“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
“They’ll know,” she thought quietly near the back.
“It’s probably written all over my face: Liar, hypocrite, selfish.”
“As long as I stay in the back and close to the exit, I’ll be able to hear the word of God, and not risk anyone learning the truth about me. It’s better this way.”
“I gave my voice up the day I swallowed that pill. If I proclaim to be a Christian and stand up for truth and goodness, I’ll only be seen as a hypocrite.”
“If they only knew…” She ached inside as she tried listening to the sermon. She could hardly hear anything besides the many thoughts flooding her heart and mind.
These were just a few of the lies whispered to me by the enemy.
I believed my Savior forgave me with every fiber of my being. He was changing my life, healing and renewing my heart. However, even though I knew I was forgiven, I could not hear the word abortion without recoiling in my skin, feeling sick to my stomach, and wanting to run toward the nearest exit. Nothing in that sounds healed to me; triggered – but not healed. I was afraid to get too close to anyone at church, or any person for that matter. I believed that if anyone knew the real me, they would reject me. For a while, I allowed people in from a distance. For five long years I lived half alive; forgiven yet hiding in shame.
Then, as the Lord would have it, I was given an opportunity to serve at a Deeper Still retreat, helping cook meals for the guests. My aunt was the one who invited me to serve. For years I wanted to stop hiding and tell the people I loved about my abortion. But something in my mind always convinced me to stay silent. When my aunt asked to serve, I knew that God was telling me it was TIME- it was time to share my secret.
God instilled on my heart that if I was going to help at a retreat, I could not risk my family finding out while we were there, it would take the focus off of the guests and onto me. I called my dad and then my aunt. Both my dad and aunt were so gracious. They told me I needed to go as a guest and not to serve. I thought I was forgiven and didn’t need to attend… but boy was I wrong!
I love how God works. I thought I would be serving God’s kingdom by cooking meals, but He had mightier plans. He knows us so well. He knew I didn’t think I needed any more healing and that the only way to get me to a mostly family lead retreat would be if they asked first!
At the Deeper Still Retreat, the Lord brought healing on more levels than I even knew existed within my heart and soul. Not only did God forgive me, He revealed that He never intended for my voice to be silent and hidden. God used Deeper Still to give me my voice back. Instead of shame, I saw a testimony.
My eyes began to open to the hurting. I realized that if I had been hiding in shame for years, how many others were doing the same exact thing? How many others were also afraid to be viewed as frauds? Instead of hiding in shame and fear, He encouraged me to speak up. No more whispers, no more secrecy, no more fear.
And the lies that once silenced me, now were turned into opposite proclamations of truth!
“They’ll know HIM,” she proclaimed!
“It’s written all over my face: Forgiven, Loved, FREE IN CHRIST!”
“I will no longer stay in the back, close to the exit, because I cannot risk anyone not learning the truth about Jesus Christ!”
“I gave my voice to CHRIST the night I asked for His forgiveness. I will proclaim to be a Christian and stand up for truth and goodness! I am not hypocrite.”
“If they only knew…” She ached inside, wanting others to know Jesus is ready to release them from their own bondage.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for rescuing us from deaths grip. Thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and making a way for us to come to you – through believing in your son, Jesus. I pray for the ones hiding in plain sight, living in bondage to a lie that they are too shameful, too far gone, too damaged. I pray in Jesus name they would leave those worries at the foot of your cross and ask you into their hearts, if they have not done so already. I ask that you would give us godly courage to speak your truth to the ones in our lives. I pray your mercy and truth over us all and thank you for redemption. Thank you for healing. It is in Jesus’ holy name I pray… Amen.
Today’s post was written by Traci Young, who is a contributor for the Deeper Still Devotional Blog. Traci calls Broomfield, Colorado home, and loves spending quality time with her husband, baby girl, and two red doodles. She left the workforce to become a stay at home mom and sees it as her mission field! Traci serves on the Fallbrook, CA Deeper Still team.
Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend 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 www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.