Unplanned Movie- To see or Not to See

project

The movie Unplanned debuted a couple weeks ago. Prior the movie release, the air was filled with buzz and promotion including this blog space advertising it’s arrival with eager anticipation and expectation, encouraging all to see it.

The day after the movie opened in our city, a group from the Deeper Still ministry went together to see the movie. I wasn’t able to go with my tribe that day due to a prior commitment but would have gone without hesitation.

A couple days later I received a text from a post-abortive friend asking if I had seen the movie. She asked if she should go or if it would trigger her into a tailspin of emotions. It was at this moment that I came in touch with a reality unprocessed up until that point—how real and close to home this movie might hit me.

What was once a non-negotiable determination drifted quite suddenly into a flight response.

After debating, I determined the captivity of fear had conquered long enough. Taking up my courage (along with three very loving friends), I decided to go. Together we braved the theater– my husband on one side of me, and a dear friend and her husband on the other.

To be truthful, it was hard—not the entire movie, but a few parts. There was one part in particular where I held onto my husband’s hand and my friend’s hand at the same time and sobbed.  But when it was all said and done, I can wholeheartedly say I’m glad I saw it and plan to take my sixteen-year-old son this weekend at his request.

This movie shows a truth that needs to be told. If you are post-abortive, yes, be aware this may and probably will trigger emotions in you. Possibly even bring emotions to the surface that have been buried deep for years or decades. But those emotions being felt and recognized are better than them being tucked away in a closet of your heart seeping out into your behaviors and interactions with others. It may feel safer to avoid and keep the pain inside, but long term it isn’t good or healthy. Emotional trauma has all matters of negative effects on the body (physically, emotionally, and/or mentally.) Abortion is an enormous physical, emotional, and spiritual trauma.

I believe the Holy Spirit will meet you in your place of greatest need.  If you have had an abortion, He will meet you in this movie and begin the healing journey. Or if you’d had some healing, take you deeper in healing. Deeper Still is a ministry that holds healing retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered those children who were aborted. Our retreats are free of charge and if you are in need of healing from an abortion, we’d love to walk with you during this healing journey.

The Lord is full of mercy and compassion and fully wants His sons and daughters healed and set free. This movie is setting in motion an awareness of the need for healing. Sometimes the wounds of our hearts have become a thorn we have grown accustomed to living with, leaving us unaware to the devastating impact on our lives. The Holy Spirit will at the proper time allow pain to surface beyond what we had become use to enduring, as an indicator of the need for healing.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit has brought pain to the surface through seeing the movie Unplanned or even just this blogpost. Whatever the catalyst, the Lord doesn’t waste our pain, nor does He despise it. He is very much in tune to our pain and His aim and desire is always to heal.

Please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org today to find out about our healing retreats in various parts of the country in April.  Also, a good place to start finding healing until you can attend a retreat is through Karen Ellison’s book, Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, available on the Deeper Still website or Amazon.

We want you to find healing, but more importantly the Lord Jesus wants you healed and set free from the bondages of sin and captivity. May each person in need of healing find it. The Lord will meet you in your greatest need in a way greater than you could ever have expected. His love for you is beyond compare. He is calling.

“Sing O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted.” Isaiah 49:13

Father, we thank you that you comfort your people and have mercy on the afflicted. Father, bring healing to the parts of my heart that need your loving care and give mercy in my greatest need. Bring understanding and enlighten my awareness of your love, even in the darkest places. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Abortion Fatigue

Riley Lord's drawing

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galations 6:9

In the news, on social media, we are constantly bombarded with messages. There is no escaping the articles, opinions, and even blog posts about abortion and choice. This message may be the single most polarizing on the planet when it comes to discussing our views with our fellow mankind.

I get it…the fatigue, the complacency, the scrolling over. In fact, there are times when I get tired. Tired of the fight. Tired of the talk. Tired of putting myself and the truth found in God’s Holy Word out there again and again and again. And I think, enough already.

Today I was discussing this very thought with my Father, not my earthly dad, but my heavenly Dad.

“Lord, people are tired of hearing about this…”

But then, that voice…,you know, the familiar still small voice that calms our hearts and centers our soul, spoke to my spirit and simply asked me a question.

“Is the Father tired of hearing about it? Is the Lord tired of talking about it?”

Immediately, I knew the answer. Oh Father, forgive me. No, you are not tired of hearing about it, you are not tired of fighting for it, you are not tired of talking about it. You do not grow weary. You do not lose heart. All this. Life. The unborn, image-bearers created in the image of God are very much on the heart of the Father. No, He will never grow weary of talking about His beloved creation, and how precious they are to Him. His beloved are worthy of our words.

Then the Lord reminded me of a picture a friend of mine posted on social media the day prior…a picture her thirteen-year-old daughter had drawn– the picture above. The Lord used the beautifully detailed artwork of a thirteen-year-old by the name of Riley Lord to affirm in that moment that not only are the unborn on the Father’s heart, they are held close to Him, and knit together by His hands.

How the Lord loves his children and uses children of all ages to speak His truth.

“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.” Psalm 139: 13-14

God is not tired of this topic and if He is not, then neither should we nor the church.

I would like to share with you about a much anticipated movie being released this week nationwide that every person needs to see. This movie is Unplanned. You can find out more information at https://www.unplannedfilm.com/ .  This movie will also shed more light on the truth of this topic.

Let us not grow weary in well-doing my friends. Let us stay closely in tune to what is on the heart of the Father, and ever close to what He holds dear in His hands.

Father, that is our prayer today, let us not grow weary in well-doing. Father, keep our hearts beating fast in line with your heart. Lord, may we not tire of truth. May we champion the cause of life and be a light sharing your message of truth, love, and the value of Your beloved, those You carefully and lovingly knit together in the palms of Your hands. They are indeed worthy of our words. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to learn more about the Deeper Still ministry and our healing retreats. You can also find and purchase Karen Ellison’s book Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal on our website.

 

Life in the Church

This post is written by the President and Founder of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison. Karen has a book that just came out called Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church They Fear.

The sanctity of human life has been a defining battle in the 21st century

For the church to turn the tide on the culture of death, the theology of the sanctity of human life needs to be at the core of doctrinal orthodoxy. The sanctity of human life is not a fringe doctrine, or a specialized side issue to address once a year on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. It is a part of basic Christian discipleship and service. This means the church needs to help us develop a mindset for the sanctity of human life.

Dear pastor, we sincerely need to hear from you—but not just you—we need to hear from your elders, those gatekeepers who guard the orthodoxy and doctrines of the church. When they weigh in, it matters. Are your youth pastors and your young adult pastors openly addressing the sanctity of human life and human sexuality? Are these truths and teachings permeating every sphere of your church culture? 

A disturbing segmenting has developed in the Church over the years. You have your Christians, and then you have your pro-life Christians. This ought not to be. Some are particularly gifted for and specifically called to certain pro-life outreaches, but as far as how we identify ourselves, what we teach, our discipleship models, and the ways we serve and give our finances, we should be weaving an open and life-affirming culture within the entire fabric of our faith community.

If our spiritual leaders embrace these things, then we will begin to see women and men start to come out of the closet and trust you for help. It will start with a few, but when they gain their healing, then they will get their heart back and then their voice back, and once they get their voice, they will be able to expose the truth behind abortion and the lies that keep people bound.

Consider these verses:

I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. (Psalm 40:9–10)

But when hearts are still bound by underlying guilt, shame, and grief, then much of their service is driven by performance and the need to prove something to you, God, themselves, and others.

I am fully convinced and convicted that when abortion-wounded men and women who are Christ followers accept the Lord’s invitation to go deeper still in their journey to healing and lasting freedom, then we will see an army arise. This army will be made up of mighty warriors who can advocate for the lives of unborn children.

But at present, that segment of the Bride of Christ considers itself unfit for the end-time church adventure. She believes that the glorious end-time in-gathering of the saints yet to be saved will be the inheritance of more worthy Christians. But I am confident that this soon and coming Bridegroom is fiercely committed not only to her redemption, but He will do anything to gain her affections and trust. He is coming for a bride without spot or wrinkle, and He will rescue her from the vicious pimp that stole her away and then enslaved her.

When the Bride of Christ regains her identity and gets her voice back, she will become empowered to take up the charge for those who can’t speak for themselves. Right now, most of this army is like the living dead.

This Bride needs shepherds who will recognize that she has been taken captive and enslaved by another master. She may be sitting in the pew every Sunday morning, and he may be serving as a Sunday morning greeter, but their sense of personal destiny and contribution in the things of God and His Kingdom are superficial.

The Church in every generation has had its defining battles to fight and its causes to champion. In this 21st century, the sanctity of human life is surely one of these defining issues.

If we lock arms, together we can prepare this Bride for her Bridegroom.

– Karen A. Ellison,

Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church they Fear

Click on to learn more or to order on www.GoDeeperStill.org 

 

 

 

Living in an Abortion-Wounded World

A worldview devoid of the fundamental truth of the value of life will treat its people differently.

This post is written by the President and Founder of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison. Karen has a book that just came out called Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church They Fear.

The United States accounts for fewer than 2% of the world’s annual abortions. Internationally, statistics reveal anywhere from 42 to 56 million abortions occur every year. As mind-numbing as those numbers are, we can’t just ignore them as if that reality is someone else’s problem.

 If what I’ve described in this book and the testimonies I’ve shared are a microcosm of what’s going on in the hearts, minds, and lives of billions of people around the world every day of every year, then we have a huge global crisis. The truth is we live in an abortion-wounded world. It’s a deadly blight on the peoples and the nations of the earth, but this affliction is a hidden one.

Whether someone chose an abortion or an abortion was forced upon them, no one wants to go public with their inner torment. This affliction is not recognized as a crisis in our world like starvation, disease, or even sex trafficking, but it is every bit as deadly to the soul and the spirit of the nations. Deeper Still has had opportunities to minister in some international settings, and our materials have been used in many others.  We have had participants from Africa, South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. We have a lot to learn from each other, but we observed early on that we all shed the same tears over our sorrows. We all need the same Savior.

LIFE International is a wonderful ministry that has directly taken the message and theology of the sanctity of human life into 64 nations and has influence and materials in close to 90 nations, http://www.LIFEInternational.com. Praise God for this pioneering movement to reach the other 98% of the abortion-vulnerable world. In recent years, LIFE International has used a version of our Deeper Still materials as part of their abortion healing training in 29 countries. They, too, have witnessed firsthand that although people come from different cultures, traditions, and worldviews, certain things are universal and cripple people the world over. These are things like guilt, shame, grief, regret, fear, anger, and hopelessness.

The abortion-wounded heart is found in every tongue and tribe, and many of those people have no knowledge of a God who would have great compassion on them if they would just call upon His name. He wants to heal them and free them from the shackles that have them bound. But He also wants to renew their minds with the truth that their offspring are heaven sent and should be considered their most treasured resource and inheritance.

A worldview devoid of the fundamental truth of the value of life will treat its people differently. Instead of being valued intrinsically, the question is are you an asset or a liability to our society?

The testimony of so many abortion-wounded people is this: “it affected every area of my life.” If you think about all the women and men in the world who have participated in abortion, and if they, too, are living with these consequences in every area of their lives, then addressing their abortion-wounded heart could revolutionize their lives, not to mention their nation.

What if it was part of the strategic ministry plan for every missionary organization and every church planter to not only plant churches for the sake of getting the gospel into foreign lands and for getting people saved, but, in addition, as part of their core discipleship strategy, they would teach people the theology of the sanctity of human life? When people have knowledge of biblical truths, then the Holy Spirit can begin to work. When the Holy Spirit is given access to people’s hearts and begins to renew their minds, then they begin to get convicted about the spiritual strongholds and idols that have held them captive.

– Karen A. Ellison,

Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church they Fear

Click on to learn more or to order on www.GoDeeperStill.org 

Father, we live in an abortion-wounded world. We know you see every heart and every heartache. Father, we ask for your providential strategy and provision to reach across the globe to minister to those suffering from the pain of abortion. Heal their hearts. Heal the nations. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen.

What’s in a Name

But I love your feet only because the walked upon the earth and upon the wind and upon the waters, until they found me.

Today’s post is written by the President and Founder of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison. Karen has a book that just came out called Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church They Fear.

The first time I visited the National Memorial for the Unborn, I was taken aback by how deeply it affected me. I knew it was going to be profound, but I think I was surprised by how strongly I felt the presence of Jesus. Even as I first stepped over the threshold before I even got to the wall of names, tears began to well up in my eyes. I knew I was on holy ground. As my husband and I walked into the room of the wall of names, it took my breath away. We spent the next hour just silently reading the names and the epitaphs and looking at the letters and gifts people had left on the granite shelf.

I think the reason I sensed Jesus’ presence so strongly that day was because He was and is so pleased that a group of people took the time, money, and effort to create a space and a place to honor those children that the world discards without a second thought. In Jesus’ eyes, these children have names and identities and are now full of eternal destiny.

These children were not war heroes. They didn’t accomplish some major feat the world would acclaim. They did not even die from a disease where family and friends spent many long hours in the hospital praying for them and loving them before they had to finally let them go. The only thing these children brought to their existence is that Father God created them and began to knit them together in the womb of their mothers here on earth. From our perspective, they were a liability, but from heaven’s perspective, they were full of destiny.

I think that’s why the affirmation of Jesus’ presence is so strong in that little plot of land in Chattanooga. It’s because some of God’s people valued these children that were heaven sent but earth rejected and saw to it that they could be honored by displaying their names.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolish to him and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 states, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”

Aren’t you glad you were honored enough to have been given something as simple as a name? If you have a name, you matter. Isaiah 43:1 says God calls us by name. Have you ever read the pages and pages of genealogies in the Bible? I know they have historical significance, but I wonder if the Lord had all those names recorded so that we, millennia later, would understand that these were real people that made Biblical history and the Lord knows them all by name. We are not some random existential biological composite that emerged out of nothingness. By no means!

We were created by a faithful and intentional Heavenly Father who knit us together in our mother’s womb, who breathed into us the breath of life, and who dignified us with a name.

– Karen A. Ellison,

Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church they Fear (Click on to learn more or to order on www.GoDeeperStill.org )

Father, forgive us, forgive us as a nation for not cherishing what you called treasured. Forgive us for choosing our own rights and destiny instead of trusting you with each of these precious ones you ordained for life before even the world we live in and enjoy was spoken into existence. Who are we to think we can take a life when you, oh Lord, are the giver of life.  Oh Lord, forgive us, heal the hearts of the people in our land and turn hearts to value what you value.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Three Primary Emotions of Abortion-Wounds

Jesus doesn’t just validate our losses— He heals them.

Today’s post is written by the President and Founder of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison. Karen has a book that just came out called Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church They Fear.

People with abortion-wounded hearts who are ready to acknowledge that something is not right in their soul will easily name at least three primary emotions that haunt them: guilt, shame, and grief. I certainly would have named those three, but, to me, they felt deeper than just emotions; they became more like conditions of my heart.

Guilt: A moral condition that produces guilty feelings. When we break one of God’s moral laws, we feel guilt because we are guilty. The human soul was not created to carry the weight of moral guilt. We can’t just brush it off. It requires a recompense, an atonement, or a punishment.

Shame: It’s the companion of guilt and part of the consequence of moral guilt. Shame kind of feels like it sounds. It’s heavy, it’s slimy, it covers you, and it’s full of accusation. Shame begins to redefine you and tries to tell you who you are and who you are not. Shame is demanding, and, eventually, it intertwines with your personality and tries to convince you it’s just part of who you are, so just accept it and move on.

Grief: Unspecific grief is like a dreary day. There’s a constant drizzle to it, but it never really ends; unlike a storm that comes in with thunder, lighting, and rain. It does what storms do and then it leaves. And once it moves on, the sky clears and the sun comes out. Grieving that is not redemptive or tied to a specific loss will not go away but will turn into a lingering depression and despair.

Guilt, shame, and grief can rotate like a vicious tornadic cycle. Until this vicious triad is broken apart, it will never dissipate. For an abortion-wounded heart to be freed from this vicious triad, there first needs to be a spiritual reconciliation with God to remove the moral guilt. When this happens our hearts are cleansed, softened, and submitted to God. This is how our heart gets circumcised. And just like the Lord promised the children of Israel in Joshua 5:7–9, He said after they crossed the Jordan and were circumcised, God would roll away the reproach (or shame) of Egypt from their hearts. When you are carrying guilt and shame from an abortion, your grief can never be legitimized or validated because it is muddled in with all that guilt and shame. Therefore, you can never experience pure grief. But once your conscience has been cleared of the moral guilt and once your reproach and that stifling shame have been washed away, then you are free to acknowledge your loss. You can then recognize that your loss was not a just blob of tissue but a baby, and not just any baby, but your baby. What an amazing gift that Jesus Christ has given us through His sacrifice and suffering. He made a way to pay for our debt, change our heart, reconcile our relationships, and validate our losses. But He doesn’t just validate them— He heals them. His compassion is deep and wide and able to absorb our pain. He is the God of all comfort. He longs to comfort us in our losses.

Through Him, we can experience redemptive grieving. When our abortion-wounded grieving is redemptive, then we are empowered to give back to our children—not from a place of guilt but from a place of moral clarity and selfless honor. We can now see them from the new vantage point of a restored heart. We can give them our mother’s or father’s blessing, and we can give them their names. We can bless them with the honor and dignity of a name.

-Karen A. Ellison, Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church they Fear.

If you have had an abortion, go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find out more about healing and retreats available.

Men Awake

Today’s post is written by the President and Founder of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison. Karen has a book that just came out called Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church They Fear.

Let the sea set you free.

 

HE GOT TO HIS FEET during our prayer meeting, and with fresh conviction, passion, and authority, he announced, “Awake, Awake, Awake!” We were gathered to pray about men and abortion. We were seeking the Lord and asking Him to move in the hearts of men around the world. This movement needs their leadership for sure, but the most important step before they can be effective leaders is that they too must submit to the surgeon’s knife of the Great Physician and allow their hearts to be healed and set free from the ravages of abortion.

Their abortion-wounded hearts keep them from having a mindset for entering this battle in a redemptive and restorative way. Much ground has been lost, as our men and brothers have lost their sense of identity as men, fathers, protectors, providers, and leaders. We cannot turn the tide on our culture of death until our men lock arms with us women and together we begin to rebuild the ancient ruins. One of the promises God gives us when we say yes to His restoration plan is that “they shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations” (Isaiah 61:4).  

The abortion debate goes on and on, year after year, and rarely is it even considered that a man would—or should— have a legitimate voice in this debate. If a male politician, for example, speaks out to defend the life of the unborn, he is immediately jumped on, politically castrated, and accused of hating women. If men are not secure in their identity as leaders and protectors of the innocent, and if they don’t have a clear understanding that they have been commissioned by their creator to fight for our families, then they will be paralyzed into passivity. If men take their identity cues from the angry, wounded (albeit well-intentioned from their worldview perspective) feminist voice of the culture, they will conclude that not only do they not have a right to enlist in this army, but it will be a lot safer for them to stay home and mind their own business.

In his mind, he’s not sure how to separate the mission of protecting the life and well-being of women and children from the female who stands before him with claws out and insisting that he doesn’t have a dog in this fight. If she confronts or challenges his position (even if her debate tactics include barbs and sarcasm), it is generally viewed as fair game. If, on the other hand, that man confronts or challenges her position, it is viewed as an attack or worse. But the underlying assumption seems to be that men, in general, are too clueless or obtuse to understand what would be a benevolent solution for women and children in crisis—so stay out of it!

For Christ-followers, we know that the real enemy is first spiritual. We know that we fight forces that are not flesh and blood but are spiritual powers and principalities in heavenly places. We also fight sin in the heart and mind, which all amounts to enmity between the sexes. I recently heard a metaphor that sounded fresh and hopeful to me. If women are pink and men are blue, what do you get when you mix pink and blue? You get purple. Purple is one of those colors of God. It reflects His rich beauty, strength, and royalty. It also reveals the royal standing of those of us who are His sons and daughters. I think there’s great hope for a battle strategy that entails enlisting the best of the feminine heart with the best of the masculine. Then we can identify the real enemy, clarify our mission, and gain back the ground we’ve lost. Only then will the army of God be complete and equipped to defeat the spirit of child sacrifice as it manifests itself in our day and age. Together we can work to heal the ravages of those with blood on their hands, and those who have abortion-wounded hearts.

– Karen A. Ellison,

Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church they Fear (Click on to learn more or to order on www.GoDeeperStill.org)

Father, we ask for our men to awake and arise to join in fighting for life. We pray our men would step into their real identity as protectors, warriors, champions of defending the innocent, and leaders of their families. Lord, may our men awake in our country to be the husbands, sons, and fathers you’ve called them to be. And may we as women lock arms with our men, as one with them, in unity to advance the culture of life and the Kingdom of God. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

 

 

What the Church Needs to Know

 

Book covers

Today’s post is written by the President and Founder of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison. Karen has a book that was just released called Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church They Fear.

“MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF.” These were the words I heard coming from the pastor I had just confessed my abortion to and to whom I had just poured out my heart. His response initially left me feeling stunned. I’m sure I had a puzzled look on my face. But within seconds, I could feel my soul shrinking back like a wave that recedes from the shore. I was expectant or hopeful that my desperate heart would receive some profound morsel that would have satisfied my hunger for relief. But what I got felt like a sip of sugar water.

It takes a lot of emotional willpower to pour out your story to a stranger. But when it’s a pastor, you have certain expectations that he will give you the words of life that your desperate soul needs to hear. Now, in this man’s defense, my mother and I had no relationship with this clergyman. Our shame-filled, abortion-wounded hearts would not dare seek out a spiritual shepherd that knew us or was invested in our spiritual health. We took the cowardly path of anonymity, hoping we would find the words of life we needed from a random man with a collar.

After he told me I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, he then said that the church (referring to his denomination) had not yet taken a position on abortion. The implication was that abortion is a gray area, so don’t jump to any self-condemning conclusions until we get this thing figured out. I was a 22-year-old heartbroken young lady, grieving and feeling as if I’d forfeited all the good things God had for me in life, but in that moment, I felt as if I should turn the table and be the one to minister to this pastor and help him understand what abortion really is and what it does to people. I believe he was a good and caring man. I believe he heard my story and was filled with compassion for me. And he in no way condemned me or tried to put any legalistic yoke upon me. But he also didn’t see my deepest need, nor did he — know how to speak to it. For me to hear that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself was like a man of God telling me that “the blood stain on your hands was really not that bad, and yes, you’ve been through something hard but you’re young and you have your whole life in front of you, so don’t fret; it’s going to be okay.”

So why didn’t those words satisfy? What did I need to hear from that shepherd that day? I believe I simply needed to hear and be convinced of this: that the blood shed by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross was sufficient to pay my debt and that His blood speaks louder than the blood of my children that cries out from the ground. It’s that truth that will lift the yoke of bondage, set the captive free, and will breathe new life into a deflated soul. Receiving that truth would not have been the end of my healing journey, but it certainly would have been a beginning.

If you are a pastor, my hope is that you will take encouragement in this: Your influence, both through your teachings and through the corporate intercession of your leadership, will make a difference in the decisions people make, even if it’s without your knowledge. You and your leaders can create a safe environment for your lambs to be rescued from the thicket if you bring forth the hard truth about abortion and couple it with your shepherding heart of love, mercy, and grace.

A pastor has the influence to affirm this new season of healing, wholeness, and integration into the body. I cannot overstate how significant a pastor’s invitation and affirmation will be in this person’s life as they find their place in the body.

I fully acknowledge that you have a tough job. You want to speak the truth in love, but it’s hard to know how to do that when, statistically speaking, maybe a third of the women and men in your congregations have been involved with abortion in one way or another. Because no matter how lovingly and grace-filled you try to address the subject of abortion, the truth is that many cannot hear it. People with abortion-wounded hearts have a grid of condemnation and shame, and everything they hear about abortion gets filtered through that grid. And trust me, they are squirming in their seats even if they appear unphased on the outside. But here’s my encouragement—please don’t choose to avoid it because some may not yet receive your grace. You can expose that it’s the strongholds of shame and condemnation that keep them bound and unable to confess their sin and receive redemption and healing. When we’re wounded, we let those strongholds define how we hear the message of salvation, forgiveness, and deliverance. Sometimes just calling out the elephants in the room will cause those elephants to bow before the powerful name of Jesus Christ.

Would you be willing to ask your congregation to put away their own sense of taboo about talking about abortion and be committed to becoming a caring and healing community. These shifts will begin to change the atmosphere regarding abortion and the rules of the engagement so these men and women can find healing and freedom.

 – Karen A. Ellison,

Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church they Fear (Click on to learn more or to order on Amazon.)

 Lord, we pray for the church to be enlightened to the truth. We pray for those sitting in our congregations to find healing and freedom from abortion-wounds. Lord, help your people and bring freedom and healing to this abortion-wounded world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

Hope and Healing for the Abortion-Wounded

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Isaiah 61:1

Dear Heavenly Father, how will they know if we do not speak. How will they know unless we raise our voices. You were sent to heal the brokenhearted, to speak and shout about liberty to the captives, and open the prison for those who have been bound. Oh Lord, may we find our courage to speak boldly and proclaim your truth for the healing of the broken and deliverance of the captives. Father, heal your beloved and set your people free. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Lisa Davis is the Deeper Still Chapter Leader of Northern Indiana. Lisa resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana with her husband Mike of thirty-three year. She has been working in post-abortion healing ministry for over twenty years.

Thank you Lisa for sharing a part of your story today and proclaiming the good news to the captives. The truth can only come about when we use our freed voices and share the hope and healing found in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

lisa davis

I’m sure you heard the news. New York legalized abortion up to birth. However, New York is not the first. According to The Guttmacher Institute, seven other states and the District of Columbia already allow for abortion up to birth. These legislators are not hiding behind some idea that the unborn baby is not human. Rather, they place the decision of the mother before the rights of the baby. They are essentially saying that women need, and in fact, want abortion. They believe abortion is good for women. 

How is it they have come to believe this? I will tell you that after twenty years of working in the ministry to women who have had abortions, the vast majority of them would rather never breathe a word about their abortions to others. It is only after various combinations of depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationship problems, parenting problems, or signs of PTSD that some of them come to the point of desperation for healing. Sometimes this complicated grief takes years, even decades to process and is often attributed to other things.

As an R.N., when I worked on a psychiatric unit, we asked our patients if they had any losses- jobs, relationships, people, pets. We never asked them if they lost a baby to abortion. Abortion is a loss that is self-induced and highly suppressed. However, no amount of denying the humanity of the unborn and elevating the rights of the mother can hide the truth that there is indeed a child lost. But there is hope for healing.

God pours out healing in many ways. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is enough to bring healing through the forgiveness of sins. But still, many women fear judgement from others and keep their abortion secret. Many women (and men) don’t completely embrace God’s forgiveness and still walk in condemnation.

How will legislators ever know the truth about how abortion effects women if the only voices they hear are those that “shout their abortion”? I believe the women who shout their abortion have denied the reality that abortion took the life of their baby. I know because I used to be in denial. It was only after years of infertility and the daily example of my two living children-direct siblings of our first baby, lost to abortion- that brought about a keen awareness of my terrible choice.

My abortion was in 1983 with my now husband. We were not married at that time and at that time, his response was permissive. After 33 years of marriage, we are finally walking in the freedom and calling that God has on our lives. Together, we now facilitate Deeper Still Retreats- where a large measure of our healing took place. We went to separate retreats for focus, but I was able to be at his retreat as a team member to minister to the women there. Most of the pictures with this post are from his retreat. Oh how God poured out His tender mercies there! 

Don’t let another day go by without receiving all that God has intended for you. His plans are to prosper you, not to harm you. He wants to bring you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).

-Lisa Davis, Deeper Still of Northern Indiana Chapter Leader

The president and founder of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison, has a book coming out very soon, Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church They Fear.  It will be available on Amazon soon. There is an awakening happening in our country and a hunger being stirred for those with abortion-wounds to find help and healing.

Our hearts break for those like Lisa mentioned who are in need of healing. Jesus came to bind the brokenhearted and to set the captives free. There is hope and there is help. Go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find out more about our retreats and where one is near you. Our retreats are free of charge.

Changing A Culture to Value Life

 

nmu pic

“Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.” Psalm 46:6

Dear Heavenly Father, lift your voice through the many voices of others to change our culture to value life. Soften the hearts of your people to melt in this land. Open ears so they can hear and become torch-bearers to spread the message of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

This past Sunday, January 20, was Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. This is a day set apart to honor life. Sanctity of Human Life is not only about awareness of life in the womb but the need to honor all lives, whether just conceived or one-hundred and three or somewhere in between. It is about cherishing those with special needs as well as celebrating those blessed with abilities beyond our human comprehension. In essence, all life is worthy of celebration and honor, because all humans are created in the image of God. We are all image-bearers.

This past Sunday, my family and I went to the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga. It is a powerful place with a wall full of plaques honoring children lost to abortion. If you go, you will be impacted, and you won’t be able to help it. Everyone should go.

While we were there, my sixteen-year old son, confessed something…something that took great courage and trust to speak out. He told me that a couple years ago he was pro-choice, and thought women should have a right to choose whether they wanted to have their baby or not. But now he understands that it isn’t about a women’s right to choose whether or not they want to have a baby but about a life inside the womb and it isn’t right to take that life.

Somewhere between two years ago and now, his heart changed. He saw the hurt abortion caused women and men. He saw the devastation in the lives of those it impacted and he had a revelation of the value of life. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but there must have been voices that spoke truth that penetrated his heart.

This is what our world needs…voices. We need men and women freed from the wounds of abortion to stand up and speak life and truth so other young men, like my son, can hear words of truth and decide to take a stand for valuing life.

The Founder and President of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison, wrote a book that will be released soon that speaks truth, Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal-Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church They Fear.

It isn’t available yet, but it is coming soon. This book is a great tool for healing if you have had an abortion, a tool for understanding how abortion wounds, and for the church to understand what one-third of their congregation are living with and how to address this great need.

If we want our young men and women to understand and value life, it starts with us. It starts with us speaking words of life and love and compassion to those who are hurting. This is how a culture changes, one heart at a time, and then that person speaks life, and then another, until the message of love and healing is spread throughout the nations. We cannot change a culture with laws, it starts with individual hearts.