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Prayer by the lake

If there’s anything more encouraging after a discouraging day, it’s being here with you. I’m staring out at this lake in Montevallo watching every ripple in the water take a toll on the waters direction. Every tree naked and exposed. All the geese resting in the dead grass. Everything is content. I find myself in this peaceful atmosphere after leaving a dysfunctional house. Leaving an atmosphere of baggage and discouragement. A place where I feel low. But God, I won’t believe it. I wont believe that I’m a waster breath on this planet. I know you love me, I’m finding myself falling in love with you everyday. I find healing and purpose in your wounds.Youre healing my insecurity one day at a time. I’m different, I’m slowly accepting that. I’m loud, obnoxious, addicted, selfish, dark, emotional, happy-go-lucky, sickly, diagnosed with anxiety and depression, strong, weak, giggly, judgmental, prideful, weird, broken, not innocent, giving, loving, helpful, disobedient, a failure, wall-builder, ignorant, stubborn accepting, but God, at the cross you took my shame, broke my chains, loved me, prayed for me, blessed me, reminded me, and never have you forsaken me. I’m yours. I’m important. Thought I’m forgetful, you remind me that you’re the only one I need.

I’m lost without you.

 

Protected: Patience and Healing

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God, I love you.

I don’t know what it is about you, God. There’s something that’s so addictive about you. There’s plenty of obvious reasons as to why I would want to hold you close and reach out for more but there’s something else. Something that grabs so lightly upon my sensitive spirit that makes me whip around in shock of the beautiful touch that I so rarely feel. It’s that touch you do that makes me feel new, understood. I’ve become so used to that other touch, the one where I know you’re there but it’s like a tap on the shoulder from a friend and you just smile back and keep going on with what you’re doing. This touch is… different. It’s so hidden that when it hits, you’re blindsided. You’re speechless. You’re incapable of even thinking what just happened. That is what is so addicting to my spirit. A hunger that strives until it gets what it wants. A tiger ready to pounce upon its prey. It’s the frightened, yet fearless warrior in me ready to go. Just say the word, God. I’m listening.

There’s something else that makes me utterly head-over-heels in love with you, and that is when you sit here with me. You can’t find many that will sit and listen about your day or your stories without them thinking what their next task is. You seem to have all the time in the world to hear me speak even though you know every word that will come out before I do. You love my laughter, my smile, my features, my heart, my spirit.

Can I just stop right here and let you know how much I love you? I love everything about you. I love your touch. I love your healing. I love your love. I love your words. I love your silence. I love it all. Why’d you choose me? I will never understand, but thank you.

You know me, so well. Every detail. Every mark on my body, every wall I’ve built up, every hair on my body, every broken thought that runs across my mind. And somehow, you’re still there. I wish I knew how to wrap my mind around this, but sometimes I think it’s better that I don’t. You’re my favorite mystery, my favorite being. God, I love you more than words can explain.

You just did that touch that I talked about. God forgive me, I’m so dark. I’m so ungrateful and selfish. My heart is so evil. Take my thought life, I give you everything. I give you my past, my memories, my mind, my heart, my loved ones, my spirit, my soul, my future, my trust, my love, my faith, my hearing, my tongue, my everything. I give it all to you. Nothing is hidden from you, you’re there. Have it all, God. Guide me. Show me. Teach me. I’m all ears. I’m all eyes.

Thank you for sitting with me, thank you for being here. Thank you for you love, your mercy, your word. You’re so good to me, more than I deserve. I just love you so.

Inside of Me

“How can they see you inside of me?” -Jerm

Can I be honest? First, I will answer my own question by saying, “Duh, this is my blog.” Secondly, I think I’m stuck.

I feel as if I’m in this gook of sin that’s keeping me from accomplishing and moving forward with my walk with God. When I heard these lyrics I got sick to my stomach as I sat next to Brooksie. She’s known me 7 years, which means… she knows more than I wish she did. I’ve been holding back with others outside my youth group. I’m not saying I’m fake with my youth group, but more so with my friends that are living my past. Let’s just say, I’m an idiot around them sometimes.

I sat with Hannah last Wednesday explaining to her how I love these people but I’m not me a lot of the times. Can we all just agree on how her advice is just amazing? Ok. As simple as it was, it had more meaning than it would any other time she would have said it, “Well, if they don’t accept who you really are, are they really worth having in your life?” I guess not.

When I’m around even family, I just can’t be me. It’s difficult to talk the way I need too, to even my parents and sister. You can judge me, but we cuss in my family. It’s like our tribal language or something. When Dad gets mad it sounds a little like, “What the f***, f****** mother f******!” We usually calm him down with food, ’cause usually that’s the problem. When he’s happy it sounds like, “That s*** is priceless, hell yea!” Lacey’s like my dad. Mom tries to keep it classy with just using minimum bad words unless she’s upset about a student then she’s like my dad… then there’s me. Remember, I’m a Brackner so bare with me. We somewhat use the word “hell” and “damn” like the words “the, a, and, but…” I wouldn’t bring your kids here. What I’m getting to, is that “God” sometimes feels like the worse curse word to use in my family and even around some of my friends. We all feel awkward around it, and it’s a subject we’re scared to talk about. I guess a huge dream/wish is to just spill my guts out about God and what I’ve experienced and felt and just know and they be okay with this. Am I lying by keeping this from them? Am I holding back? Or do I really believe I’m just protecting myself from the words, “He isn’t real, Sara.”

Then the words, “Who am I to keep the hope of the world?” sang into my ears.

Why am I holding me back? I’m this creature that has come a million miles in just a few short years and I haven’t even let my family or oldest and closest friends know who I am because of my insecurities. I have the biggest heroes in my life, pouring God day after day into my life and their family and friends know, and they aren’t the least bit nervous of showing their “one life”. I do hear God saying, “Go, share, live your life out for me.” And I’m on the side lines just saying, I hear you God but I just can’t, the timing isn’t right! There’s where I messed up, if the timing isn’t right now, then it never will be. If it’s not right now while I’m sinning along and living my past because that’s how they know me, then when will it ever be different?

God’s still calling even though I’m scared. God’s still reassuring me that it will be okay, even when I’m ignoring him and trying to please and make others like me because I don’t want to offend by how I truly desire to live my life. How are the ones that have known me my whole life going to believe how God has changed me into this being that desires and is utterly head over heels in love with him? They don’t know that Sara. They know a trouble making, drunkin high head that has never had a plan. But God says its okay? I long to believe that. I want the ones I love to know me, and tonight, it’s time to live out my part. To live one life.

 

I cannot thank the people who guide me on a daily basis for the lady I’m supposed to be. Kim, Katy, Jesse, Hannah, Jerm, Tiff, Susanne, and Ron (who tonight said it’s okay to call him pawpaw, ha) I love these people more than words can say. These are the ones God has put in my life for a VERY long time, and I’m more than happy for that. I’m sorry if I haven’t done my part for any of you, but I’m finally understanding that it’s my time to pick up some work that needs to be done, emotionally or physically.

I’m crying while writing this. I’m so passionate about people I love in my life right now, and what should be better than living the life of who God declares I am going to live. I just want to be in a big circle with all of you and just sit and listen to your hearts. I just want to hug and hold all of you. I’m so gushy right now it’s not even funny.

I don’t know Gods plan exactly, but the fact that I know and believe there is a plan, is more than enough for me.

I like you.

“Sing over me and I’ll sing along.” -Rob Sperti

I had an image of Jesus tucking me into bed as if I were 7 or 8, singing in silence. But I smiled and lipped the words he did. He smiled back, and I laughed. I turned over to my side with my back facing him, closing my eyes. He just sat there smiling.

At night, I always have fear rush over me. Thoughts a child shouldn’t have, an adult shouldn’t have. Praying and journaling, I’ve learned to set a realistic image in my mind of him laying next to me in bed praying over me until I fall asleep. I always imagine myself physically (a child) touching his arms or hands. I feel protection when I’m being held. A locking with hands or arms that I know is tough to break through. A grip I trust.

I’m small in his eyes, when I say “small” I mean a child. I’m his little girl. He still sees me as pure as the day my mother birthed me. I see him look in my eyes, right now, “He’s right, I do like you, a lot. Just sit with me, I like your words, your heart.” This is why the image of him watching and singing over me is so important, because not only does he love me, but he likes me. He loves to listen to me, he loves to protect me, he loves my obnoxious laugh, he loves to hold my hand, he just loves to hold me in his arms. He’s the father I never had as a child, and though now I do have that daddy now that I’m older, I’ll never remember those moments when I was younger. Gods taking me through that, giving me that chance.

I do not know what the silence means, maybe that’s for another time, something I’ll understand better when the time is right. But this is good, my spirit feels a 100 pounds lighter, a struggle has been released off me. I understand now… kind of but not really, when do we ever understand God? Rarely, huh? All that matters right now in this season is that he’s here and he likes it, he just absolutely adores and enjoys my presence.

Yes, I like him too.

Healed

As I was sitting, so impatient with God at Soak Sunday night, I kicked off my shoes. Desperate, I drug my hands up on the pew in front of me pushing my weight up to stand. I walked silently to the altar. Indian style, I laid each hand upon each thigh with my palms facing up. Reaching in silence, in disguise, waiting for something to fall in place with my palms, something to squeeze tight as I said over and over, “I give you all of who I am, take it.” An image shot across my mind of God sitting directly in front of me, placing his hands with mine, showing me to squeeze tight. I did.

My back was in severe pain and I stood up and crept outside to go to my usual seat up on the balcony. I was uncomfortable, alone, weary, distracted. “Was that all God wanted to do with me tonight?” I thought, selfishly. I looked over my shoulder staring at the faces below me, tears in sight and hands raising for more. I didn’t feel right where I was, so secluded. I walked down back to the altar, still in severe pain but I knew standing usually helps.

Jay stopped worship, and asked if there was anyone with physical pain. “Uh, yeah!” I said to myself, but rarely do I do the altar call thing. Mr. Paul and another lady raised their hands. As I stood next to Jesse, I whispered in his ear, “I feel like I should have raised my hand for my back, oh well.” He grinned and we started praying. In my doubtful mind, I already knew healing was a no-go for these two, but I pointed my hands anyways and prayed. Nothing happened. We prayed again. Nothing happened. Jay said, “Is there anyone else needing healing?” In a nervous wreck, I raised my hand. Of course he wasn’t looking my way so it nearly felt like an eternity with my hand raised in the air until someone pointed him into my direction. He stood up on the stairs, telling me to come forward.

I saw him look at my feet, lime green socks with no shoes to be in sight. I stood there and told him I fractured my spine, with a reply of, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t do that again.” I giggled in nervousness of being looked at by over a 100 people. I told myself, “Maybe you should have just say in the balcony, way to embarrass yourself.” I went with it, with a group of strangers touching me from my head to my lower back, I felt a sharp, intense pain. A hand was lying right where it hurt, terribly. It was a pain that felt like a needle struck right through my bone and I flinched in silent agony. Tears rolling down, I realized it immediately stopped. A lady was praying in tongues over me, which didn’t move me and I felt bad that all this prayer was going in one ear and out the other because right then, I knew God healed me. Oddly, my first thought was, “I guess I can go skiing now!” Yeah, I guess I should rethink my priorities huh?

Jay looked at me and asked me my pain level. I couldn’t speak. I was dumbfounded. Numb. I just had to hug him, I just had to show him physically how grateful I am for God and him instead of giving him a number of my pain with 1-10. I was changed, I was healed. He went on to speak and my hearing was just out at that point. The lady who was speaking in tongues over me grabbed my hand and I wrapped my arms over her waist, a stranger who loved me, who spoke healing into my life held me to tell me, “This is real, baby girl, this is real.” I cried, I looked up seeing that no one was around anymore, wondering if this really just happened. In awe and shock my first thought was, “I must go find my shoes and go to Jeremy’s so I can let the early Edger’s in.” That is just what I did. I did not stay to worship, in fact, after that, I thought church was over. As I went to the stairs, already looking at the agonizing walk up there I remembered what just happened. I ran up the stairs as fast as I could. I grabbed my shoes and keys and ran down the stairs, again, as fast as I could. I then, causally skipped (yes, I skipped) to my car. I looked at the sky, and just saw the stars. That is where I thanked God, that is where I realized that through all the impatience and pain, he pulled me out of my comfort zone to show me a part of Him I have never exactly experienced.

I was scared to say anything to anyone, even to Jeremy and Kim. But, tonight is where I am ready to share. After nearly a week of no pain, I’m slowly accepting that this really happened. So much doubt filled my mind. So much worry of what if’s filled my heart. “What if God didn’t heal me like I think He did? What if it is just temporary?” I will not lie, the question has crossed daily to me in fear. But I’m here to say right now, I do not doubt God’s healing anymore. I do not doubt prayer, anymore. Doubt, for sure, will come in my life on a regular basis. I’m writing this to remember. I’m writing this for reassurance.

This experience has not shoved me face first into guilt with the things I should/n’t be doing because I’m scared God will take my healing away. I have had this thought cross through, but I also heard God say, “That is not me, I healed you because I love you, I healed you because I was eager too.” Gods words can be so simple that it’s nearly confusing. I accept, though. I accept that I am loved and healed because God says I am. This is where I am okay with being innocent and gullible, because I know it’s true.

Serving Strangers

After leaving a friends house at midnight tonight, I was speeding down Thompson Road awaiting to jump in my bed and catch some sleep. As I was going down the last hill right before the agonizing turn that goes from a 50mph to a 35mph, a lady is in the middle of the road waving her phone at me. Scared to death, I slam on my brakes and dangerously back up to meet her at the beginning of a neighborhood.

I roll down my window, “Are you okay?”

With tears in her eyes she says, “My car battery died and I’m from Birmingham, do you have any jumper cables?”

I think for a second knowing I most likely don’t and reply, “Let me check, underneath the carpet in my trunk is a built in tool box, maybe there is some in there.”

I see three black men get out of the car and lean against it, I was definitely a little sketched out.

Sadly I didn’t see any, “Here’s my number, I’m going to call a few people to try and help you out. If I can’t find any, I will drive back over and let you know.”

I get in my car and call about 3 guys and the 4th was Jesse, who answered. What do you know, Jesse had some! I went and picked him up, though he looked beyond tired, he helped anyways. I return to the neighborhood and there she is waving her phone in the air. I roll down my window and let her know I had some and pulled up in front of their van. Jesse and the three men hook everything up. After a few minutes it cranks!

“Thank you so much, Sara! If you’re ever in Birmingham call me and we’ll cook out! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Greeted with a big hug from a stressed and now happy woman tugged on my heart.

I’m here to serve. Though something could have gone wrong in this situation, I felt secure. I felt God smiling upon me, thanking me and Jesse for helping out his beloved children. The feeling of helping and fixing things, grant me so much. I’m happy I stopped and tried my all to help this lady and men.

People, through small and huge things, are meant to love and be loved. I’m always available for opportunities to help, it’s who I am.