Life or Death

Proverbs 14:12 makes a frightening statement: “There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads only to death.”

Is this possible that I can be so insistent on my own way, so oblivious to all the danger signs, so in denial of the truth that my actions will result in death? Death of my own soul or body? Death of relationships? Death of others?

As a woman who has walked through abortion clinic doors and walked out a murdering, mangled mess, I see the reality of this wise word.  It seemed right, at the time. But in the end it led to death in many, many areas of my life and the lives of others.

But God. This warning proverb also has an inferred, mathematical hope. If the negative aspect of this proverb is true, then its counter positive aspect is also true: there is a way that seems right to God and in the end it leads only to life.

What are you facing? Is it is right to you or to God? Are you seeing areas of death in your life? Are you willing to follow God’s way and trust that despite the odds, it will lead to Life for you and life for people around you?

“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know,” Jeremiah 33:3

Lord Jesus, protect us from willful sins. Give us a willing spirit to sustain us and to lead us in the way everlasting. We fix our eyes on You, the author and perfector of our faith. Amen

God Story: The Power of Prayer

I have so many God stories of His supernatural provision that I could write 10 books. But Tuesday night I was basking in the beauty of one of my favorite answers to prayer.

My daughter, Salem.

We were in her room, full from birthday cake, waiting for the clock to display 8:38 pm — the time she had been born 12 years earlier. And like all kids, she was asking about who was at the hospital, what was the scoop, what was her story.

“What did Dad do when I was born?”
“He cried.”
“What were you doing?”
“And Grandmaw and Grandpaw, what were they doing?”
“Waiting anxiously, then crying.”

“Salem, I don’t think you realize how many prayers were sent up for us to have a baby. There was much rejoicing when you were born,” I said.

And with that last comment came a flood of memories. Of churches, of youth groups, and women’s groups. Places where I had shared my story of abortion, heartache and healing. The outcry of these listeners had been to pray for God to bless Chuck and me with a baby.  After Salem was born, I found out that people in my church had quietly prayed that God would heal our hearts and bodies so that we would be able to have children.

Here Chuck and I were walking through the silent and grieving hell of infertility, but God was stirring His saints to pray nonetheless.

Pray they did. And He was pleased to answer.

Looking at this feisty, strong willed, solemn warrior-child before me, I was really amazed again at the mercy of God.

My thoughts turned toward heaven when I will see all those people who prayed for us, who never saw us again and never heard the rest of the story. When I see them in heaven, I can’t wait to introduce them to Salem, the answer to their prayers.

Oh pray without ceasing, believing that He hears our cries and intercessions.

“The prayers of the saints are like sweet smelling incense.”

Death Begets Death

Normally, we try to look at one real question on Wednesdays. Today, I’m not answering just one question. I’m answering ten! I know this is a loaded topic…BUT one worth talking about since it affects 1 out of 5 women. I was approached by a high school student with these questions and thought I would share my answers.

1. Do you believe abortion is morally correct?

2. In what circumstances do you believe abortion is socially acceptable?

3. In your opinion, is the third trimester too late to perform an abortion?

4. Do you believe abortion can cause depression or mental side effects?
Absolutely. In addition, it can cause nightmares, rage attacks, self-hatred leading to eating disorders, cutting, addictions to drugs and alcohol. Anything to numb the pain. It also causes long- lasting trauma to relationships, something people rarely discuss. This breach in conscience prevents future trusting relationships, especially with men.

5. What do you believe causes the women to have abortion as an option?
Fear. Fear of being alone, of being stuck with baby, of being “fat”, of being found out, of losing their life, of being a bad mother.

6. As an estimate, how many people do you know who have had an abortion?
I know personally 20+ but have counseled more than a 100 women.

7. Under the circumstances, what age is most common related to abortions?
17-25 is my guess.  Middle school girls think having a baby is “cool” and often decide to parent rather than release for adoption. Most occur around end of high school or in college when a woman feels like “she has her whole life ahead of her.”  Funny that the mother’s life has greater value than the life of her unborn baby.

8. Do you believe that the male has a substantial part in the decision process of an abortion?
Ahhhh, tough question. Yes, I do morally now. But when faced with that, I moved forward regardless of his decision.

9. Do you believe that the parents of the female play an important role in the decision process of abortion?
Many many abortions happen with the push of over active parents. They are more concerned with reputation than the value of life and the value of hardship in character building for their child. And many girls also have abortions out of fear of their parents finding out. They are trying to hide the evidence, as it were.

10. Can previous abortions cause emotional problems in future relationships and the start of a family?
I mentioned this but absolutely… Many women I have counseled with “withheld” this secret for fear of rejection from their husbands. So they are grieving in silence. It causes sexual disconnect and all kinds of trauma around having children in the future. “I killed one baby how can I welcome this one,” is the mentality.

Also there is a HUGE medical issue of damage done during the procedure where STDs are spread, damage to the cervix and tearing of the uterus.  Abortion is one of the riskiest medical procedures ever and it has NO medical oversight or accountability.  It absolutely affects the ability to bear children in the future.

A few more comments if I may?
I had an abortion at the age of 18. It was one of the most painful things I had ever lived through, physically, emotional and spiritually.  No one ever told me the truth about any of those things prior to the procedure. But more information is not the answer necessarily.  At that time, we made sure it was never called a baby, so when I found that out, I was doubly horrified. Today, we know it is a baby and call it a baby, but we so undervalue the intrinsic worth of a human being, it causes perhaps more harm. Mom has no value so baby has no value. And so even after abortion, mom continues to suffer from lack of value and worth which often leads to more sex, dirtier partners, more pregnancies, more abortions, etc.

I debated a woman from Planned Parenthood once and challenged her point that she was “empowering women.”  Empowering women is not accomplished by killing women and men, even if they are in fetus stage. Empowering women is to teach them about actions and consequences; sex leads to babies. But also about the overwhelming energy given to a woman when she is taught how to harness her passions and focus them on good and long-term results.  Parenting and adoption is incredibly hard. But they are choices that lead to life and hope and possibilty.

Abortion is quick and final. No life, no hope, no possibility.

Healing is my final point. I know many women who have tried many things to wash away the guilt of the blood on their hands. It has been my experience that only the blood of Jesus has the power to do that. I am not a church lady. But my life was radically transformed when I realized that even though I was a murderer, God still loved me.  It was a long arduous road to recover my heart, but one I am thankful for beyond measure.