My Story…My Journey….My Christ through it all.
Here I am. Vulnerable and at risk for judgment….The one who people sees as strong, independent, joyful, confident, secure, full of energy, full of life, full of love, a servants heart to the core….
who also by the way had an abortion at age 19 …who then the following day picked herself back up again to function as if nothing happened. I mean life went on…right? After all I had to hurry and get back to college for a chemistry test.
I never really knew I was in such bondage of pride, shame, and guilt until I became closer to Christ. I kept growing, seeking to know him more, seeking for him to know me more. But there was this key I held on to so tight. A key to a place I guess I never wanted to open again. I had suppressed it to such a level that it almost didn’t exist. Wow….how creative Satan can be.
The “event” I called it was a whirlwind. I called my parents in tears, confessed what was I had discovered and within 24 hrs I was picked up from school, driven back home down south and procedure completed. Although I don’t remember much (which at times I confess is a blessing), I do remember my sisters especially my eldest trying to fight against my parents wishes but in the end, they lost- my parents were doing what they felt was best for their daughter.
There have been many people through the years that have contributed to my healing…my journey. Most of which never knew actually did. There were also so many times where God intentionally met me at a time and place that was so timely and needed. I can truly stand here today and say I have tasted now a freedom I never knew existed- a freedom I never knew I needed.
I remember over 10 years ago, I was invited to a Deborahs Daughters Bible Study.
All I knew at this stage was that I was married to a wonderful man, had a baby, was in residency, was very busy and very tired but just craved to grow in my relationship with Christ. It was for the very first time I was involved in a bible study that I never felt judgment if I didn’t read or complete what I was suppose to but a place where I felt such love, accountability and encouragement. I truly felt like Joanna “loved me where I was at”. She and the group spurred me to want to grow even more and there I was finding myself reading more than I ever did (which wasn’t a lot to begin with)
This group consisted of Joanna Figley, Sue Morrison, Her amazing and grace filled mom Martha, Robin Arnold a true scholar/teacher of the word, and others who were already trusted friends….Out of them all Sue and Robin I gravitated towards the most. They just exuded Christ. They have not become just my spiritual mentors but also friends. I listened as Sue shared very openly her journey- her teenage pregnancy and having her baby. After many months of a lot of transparency within the group- topics of such tenderness-I wanted to share with everyone, with Sue my story but the enemy whispered “you sure you want to share?….she at least had her baby”. And that began the process of a healing I truly never knew existed.
Say it. Confess it. I was in my bathroom when for the first time I said outloud “I had an abortion, please forgive me God” Within milli seconds I heard:
“I know….. I love you…..I forgive you”
I said it again and again and he repeated, “I love you. I forgive you”
You see [John 10:10] says that the thief comes only to steak, kill and destroy but Jesus said I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
How do you know you need inner healing?- It hits an emotion and you get such an over reaction to it.
Other than my husband and my sisters no one knew. It wasn’t talked about. It only seemed to surface at that one testimony by someone at church, that one person that made a huge judgment “I can’t believe” comment regarding abortion. It was only then that a tear would uncontrollably stream down my face and I would quickly excuse myself to the bathroom pretending there was some eyelash in my eye or that my allergies were acting up even though I have no allergies!
When I returned and collected myself back together- another stream would uncontrollably release as my husband would put his arm around me and hold my arm so tight. I felt him instantly praying for me. No matter how much he wanted to take this pain away, he knew this was a healing only God could give his wife.
Many years after my first group I joined another group- Sue/Robin being my leaders. There I shared opening about life, marriage, parenting, all the difficulties, felt pretty transparent but never would I even think about sharing “that”. That’s too deep. That’s way up there in the sin/shame category. You see I am a Pediatrician in the community, who people have humbly expressed their respect and admiration for. A community where maybe Non Christians but definitely not Christians are suppose to judge but often do. So I carried on and listened and shared…but never went into that secret place….secret room.- the key to it that I conveniently lost.
Then came the inner healing retreat 2 years ago. I was excited. I had my little one with me, bonding with my girls, ready to hear some good testimonies and teachings- never did I expect God would actually kiss the wound I so greatly covered.
There it was…Within the first 30 min: Wounds of the womb- included in that was miscarriage, infertility, and yep….abortion. Oh no…..uncontrollable tears there they go again but I could pass off as postpartum, or that song sang by Sue that riveted my soul, or that picture that captured my heart of Jesus taking that little baby home…that picture I bought 2 of so that people would think I got it for someone else but really it was for me. And then there was my roommate Kreshelle who I felt so safe to yield my heart too. Her warmth as she hugged me and prayed for me is still so tangible to me today. It was a indescribable beautiful weekend.
Ok, ah..there I feel …wow….healed. I do. I’ve confessed it…I have let a handful of people into my dark secret and with each sharing I felt Satan losing his grip into me. Thank you Jesus. Thank you for forgiving me. And Thank you for not making me have to share with a lot of people. It’s not that its my pride…its just that I’m private. (Yeah, right…..)
So there I am feeling all “healed up” when now 2 years later (which is 6 months ago) I get a text message from Kelly Petruey asking if our group Deborahs Daughter group is full. There is a girl who doesn’t want to go to DD2 but wants to do DD1 again, a girl whose story of redemption from her abortion was powerful, an amazing wonderful woman she says. Immediately my core says “no”, “nope”, “group full”. The intensity of which this raw, bitter feeling flowed shocked me to where I knew this wasn’t the healthy, mature in Christ thing to feel but why would I feel this way, if I was healed right? She can come to the intro meeting I said in my head but she can’t be in our group. And in walked “x”…..and she was wonderful. Damn it . Ok God, here we go again.
The group I was now shepherding had a sheep who ministered deeply to me. Surely God can heal at an instant and that be the end of it. But for me, it was in stages. He healed (healing) me in stages. I realized one of the final pieces God wanted to give me was not just healing and forgiveness …but Grace, Freedom, Redemption. Freedom to be proud of his redemption for my sins. Grace to flow through me at times when the subject would come up. Little did I know that this breath of fresh air , this sheep would do this for me.
I kept praying “God, continue to heal me quietly, privately” I don’t want anyone to know. With such frustration I pleaded again with my God and then with my husband. Why won’t he just heal it fully already. Why can’t he heal without the world knowing. I’ll never forget my husband looking in my eyes and saying “Michelle, its maybe not about just you”. You’ve got to keep pursing your healing. You need to get healed so you can help someone else get healed.
And so here I am, not giving you the glowing testimony after it all but during.
I now know not just in my head but in my heart that a journey is just that…a journey. I don’t know what the next few years will reveal but I can tell you I have felt a Freedom like I have never felt before. I’m not afraid (so much J) of what people think anymore. I have always loved God although I have not always walked closely with him. I have sinned but through his blood on that cross I am forgiven and I am free. I am learning to fully receive his grace, his mercy and it continues to pour over me with each mention of my story.[Romans 8: 1-2] Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ, the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. [Hebrews 4: 16] Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. [Ephesians 1:4] Because of Christ, we are holy and blameless in his sight. God looks at us as if we never sinned. It took me years to believe this. But I do finally believe it.
So now my ministry to others begin…..
God has seen your movie and he loves you. He really loves you.
Satan works the most in your secrets- confess it outloud and then to someone else
God just doesn’t want to save you, he wants to heal you.
PHOTO CREDIT THANK YOU: isaac-holmgren from Unsplash