A Great Beginning...
I had great plans for my life. Born and raised in a Christian family, my father a Baptist pastor, I gave my heart to Jesus at 7 years of age. With child-like faith I fell in love with this One who’d done so much for me, and vowed to serve Him with my whole life. I took God’s call on my life seriously as a young person, sharing my faith, leading bible studies, teaching Sunday School, trying to live a life pleasing to Him.
My life was on course until I moved away to a Christian school in my senior year of high school. It was here that for the second time in my life I fell in love, this time with a young man I planned to marry one day. Having been raised in church, I knew that God said to save sex for marriage. But with no one talking about it—not our parents, youth workers or teachers, I was unprepared for the pressure to have sex, and how to save it for marriage.
Where It Went Wrong...
And so at the age of 18 I lost my virginity to someone I thought I was in love with, and who was supposed to love me. It was not what I'd expected. Instead of feeling loved, I felt used and humiliated. Something died inside me that day as my eyes were opened to the truth about sex—it is a big deal, in fact I sensed that it was something holy and divine and I had just carelessly given it away. But it was done, I couldn't take it back. And now all I could do was stuff those feelings away pretending that it didn't matter.
After that relationship ended and I moved on to others, I found I was giving in to sexual temptation even though I really didn’t want to and didn't enjoy it. I was heading down a road I didn't want to take, felt so much shame and regret for, yet for some reason could not stop. Until I heard these words, "You're pregnant." By then I had hardened my heart to block out my feelings of pain and shame, and was far away from God, that the only voice I heard said - "Have an abortion."
This was the bottom for me, the end of the road. Gone were my dreams to serve God, to live my life for Him. He could never use me now. I married Eric (with whom I'm celebrating 28years) and had four children. And although we were going to church and serving God, for the next 25 years I lived in a prison of shame, self-condemnation, pain and regret. I asked God to forgive me many times - but it never seemed to work. I never felt forgiven. What I know now that I didn’t then, was that although God had forgiven me the first time I asked, without healing from my sexual past and abortion, the wounds I'd accumulated kept me suffering in silent shame, keeping me from being able to forgive myself, and experience God's forgiveness.
For 25 years I spent all my energy on redeeming, hiding, justifying and forgetting my past. Not only did it drain and stagnate me emotionally, physically and spiritually, but it negatively impacted all my relationships - with my friends, my husband, my children and my God.
My Healing Journey...
Until God set me free. When He gently began to show me the wounds I'd suffered because of my past, how they were impacting me now and my need for healing, I chose to trust Him to heal me through a post abortion Bible Study and then through another study on sexual healing. I'd heard a lot about a God of grace sitting in church all those years, but for the first time I experienced this God of grace. God took me through a grieving process for my abortion and sexual past that healed my soul—healing allowed me to receive and experience God's forgiveness. God's forgiveness allowed me to forgive myself, which released me from my prison of shame and pain.
It changed my life. Rather than stagnating emotionally and spiritually—now I’m growing, thriving. Rather than destroying my relationships, now God is reconciling them and making them new. Rather than feeling drained and old - now I feel energized, revived and renewed. Malachi 4:2 says: "But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall."
Can you picture unleashed baby calves leaping with joy? I can because that’s me. Like a baby calf is set free from the smelly confines of his stall, I’ve been set free from the bars of my prison and I'm leaping now—with ecstatic, wild leaping for joy. For 25 years I didn’t leap—in fact I didn’t even know it was possible. The shame of my past took away my voice - I couldn’t praise God, I couldn’t serve Him, I couldn’t speak truth into others lives because I was living a lie. With healing, God gave me back my voice.
What He's done for me, He can do for you:
It's not my story anymore - it's His. It's now about what God has done in my life. And what's He's done for me, He wants to do for you. If you'll let Him.
He's just waiting for you to ask.