This blog has been in process all week.
It's emotional--only the tip of the iceberg.
Incomplete in its details.
How do I tell this story? It's not my story to share.
It begs to be told.
Silence feeds the enemy.
There are millions of stories like this living deep in the heart of women.
Lord, let your grace shine forth.
God's grace in all situations.
Alone, a single mom of four sat in a church pew barely looking at those around her.
What would they think when they found out?
These church goers who knew right from wrong.
What would they say about her?
She could barely feed the children in her home.
She wasn't married.
If only someone would tell her what to do.
She'd been struggling with the internal voices of our culture from the moment the results came back.
The pregnancy test read positive.
Someone...please...anyone...tell me what to do? It's too overwhelming.
Her heart silently cried for someone to step up and answer.
But no one did...because no one knew her secret.
The pregnancy center claimed to have her best interest at heart. I don't know how she got there. Perhaps a friend drove her to the clinic thinking she was helping out her dear friend in love. The culture tells us to take care of ourselves first. Maybe the baby's daddy sat with her just as confused and scared as she. I don't know. There's no denying the fact that she sat in a center---waiting some advice---some advice from people who claimed to have her best interest at stake.
During the appointment, they said they wanted to inform her---let her make her own decision. But the appointment was so rushed. Everything was hurried.
There was no time to think.
Why wouldn't they just let her think a second?
They didn't give her a chance to talk to anyone.
I guess maybe this IS best.
Before she knew it, she was in a lonely, sterile room waiting for the procedure.
The procedure that would make it all go away.
Terrified, she summoned up what little courage remained and spoke,
I've changed my mind. I don't want this.
The buzz of equipment and people in the room continued.
A little louder she cries,
Do you hear me? I've changed my mind.
And then these words echoed through the room,
It's too late.
She remembers the nurse in the recovery room asking her if she was okay.
She remembers saying, "I will never be okay.
The good news...God's healing her. He's doing a mighty work in her heart and He's using her to share her testimony with others. He's the great healer and He specializes in healing the brokenhearted, renewing scarred lives, and placing a new joy in devastated hearts. There's nothing too big for Him.
The bad news...the devil's still lying to us about abortion. Telling us that it's no big deal. It's what's best for us. We'll be okay. Our body...our choice...
Pants on fire.
Let's call the devil what he is.
A big, fat liar.
Either way...a woman loses part of herself.
If she has the baby, her life changes. She loses life as she knew it.
Life will NEVER be the same.
If she doesn't have the baby, her life still changes. She still loses part of herself.
Life will still NEVER be the same.
The abortion will never take away the fact that she was pregnant.
Either way life changes...
I heard this courageous woman's testimony at a banquet last week for the Rachel House---a pregnancy crisis center that offers young women free pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds, and free counseling to give pregnant women life-affirming options.
Much of this banquet I'm still sorting out in my head. Parts of the night are reaching the deepest parts of my heart. The statistics are staggering.
Do you know our city of Kansas City is one of the worst?
For every one child saved by a pro-life center, nineteen are aborted.
1 to 19.
How is that okay?
That's a lot of babies.
That's a lot of hurting women.
So my question is this...
Where are the women? Where are the millions of women that struggle alone with this decision? Where are the women that made the decision years ago and silently ache?
Do you know God's grace?
Do you know that NOTHING--NOTHING--NOTHING--can separate you from the love of God?
As I listened to her testimony, I got stuck on the part that she was sitting in church wondering what everyone would think.
Don't you understand that thought? I do.
What WOULD people think? What would they think as her stomach began to swell and they knew she was without a husband? Would they bring their stones? Would they throw stones with their words--or their eyes--or their avoidance?
Or would they drop their stones at the door and use their arms to hug her with grace?
We had a sign propped near our front door in Las Vegas.
Drop your stones at the door. This is a grace-filled house.
A bucket of stones sat at the base of the sign. It's amazing how that bucket filled up day after day. A reminder to our family that we wanted to be known for our grace toward others. A reminder because showing grace is not always easy and it's not always our first response.
Goodness knows there's plenty of stone-throwers around.
In this house, let's leave our stones outside and show some grace.
Maybe I need to get that sign back out as a reminder to myself and my family.
Our churches should be the safest place for a woman in that position.
Our churches should be the softest landing for a woman living with the aftermath of an abortion.
How can we love on you?
Let us lead you to the arms of our Heavenly Father who wants to heal you.
I've heard our women's ministry leader say that at the end of the day our job as a parent is to place our child's hand in the Hand of God.
Wouldn't that be helpful for us to do that for women in this situation too?
Let us help you place your hand in the Hand of God.
Let us graciously love on you as your broken heart heals.
Years ago as new settlers to Lee's Summit, we sat in our church's office with the pastor at the time. Our story poured forth. It wasn't a story scarred by abortion, but our testimony is not pretty. Sin and grace woven together and entertwined with heartbreak and hope. We were done with pretenses. That's not helpful in growth.
We knew what it felt like to sit in a church and wonder what everyone would think if they knew us?
Would they throw stones?
Or would we find grace?
I only had one question for the pastor.
Aside from preaching straight from God's Word, I had only one concern in joining a church here. One question left to ask.
"Where do messy people go to church?"
"I'm serious. Where do messy people go to church?"
He smiled and his answer confirmed what I hoped and sensed from this fellowship of believers, "Here. They go here."
Then this is the place for us. A place where people know they need a Savior. Messy people sitting in the church pews. People working on their less than perfect marriage. Those grieving a loss. Grieving their own sin. Fighting against addition. Struggling to understand why God allowed something. Despairing over their walk into that clinic.
Pray for these women. The women struggling with an unplanned pregnancy.
If you know one, introduce them to the Rachel House.
Pray for the women that find themselves walking into the other clinic. The one that takes a life under the lie that it will "save" the life of the woman.
I have no doubt His arms hold those millions of babies that never had a chance to take their first breath. His heart aches for He remembers knitting them together. He knows who they were to be.
I have no doubt those same arms reach for the women.
The women who believed the lie.
Nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus. Nothing.
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither heigh nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39