True Identity

Blue Photo World No Tobacco Day Social Media Graphic

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32

Everyone is being touched by the world crisis of COVID-19. Not one person is left unaffected by this pandemic, either in the form of physically having the virus, knowing someone who has it, losing a job, or being wrapped in disappointment and loss due to the virus.

Identity strings are being clipped leaving some feeling like a balloon floating up and up in the air without purpose or direction. Depending on perspective, this new ambivalence could feel uneasy or possibly freeing. Perhaps this is a time when the Lord wants to realign and tie new strings, anchored in truth.  

A common exhortation our pastor shares is “Know. Be. Do”

First, KNOW.

KNOW the Truth.

Jesus’ Words are, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)  I added capitalization of T’s to the word truth because Truth is a Person. Jesus.

When Jesus was standing before Pontius Pilate, he asked Jesus a question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38) Pilate didn’t realize the Truth was standing right in front of him.

Jesus is the Word made flesh. Abiding in His word is to abide in Him, the Truth Himself.

There are small “t” truths and big “T” Truths, which is a post for another time, but basically small “t” is circumstantial. Big “T” is the Truth of Jesus. Big “T” trumps little “t” every time.

First we must KNOW the Truth—Jesus.

Then we can BE. It is only by knowing the Truth and believing the Truth of who we are in Jesus Christ that our spirits can settle and BE.

This is where many believers are finding themselves at this moment. I am no longer a teacher, a business owner, a salesperson, a waitress, a pastor, etc. You can fill in the blank, almost anything fits. Who am I if I am none of those things? Jesus is saying,

“Just BE. You are My son. You are My daughter. My BEloved.”

This time is a gift. A gift of discovering the Truth of who we are, of our original destiny, purpose and the reason we were created—to be His. He loves us just for BE-ing His. Our love, worth, and value isn’t based on performance or what we do or don’t do. It is found in Him—Christ alone.

Then, when we KNOW the Truth, are able to rest in BE-ing a son/daughter, then our DO will come from the correct place. No longer will our “DO” come from a place to earn love, acceptance, approval, value, or worth, but rather from the place where we KNOW we are already loved, accepted, are approved of, and have worth, not because of who we are and what we do, but because of what He did.

My friends, we have been given a gift—the gift of a reset. Resetting our “Know. Be. Do” back into proper alignment.  Praying we rest in who we are in Him today.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that we are Yours. Thank you for sending Jesus to die to be our Savior. Thank you for the gift of Truth and that we can know the Truth and rest in being free to be Your sons or daughters. Reset and realign our hearts with Yours so that all we do in unto You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

If you have had an abortion and you find yourself struggling with approval addiction or performance, we encourage you to go to the Deeper Still ministry website to find resources and information about our retreats that are free of charge. The Lord is calling us all to a deeper place. Amen.

 

 

 

Shelter in Place

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91_1

 

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:1-2

Many states have issued a “Shelter in Place” act in response to the pandemic crisis of COVID-19.  Until recently, many may have not even heard the term “Shelter in Place” or even understood what it meant. When looking up the term online, Wikipedia defines it as “to seek safety within the building one already occupies, rather than seek a community shelter.”

“The building one already occupies.” As believers, the Holy Spirit occupies us and God says that we occupy, or abide (dwell) in Christ.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15: 5

“If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.” 1 John 2:24

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” 1 John 4:15

This Truth is comforting. Not only does Christ dwell in us but we are in Him.

Psalm 19:1 says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High…”.  Our shelter in place, our place of abiding or occupying, is His shelter, it is IN HIM.  What a comforting thought. What a beautiful and peaceful truth.

Praying we all look at “Shelter in Place” a little different today with this truth, that He is our Shelter, our Shield, our Refuge, and our Strength. We have a Shelter in Place and His name is Jesus.

Father, thank you for giving us the provision to abide in You, that not only does the Holy Spirit occupy us but that we also occupy or dwell in You. Thank You for this truth and comfort. Thank You for being our Shelter. We rest and trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Certain In Times of Uncertainty

John 16_33

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Uncertainty is a big word that can cause all manners of chaos. We can be uncertain about something as small as how to dress for an occasion or where to eat dinner. But then there are greater uncertainties that test our hearts and bring us to the edge of the cliff of trust.

I know this cliff well and have stepped off of it many times. There are times I have done well with trusting in the midst of uncertainty, and other times, well, let’s just say it took a while to recover from the fall off the cliff.

Trust is a small word with big consequences. Merriam-Webster defines trust as: Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; one in which confidence is placed.

When God is asking “Do you trust me?”  He is asking, “Do you believe in my character, ability, strength and the truth of who I am? Do you have confidence that I will come through for you?”

Sometimes, we choose to dive off the cliff because we think we can handle the situation on our own. That never works out well, and that fall can leave the worst kind of scar that only Jesus can heal. Or He doesn’t come through in the way we thought He would and when this happens, we can get tripped up and nearly or completely fall off the cliff.

Trust is an ongoing lesson. And with each lesson, our trust either deepens or waivers. In my experience, the sooner I surrender to trust, the sooner I see the Lord’s hand of grace, rescue, and redemption. In contrast, the farther I go away from trust, the longer I stay in worry, fear, anxiousness, and doubt.

Trust and worry are archenemies. And uncertainty is a breeding ground for testing our trust.

In these uncertain times, my hope is that we will hold onto the One who is always certain. He never waivers and never changes. That we will cling to the challenge of trusting when nothing makes sense and we are uncertain of what the futures holds, whether that is a strange virus or a marriage issue or a job change or whatever…there are always things we may be uncertain about. Nothing is new under the sun, and there will always be reasons to be uncertain of the future.

Uncertainty has always been there, it is what we do with it and who we look to in those times that counts the most.

In the words of Jesus, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

He is our Rock and our sure Foundation. We can be certain of His love for us and the closeness of His presence to reassure us that He indeed is trustworthy.

Father, we thank You that You are trustworthy. That You alone know the times, seasons, and hold our lives in Your hands. We know and trust that You are good, loving, and kind. We look to You to be our Rock, strength, and shield. We love You and we trust You knowing that even in the midst of uncertainty, we can be certain of You and Your love for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Growing the Garden {Prayer for Banquet}

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchul to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6_18 (2)

 

Dear Readers of the DS Devotional blog

Thank you for your faithful prayers over the years. It is such a privilege to be able to share our heart with you for life, healing, and freedom. We wanted to ask if you would join us in prayer for a special event tomorrow evening. Thursday, March 5, we will be having our annual fundraising banquet for the national Deeper Still Ministry, which now has expanded to eighteen chapters in the United States and two chapters internationally.

Our theme this year is “This Garden’s Gonna Grow”, based on the Jason Upton’s song. One of our chapter leaders, Paula Jacobson-Mol, wrote the following post below and it goes along perfectly with our theme this year. This post is a perfect example of how the Lord has been planting and growing the ministry of Deeper Still. Thank you for partnering with us in prayer as we believe the Lord for all the resources needed for this “garden” to grow and flourish. He is a good Gardener. 

Thank you Paula for our contribution today!

Thank you Heavenly Father for all the ways you nurture and grow Your people, Your ministries, Your Kingdom. Father, thank you for being a good Gardener. We ask that Your will would be done for every provision needed for growing Your garden. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Since I can remember I’ve always had a garden and 15 years ago I found myself working more garden space than I’ve ever had, spending sometimes upward of 60 hours per week, keeping my yard and gardens rather immaculate.  I loved this work and I loved having a beautiful yard and gardens– I was in my glory, so to speak.

I’ve also enjoyed physical fitness, running being a part of it.  I would put carrots in front of my nose to help me accomplish new goals, so CrossFit, and races became part of my normal regimen.   I ran a marathon in the Fall of 2012 and had a deep sense throughout the race that it had spiritual meaning, more than I could see at the time.  I prayed through much of the race for everyone and anything that came to mind and I pictured Jesus at the tops of all the hills I needed to climb, including the finish line.  Talking to God the whole way through is truly what got me through. 

His ways are higher than our ways… eight years ago (January of 2012) God started doing a deeper work in my heart, prompting me to do something “pro-active” with the abortion that loomed in the depths of my heart from my past.  As I sought Him further, He led me to a Deeper Still Retreat in the Spring of 2012.   I came home from my retreat forever changed, having met God face to face (as humanly possible as that is) and in a way like never before.

As much as I felt light on my feet from my newly found freedom, I felt a heaviness of heart for the many men and women with abortion wounded hearts that needed healing.  There was much need for a Deeper Still in West Michigan.  I felt strongly that God was prompting me to pursue that, but I had no idea how or what that might look like and I certainly didn’t know how that would impact the other areas of my life.  However, I did know God had me in the very grip of His Mighty Hand.   Through the next 6 years, I continued praying, waiting on, abiding with the Lord as I went to Deeper Still trainings and serving on retreat teams as much as I was called.  As each year past, I was doing less gardening and a little less running.  Then last year God formed and brought the first Deeper Still West Michigan retreat into being.  There is still no garden planted in the natural as of yet and no Spring races on the docket.

As I’ve pondered, I have come to realize that God certainly has me working in a different soil.  I’m working the soil in His Garden, not my own.  He has been pruning and training me to go in a different direction and to help other plants struggling to survive with their abortion wounded hearts.  Rather than me pruning my plants, trellising them to grow in the way I want them to go, God has been and continues to prune me, training me to follow Him on a trellis in His Garden and where HE wants me to grow. 

So, this past weekend a culmination of my years of running came to mind as I sat with my Lord, I felt Him say in my spirit,  “not only do I have you working in different soil, but you are now running a different race.  The races you’ve been running you’ve received medals, but for this race, you will receive a crown.”

The Lord’s garden is the best place to be and letting Him do His perfect work for His glory…right where I want to be.

All for His Glory,

Paula Jacobson-Mol

If you’d like to contribute to this growing garden and life-giving, life-changing ministry, you can go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to give a tax-deductible donation. Thank you for all your support!

Honoring All Life

Every life is created in the image of God and is valuable to our Father and Creator God.

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”  Philippians 2:3

This Friday, hundreds of thousands will gather in Washington D.C. for the National March for Life. From all over the country, men and women will gather with one voice to declare to America and the world that we still value life, all lives, in America. 

What many do not understand is that life issues delve deeper than life in the womb. Although that is a huge stand, and important, it is but a fraction of the wholeness of the realm of all valuing life encompasses. We also need to with intentionality honor the marginalized and often forgotten members of society – the elderly, the isolated and lonely, and those with physical and mental disabilities. 

As a post-abortive and pro-life person, it seems paramount that every life is seen as valuable and cherished, as every life is created in the image of God and is valuable to our Father and Creator God.

Other ways the value of life is violated is abuse (all kinds), violence, racial prejudice, addictions, pornography (it is not honoring to reduce women and men to graphic images for selfish gratification),  gossip (yep, on the list), and sex trafficking. These are just some of the ways, we as a society have violated those created in the image of God. 

Those who oppose pro-life advocates, those who will stand against the March for Life, those who may even act out in violent retribution in response to the unbridled emotions deep within…all of them are precious in the sight of God, all are created in His image and He is deeply in love with every single one of us. 

As a pro-life person, I can be one to admit, we have not always honored every life well and have also responded in anger when misunderstood or mistreated. However, this is not the heart of God. I find it interesting, although I’m not going to go too deeply into this, but just interesting that the day we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day just happens to fall the same week as we nationally celebrate and honor life.  He was a man who advocated for honoring all people. As a nation, we have not done this well. Lord, I pray we can do this well, honor all life and all people well. 

As people all over the nation march this weekend for life, I pray the message of honoring life will ring loudly, and that all life is seen as treasured and cherished by our Father God, and I pray we can honor one another as well. 

Dear Heavenly Father, we pray protection over all standing and marching for life this weekend. We pray that people would recognize the importance of honoring all lives and would hear the heart of people waving the banner for life. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Related Scriptures:

“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the King.” 1 Peter 2:17

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:10 

 

 

The Why Behind the What

there is always a reason people act the way they do.

 

“So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’” John 8:7

There is something I have said many times when faced with people who act out of woundedness and are engaging in destructive behaviors…

”There is always a reason people act the way they do.”

There are many hurts, bondages, and sins we have committed or that were committed against us that shape our behaviors. Not just ours, but those around us. When we can learn to view the world through this lens of seeing others through their woundedness, their actions become more understandable and hopefully our compassion more obtainable.

The question isn’t “What is wrong with you?”. The question then becomes with compassion, “What happened to you?”

It is from this vantage point that we can begin to understand our fellow man and ourselves.

Grace begs that we look on ourselves with compassion as we seek to understand our past and how it impacts us and others, and then move forward in healing as we recognize these shortcomings and seek the Lord to show the way towards health and wholeness.

As we allow the love of Christ to penetrate and heal our deepest wounds, we can then show love to ourselves and then love our neighbors as ourselves. It is grace and love that allows us to look past the flaws of our neighbors, friends, and others. Love isn’t the same as trust. If someone has deeply wounded or violated you, you are called to love, but trust is only built over time and consistent actions that reveal change.

But it is grace that chooses compassion over condemnation.

Jesus demonstrated this in many ways.

He demonstrated it when He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first,” when the Pharisees wanted to stone the woman who was caught in adultery.

And at the well with the Samaritan woman when He saw behind the woman’s sins and saw her, and offered her a drink from the Well that never runs dry.

Jesus saw behind the actions and looked at the person. He separated the sin from the person. May we be able to do the same.

May this new year be one of love and compassion as we seek to love ourselves and others with the love of Christ, see the person behind the sin, and do our best to remember there is always a reason people act the way they do.

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to love like you do. Help us to see behind the why into the what behind people’s actions. Give us your eyes and may we look deeply into the wells of ourselves and others, give grace and find compassion for ourselves and those around us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Redemptive Power of Sharing Your Story with the Generation Behind You

“Showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Deuteronomy 5:10

Recently I was listening to a teaching on anxiety in kids for a continuing education class for my profession. In this seminar, the speaker referenced a study that indicated kids feel more secure and attached when parents share their story with them in a cohesive manner. This caught my attention. At the Deeper Still retreats, we talk about the healing power of sharing one’s story, and the freeing nature of sharing your story with family members, particularly your children. 

Sharing your story with your children not only frees you but according to the study referenced in that seminar, can benefit your children.

In an article linked below written by Karen Ellison, the President and Founder of Deeper Still, Karen shares another key reason for sharing your story with the next generation–it brings powerful redemption in ways keeping silent never will. This article was first published in TownHall.com on December 21, 2019. 

https://townhall.com/columnists/karenellison/2019/12/21/the-redemptive-power-of-a-parents-honesty-about-abortion-n2558255

“You have a choice. You can either let the fear of shame and rejection from family members be the end of your story, and you take those fears to your grave. Or, you can conquer your fears and take the long – and more impactful view. Your mistakes can have a redemptive thread and even be a lifeline for your progeny.” -Karen Ellison

As we enter into 2020, if you have had an abortion and haven’t yet shared your story with those who will follow behind you, will you prayerfully consider attending a Deeper Still healing retreat (if you haven’t already), and prayerfully ask the Lord if this is the year He wants you to share with your children. You never know. It could be the catalyst for the next level of healing, breaking the curse, and showing love to a thousand generations behind you. 

May this New Year of 2020 be a year of much healing and freedom! Happy New Year! 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you have removed my sin as far as the East is from the West. Thank you for showing love to the thousand generations that follow after me as I love you and keep your commandments, and I am no longer under the curse of the law. Lord, I pray for the generations that follow me to keep your commandments and know the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. Lord, I pray for your leading and guidance on when and how to share my story with the generations behind me, and that this act of faith would lead to more freedom not only for me, but for those I share with who follow after me.  Have your way, Jesus. Amen. 

May 2020 be a year of healing and freedom! HAPPY NEW YEAR from all of us at Deeper Still

 

 

Testimony of Healing

The message of the gospel is absolutely true.

Lisa Mackie, one of our Deeper Still chapter leaders, was recently interviewed on the podcast Faith, Hope, and Love hosted by Bud and Ames. In this interview, Lisa shares her powerful story of redemption and healing through Jesus Christ. 

One of the statements Lisa said that gripped my heart was when she said, “I never told anybody [I had an abortion] for 29 years. I couldn’t even say the word for abortion for 29 years.” 

My heart sank when I heard she never told anyone for 29 years. What a tremendous burden to bear and secret to carry all those years. 

The following is more of her story. It is not the entire story, but rather segments of the podcast to give you an insight into the heart of a woman wounded from abortion before healing, the hope of healing, and the change after healing.

I encourage you to go to the end of this post and listen to the entire podcast. It is such a beautiful testimony and she shares so many details about her story and truly gives a glimpse of her heart through this journey of healing. What a privilege and sacred place to be invited into a person’s heart and journey of healing. Praying you are blessed by her courage and story today.

“I always had this fear that somebody would find out what I’d done. So you definitely learn to build walls because you don’t want anyone to know that you made this horrible decision.” 

“My relationships were a train wreck. Because you don’t believe you deserve a good person.” 

“You don’t think you have value. So you don’t hold out for someone who will treat you with honor because you don’t think you deserve any honor”

“Because of the abortion, there were a lot of reasons I was not a good mom.”

But then…Hope. “The turning point in my life was Jesus.” 

“I told him, if you hold onto me, I will hold onto you.”

“I was told about Deeper Still healing retreats in Knoxville. So I went. It was absolutely life-changing for me. Everything changed. The presence of the Lord was there. He put in my heart a desire to speak the truth about abortion and what it really does to women and dispel the lie that you’re not going to think or feel anything about it later. There became a big yearning in my heart to see other people free.”

“I learned to love the person God created me to be.” 

“My message would be directed to two groups: for those who have had an abortion–there is healing, there is hope in this journey. You really don’t have to stay attached to the dark place from a long time ago. There is freedom. God doesn’t want you to be tortured in this life on earth. Jesus really did pay the price for all of us and all our sins and He is the One you go to. It is not anybody else that decides your judgment. It is only Him. And He wants you and loves you beyond anything you can imagine and He just wants you to come to Him because He has more grace and more love than you could ever imagine. And He has something beautiful and incredible in this journey of healing.”

“And for those who are not post-abortive, that you would be a safe place for people to talk about this topic. If I have one passion, it is that we’d be able to talk about abortion with compassion so people know they can get healing, so they are not held hostage to a decision they made probably at a very difficult time in life. We believe the message of the gospel is absolutely true.” -Lisa Mackie

Lisa’s podcast interview with Faith, Hope and Love hosted by Bud and Ames

Lisa’s story is so full of grace, love, redemption, and hope. We love Lisa and we are so thankful for how the Lord has used the ministry of Deeper Still to bring her into deeper level of healing. If you or someone you know has had an abortion, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to learn more about our healing retreats and find one near you. Karen’s Ellison’s book Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal is also available on the website and will help begin your journey of deeper healing. 

Healing at Hudson: God’s Plan is in the Details

Today’s post was written by Ashley Gregory.  Ashley is a mom of three, resides in Central Illinois and has a huge heart desire to share Jesus with others! This post was re-posted with permission and originally published on her blog site Grace Upon Grace.

God is a God of providence, detail, and timing. He cares deeply for us and exists in the details of our lives. Details don’t bog God down and overwhelm Him. No, details reveal Him. (1)

I had a measure of healing before heading to Hudson, IL. “Enough healing” I decided. I had been through enough sharing, enough forgiveness, enough prayer and experienced enough love to get me to the point where enough became just that… enough. With the Lord’s nudging, heading to Hudson became something I thought would be helpful, but not necessary. Three short days later and my heart’s soil would be tilled, turned, and tossed with fresh seeds of Truth. Healing at Hudson was His plan all along.

If our stories always stopped with us knowing best, God’s goodness would not be shared from the lips of those who have seen Him work. The restoration work ordained by the Lord for this Deeper Still weekend retreat reminded my weary soul that our God is a God of providence, detail, and timing. He cares deeply for us and exists in the details of our lives. Details don’t bog God down and overwhelm Him.

No, details reveal Him. 

In the details, we see where He has been and where He’s headed. God doesn’t keep his plans a secret; He gives us His knowledge and wisdom. He creates using careful detail, He speaks in detail to his people, and He lays out His plans with detail. Tabernacles were built and nations defeated with detail. Jesus was born and the cross came to pass with careful detail. God loves the details. The details of my road to healing were overlooked and underappreciated until recently. 

The morning was cool and windy in April 2005. A morning made colder by the death surrounding the building I found myself in. I can’t remember the exact date right now, that’s a detail I’m trusting God to reveal when He knows I’m ready.  I can remember the neon pink T-Shirt and gray cut-off sweatpants I wore that day. My choice in attire was meant to facilitate “my comfort” following the appointment. Nineteen years old was too young to experience such emptiness and heartache. All I knew was that life would be better in fifteen to twenty minutes. It had to be or else what was the appointment for? Just a simple procedure to fix everything: my present and my future in the hands of one doctor and a set of nurses. I’ll never forget the month of April 2005.

Baby Alexandra was born in April 2015. That date, I’ll always remember- April 7, 2015. One decade after having my abortion, I held her fresh, new life in my arms and nightmares reawakened with the diagnosis of a heart condition that came seemingly out of left field. Her tiny heart had a large hole that pediatric cardiologists warned us “may fail around six weeks old”. By then, I had a relationship with the Lord and remember praying that if God did not let me keep her, it would be because I deserved to lose her. I fought all the voices that told me this was my fault, but the lies were relentless. With both the birth of my newest child and the birth of deeper shame and grief giving way, I prepared for my life to come apart. Although I had accepted Christ, I still could not fight the idea that the God of the universe despised me for my choice. I found myself surrounded by cold chills and looming death in April. 

April 2019 brought about another milestone. God would bring me to a retreat to receive further healing for my abortion-wounded heart. Healing that I didn’t know I needed, but He did. This April was different than the ghosts of Aprils passed. I would have the opportunity to reconcile and grieve the child that I never got to hold in my arms. “A son”, the Lord told me. I felt it deep inside my spirit, like the feeling mothers get when they just know. God impressed the gender on my heart, whispering this: “Sweet daughter, you are his mother and you know”. 

I closed my eyes and prayed as the other men and women in the room selected bears representing the lives of children they had lost, too. I waited and prayed, shaking in my seat and holding back tears. I am certain I was only being held together by God’s mighty hands. Lord, strengthen my feeble hands and steady my knees that want to give way, help me be strong.

With tears rolling down my exhausted face, I held my bear, a symbol of the son I never got to hold tight and close. I imagined what he would look like- my nose and his dad’s bright blue eyes. I was a mother mourning the death of her child, coming to terms with what Calvary was really for. Jesus held me firmly at the same time He held my son, rocking and weeping with me, a Savior familiar with pain. He called me to come boldly to His throne of grace, throwing off all that hindered. He wrapped me in righteousness and truth. He removed my sackcloth and wiped off the ashes. The time for mourning, sadness, and silence in April was over.

In April, the light of my child’s life brought me home to the feet of Jesus. Sitting at the memorial service on the last day of the retreat, my assigned seat offered me a perfect view of the lake surrounding the retreat center. I sat completely still in my chair, staring out over the crisp water as my son’s name was given to him by the Lord. 

Hudson, firm and assured the name resounded. Throughout scripture, God gives names to children by way of revelation to the parents. Samuel to Hannah, John to Elizabeth, Jesus to Mary. This time, it was my turn.

“Hudson could not be his name”, I thought. “Lord, all of my children have names with an ‘A’ at the beginning- you know this! Hudson won’t fit. Hudson is the name of this place, not a child.”

The “A” pattern was my detail, not God’s; His ways are not mine.

Baby Hudson, who would have been born in November 2005, his life celebrated for the first-time earthside on April 28, 2019. His existence wholly recognized and honored, his spirit dedicated to the Lord. As quickly as his life ended in a cold, sterile clinic, He entered the presence of Jesus who will keep him for me until I get home. Oh the contrast!! Leaving this dark world and entering the warm, “so-bright-your eyes-water” presence of God. I, Hudson’s mother, hidden in Christ and loved well until the day we will meet face to face. Former things won’t be remembered, removed from God’s sight. 

God’s sovereign hand reigning over my past, present and future, reached into April and redeemed all of the details. He is the Creator and Keeper of time, the Ancient of Days still on His throne.

Brothers and sisters, God will make beauty from your ashes. He receives your brokenness and gives you a new name. Your empty hands, crushed spirit, and wordless groans are all He needs to complete the good work He began in you.

Let him restore all that has been taken from you. Your past has been stolen and destroyed by an enemy that doesn’t want you to believe God can do great things with your life. Trust Him with the details.

Scripture references: 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 27:14, Isaiah 65:15b-19, Proverbs 3:5, Hebrews 4:16, Romans 8, John 10:10, Philippians 1:6, Isaiah 35:3-4

Thank you Ashley for sharing your beautiful story of God’s redemption with us today! To read more from Ashley, be sure to visit her blog site Grace Upon Grace. 

If you or someone you know needs emotional healing from the trauma of abortion, please go to GoDeeperStill.org to learn more about our healing retreats and find one near you.

 

Abortion-Wounded Awareness

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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12

On the heels of political debates and commentaries where abortion is brought up constantly, it seems important to talk about this issue from another perspective. In all the talk in the news and media, abortion is conveyed as a political issue. However, abortion is not merely a political issue, it is first and foremost a spiritual issue.

It is important that we, as the church, do not lose sight of this. Last year, a friend wanted to have a booth for Deeper Still at a Christian mission conference, the booth was first rejected because the organization looked at abortion as more of a political issue rather than spiritual. This is common, unfortunately.  Issues of abortion, death, pain, bondages of sin, and healing through the blood of Jesus gets lost in the bombardment in the debates of choice versus life. However, it is all about Jesus, it is all about life.  

Pro-abortion groups miss the mark in overbearing rhetoric screaming proud proclamations that abortion was the best thing they ever did.

And often pro-life politicians and individuals miss the opportunity to show compassion on the ones who fell victim to false rhetoric or were blinded to the truth of what abortion truly is and what is does to not just the baby, but everyone involved.

The message Jesus Christ has is simple. It is not political. It is not filled with an agenda and doesn’t seek to advance a platform. The message is come. “come to me to have life “ (John 5:40)

 What is not addressed is that there is a whole world of people out there who have been wounded and traumatized from the effects of abortion. They matter. In spite of what the pro-abortion groups may shout, this is true. And perhaps their shouts are just loud Band-Aids to cover their internal bleeding they have no idea how to contain or stop. Projecting anger onto others can be a coping mechanism for not dealing with the anger within oneself due to self-loathing.

Abortion-wounds are prevalent and we need greater awareness. Thirty-percent of those sitting in our churches have been through an abortion experience. That is nearly 1 out of 3. Think of that. If we aren’t addressing this deep wound, we are missing one-third of our friends struggling. All the talk in the news either stirs up the pain to the surfaces or causes one to push it down further in an attempt to bury deep to not feel. Of course, burying pain never works for long. Pain surfaces one way or another over time.

This is why it is important that we, as the body of Christ, do not miss this important aspect to the pro-life movement. Acknowledging these wounds in pro-life groups and in politics would do a great service to our fellow mankind who need healing. In politics or church leadership, as it says in Colossians 3:12, “as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Compassion, love, and care are always in style.   

Father, thank you for your love, care and compassion for your people. Lord, may we not project our own self-loathing onto those who are hurting, but rather embrace and acknowledge the pain of others with a spirit of compassion and love, whether that is due to abortion or other wounds. Let us become an abortion-wounded aware country. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.