As time went on after my abortion, my life resumed its “business as usual” appeal. I did all of the things that any young woman would. I worked – I hung out with friends – I dated. My friends and family never suspected a thing, which is just the way I wanted it.
After several years, I left Lubbock, TX and moved to the big city – Austin! What a fun place that was! I continued living my life as I had been with the occasional visit to this church or that church. I had grown up in the church and I knew that God was missing in my life, so it was only natural for me to search for a church home.
In 2005 I met the man who would become my future husband – the cute guy from across the hall at work (my co-workers and I used to call him the “cute boy from Sono”, which was where he worked). As Brad and I started dating, we quickly found that we had the same belief in God and began going to church together. I told Brad early in our relationship about my abortion and he loved me and accepted me just the same. In May 2007 we got married and moved to Florida.
This was a super-exciting time in our lives! We were newly married! Brad had a new job! We were house hunting (I hadn’t ever owned a house before)! I was job hunting – and we were on the hunt for a church home. We spent a couple of years and visited what felt like every church in the county until we found our church home.
Shortly after we began attending the church, they advertised a small group for women who were post-abortive and looking for healing from their experience. In that moment, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hide from my decision forever. I did not sign up for the group and honestly tried to bury it even deeper – feeling as if everyone in the room could see it written all over me. Time went on and so did life.
A few years later, during a sermon I heard God speak directly to my heart. He said, “Make your mess your message.” Those words were etched into my soul that day. I knew what he was talking about, but had no clue what to really do with it. A few months later I attended an evangelism class and it became clear to me that God wanted to use my abortion experience to help other women with a similar background. I left that class so energized that I couldn’t wait to get started!
I contacted a local organization that provides post-abortive care to women and families who have experienced the heartbreak that it so often brings. I was ready to do whatever it took. Attempt after attempt went unanswered by the organization. I could understand the people were busy, but I was offering to volunteer – how could they pass that up? And above all, this was God-inspired, so I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t able to get connected with them. What in the world was going on!!?
That’s when it hit me. Oh my… I had been going about this all wrong. In order to be able to use my story, I had to actually deal with my own decision, my abortion and all of the emotion that goes along with it. You see, I knew that God had forgiven me already – I had already repented and asked for forgiveness. What I hadn’t done though was work through the heartbreak and emotional baggage that accompanied me as I left the clinic that day. I had buried it so deep and placed so many layers of masks over it that I didn’t even realize it was still with me.
God led me to recognize that I must first experience my own journey through His healing before I could ever even think about trying to help another. A friend of mine introduced me to a study called Surrendering the Secret: Healing the Heartbreak of Abortion. It is a curriculum that is normally done in a group; however I didn’t have a group at the time to do this with. Luckily I was attending a different women’s study that focused on each of our individual walks of life and experiences. God provided that special group of women to surround me with while I went through the Surrendering the Secret study on my own (hi, LQ ladies!).
This study in concert with the other women’s study I was doing ROCKED MY WORLD! I was led through so many different realms of emotion that I didn’t even know that I had surrounding my abortion. It helped me to realize how my abortion had affected so many other areas of my life that I didn’t even think were connected. I learned so much about myself that I almost felt like I was meeting myself for the first time. The most exciting part about the study though was that it allowed me to experience Jesus in a very real, very tangible and very personal way. I knew so many things about Him already because I had grown up in church. I now know so many things about Him because He has revealed Himself to me and allowed me to experience His love, His forgiveness, His unmerited and undeserving mercy FOR ME. God was before me, with me and behind me for every step of this journey.
As I neared the end of the study, I was so energized to share my story and to really start using it not only to help other women, but to glorify the God who has shown such mercy and restoration to me. I found myself again at the place where I didn’t really know where to start sharing what I had learned and experienced. I thought I knew where it might lead, but I didn’t quite feel like things were happening in the order in which God wanted it, so I waited. I focused on deepening my relationship with Him, studying His Word and reflecting on what He was revealing to me.
Just before Thanksgiving (2013) a very dear friend of mine invited me to attend a Hillsong United concert with her. While we were singing Oceans (go to the “Favorites” tab above to hear it), God made it very clear to me how to use my story. This blog is a result of that clarity and the next several articles will share with you just how incredible the journey has been and how God has revealed Himself in my life.
What an AWESOME God I serve! I am so thankful for who He is and who He allows me to be each day. I had no intention of ever facing the decision of my abortion, much less exposing it in a very public way. God knew how to bring me to a place where I was ready to relive my past and get me excited about using it for His glory.
Where are you on your journey?
What I’ve learned:
- God had just the right amount of “tug” at my heartstrings to prepare me for this healing journey.
- God used the only approach that would prepare me to take action.
- God can see so far into the future that He knows just how to position things in my life to achieve His objective.
- Even though some of the healing journey is uncomfortable and even painful to relive, I would do it 100x over if it will help even one person.
- God is so faithful to forgive, show mercy, redeem and restore, especially when I don’t deserve it.
- God is more real than I have ever imagined and His love though Jesus is alive and moving in my life.
- Has God ever tugged at your heartstrings? Is He tugging right now?
- What did or does He want you to do, face or experience?
- Are you resisting God’s tug? Why or why not?
- Do you believe that if God is prompting you, He will give you the ability to do what He is prompting? Why or why not?
- What will change in your life if you respond to God’s tug?
- Are you ready for that change? Why or why not?
- What do you need to do to get ready to answer his call?
If you need prayer or would like to talk further, please contact me privately.