Not Just from Something but to Something

One thing I have learned from working with various nationalities and cultures is underneath the flesh, at our hearts, we are all similar. The human heart is the human heart regardless of the package it comes wrapped in. My heart rejoices and is full of thankfulness for the opportunity to know people from different backgrounds, different countries, nationalities, and levels of privilege. The more I sit with people, the more obvious it is how, underneath, we all share similar struggles with sin, and have a huge capacity to love Jesus and others with the work of the Holy Spirit inside of us.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit with a friend who is a pastor from another country. As we were talking over coffee there was a temptation to reach into my purse, pull out of pen, and write down every word dripping with wisdom from 20+ years of ministry work! I resisted. But I remember her saying that she had noticed that often when people get free or “get what they want from the Lord”, they will leave the church. That struck me.

This reminds me of the story of the ten lepers in the Bible. All ten were healed, but only one went back to thank Jesus, the other nine just left. The bible doesn’t say if any of them told others about how Jesus healed them or if any of them brought other lepers to Jesus. But if any of them did, it was most likely the one who went back to thank Jesus.

When Jesus heals us or does anything for us, what do we do with that? Do we just hold onto it for ourselves and go on with our lives, or does it lead us to worship with thanksgiving and then a desire to let others know what Jesus did so they too can find healing and truth?

Within the ministry of Deeper Still, we have a saying:

“God doesn’t just free you from something, but to something.”

Of course we always have a choice. But a heart of praise and gratitude will want others to know and want others to have what we found. And the “from something” and “to something” looks different for everyone.

My friend said it like this, “When God does something for us, are we willing to sacrifice and lay down our lives to help others find freedom and healing as well?”

Is it just for us?

This seems to be a good question to ponder. Yes, of course, it IS for us. But what if we are missing the greater blessing by keeping it to ourselves and just going back to our lives? What if there is more? What if there is an eternal harvest waiting and your testimony is part of bringing others into freedom and healing–a unquantifiable outcome of obedience measured in lives changed?!

What more awaits? What more does He have for you?

If you haven’t stepped into healing and freedom, is now the time? How is God speaking to you today?

What might God be asking of you?

Father God, we are so thankful for the freedom and healing you have brought us. Lord, for those reading this today who need healing, would you speak to their hearts and I pray they would find healing in you. For those who have found healing, would you reveal to them what you have freed them to? We love you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

There are several Deeper Still retreats this Spring. If you have had an abortion and would like to know more about our free weekend healing retreats, please go to for more information. Healing and freedom are only a step in the right direction away.

God’s Love in Our Hopelessness

The phone rings. You answer. But you do not recognize the voice on the other line. As you mentally try to place the voice you hear a familiar name…a precious loved one. “What? I’m sorry. What did you just say? Can you repeat that?” you ask the still strange voice. Your precious loved one is gone. Suddenly, unexpectedly, too soon. “But I just saw her yesterday and she was fine,” you reply back. You deny what the strange voice is telling you, dropping hard into the nearest chair. The unfamiliar voice apologizes, gives promises of being in touch, and hangs up. As the line goes dead, you feel numb. Yet your mind races. Shock. Confusion. Sadness. Hopelessness.

I remember each instance like they were yesterday. We have all been there, or one day will be. Losing a loved one is hard, painful, shocking, confusing and when it happens unexpectedly, unfathomable.

As Easter approaches I begin to wonder, was this how Jesus’ followers felt when His story seemed to have abruptly and unjustly ended on the cross? Executed as a criminal, now lying dead in a tomb, their Son, brother, friend and Savior suddenly gone from their midst. Shocked, confused, hopeless. On Saturday did they know that the Son would come out tomorrow; out of the grave? Where was their hope?

Have you ever asked yourself… Where is our hope when life does not go as we had planned? Where is our hope when life is going “well”? What or who do we turn to for our joy?
The answer is in Jesus on the cross!

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split”
(Matthew 27:50-51).

A beautiful intricately woven curtain separated mankind from God in Bible times. This curtain was huge and very thick. The beauty of the curtain could only be seen from the inside of this innermost chamber where God used to dwell. The high priest was only allowed to enter this sanctuary on days and times allowed by God and under the strictest rules. To violate God’s law on this matter had dire consequences. The curtain stood as a reminder of how sin separates man from a holy God; a physical reminder of the vast spiritual separation that exists between God and all people.

The curtain tore the moment Jesus gave up His spirit because no more blood needed to be spilled. Jesus’ death on the cross became the once and for all offering. Our debt was paid in full; the wrath of God completely satisfied. The dividing line between the holy God and sinful mankind was obliterated. This is our hope. Now we can come confidently, boldly to Him with all of our fears, pain, tears, sorrows, praises, thanksgiving and joy.

Last December I wrote about the joy we have at Christmas. Joy at Christmas, joy in Jesus’ birth, is only possible because of the hope we have at Easter. Because of the hope of Christ’s finished work on the cross.

As a child, the curtain torn in two stood out to me every time I read Christ’s crucifixion story. It was a physical, tangible sign that what happened on the cross was real. Proof that the dividing line between God and man had been erased, a physical sign of God’s sacrificial steadfast love for me. The dividing wall that had been torn down by God alone felt like a personal invitation into the beauty and presence of the Father. An intentional act of His love for me.

John 3:16, always a favorite, says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” He LOVES the world. He LOVES me! He LOVES you! I have always treasured the next verse too, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

Sin separates us from God. We were all condemned to death. But instead, God condemned Jesus to death on the cross in our place. It was essentially God’s way of pulling back the curtain and inviting us into His beautiful presence; welcoming us back into fellowship with Him. Fellowship we once enjoyed in the Garden (Genesis 2) but lost (Genesis 3). He didn’t just pull back the curtain, He destroyed it.

Jesus’ death was necessary to bring victory over sin, death, and separation from God. To show the depth of God’s love for us. A God who literally loves us to death, all the way to Jesus’ death on a cross. He ripped open the curtain, willingly stretched open His loving arms on the cross, and pleads with us to come to Him.

Each time I lost a precious loved one, fear, sadness and hopelessness quickly entered my heart. Had it not been for the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life they would have consumed me and pulled me under. But God. Even more deeply felt than the fear, sadness and hopelessness was God’s love for me. Always in our moments of greatest need, He holds us, wraps His love and peace around us and gives us strength we did not know we were capable of. His love has no end, no limitations, no conditions. His love is freely willingly given. His love is immovable and immeasurable. The vastness of His love awes and amazes me still.

Amazing love. When life feels hopeless, run. Run through the curtain into the holy of holies and into His open outstretched arms. He is waiting to embrace you. He is our hope.

Father, thank you for the hope of Jesus, the hope we have because of the price Jesus paid and His resurrection. You are so good. Thank you for your amazing love, who loved us all the way to the Cross. We love you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Soul Set Free…

Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 1 Chronicles 16:8-9

We recently had our gate on our fence replaced because it was falling apart. After the contractor left I went out to the back yard to admire the new gate to my fence, when I noticed there was not a way out. He had only put a latch on the gate from the outside and had forgotten to put some type of way to open it from the back yard. I literally said; “How am I suppose to get out?”

Have you ever felt trapped in your soul, as if there is no way out of a mess you may have created due to a choice you made? Friend, I understand. Three abortions left me feeling trapped and caged in the confines of my emotional state and trauma.

Like a puppy in the backyard that can see through the hole in the fence that longs to run and play with the people he sees or the dogs walking by, my soul yearned for freedom. Lies of the enemy whispered, “This is the one sin God cannot forgive. You are doomed to this prison you made for yourself forever. You will never be free.” I believed him. Freedom was for others, not for me…

Defeat kept me confined with only a glimmer of hope, “If I could just get my hand through the hole that was in the gate, I could unlock the gate that was holding me prisoner.” I knew pain would be a part of the process and I fought hard for years to not feel the sting of it.

Believing and trusting God was the beginning of my freedom journey. God’s timing is perfect. He knows when we can handle the process it takes to be free. And I was more than ready to escape the barricade that surrounded me.

In surrender, I pressed in, hesitant but with resolve said, “I’m ready Lord, unlock the gate.” I only had to partner with Him and receive His forgiveness.

The Lord came and opened the gate!! He tore off the prison doors and FREEDOM came! The gate was open!

You are forgiven!!

He says; “We are forgiven, redeemed, sanctified, justified, and forever free from condemnation.” He came to heal the brokenhearted, set the captives free, and open the prison doors for those who are bound. Not even death, hell or the grave can take this life from us! I have had a song recently on repeat for a few months. The song is called; “Something Worth Singing About” by Nathan Sheridan. Please go give it a listen! I truly have something worth singing about! I have to make known His deeds. I am beholden to my Savior. I will tell of His wonderous works and of the great things He has done!

Lord, we come with a grateful heart for all you have done in our lives. May we always sing your praises and talk of your glorious deeds. If there is anyone reading this post who does not know your love, forgiveness, healing, and freedom, Father would you draw them closer into intimacy with you to receive all You have given. We love you Jesus!

Joy Irrepressible

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:10-11

Heart racing, hardly able to hold my position behind the imaginary line my brothers and I imposed on ourselves. Excitement and anticipation no longer contained. The sun barely above the horizon filtered through the towering redwood trees just outside. Smells of fir tree and freshly brewed coffee added to the fervor of delight. The only light illuminating the darkness came from the kitchen below where my grandparents awaited for the day’s festivities to begin. Sounds from my parents’ bedroom at the end of the hallway alerted us that the culmination of our anticipation was imminent. We waited to hear the parental “go” that signaled the start of the race downstairs to a Christmas tree bursting with presents. Each “Santa” pile (aka unwrapped presents) that sat in front of the tree, already well studied and claimed from the balcony above, marked our own personal finish lines. The door opened and the signal given, we dashed downstairs and the once dimly lit and quiet family room turned into a flurry of activity as the presents were passed out and torn open.

This was the pinnacle of joy for me as a child…the anticipation, the receiving of a new gift, a new toy, even a new sweater. This was what joy meant to little me…this exuberant cheerfulness. Memories of the gifts all opened and the wrappings, boxes and bows gathered into a pile and properly “swam” through, still bring a smile to my face. My happiest childhood memories revolve around Christmas. But they are also some of my hardest memories. Some loved ones are no longer seated at the table to enjoy the Christmas feast. There will be no searching for that perfect present for many I miss. But also making new memories with childhood loved ones is difficult and complicated, if not impossible. Christmas is hard.

For the last two years God has sent me on a journey I never thought I would travel again. Past dysfunction and difficult memories plunged me into a dark depression and a constant struggle with deeply rooted anger. My joy was seemingly gone. Laughter was hard. Looking up was harder. But a key truth I learned going into this journey was that sadness and joy, even anger and joy, can exist simultaneously. This helped me take the next steps of healing and heart change. True joy is grounded in Jesus, not how I feel in any given moment.

John MacArthur defines joy as “a happiness based on unchanging divine promises and eternal spiritual realities. It is the sense of well-being experienced by one who knows all is well between himself and the Lord (1 Peter 1:8). Joy is not the result of favorable circumstances, and even occurs when those circumstances are the most painful and severe (John 16:20-22). Joy is a gift from God, and as such, believers are not to manufacture it but to delight in the blessing they already possess.” (Romans 14:17; Philippians 4:4).

Hard times are inevitable, but “grown-up me” can have joy in Jesus even when life around me seems to be falling apart. Because He is my hope. Because He has rescued, restored and redeemed me. Because He promises to never leave me or forsake me and because His joy is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10) in the hard.

He is the good news of great joy for all people. The long ago promised Messiah is here. Here to save all people from sin and death. He came as a tiny babe to live the perfect life we could never live. Because God’s standard is perfection. He came to die as the perfect Lamb bearing all our sin and shame. Because the payment for sin is death. But Jesus died in our place! He bore the wrath of God the Father so we would not have to. He came to rise again from the dead, conquering death once for all. Because the grave could not hold Him.

The good news of great joy that first Christmas was a Baby in a manger. Jesus was the first Christmas gift, wrapped in grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. Joy is our only reasonable response to God’s lavish love and goodness (Max Lucado, Because of Bethlehem, p.163). Joy is a choice to dwell on His promises and faithful work in our lives, rather than our circumstances. It goes deep. It endures forever. It is not circumstantial. It is not based on feelings. It is a choice.
He is joy.

In this season of waiting we also look for Him to return. As we wait “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2). Remember as we celebrate His first humble
arrival on earth that He is coming a second time in glory to wipe every tear from our eyes and restore all that is broken (Genesis 3; Revelation 21:4). There will be no death or crying or mourning or depression or anger or pain.

Christmas is hard for many, but remember it is okay to not be okay. Because our joy is rooted in Jesus, sadness, anxiety, and suffering can coexist with joy. Let our joy be praise and worship for the King has come. Praise Him for His marvelous mercy, lavish love and generous grace…these can never be taken from us. We have joy in Jesus because our hope, peace and love are
grounded in His coming…in a manger two thousand years ago and on a cloud (Acts 1:9-11) someday soon. As we approach our Savior’s birth this Advent, let us choose to race to the Joy filled manger, fixing our eyes on the ultimate finish line marked…not by a pile of exquisitely wrapped (or unwrapped) gifts, but by the ultimate Gift…Jesus. He will be back.

And let us sing…

Joy to the world! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him
room, and heaven and nature sing…

Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns; Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks,
hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy…

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His
blessings flow far as the curse is found…

He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove. The glories of His
righteousness, and wonders of His love…

Praying you have a wonderful Christmas rejoicing in the One who came to save, bring Hope everlasting, and Joy irrepressible. Praying you experience Him in new ways, as He illuminates the dark, the Light of the world.

What’s in a Name?

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:3-4

Have you ever had the opportunity to give something, or someone, a name? Maybe it was your favorite stuffed animal, a pet, or an even more precious- a child. A couple of weeks ago, Sue shared with us about her daughter, Kori Danielle. Sue shared what Kori’s name meant and how she came to know this would be the name of her sweet daughter. In true God fashion, I had been pondering names and how important they are to each of us and to those giving us a name. Names have carried meanings for centuries and identified who a person belonged to and even called out their purpose. Throughout the Bible you will find the same to be true. Parents gave children specific names and God renamed his people as they stepped into his work.

In the scripture above, John is documenting Jesus’ sermon where Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd. An important part of being a good shepherd lies in naming their sheep. I imagine shepherds naming their sheep based on color, markings, and personality. 

The shepherd says, “Your name will be Domino because of that big black circle around your eye.” To the next sheep he says, “Your name will be Jazzy because of your spunkiness within the herd. You have energy for days!” And to the next he says, “I think I’ll  name you Pearl because you just look fancy. Your wool is cleaner than all the others, too” and so on. The shepherd would need to pay special attention to his sheep to give them names.

He doesn’t just yell “Hey sheep!” but he calls each individual name “Domino, Jazzy, Pearl” and the best part is…they each know their name.  

For those of us who are in Christ and have accepted Jesus as our Good Shepherd, we know He is pleased with us and He knows us by name (Exodus 33:17). He gives us a new name that reflects our belonging and divine potential in Him. My name is Ashley, this is the name my parents gave me and identifies who I am as an individual. The world has given me lots of different names over time like “Forgotten, Unloved, Broken, Trash, and Disappointment.”  Theses names weighed me down with shame and a heavy yoke. I couldn’t carry one, but more kept coming. 

But then Jesus called my name. My Savior called me at the most unexpected time and gave me a new name. In Him, I am:

Chosen (Colossians 3:12)

Masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)

Forgiven (Colossians 1:14)

Sweet fragrance (2 Corinthians 2:15) 

These names gave me a sense of security, safety, and protection.  Jesus gently whispered these names when he first called me, and nothing felt truer in my entire life. For the first time feeling completely known and completely loved. Only a Good Father who gives good gifts can give names like these. 

Have you heard Jesus calling you by name? Or are you holding on to the name the world has given you- one that carries burden, shame, and guilt? Let go of all the names that bring your hurt, pain, and burden; and take up the names given you to by the Good Shepherd. 

God, I am in awe at your attention and care for us. I cannot fathom all the time you spend paying attention to each of our individual needs. You do this for us as you use your Holy Spirit to call us by name. I thank you for your Holy Spirit that guides us, comforts us, and leads us to the heart of the Father. This is where we find our true name and identity. I ask that you speak to each, and every person reading this and call them by name. God call them out of the darkest and into your marvelous light, one name at a time. The has never been a moment we were not perfectly known and perfectly loved by you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

If you have had an abortion and you are ready to let go of the names that have tried to define you as a result of your abortion, please go to to find a retreat near you. Jesus has a new name for you.

Our Secret

“Those who look to Him are radiant; and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:5

Secrecy is a fearful place to be. We sit wondering, living in fear that one day someone will find out that ugly, shameful secret we are carrying around. Abortion. The dark little secret no one wants to talk about because of the scandal of it all.

As long as we think we have our sin safely hidden, the accuser will keep our hearts in bondage. The disadvantage of that bondage is that we continue to suffer in silence. We may look all put together on the outside, but inside we are living in emotional chaos. Freedom will be just out of our reach, although we long for it desperately.

James 5:16a states: “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.” I believe God’s word is quite clear about how we obtain our healing, our freedom. I went through a program, and one of the things they taught us is this: “We can not heal what we do not acknowledge.” This is why it is important to tell our story. Our secret.

I didn’t want others to know I had one abortion, let alone three. In my mind, one was shameful enough, but to admit to multiple abortions, well, I didn’t dare. So, in comes the uneasiness that someone closest to me (mainly my children) would find out and their perception of me would be marred. What would others think? The lie I was fed was this; “You’re an awful person for ending the lives of your children. Not one, but three, no way that secret is coming out.”

So, I ran and hid just like Adam and Eve. I was covered in shame. That humiliation affected every area of my life. Especially my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

It brought about a lack of intimacy with God. However, God came looking for me just as He did with Adam and Eve. He knew what was hidden behind the veil. I wasn’t hiding anything from Him. Jesus had already given His blood for me. He had already corrected my wrong. Who was really suffering here? Me.

It’s imperative that we bring the hidden sin into God’s glorious light. Proverbs 28:13a states: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, he who confesses and abandons them will find mercy.” I looked up “find mercy.” In the Hebrew it means this; “It’s a deep sympathy and sorrow felt for another struck with affliction, accompanied with a desire to relieve the suffering.” God so graciously chooses to have mercy on us and to alleviate our inner suffering.

When I chose to be transparent, my children and others didn’t love me less. I was met with compassion and forgiveness. God had prepared the way. He covers and protects us. We must trust Him to take care of those scary details.

Sharing our story brings a certain amount of freedom. Ignoring it and pretending you are okay will never allow your wounds to heal. It remains a hidden sin.

Psalm 34:5 states: “Those who look to Him are radiant; and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Go to God. Look to Him to be in the midst of your confession. Prayer beforehand is a must. God will surely bring peace into the situation. You can TRUST HIM in all things.

It is the beginning to receiving a complete healing and transformation in your life. It also brings about a more intimate relationship with God and your loved ones. Truly, it is about trusting Him with your uttermost secret. It is knowing that He will work this secret out for your good when you confess.

What He wants most for us is healing and freedom. Lean into the One who knows and loves you most. Jesus gives beauty from the ashes of abortion. He did it for me, He will definitely do it for you.

Jesus, thank you for bringing beauty where there were ashes. We praise you for your mercy, compassion and forgiveness of our sins. Thank you for the freedom you bring into our messes. Amen.

Deeper Still is ministry that offers free weekend healing retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to to find a retreat close to you.

Is Abortion Compassionate?

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

There is a belief that “pro-lifers” do not care about children after they are born but rather they just do not want women to have the choice of abortion. This stance may coexist with an opinion that it is more compassionate for a woman to have an abortion than for a child to grow up in foster care, abandoned, in poverty, drug-exposed, abused or raised by someone who wasn’t able to parent. In this view, abortion is the more compassionate choice. Curious, I did a little reading on the pro-choice side to increase understanding of this viewpoint. 

In an article entitled, “Argument for Abortion: A Q & A with Rebecca Todd Peters”, the author writes:

A reproductive-justice framework highlights the difficulties women face when they do have children, raising those children in a country that tolerates obscene levels of poverty, obscene levels of racism and damage to vulnerable children and families. 

She further says:

Having a child, I argue, is a larger moral decision than having an abortion, because the moral requirements of motherhood are enormous.

Even writing those words breaks my heart. This viewpoint neglects vital facts. One is our Creator God who has designed each person and formed them together in the womb and knew each of their days before they were even born.  (Psalm 139)

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. Psalm 139: 13-16

Also, each person is uniquely created by God for a divine and specific purpose, fashioned together with His perfect design. Abortion squelches a life meant for divine purpose and design. It snuffs the life out of a person who had a life to live. Sixty-million lives lost this year in the world through abortion. Children who will never grow to live out their full God-given destiny and purpose. 

In addition, the viewpoint expressed by this author and others also dismisses individually responsibility for being a parent and takes God completely out of the picture.  How many grown men and women living and active today as productive and life-giving members of society have come from less than desirable beginnings? All people are precious and deserving of life no matter where they are or where they come from. 

Thirdly, this viewpoint discounts the devastating results of abortion on an individual, families and society as a whole. Abortion steals and destroys a mother and father’s heart. No wonder there are so many in our culture and world unable to parent effectively and nurture the way the Lord intended. Our mother’s and father’s hearts have been destroyed in the name of choice. And children around the world are suffering for it. But to continue the cycle by validating the vicious culprit that had much to do with the poverty of spirit to begin with makes as much sense as drinking poison to try to cure a different poison ingested. Only further harm results and lives are devastated in the process. 

For the past nine years, I have served at about forty Deeper Still retreats. Forty retreats, where I have seen 100’s of women who have had abortions, as well as men who fathered children who were lost to abortion. These women and men come broken, hurting, damaged, and desperate for healing. Abortion hurts women and men. It steals, kills and destroys. There is nothing life-giving in it. It is only through the blood of Jesus and His restoration and healing power that these lives are transformed and healed.  And then these men and women rise up to speak the truth and the positive cycle can advance. 

When asked about the question of rape. In this tragic and traumatic situation, abortion only adds trauma on top of trauma. She needs love, support, and care. Abortion is not an answer.

We must continue to speak the truth and counter the darkness.

Children are precious and every child deserves to be in a loving home, but even if that cannot be the case for everyone, is destroying the life before birth the answer? Is that compassionate?  And is it compassionate for the mothers and fathers who make that choice? Or does that excuse people from responsibility and further aggregate the poverty of our society’s conscious and sense of what is right? Is our God able to rescue and restore lives that are hurting and broken?  Is He not God? Are we to decide which lives are worthy of living and which are not? These children lost to abortion are worth the fight and God is bigger. He is God and He is able. He is compassion. He is life. He is love.

Father, we pray for those who have been blinded into believing that abortion is compassionate. Lord, I pray for eyes to be open to your truth about life and who you are as the Creator and Giver of life. Father, I pray for those thinking about abortion this minute to be awakened to the truth of who you are and how you will make a way for them and their child to live if they just reach out their hands to you. Lord, we also pray for every child that is being born into less than desirable circumstances. Would you rescue your sweet ones and protect them from the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. May your truth that you have come to bring life shed hope on the hopeless, lost and broken. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

If you have had an abortion, there is healing. Go to for more information on our retreats.

Lives Worthy of Honor

“…and through Him (Jesus), He reconciled all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the cross.  Thank you that you have reconciled all things, things on earth or in heaven.  Lord, I pray for the truth of life to flow and that those lost to abortion would be reconciled to their earthly mother and fathers and honored as your beloved children.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Several years ago while attending a women’s conference, one of the speakers spoke about her daughter who had passed away at six weeks old.  My heart ached for her.  Afterward, I went up to the speaker and expressed how sorry I was for the loss of her daughter.  She joyfully said, “I love sharing about my daughter…it gives me the opportunity to talk about her.  I get to talk about my son playing soccer and how he is doing in school, but this is the only time I really get to talk about my daughter.”

There was something in the way she spoke of her daughter and honored her life that caught my attention.  A mother grieving her daughter, saying she missed her and loved her, stirred up in me a longing…a longing to talk about my daughter.

I have a daughter Sarah, who is beautiful and now fifteen years old. And I talk about Sarah all the time, about her dancing, her sweet spirit and heart for God.  But today I want to tell you about my other daughter…the one I will never hold this side of heaven. The one I will never take to dance class or tie her hair up in the pony tail.  I will never rock her to sleep as I gently sing a goodnight song or take her shopping for a new dress for Easter.  My daughter…Kori Danielle.

A part of me even feels that perhaps I lost the right to talk about her.  But then a quiet whisper reassures me.  I am not the same person who ended her life.  Yes, I said it– I ended her life.  My choicewhat a lie.  But please understand, she is not a blob of tissue and it was not just a procedure or a choice…she is a person, a real person and I grieve her loss.  And I want to honor her.  I want to talk about her.  I want you to know she is real. 

According to Urban Dictionary, Kori means “Perfect. Perfection in every sense of the word thus more complicated than life itself.”  It also says, “Kori is the result of a complex mathematical equation that can’t be calculated by the human mind.”  I find that interesting to say the least!  Kori is indeed perfect and I don’t think my mind can quite fathom all of that.

But the meaning that I have heard before and I love is from a baby names site,, and it means, “God’s peace.”  Oh how I love that! 

God has indeed given me much peace and it brings me peace to know Kori is with her Heavenly Father and is indeed perfect.

Danielle is her middle name and the Lord gave me her middle name at the Deeper Still Retreat I went to in April 2013.  When I first heard what Danielle meant, my heart sank.  Danielle means, “God is my judge.”  Ouch.  Really?  Lord, why would that be her middle name?  Then the Lord answered me, “Because you see, others cannot judge you, I am your judge and you are acquitted by the blood of Jesus.  Jesus has paid the penalty and I find no guilt in you.”  Again, perfect.  Kori Danielle.  What a perfect name for a perfect daughter. 

I believe her hair is dark with olive colored skin.  She tans really well and has gorgeous green-brown eyes.  Her heart is only pure, never knowing the pain or sin of this world.  And she loves me. 

There was a time when I didn’t feel worthy of her love.  But the Lord has told me, “All she has ever known is my love, how could she not love you.” 

In a world, where no one wants to hear about the baby lost due to choice, thank you for allowing me to honor her today.  Kori Danielle would have been born in 1994 and she would now be 22 years old.  Her birthday would have been around this time of year.  Thank you for allowing me to share a little about my daughter as a doting mom would.  I know you may not understand, but thank you for this space to share.

I honor you Kori and look forward to the day when we can meet face to face.-  Your loving mother, Sue

October is Infant and Child Loss Awareness Month. For any of you who have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, accidents, illnesses, we grieve your loss with you. We are so sorry for your loss, and we know nothing we can say can ease the pain. We love you and pray comfort and healing for you today. We honor your child with you.

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend healing retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to to find a retreat close to you.

Does God Really Forgive All Sins?

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:15

Many who have had an abortion struggle with believing they are forgiven and often it is hardest to forgive oneself. We know Christ died to forgive all our sins, however, we tend to qualify our sins. Shame shrouds our minds and entices us to believe Christ died to forgive some sins, but the lie is that there are sins beyond His grace. Abortion is one that falls under this fallacy. Our ideology that condemns us needs to be stripped away and banished with the same measure the Lord used as a picture of His unconditional forgiveness and grace–as far as the east is from the west.

This doesn’t diminish or negate what abortion is, but rather magnifies the greatness of His mercy, love, and grace towards every one of us. Is there any without sin?

The west cannot touch the east. There is no point in which they converge. The same is true of our sins. The blood of Jesus Christ cancels our sins and our debt. Your sins are so far removed that Father God even forgets they were ever yours. As the east cannot touch the west, your sin cannot touch you once you have laid it down at the foot of the cross of grace.

Today as you look across to the east or west, will you picture your sins at the edge of the horizon, then further. If you take one step towards them, they take one step back. It is an unattainable quest! Praise be to our Lord Jesus!

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend healing retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to to find a retreat close to you.

Surrendering Our Spoiled

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord; ‘Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.” Jeremiah 18:1-4

When we consider the sovereignty of God, there is much mystery and wrestling with the unknown and what our minds cannot comprehend outside of divine revelation. Some may consider abortion to be part of God’s will, and if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t have happened. Is everything that happens God’s will? Where does free will play into that? These are age old questions that we will not seek to answer today. However, in His sovereignty, God will use our mistakes and sins and turn what was meant for evil for good if we allow Him.

Abortion was my decision, and with it all the consequences thereof. God says He fashioned all my days in His book. I believe He had a better plan for my life, even though knowing all, He knew every moment of my life and every choice and circumstance that would face me. Our wandering hearts often drift from His plan, “spoiling” His original design. Thankfully for us, God always has a plan. He is always ready with clay in hand to make us into a new creation, a new vessel, for His new intended purpose.

I can’t help but think that the day I choose abortion God already had a plan for what He would do with what I spoiled, already dreaming about the new vessel He would create when I surrendered to His hand.

This is the hope we all have. All sin in some way spoils the intended use of God’s chosen vessels. But when we surrender our messy clay back into His hand, trusting Him to work it into an image of His glory, a miracle of transformation transpires. This is His amazing, ongoing invitation, to take what was broken and make us new. His divine exchange.

Perhaps another way to picture it is like we have fallen into a pit, deep and impossible to climb out, thereby becoming a prison. But there is a door inside the pit, and all we have to do is open this door into freedom. This door is labeled “Forgiveness”. The simplicity of the gospel is why it is beautiful. And all that is needed in order for God to rework and reshape the clay that was spoiled is like that open door, to forgive and ask for forgiveness– an open invitation out of the pit into freedom.

The Way out is easy. The Way of Jesus is one of restoration, hope, transformation, making of all things new. This is His promise. If you have felt stuck in the pit because of the past sin of abortion or believed God could no longer use you as His vessel, take courage, He already has in mind the vessel to be reshaped into His new creation for His chosen purpose. Through His forgiveness, He leads us into freedom, remolding us for His purposes, as it seems good for Him to do.

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend healing retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to to find a retreat close to you