Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What I Want People to Know About My Father: My Journey to Honest Healing

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40.
Mark 5:34 "Daughter, go in peace for your faith has healed you." 

More than anything I've ever been given, a realization of Jesus love is the most precious gift I could give anyone else. 
A few years ago I made a vow to myself to be content in who I was, to cease questioning why I had a disability, and to just live life content with that. 
I spent the years before that going to all the prayer meetings, laying in bed at night begging Jesus to take CP away and crying with guilt when nothing happened. 

Hear me, I love Jesus so much, but CP has always seemed like a gaping wound I didn't know what to do with, the "elephant in the room" if you will. So, I thought I would make it easier on Him (and me) by ignoring it. I didn't pray for healing. I didn't do much of anything. I just tried to convince myself that I was totally fine with everything it meant for my life. 

I learned how to be thankful for CP but that didn't mean that the wounded part lost its power. 

I keep feeling Jesus tell me "Sarah, just be honest..." So here is me unfiltered 

Here is my confession I AM ABSOLUTELY !00% NOT OK WITH CP. I am not okay with the looks, the scars, the falls, the way I have to make future decisions based on what my physical body says I can't do. I'm. not. ok. 

And admitting that is glorious. 

It is glorious because it means that my faith has already healed me. My faith has healed me from any unresolved bitterness, need to lie, or compulsive guilt complex. It is glorious because it means I trust my Father. 
I trust Him enough to pray for healing (and let others pray too) and know that if that nothing happens it is because He still has more for me to do.
I trust Him enough to make all of my dreams come true in spite of CP.

You know what else? It frees me to be me. To be sad with Him, to love Him and let Him love me. I don't know anyone that I love as much as I love my Jesus because He makes me ok with dealing with CP. He makes the falls seem funny rather than embarrassing, the limp seem special rather than awkward, and the looks seem like it's just because I'm that awesome (or, rather, HE is that awesome in me).

I want people to know how I really feel about CP because it is in acknowledging the weak and sad part of me that they know the beauty of my Father. It acknowledges the lovely release of my Father from having to do anything more than what He has already done to make me want to follow Him solely because I trust Him.

So, next time someone wants to pray for me that Jesus would take away CP, this is my way of saying, have at it! I'm genuinely content with whatever Jesus wants to do-and that is healing in and of itself.

Friday, January 17, 2014

How Victory Looks When Jesus Wins: How Cerebral Palsy Does Not Mean the enemy Wins

Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end the way leads to death."
1 John 4:18-19 "There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear and whoever fears has not been perfected in love, we love because He first loved us. "

This post is hard to write solely because there are some things I feel like the Lord has called me to never forget even in the wounds that heal over because scars are a part of what make the man (or, in my case woman).

Jesus is so gracious even when we run away.

Go back with me 25 years.
Picture an epic battle taking place over a little baby who didn't even know she was in one.
Picture her snatched from the clutches of an enemy at the last minute who ran away with his tail between his legs, vowing vengeance.
While her Father told him to bring it on.

Picture a preschool age girl, loved and protected,
singing and happy, prayed and cried over because the enemy knew his latest trick would win.
This disease would mark her life, he could depress her and destroy her...
he could still win
Picture an elementary school girl with questions she didn't know how to ask,
but so surrounded by love it didn't matter.
Picture an enemy calling to her
with a voice fearfully constant, but drowned out
Picture a brittle teenage girl with eyes so hard and harsh they were like swords wherever they looked,
with bitterness so vile and familiar it covered her like a child's security blanket,
a blanket that was strangling her while she threw herself away because she felt like belonged in the trash.
Picture every horrible thing you've ever thought coming to fruition inside you,
your worse nightmare still chasing you even when the sun came up.
Picture darkness so consuming there was no room even for shadows.
Picture a sick and dying lady
whose only solace is the thought
that eventually it would all be over.
Her enemy cackling because he knew his victory was closer
with each breath she breathed.

Picture her Father laughing at her enemy's ignorance
even while he wept for the road ahead of her,
but Love always does the hard thing if it means winning in the end.
Picture her Father creating her, breathing the breath of Life into her,
Putting her in the kiln, and playing the enemy
for the fool, even as the coward whispered and plotted, and poisoned her with his lies.
Picture the kiln burning and scarring to the point that even tears did not douse the fire.
Picture Him standing in the fire with her and weeping while she pushed Him away.
Picture Him wooing that teenage girl with songs of love and longing, promises of forever, and dreams,

Picture a broken and repentant hearted woman
Wiping the essence of herself, of the only gift she had to offer at his feet.
Picture all of the monsters in her dreams still trying to win but now she knew her Father,
and He was more powerful than anything else.

Picture an enemy knowing that he may have lost the battle,
but determined to win the war,
watching while she fell, grinning when she cried, and more determined than ever to win.

Picture every fall she takes,
every way the disease wins
when she can't hold a baby for fear of dropping her,
when marriage scares her because of the scars all over her body and heart,
when every lie the enemy whispers haunts her because the lies seem so real,
when she is so scared of being different she runs away from anyone else
who might see that difference

Picture a Father who picks her up off the ground and dusts her off
Picture every way He uses the disease to bring her closer to Him, and to the only Love that will ever satisfy.
Picture every moment she gets to celebrate things most people have no idea how special those things are,
when she first tied her shoes,
or buttoned her jeans, or shampooed her hair,
or held her nieces,
when marriage no longer terrifies her because she knows the scars of the One who holds her heart,
when every lie the enemy whispers may win for a moment,
but the Truth that holds her
wins for eternity,
when she is so happy to be different she runs toward
any one who does not know how incredible their differences are.

Picture what happened on Calvary
when Jesus gave His life
because He was thinking of mine, and your's, and the whole world's
and you will know what choosing Life really means,
because once, long before you knew Him,
Life chose you.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Word to Heartbroken Women: And the Men Who Pay For It

I stumbled across this meme a few days ago and my heart broke.

"A wise girl kisses but doesn't love, listens but doesn't believe and leaves before she is left." Marilyn Monroe. 

FALSE FALSE FALSE. A heartbroken girl does those things. 

I see you little girl with all your dreams and your white towel veil. I see you leafing through bridal magazines when you think no one is watching and practicing your vows when all is quiet at night. 
I see you when you meet him...the guy you're sure is the one. I see you when he isolates you from all your friends, he becomes your whole world, he tells you everything your dreams told you he would...
And then he leaves...he cheats....he lies....he shuts down...and that knight in shining armor becomes your worse nightmare. 

So you "recover." You vow never again to dream of happily ever after, and when guys get too close you flinch and push and pull away until they can't fight it any more. Then when they finally leave, you breathe a sigh of relief because you are still "in control." 

I see you...because in many ways I am you. 

In our society men get such a bad reputation, but it is because women have come face to face with a little boy masquerading as a man. This is a letter of apology to all the incredible men in our society who pay the price for little boys following Peter Pan's example and never growing up. It is a letter to all the heartbroken girls, there is a different way. 

Men, I am sorry that the girl you're falling in love with had her first encounter of the emotional with a little boy who in many ways threw her away like so much trash. I am sorry that when you pursue her she runs away instead of closer to you. 
I am sorry that it only takes one relationship with one little boy for many lies to make themselves at home in her soul. 
I am sorry that when you pray over her, open her doors, hug her just because, and want to wait to have sex she doesn't know how to handle it because the little boy she once dated convinced her that true love meant sacrificing every part of herself, mind, soul, and body. 
But, I am here to tell you, if you keep you doing those things, you will eventually win her over. And victory will have never tasted so sweet. She will challenge you like no one else does, laugh at your corny jokes, and love through it all. 
So though I am sorry for the little boy who ruined it for you, men, keep fighting, 
for the little dreaming girl underneath. 

Girls, here I speak to you. I know that little boy really wounded you, (he wounded me too), but here I apologize on behalf of all little boys. The reality is that most of them don't know what they are doing when they try to break you, and the ones who do know what they're doing aren't worth your time anyway. But don't let society disguise foolishness as wisdom.

A wise girl kisses solely because she loves, and waits to kiss because the MAN (not boy) who pursues you wants all of you not just stolen kisses when no one is looking. 

A wise girl listens to the Holy Spirit and knows which men are worthy of trusting. She believes that Jesus has her heart in His hands, and He will only give it to a man after His own heart. 

A wise girl doesn't have to worry about leaving because Jesus will never leave her or forsake her even if a man does. A wise girl is steadfast just like the Holy Spirit in her. 

A wise girl lets go of the little boy that wounded her, because she believes in the MAN Jesus has for her. 

A wise girl knows that this man will be loving and gentle, patient and pursuing, and above all else CHRIST seeking because there is no man greater than Jesus.
So while you're waiting on that man to pursue you, just remember there is no man like Jesus, and He is who your future waits on.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Surrender: The Beauty of It Is Finished

 Jesus stood up and said to her,“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more. John 8:11

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God. John 3:19-21

I gave myself up, 
to jealousy of that girl who wore the veil. 
I cast lots for my beauty
until none of it remained. 

I posed picture perfect, 
calling to the next bidder to look
at the grotesque mask I had painted, 
wanting someone to see through, 
yet terrified they would. 

My heart beat 
a tattoo of condemnation 
to the tune of one too many lies, 
He whispered the truth
and I ran. 

I offered up my soul 
to the music of mistakes stuck on repeat. 
I dodged the light in pursuit of shadows. 
His words echo in my mind, 
"Neither do I condemn you." 

I. Condemn. Myself. 
My heart stuck indelibly 
with the needle of my past, 
my own pathetic plea for grace, 
knowing the woo of sin
too tragic to ignore. 

And yet, as heart condemns me,
He screams 
Greater than any yesterday,
More lovely than any past. 

I beheld your heart
hanging on a cross at Calvary 
and My last breath, My last words 
were for you beloved, 
It. Is. Finished.