We are going to touch on a hard subject this time around. Death and mourning. Now don’t stop reading, because Joy is coming…
Mourning: the act of feeling or expressing sorrow. What are the stages of mourning a loss? We all know the process of mourning a death. But, with abortion, it is a different type of mourning (in my opinion), accompanied with plenty of other feelings that do not necessarily go with that particular process.
I chose to take the lives of my babies. Yet, we grieve all the same. Whether by choice or forced we lost a child(ren). We do not understand the emotions, especially if we chose it. Either way, the grieving process starts. We are mourning a loss.
For my abortion wounded heart, regret and sorrow was immediate. I automatically fell to my knees begging God to forgive me, as sorrow filled my soul. There was an aching in my soul I had never experienced.
Because of the shame and secrecy that is attached to abortion, we are left to deal with the grief alone. We tend to dismiss the grief. We do not want to talk about it nor do we feel we should or can. Emotional pain oozed out of me in my choices, numbing myself daily one way or the other. The buried pain of grief pushed through in my behaviors, it could not be contained.
After many years of self-reproach, I went to a healing program at my son’s insistence and there let go of my children. The woman who helped me through this grueling process was an angel. She is the one who encouraged me to let them go and stayed on the floor with me until I released them. When I did, I found some joy. Mostly, I found forgiveness from God and gave myself forgiveness.
At this program, they have a dance party to celebrate our hard work. This was a dance of rejoicing, of freedom from our yesterdays. I was in my sock feet twirling, running and jumping around like the set free girl I now was. I felt so light and free. Psalm 30:11 says, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.“ My sackcloth and ashes were gone. I was a different person. I could see the girl I was before I had my abortions. I felt a huge burden lift off of me and began to deal with the loss in a healthy way.
In 2017, my love for Jesus became real in my heart. I fell in love with my Savior as He led me deeper in the process of healing and my joy became stronger.
Then in the Spring of 2018, I went to my Deeper Still retreat. Little did I know what Jesus was going to do for me there. I had even told some friends before I went, “I’m healed. I’m just going to see what it is all about.” At that time I was becoming involved in the Deeper Still chapter in Arkansas and to serve on the team, it is required to first go through a retreat. Unbeknownst to me, I was still mourning some choices I had made. While there, I dealt with some hateful feelings towards a few men. At Deeper Still, I found total healing and my mourning was completed.
My Redeemer restored my joy! When I came back home, I was given a name by a sweet friend of mine, our chapter leader. She calls me “The Joy Messenger” and I treasure that name. I was dead inside for so many years, to finally be filled with God’s joy was quite foreign to me. I had never seen myself as full of joy. I was healed, set free and chains fell off, my life made new! My life has changed because of what my Jesus did.
I can now worship the Lord with carefree freedom from constraint. I love the scripture Isaiah 61:1-3. My favorite is verse 3; “To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” The Holy Spirit brought thankfulness that has joy bubbling at its edges. The merriness seeps from my person. The darkness and valleys of death became places where the presence of God brought healing. Now that is something to celebrate! He has given me His oil of joy. He has plenty and He is waiting to spill it out on all who desire it. Psalm 43:4 says; “Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise you. O God, my God.” See, a joyful ending!
Lord, last weekend we celebrated Easter, a celebration of NEW LIFE in Christ! We ask for you to anoint our lives with the oil of joy, a joy only found in You alone. Allow the light of Your glory to burn brighter and hotter with Your oil of joy. Thank you for turning our mourning into dancing and filling us with joy. Amen!
Also this weekend, there are 7 Deeper Still retreats being held across this nation. Will you pray with us for joy to be restored for all those attending as they lean into the healing and freedom from our Jesus!