I just finished reading your book and I will give you a 5 star review just for being honest. What a leap of faith you took to write this book, bearing your soul and secrets to the world. I get it. I carried so many secrets starting from my childhood all the way to age 40, until one day in July 2001 I had an encounter with Jesus that changed my life forever. That day started me on my faith journey, the day Jesus called me into His kingdom, into His Truth, into the Light of His grace and mercy. I was forgiven but I carried my secret for 14 more years. I would not talk about what I was forgiven for, especially in the church, a place where I feared judgement and condemnation.
In 2015 I was volunteering at the local Christian pregnancy resource center. I felt safe sharing my testimony with one of the directors. She told me about Surrendering the Secret, an 8-week Bible study for women to heal from the heartbreak of abortion. That book changed my life as I found true freedom in it because of God’s Word and Truth. After that I was never ashamed to talk about abortion or say the word abortion, even in church. I was on a mission, certain God had called me to help other woman heal from their shame, grief, guilt and regret of abortion in their past.
I did everything I could to engage people around me, asked the church to let us put little cards in the women’s rest rooms with a number call, but there were no responses. I created a tri-fold mailer a talented co-worker helped me create, beautifully done, asking to speak at various places and platforms to share my story for His Glory – no one responded, but I still felt God called me to this. This is my story, this is what He used to shine His Light on my sin and selfish life, using that same Light to bring forgiveness, healing and redemption.
So why is this not happening? Why are no doors opening? I kept persevering, I did not give up. I got bolder in sharing my story with others. I went to the church again. They are always telling us to share our story but they didn’t want me sharing mine. Abortion is taboo in the church. God, this is my story, this is what you used that day, why is this not happening? I pressed on, still not giving up even though there were plenty of times I wanted to. I went to the church again, meeting with some pastors and a staff member, asking them to give me a platform, get me up on stage, put me in pulpit, only to be told “the church isn’t ready for this yet” (in 2018).
Well guess what? God told me to sell my house and move closer to the city I worked in. I got connected to another church and quickly found a women’s life group that met weekly nearby my new home. One night at a church event I shared my testimony and the woman who over saw the small group ministries came up to me and said, “we’ve been praying for someone to bring this ministry for post-abortion women to our church.” Say what? Boom, drop the mic, okay. Nothing is wasted when God is in control. I was getting some traction now, support, encouragement, a new friend encouraged me to become a certified leader of this ministry. There wasn’t a huge explosion or mass exodus of women contacting me or approaching me begging to be part of this Bible study, nope, but little by little there were some and I walked with them on their journey to freedom, held their hands, cried with them, prayed the enemy away, met an awesome co-leader who I know will be a friend and my sister in Christ forever. I keep going now. I am back at my previous church (imagine that…only God LOL) and guess what? They are finally open to offering this amazing Bible study at the small group roll out this Fall (in 2023).
Did I mention perseverance? So many times I threw up my hands and just wanted to quit but I can never forget God used my abortion to change my life and redeem me. If this is my story, I have to keep telling it right? My story is the opposite of yours Lina but we both landed right where we are supposed to be, under the loving care and in the loving hands of the One who holds the whole world in His hands. Even when we don’t understand or see the big God picture in full Technicolor mode, we are where we need to be, where He called us, where we belong, praise God!
It takes faith over fear to tell our stories and if we can help even just one person then we’ve made a difference and shown them who Jesus is. It takes complete surrender and utter trust to be led to the freedom where peace resides. There is so much more I could share, trust me A LOT more…maybe I should write a book, I don’t know. But what I do know is that the things you said and shared in your book are truths. So, stay encouraged Lina, stay the course, remain faithful and obedient to our faithful Yahweh. You are a light to so many people and you encourage us to stay the course and keep embracing the compassionate love of our Heavenly Father, trusting Him no matter what, where we find healing, HOPE, and redemption in His Son, Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, Good Shepherd, Light of the World, the Messiah, who will return one day and oh what a glorious day that will be!
All for Him, Caroline