Getting Past My Past
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
Is there something from your past that haunts you and constantly interrupts your thoughts?
For many years, that something in my life was my abortion. I walked around in a zombie-like state in the months following that decision with a growing hatred for myself at the root of my pain and confusion.
Up until that point, the things that brought hurt into my life were caused by others. But the abortion was a choice I made myself. It seemed like the only answer at the time. The abortion clinic workers assured me that they could take care of this "problem" quickly and easily, so I would never have to think about it again. What a lie.
I kept my secret buried deep within my heart. I was so ashamed, so horrified, so convinced that if anyone ever found out I’d had an abortion, I’d be rejected by all my church friends and deemed a woman unfit to serve God.
My complete healing began when I was finally able to turn my thoughts past my own healing to helping others in the same situation. It was terrifying to think about sharing my story with another person. But then I heard of a young girl who worked for my husband who was in a crisis pregnancy situation. She’d asked for a few days off to have an abortion.
I was faced with a fierce tug of war in my spirit. I knew if she heard my story, she might make a different choice. But what would she think of me? What would others think if they found out? I knew God wanted me to talk to her; so would I trust Him, or would I retreat back into my shame?
With shaking hands, I approached Sydney, intent on extending God’s comfort and compassion. Maybe I could just share a few Bible verses and offer to help her without making myself vulnerable.
But during our time together, it became clear she needed to hear my story. With a cracking voice and tear-filled eyes, I decided to care more about her situation than keeping my secret hidden. I told her the truth of what I’d experienced and prayed she’d make a different choice than I had.
A year after that first meeting, I sat across from Sydney once again. She choked out a whispered, "Thank you," as she turned and kissed the chubby-cheeked boy in the baby carrier beside her. As soon as she spoke those two life-defining words, tears fell from both of our eyes.
Hers were tears of relief.
Mine were tears of redemption.
Both were wrapped in the hope that God truly can take even our worst mistakes and somehow bring good from them.
God has brought me so far since that first meeting with Sydney. Now I travel to crisis pregnancy events and tell my story in hopes of encouraging people to support their local centers. I also share my story from pulpits all across America, trusting that the many women in the audience will see it is possible to be healed and restored from the tragic mistakes from our past.
But I can’t reach everyone. There are women in your sphere of influence who need to hear your story.
I realize an abortion may not be the pain you’re dealing with, but I also know few of us have escaped very deep hurts.
Will you go? Will you share? Will you allow God to comfort you and then take that comfort to others? This step could help you start your own healing process.
I think you’ll find that you are the one who winds up doubly blessed as you walk out the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
Dear Lord, only You can heal my deepest hurts and use the bad in my life for good. I need You more and more each day. Please continue to work in my life and use me as a light to help those You have entrusted to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 34:18, "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (NIV)
Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Who could you share your story with?
If there’s not an obvious person or group in your mind, ask the Lord to reveal how and when you should open up about your past hurts.