Welcome Home Sara

by jessicaturner on September 25, 2011

Last night, when I went to bed, I grabbed my phone off the charger, sensing in my spirit that a call was imminent.

At 11:14 beautiful Sara went home to be with Jesus.

I got a call from her sister just 20 minutes later.

I hung up the phone, walked into the living room and through tears told Matthew the news.

It’s funny how no matter how much you prepare for death, it’s still hard, isn’t it?

Sara loving on Elias and Adeline

Adeline and I will be traveling to Iowa later this week for the funeral. (Details will be shared by Shannon soon on Gitz’s blog.)

Despite my grief, my heart chooses joy knowing that Sara is whole again, with both her earthly and heavenly Father.

Music has brought me comfort in these days, as it did when my Nana passed away earlier this year.

I have been listening to a lot of Shane and Shane. This song Arise reminds me so much of Sara.

And this song, In the Secret, is such a powerful reminder for me. I want to know the Lord more. I want to seek the Lord’s face like Sara did.

I have also been listening to my favorite Watermark album, Grateful People, on repeat all week. (click here to listen to it).

Sara loved music and loved to sing, before her disease stole her voice. Click here to listen to her singing some beautiful hymns.

I hope on this Sunday, you will take time in prayer and in remembrance of Sara. We will be thinking of her as we dedicate Adeline today.

Sara’s biggest desire was that her life reflect Christ.

Well done, Sara. Well done.

To read stories of Sara’s impact, click here to read the Choose Joy linky.



{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan September 25, 2011 at 8:14 am

Beautiful! I can not believe how much I am mourning the loss of someone I have never met, nor spoken to. I have been reading her blog for about a year, only commenting a handful of times. My heart is broken at the loss of such a beautiful spirit. May we all strive to leave the legacy that Sara has. Sha has taught me so much about choosing joy.

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kristina September 25, 2011 at 8:38 am

Sending you BIG hugs, Jessica.
Praying for strength and peace for you and all of those who loved Sara.
I wish I would have known her … it sounds like she is the kind of person the world needs more of for sure. More hugs. I will choose joy, too. :)

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Katy September 25, 2011 at 8:39 am

My mother in law and Sara met Jesus on the same day. You are right, no matter how prepared you are, death is never easy. No matter how sick their earthly bodies are, we still cling to the hope they will live many more years.

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Cara September 25, 2011 at 9:01 am

Jessica, I’m so sorry. I have read a few things Sara has written and absolutely loved her post about seeing you and your kids
in person for the first time.
I have been checking her blog and yours frequently and even though this was expected, I so hoped for a different outcome.
Love to you and your family and hers…

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Stephanie September 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

Rejoicing with a heavy heart… It’s a strange thing to await the end of someone’s suffering, even though it hurts to our very core. Know that your family and hers are in my prayers today. And Sara’s memory will live strong in this stranger’s heart. I WILL choose joy!

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Erin September 25, 2011 at 10:04 am

I am deeply sorry for your loss. As I wrote earlier this week, I just got to know Sara through Anne’s blog and then many others and her writings have impacted my life profoundly.

I will be praying for you and all of her loved ones.

She is free in heaven with our Lord, but oh what a precious gem we had here on this earth.

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Barbie September 25, 2011 at 10:19 am

My heart rejoices in the fact that Sara is finally Home, dancing on those streets of Gold. The light that she brought to this world will continue to live on. Every time I choose joy in the midst of fear, heartache, sickness — I will think of Sara. She made a huge impact on my life through her words and her faith in Christ.

Praying for you, my friend. It’s hard to lose someone we love so much, even when prepared.

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Christy Peffly September 25, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. I’ve been following her blog for a couple of months now and I’m sad that we don’t have her here any longer but I smile because she’s singing her praises to Jesus in person now. I listened to her songs you shared from Sound Cloud and it’s amazing! I can picture her singing to Him right now <3

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Shannon September 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Loving you, Jess. This is beautiful.

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Jane September 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Jessica,
I was introduced to you through Sara’s blog over this past year, from the sweet words she wrote about you and your family, from the precious pictures with your kids that gave me a glimpse of the JOY Sara lived. I am praying for you, the beauty of your friendship with Sara is very evident and I can only imagine the aching loss you are feeling. Sara’s words have been a blessing to me for so long and while I never met her in person, I am mourning today with you. I listened to Shane and Shane today too on our way to church, just after reading about Sara’s going home and the words to Before the Throne of God Above brought me to tears. I feel so drawn to the whole community of people who loved Sara right now, thank you for sharing your heart with us. You loved her well.

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Dawn September 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Jess,
I listened to the songs that Sara sang (that you had a link to) I listened to her sing His Eye Is On The Sparrow. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I listened to her clear voice singing, ” I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free…..” She has been with Jesus less than 24 hrs…and I know that she is already healed, happy, and free. She is whole, and free to worship the One she loved so much!

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Sandra September 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Dear Jessica,

Thank you for the update.

I just discovered Sara’s blog Friday and have been reading through it since then – and praying for her family (and friends). Her blog to be an answer to a recent prayer – as well as a solution to a dilemma I’ve faced a long time…one that’s taken me off “God track” more than once.

I’ve “known her” for less than 48 hours and am sad she’s gone – yet so grateful and blessed to have met her, even if only “virtually”.

I wish I could tell her (or at least her family) what her blog – particularly this post http://gitzengirl.blogspot.com/2009/10/crazy-love-your-best-life-later.html – has meant for me. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know her better through the posts you and others have written. (The photos of her with your children are so full of joy – glee even.)

So, thanks to you, to Sara’s online family and of course, to Sara. My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family.

– Sandra

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Coby September 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I’m so sorry Jessica. I know the pain of losing a dear friend, and, in the midst of that pain, the joy of knowing they are with the Lord – completely healed and restored, worshiping in His presence. I am praying for Sara’s family and for you, that God would comfort you with His presence, His love and tenderness; and for the grace to choose joy in the midst of sorrow.

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Lorie Neighbors September 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm

God not only took Sara into eternity last night, but also a former pastor of our church in Salem, OR, the founding pastor, a saint and a shepherd to all. They passed away about the same time. Can you almost sense the joy of the angels and all of heaven at their arrival? Our greatest, rapturous joy on earth doesn’t hold a candle to heaven’s wonder!

May God be so close to you and other lovers of Sara during this time of grieving her loss.

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oh amanda September 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Thanks for the update, Jess. Praying for you and Sara’s family and friends. So glad there is a reunion ahead!

a

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Nikki September 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Thank you for sharing Sara’s story and your part in it over the last week or two. I believe you both have changed the lives of many people all over the world….all in the name of the Lord. How awesome. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all of Sara’s earthly angels as you let go of your beautiful friend.

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Kaycee September 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss Jessica. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sara was such an inspiration and such a beautiful person. My canvas from her hangs by my front door and will always remind me to choose joy.

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Candace September 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Oh my…hearing her sing His Eye is on the Sparrow is just too much. The words are just perfect for this day, “I sing because I’m happy…I sing because I’m FREE.” Sara can sing those words today – and for eternity – with Jesus as her audience. Praying for all who loved her today…isn’t it awesome to watch one of His go Home just knowing in your heart that God is welcoming His cherished and loved one with open arms. Makes me long for that day myself.

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Faith Barista Bonnie September 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm

So beautiful, that voice, Sara. So beautiful, her spirit, Sara. So beautiful, her song, Sara.

Thank you for sharing your joy.. your friendship with Sara.. as well as your grief.

You give us a piece of your heart in sharing the journey, and it gives us permission to experience joy, as well as tears, to a life well lived and loved.

How beautiful it is that you’re dedicating Adeline on this day that Sara sings with Jesus, hand in hand clasped with her Savior.

*Hugs*… Bonnie

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Gillian September 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I knew the news but still your post brought me to tears especially when I read the last line as that’s what I long to hear Jesus say to me. I also thought it was poignant that you were dedicating Adeline on that day. Prayers and thoughts with you all xx

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Amber-Lee September 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

She has arisen in life!
Hallelujah with tears.

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jenn nahrstadt September 27, 2011 at 4:52 am

selah’s Threshold of Glory brought me to tears Sunday morning as i sang along in the car on the way to church. thinking about Sara pushing back the gates and opening the door to Glory and her heart beating wildly in her chest as she took each step closer to her Lord.

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Jennifer September 28, 2011 at 4:09 am

Oh wow, I’m just sitting here in shock. Over the last few months I’ve drastically cut down on my computer time (as it was affecting the day-to-day running of my house, as it can) and therefore haven’t been following my “usual” blogs as much – Gitz and well as yours. I remembered that 31 days is starting soon so just looked to see who’s doing what and I’m just shocked. I had no idea that Sara was so near the end (or beginning, depending on how you look at it) – and like so many people have said, I’m mourning/celebrating someone I didn’t even know in the flesh!

I pray for strength and endurance and peace for you and everyone else traveling to IA – may He be with you all and give you all peace.

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laura @ hollywood housewife October 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. From what I’ve gathered, she made such an impression on everyone she came in contact with. Blessings to you and your family through this loss.

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