the hurting never stops

Jennifer Turney accidentally stumbled in our small group in October 2013 at Capital Christian Center in Sacramento, CA. Jennifer had recently been diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and had to resign from her occupation as an Addiction Specialist working for STARS (Specialized Treatment And Recovery Services) but she knew there was more to life than resigning to pain. I was leading a group called MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) at the time and was looking for a way to blend a privileged community of moms with mothers needing a helping hand. Mentor Moms was birthed over breakfast at Ettores (a local bakery), while we shared a passion and a dream to connect the two diverse populations.

Jen & I

Jen’s story is quite different than mine. Jen doesn’t like talking about the past much because she feels like it highlight’s too much of what the enemy has stolen from her. She wants to spend more time on what Jesus has given her instead! However, she survived human trafficking, eating disorders, domestic abuse, drug addiction and homelessness. Beyond that, Jesus came to her. Jesus rescued her! Jesus took all the broken parts of her past and showed up in a big way. He showed her what truth looked like for the first time.

Lupus took away some basic functions of life. Some days it’s tricky to brush her teeth, style her hair, get dressed, put on makeup; the pain comes in like a flood and quickly strips her of normality. Other days, she’s able to slowly get ready and make it out to a couple appointments. She’s currently undergoing a trial-based treatment getting infusions (similar to chemo) every-other-week. She easily could give up on purpose in life. She easily could resign to pain and bed-ridden days. But she’s not! She said an “ANYTHING” prayer when Jesus rescued her. She can’t stand the idea of mothers never hearing the truth and freedom of Jesus. Though the pain in her physical body can be unending, she always mentions the hurt and the pain in the lives of women in our own Sacramento community that will never end until they are shown love in practical ways through our mentors. She’s famous for saying, “I won’t stop working because the hurting on the street never stops.”

Jennifer had access to drug and alcohol treatment centers, transitional living programs, and CPS cases from her previous exposure and employment which helped provide a referral system for the mentees in our group. We were able to quickly create training material, recruit reliable mentors and set up a non-profit organization in the last two years through the good and the bad days of Lupus. Jen is a fighter. She’s not going to go down without seeing God do a miracle. We are seeing miracles every day in the lives of our mentees who are overcoming huge obstacles. Even if her physical body is not healed on this earth, she is apart of healing hearts everyday and extending the love of Jesus.

Her story was shared at our Easter services in April 2015. You can watch part of her video here:

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