Tag Archives: freedom

some things must die

Scan007, October 16, 2003

April 29, 2013, for me, is one of those days that you “remember where you were when…”

They wheeled my husband back into the hospital room, the back of the bed faced me.  I couldn’t see him, but I knew something was wrong.  There was something in the air that changed.  Something felt off.  This was a routine heart catheterization procedure to put a couple stents in.  One day in the hospital, a couple days of rest, and bada bing, bada boom life would be back to normal.

But that’s not what happened.

The nurses flitted about getting things ready in his room.  His bed was still half in the hall and half in the room.  I couldn’t wait another minute for them to push him in, so I went to his side.

“Hey,”  I said, hoping for a smile, some sign we were done and we could move on from here.  But his face was full of dread and something else I couldn’t quite recognize on him.  Fear.  He spoke to me through watery eyes, his words a quiet whisper, “I have to have open heart.”  I shook my head no, hand in his squeezing tight.  The nurses droned on, talking to each other.

“How do you like working in the cath lab?”
“Oh it’s great, I’m learning a ton and it’s neat to see all the procedures and how they are done.”
“That’s great…”

Everything splintered in that moment.

I wanted the nurses to stop talking, to do their job and leave so we could be alone.  The world around us began to fade and spin.  All my thoughts were of ribs being opened and separated.  I couldn’t bear it.  I looked at my husband and wiped the tears from his face.  When he spoke there was terror in his voice.  He too, was afraid.

I had no words.  I couldn’t comfort him, I didn’t know what to do.  What would this mean?  I could see the process unfold that night as we went from denial to acceptance.

On May 2, 2013, he underwent quadruple bypass.

I have been wanting to write this entry for months.  I can say I was too busy, but I wonder if it was too raw.  It still feels fresh, like a wound that hasn’t quite healed.

But I learned there is a time and season for everything.  It’s ok for some things to die…to come to an end.

Death of shame.

Death of self.

Death of pride.

Death of bad habits.

The end of this blog…

This journey has brought me farther than I ever thought possible.  There was a day not too long ago that I said, “When I was post abortive.”  That day I realized I will always feel the pain and loss. But I am done carrying the shame and guilt from my abortion.  Jesus bore that all on the cross for me. Who am I to continue to carry the penalty, rather than choose to accept the free gift he has given us.  Now, I am truly free.

My prayer is that in a way this will live on.  I wanted to take others on my journey and see how it’s possible to heal.  That they are not alone in their struggles with abortion.

So I leave you with this:  Life is beautiful.  When the reality of life’s frailty hit me upside the head, it was a wake up call and I learned a lot about myself.

To live.

To live beautifully.

To live fully.

To not take things for granted.

To live without regrets.

To love more deeply.

My prayer is that you may do the same.

when i was post abortive

MICHELLE-26

The most incredible thing happened to me this week.  I was in a meeting and explaining my road from being a sidewalk counselor to developing a heart and compassion for the post abortive woman.

I said, “when I was post abortive.”

Those words just came out of my mouth and it took a bit before my mind caught up to them.

Obviously, I am still post abortive, but the implications…

Does this mean that I am no longer choosing it to define me?  Am I no longer bound by its ugly ties.  Is it possible that I am experiencing another aspect of freedom from it?

I like thinking I’m no longer post abortive.  There is more to me than that dark day.  The dark cloud looming overhead no longer defines me, but who I am in Christ gives me HOPE and a FUTURE free from this terrible choice I made.

I AM BEAUTY FROM ASHES IN THE FLESH!

east to west

One of the things we use at our memorial service is this verse.

Psalm 103:11-12

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

When I was reading Mark Hall’s book, “Your Own Jesus”, Mark tells the story how a teacher explained this verse to him and it stuck with him.  Once I heard this I knew I wanted to use it in our memorial service.

This is how he described it:

“There is a reason God used east to west to describe how far he cast your sin from you.  If you go north, you can only go north so far until you’re finally going south.  And you can only go south so far until your going north.   But if you start traveling east, it keeps going east forever, and west just keeps going west.  If you think about it, you’re never going to go so far west that you’re going east.  That is how far he cast our sin from us.”

What did that mean to me?  I know all sin is equal in the eyes of God, but abortion in some respects felt like the ultimate SIN.  I know it isn’t.  But when you hold on to this dark secret for years it begins to take over.  You know your forgiven for that lie and maybe yelling at your mom that one time.  But is it possible to be forgiven for taking the life of my child?  Even if it’s possible to be forgiven, can I forgive myself?

But I didn’t need to forgive myself, but accept the forgiveness God already had given me.  I inform, speak, and share my story because I want people to know from the depths I was lifted up.  I want other women to experience the freedom I have.  It hasn’t been an easy journey at times, but I am not going back.

The truth keeps me free.

the Word

You have given all that you are and all that you have
that you might save a wandering soul like me
All I have to do is ask and receive this simple gift
But yet I keep wandering, searching, and looking
in everything and everyone I meet
Fooling myself that I might find what I seek
and yet in the end I turn to you because to my heart
You hold the key and you hold the power to unlock the
darkened caverns of my past
You alone can repair and bring into the light the darkness
That keeps me captive in my own selfish prison
Your word is living, alive, and active
Your word is like a double-edged sword
It can slice through the lies that I have been tortured with for so long
It can replace the lies with your truth
I feel I am on the path towards freedom—leaving these things behind
Things that I have held on to for so long
I turn around and watch them disappear into your blinding light
I feel your warmth surround me as the layers slowly drip off me
Tumbling back into the darkness from where they came
I am lost without you and with you I will never be lost again
Who am I to punish myself—what pride must I have to not
Accept this gift of freedom, a simple gift that cost your life
What love you must have, your life for mine
I accept this gift of forgiveness that is worth more than riches
It’s worth more than life itself because in believing I can truly live
Knit me back together for I am in your womb now
knit me so that I am whole again—so that I may be who you created me to be
You heard my fits of rage
You see the horrors in my mind
You felt my pain and agony
You heard me when I cried out
You walked in my shoes
You were tortured
You were crucified
You were beaten
Yet you endured it all for me
You saved me
You freed me
You forgave me
You love me
You are Jesus Christ the son of the Living God

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

fear

I was once afraid.  My secret held tight in the depths of my soul.  I felt defined by it.  Everything I did or didn’t do seemed to wrap around the one choice I made in my life when I was eighteen.

But then I found freedom.  Freedom in healing. Freedom in the shadow of the wings God promised to shelter me with.  Freedom in sharing this secret.

I have learned though that there are still others who fear.  Others that don’t want to be involved in such a “political” issue.  I see it less as a political issue and more like a human issue.

I shout out my life, my experience, my emotions.  I shout out what God has done for me.  Others seek the darkness and shadows out of fear.  I continue to seek the light.  Because in the light I don’t have to hide or pretend.  In the light I am free to live.  In the light God’s grace is real and far reaching.

In the light I will continue to stomp fear.

from grief to the great exchange

This week we are preparing for our weekend retreat.  At this point in our journey we have gone through so many emotions.  Self-hatred, anger, forgiveness, shame, regret, pain (to name a few).

This is always my favorite part of the journey.  It is truly where healing begins and we shed the skin of our former self and become the women we were meant to be.  Healthy and whole.

We exchange our failures, pain, and shame for God’s purpose, love and restoration.  I think most importantly we are given permission to grieve.  We grieve all that we lost and because it was our choice we don’t feel like we have that right.  But we do.  We need to grieve.

We replace the lies that we were told, lies that we have told ourselves with God’s truth.  A complete transformation.

The Great Exchange!

Isaiah 61: 1-4,7

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion —
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
they will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations
Instead of their shame
my people will received a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
they will rejoice in their inheritance;
and so they will inherit a double portion in their land,
and everlasting joy will be theirs.

lies we believe

It isn’t a simple procedure.  It isn’t just tissue.  It’s a hurt, a pain, a deep loss that we feel we are not worthy enough to grieve because we did this to ourselves.  We made the choice…so the wound festers and infects deep into our being spreading to our thoughts, actions, attitudes, and to those around us.

Children are born around us everyday.  If we had stayed the course we know what would have happened to the fetus in our womb.  It would have become our child.  This is a fact.  I don’t believe any human gave birth to a llama.  Sometimes I think we suffer in silence as a sort of punishment to ourselves.  It’s hard to release ourselves from the prison walls we built around us.  A fortress.  But we must if we are ever going to be healthy and be free.

Those that fight for abortions don’t know what they are fighting for.  Really.

If only they would take the time to talk to a post abortive woman.  They would see it in our eyes.  They would see a woman that hasn’t told a soul about their abortion.  A secret they planned on burying for the rest of their life.  When we hear the word abortion we glance around and wonder if anyone can tell.  Will I be found out?

We aren’t proud of our abortions.  We aren’t glad we were given this choice.

But this secret we try to push down comes bubbling back up.  We feel the pain at baby showers, when our nieces and nephews are born.  In a way we are jealous of pregnant women when we know we lost our chance.  Some feel guilt when having children after an abortion.

You don’t forget the one you left behind.

It’s a journey.  One that I had to learn to surrender my secret.  I had to forgive and allow God’s forgiveness to wash over me.  His work on the cross was sufficient for me and my abortion.  He set me free from my prison so that in Christ I can truly live.