
to be real. 
This post is to mourn
all the bruises and scars 
from falls no child should have to face,
all of the "What's wrong with you?" questions and stares
no one should have to listen to on repeat in their minds. 
This is to mourn the breaking point
when college started and instead of looking forward to it,
she waited
for nothing, save numbness and death. 
This post is to claim comfort for her because 
she had Immanuel
God with her
when she lay in bed
weeping and lived for 
closing her eyes at night because for a few hours she didn't have to 
This post is to tell that little girl
you are released. 
Released to dream 
of tomorrow. 
Released to tell the enemy,
you lose. 
Released to graduate college and move forward 
because you have Immanuel 
God with you 
when you remember,
God with you to give
above and beyond 
all you ever could ask or think. 
So when the enemy comes and whispers that this is not your life,
that you do not deserve all that I AM has blessed you with,
you tell him, 
"Immanuel...God with me
no matter what has been or will be...
Immanuel God with me to take this mess
and set me free. 
Immanuel, God with me
in fear and in memory
Immanuel, God with me 
He is who I speak for,
Immanuel...God with me,
He comes quietly
to comfort and restore. 
So though I mourn
I run the race and choose to dream
even though I remember the nightmare
because he will give me more
That little girl is stronger now
Immanuel, God with her
Here and now
she declares war. 
War against the enemy
to bring Immanuel 
God with her
into the broken, fearful places 
and the lost and hurting people,
to watch the life unfold
she never thought she would live
to believe all He has for her
to comfort those who mourn
Immanuel, God with her, 
as He takes the broken dead part of her heart
as calls it forth 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Post for the Cynics: Pain, the Elephant in the Room

I've seen and heard a lot of cynicism as far as the existence of God goes lately. So much so that I feel a need to respond.

To the cynical ones, I am not blind, deaf, or exempt from pain. I live in the exact same world that you do. Contrary to what you think I do not pretend to understand it: Nor do I shut my eyes and close my ears and pray it doesn't get close.

I have not made up a God to make myself feel better about the fact that my body is betraying me and I am in consistent pain.

I have not made up the anger I feel for Him, and the screams I've unleashed on Him in a desperate desire to be ok with who He is in the midst of pain

I also haven't made up the quiet, overwhelming peace that resides with me in some of the most unthinkable situations imaginable.

I didn't hallucinate His presence next to my bedside whispering to me to not end my life because another day was coming.

I was born blind, prayed over, and could see again...only one Hand could have done that.

That is not to say that He always makes sense to me. I get angry and wonder why, the difference is what I do with that anger...I cry out to the God I know, the God I love.

And I remember: His ways are higher than mine.
And maybe...just maybe... this world is not about me, and it's not about you.
Maybe it's about Him.

His love
His sacrifice
His glory

And maybe He knows that He is what's best for us,
no matter what.
And perhaps
this world is not all there is,
so to assume that you will see, and touch, and comprehend everything
right now
is utterly false.

I cannot prove to you He exists because you have no desire to see Him,
but I can tell you
I know Him
and our relationship is real
in all its love, frustration, sacrifice and pain.

And I can tell you
when He asks me
to stay in Abilene
and I don't want to
it hurts but I do it.

And it's worth it.

And I can tell you
I know my CP hurts Him
and me but somehow it's in His plan
no matter what comes next.

And even though I know I'm right
and He's real,
If I turned out to be wrong
I can tell you I would live my life
exactly the same way
because faith is worth it
and so is Jesus.

No matter what.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sick of it: A Word to the enemy

(Credit for the Title of this post goes to Skillet for their new song "Sick of it"). 

Exodus 17:11
English Standard Version (ESV)
11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.

I'm tired of questions with no satisfactory answers, 
babies with cancer, life-changing diagnosis's, 
broken marriages with heartbroken people caught in the middle
of life. 

I'm sick of sick
people, and calls to sin that sound so appealing it's all I can do 
to say no. 
I'm sick of sore muscles, broken bodies, and lost souls. 
I'm sick of tears
and eyes sore from crying 
and speaking death
and seeing the dying 
reach for an eternity they are not sure they grasp. 

I'm sick of you enemy. 
And I've had enough. 
You will no longer make me question the goodness of God
because of the evil that you stir up. 
And when my heart stings because of a body
that’s betraying me,
and a friend whose pain is unfair and senseless,
And when my mind begins to question the goodness
of a God who died for me
because you make it seem like He’s the one to blame,
I have one thing to say,

I’m done with that, My God is good, He is Victorious. All of His promises are YES and AMEN and He is the source that never runs out. ALL things work together for the good of those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose, a purpose I may never know. But I know Him, and He wins.
And enemy?
When you tempt me to condemnation,
fear and guilt call to my heart
I choose to go to Him who is greater than my heart
and cry, not for answers, but for comfort, because the question
is not Why? It’s What now?

You are not even worth calling by name
but I do because I’m covered by blood
that means all your accusations and pain and lies
are baseless.

Blood that cried my name when it hung from a cross
and you thought you’d won,
Blood that covered broken marriages, and pointless diagnosis’s
and chaos
with purpose.

I raise my hands for my people.
I raise my hands as I watch the battle,
I raise my hands
to praise. Even though sometimes
I don’t want to.
I praise Jesus for breath every morning,
and strength to get dressed every morning.
I praise Jesus for community
and never being alone.
I praise Jesus for sore
because that means
I am if nothing else

I raise my hands
and call that which is not
as though it were.
Bones that are mended,
hearts that are healed,
and purpose to the hopeless
broken of the world.
I raise my hands and choose
Joy that pain is temporary,
and weeping only for a night.
I raise my hands and call for peace,
for the lost
that Jesus died for, and yet rose again.
For the precious Holy Spirit who tells me
there is a world out there
I do not see,
that is more real than I know.

I raise my hands and thank my Father
in the midst of pain that I still have no answers for
because when I do that I remember
enemy, that you lose.

I watch as friends battle
and I stand
hands raised
for them.
Because enemy
I know Victory
His name is Jesus.
And He is sweet, 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Playground: When My "Self" and My "Soul" Are at War

The playground is dark

and surrounded by underlings who are here to 

play with my mind.

They spin the merry-go-round with worries and what if’s?

as my faculties begin to decline.

I hear a voice of terror

come whispering, spooking, and screeching

as I swing back and forth between depression and

pleasure of the most frustrating freshly kind.

I slide down

and free fall into the tempting reveille

of sin.

Watched, always watched by two pairs of eyes

who both have plans for the souls of all men.

One, that of an enemy

who sees all the ugly of me.

The mess of my madness,

the pain of my questions,

the dust from which I came,

and whispers

who do you think you are?

Ashes! Ashes of wondering, ashes of sick, ashes so utterly undeserving,

I’m going to make merry with you,

I’ll watch while you suffer,

make plans for your death,

and while you live you will have nothing

but dust.

Yet, another pair of eyes beckons,

shows a vastly different see,

Oh! Love even as my heart breaks for you,

to see light, only look for me.

The playground goes bright with no sign of shadow,

No room even for dark.

Surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses,

rooting, all rooting

for the free.

He spins the merry-go-round

with what is above and beyond,

heart wounds to suture,

a hope and a future.

A voice with so sweet a face,

He calls me

My child, My dust one,

Your new name

Forever is grace.

I slide down with questions,

things that still don’t make sense,

a limp, and an “unfair”

and He says “I am He to whom none Compare.”

I am your dream giver, your recompense.

And Oh Child I see all the “ugly” of you, but Satan has played the fool

because I will take your ugly

and make it nothing but beautiful.

I see your mess, and I will weave it all together,

Never forget my love, my chosen,

you and I will be together forever.

You came from dust, you came from ashes.

but you will win beauty’s crown,

because you are Mine,

and the whole world knows my Name and Renown.

Yes you will stumble into pride but I will always be near,

But My child, my sweet one, my Love, do not fear.

This park does not belong to him,

this temple belongs only to me,

so do not let him make prisoner

those whom I’ve already set free.

I am always on time, and always for you

Rejoice today is our day

I make all things new

So come on love

And let’s play!


Sarah Turner

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"I'll Just Wait": Who is Waiting on Whom?

I sat in my room the other day beyond angry at Jesus. I have been in a season of waiting which I find frankly exhausting. I feel like all I do is wait. I began spewing accusations and hurt at Him.

"If You really loved me You would just heal me. If You're really God, why can you not just make my life a tiny bit easier? I can't even get dressed in the morning without having to think about how many buttons I have to do, and if I will be able to do them all alone. I can never wear jewelry with a chain because I can't do and undo it alone...even in the tiny things my body fights me. I know that sounds super girly and I'm sorry but seriously...
And while I'm venting, why did You give me a desire for the nations if You were going to make it so hard to go? WHY and WHAT am I waiting on? Why do I dream these dreams that are going to be so hard to accomplish? I love You so much but honestly...You really make me mad.
So I'm just waiting on You, and honestly? You're taking too long. I'm so mad at You. Are You sure You love me?

And I felt Him say,

"What if you're not waiting on me? What if I am waiting on you? I can wait as long as I need to. I've been waiting...
Waiting on you to let Me hold you
Waiting on you to let Me be sad with you when you can't do something
and delight with you when you can,

Waiting on you to go forth and dream
and fight for the nations because I know you so well
that I know that you wouldn't want the nations without a fight?

What if I'm waiting on you to let Me tell you all of the million reasons
I'm crazy about you?
All of the fun we are going to have in the plans I am making for you?
What if I'm waiting on you to let Me
have all of you
because when I do
your wildest dreams are on the horizon?

Be mad at Me, be crazy ranting at Me,
I just have one question love,
What if you're not waiting on Me,
What if
I am waiting on you?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Life With the Faith of A Child: Lessons I've Learned from Berkley

Luke 18:17 "17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
All of my friends and family know that I am a proud aunt. As I look back to when my brother and sister  in law first told me they were pregnant, I remember feeling overwhelmed. I LOVE KIDS but being around them is hard for me emotionally sometimes because they are the most honest people ever, and since CP is an obvious difference they often have questions.

And then came Berkley

This little girl has changed my life in so many ways, I never feel quite as loved as when Berkley says "Aunt Sarah, I love you very much, " and then gives me a slobbery kiss. I also never feel quite as convicted
The girl has absolutely no problem loving herself, and she knows she is worthy of other's love...that is by far one of the issues I most struggle with, and yet it is so key to the faith I say I have, the faith I want, the faith like a child.

Since Mercy my road has had its up's and downs but I am so humbled and happy that I chose life because that means that I get to watch this little gem become the woman of God I know she is already.

I've been thinking about what faith like a child looks like a lot lately, and I realized it looks a whole lot like my Berkley girl.

It looks like having no problem  with loving others, and having no doubt that they love you too.
It looks like being willing to ask for help when there is something you cannot do.
It looks like being stubborn enough to do whatever it takes to learn a lesson on your own, and fight to do the hard thing when it would be so much easier to let someone else fight for you.
It looks like seeing the positive in who God made you to be.  I always want to change who I am but...
You know what? Berkley always just says "Aunt Sarah sparkles..."
and somehow that's enough.

It looks like trusting in love.
One of my favorite things about Berkley is her response when you tell her she's pretty...she just grins and says "I know." Yet when Jesus tells me He made me in His image, that He has perfect plans for me, and wants to give me above and beyond the desires of my heart I instantly think...
Are you sure?
Are you sure you love me, are you sure you have plans?
Are you sure
You knew what You were doing when you made me?
Cause I'm not...

Lately when I have questions, and the same doubts assail me about precious Ellie Kate on the way,  I try to remember to think like Berkley
and then...there really are no questions
because there is no love
like the love of a child
and if Jesus loves me the way I love them
there is simply no room for
Are you sure?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Found Guilty: I've Been Paid For

I look in the mirror and remember
words exploding like bombs
and coloring the lens
black, like a chalkboard with no eraser.

I look in the mirror and say
I am guilty
of violence
that I caused by yelling at the innocents,
I am guilty
of speaking and believing lies,
about the girl who might fail out of school
or the man who lost his job.

As I look at all my guilt,
I can no longer see my face when I look in the mirror
because all I see is guilt.

I am guilty of taking my own life in my hands
and planning my way out,
I am guilty but I heard you say
You are not your own,
I paid the price
so you didn't have too...

You took the words
smeared like blood
all over my soul
as  I lay dying
and lifted my head
taking my place.

The black slowly fades
as you erase
and write
in your own hand
with the blood you shed
the truth.

She is saved.
She is mine.
She is glorious.
She is innocent.
She is paid for.
She owes you nothing.
I war for her
I paid for her.
I have compassion on her.

Before Mercy I felt guilty all the time. Mercy teaches girls with heartbreaking, life controlling 'never be able to handle it on your own" issues and points them to the glorious freedom and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.
I guess this post is to say
Thank you sweet Jesus for Mercy