Thursday, January 23, 2014

I see you... #abortionhurts

Hello friend.

I see you.

I see you sitting in the pew while everyone's head is bowed. You hear the pastor talking about grace and forgiveness and as much as you want to believe, you know in your heart it isn't true. The sin you hide is one too great. "Surely," you think, "God wouldn't forgive it."

I see you as you swallow hard against the tears that are forming. You want what the preacher speaks about, but you know it's not for you. When the prayer is over and the lights are back up you raise your head and place the smile on your face that hides your shame.

I see you.

I see you at your girlfriend's baby shower. Surrounded by baby things. I know how hard it was for you to even come there. I see the ache in your heart that longs for things to be different. I see the regret that you carry like a cloak about you. You listen to conversations about breast feeding and baby names, you hear the excitement and anticipation in the room and your heart aches in the midst of it. "You ok?" someone asks and you smile. "Of course," you lie, and you mentally remember to better hide your heart in a happy room.

I see you.

I see you when you wake up from your nightmare in a cold sweat. The horrific sounds that played in your dream still echoing in your mind. Your husband rolls over and reaches out. "You ok?" he asks.
"Bad dream," you tell him. He bats his eyes at the darkness, "What about?" he asks with concern. "I can't even remember," you lie. "Just go back to sleep."

And I see you as you lie there, aching in the darkness, praying for the pain and sadness of regret to go away.

I see you when your friend comes to you. She's in a crisis and being pregnant just isn't timed right for her. I see your mind race as you try to decide how to counsel her. Your pain of your own past decision surrounds you, almost overwhelms you but maybe, just maybe, if you aren't the only one...

I see you.

I see you question and wonder why it wasn't as simple as everyone said it would be. I see you wonder if there's something wrong with you that it wasn't simple at all. The sense of violation, the pain of loss and regret, they were not supposed to be. And I see you as you try to work that all out in your mind- alone... because surely there is no one you can talk to, no one who can understand.

I see you.

I see you the day they lay your first born baby in your arms. I see the sense of you - you don't deserve this happiness that is trying to creep into your darkness. I see the fear that comes with the joy; "what will happen now?" you ask. And you worry-- everything in you worries because you don't deserve this baby. You don't deserve to be a mom.

But you have been a mom for quite a long time, but a mother with empty arms. And you're a mom who's not allowed to grieve the loss of your child because it came at your own hands. "It's not a baby" they told you, and yet, you are constantly aware that that little someone isn't here, and they ought to be. But there's no one you can even talk to about it. Your heart is full - but of ache and pain and regret.

And I see you.

Now I want you to look at me.

There is hope.

There is light and life and forgiveness.

There is freedom from shame.

I see you, but more importantly...

Jesus see you.

And it's not too big for Him.

He longs for you to know the limitless grace that covers all your sin.

Even the sin of abortion.

Come to Him.

Trust Him.

He can heal the ache in your heart that you have come to believe will always be.

He came to make you whole... restore your hope... heal your heart.

The words you hear the pastor speak are truth, "God's grace is sufficient."

It will cover ALL your sins.

Even this?

Even this.

And you can be free...




No sin is too great...

for Jesus is greater.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will He harbor His anger forever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:8-12

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

If you suffer with post-abortion syndrome, there is help and hope.
Feel free to contact me or check out Healing Hearts Ministry.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I am pro-choice #roevwade #41years

41 years and they still don't see the inherent value of your life...

9 Weeks

13 Weeks

18 Weeks

22 Weeks

24 Weeks

Every one of these "products of conception" can be legally aborted on demand
in the United States. They call it being "pro-choice."

But I am truly pro-choice.

I am for choosing life - choosing life allows for the decision to choose between raising your own child or giving it up for adoption. Choosing life allows for the choice between open adoption and private adoption. Choosing life allows for the choice between single parenting or married parenting or co-parenting.

I am for choice.

Abortion ends life and it ends the freedom to choose.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20a

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's a struggle

Warning: I am in a low place today - and though I know there are tribes of folks who would tell me that that means I should probably step away from the keyboard, that's just not who I am. So here I am, at the keyboard in a very low valley. And if you don't want to read about it or if it's going to make you feel uncomfortable, let me direct you to the little "X" in a square somewhere at the top of the page and click it now. If you choose not to and you read on, don't say I didn't warn you, because you have, in fact, been warned.

There are so many opinions out there about what being a Christian ought to look like. "Be real." "Don't be real." "Don't be TOO real." "Be real but always put a positive spin on it." "Always give everything a positive spin."

Bleh. The whole thing exhausts me. It doesn't help that I have those who appreciate my openness, those who counsel against it, and those who judge me for it - both directly and indirectly. I will say though I much better appreciate those who are real and direct with their opinions whatever they may be. That's not to say I always appreciate the opinion, but I do appreciate one's willingness to own it.

I am not "happy" with my life right now. "Right now" being a long season of time that is not so clearly defined. But this right now, today right now, this week right now, this month right now, this year right now - it feels like a particularly low low. Life is just a mess.

If I were going to describe myself in this season I would use words and phrases like "purposeless;" and "ineffective." If I was going to describe circumstances I would use words like "futile;" and "hopeless."

There's lots of good intentioned voices that have or would tell me to get back on the proverbial horse, even the biblical one that says to "press on," but I'm tired. And I feel like I am in a dark hole. God is sovereign - this I know. So what does that mean? Maybe I am supposed to be in this hole. Jesus is in the hole with me after all. Yeah? Maybe so. Right now that brings me no real comfort. I don't want to be here. I want to be with Jesus, but I don't want to be with Jesus in the hole. I can't see Him here in the hole. I know He sees me, but I can't see Him, and when I call out to Him in the hole, he's quiet. I can't see Him; He's not speaking; He doesn't do anything to alleviate the darkness. All I know is He's here because He said He's here. That's good, but sometimes it's hard to feel like that's enough.

Shameful that I would "say" that "out loud." Because EVERYTHING Jesus does is good, and I am supposed to count it ALL joy when I encounter various trials. Sometimes those words, true as they may be, are easier said than done. It's a struggle.

I had someone in a position of authority tell me once that my blog was not the place for me to process my thoughts and feelings. Every time I write here now, I wonder a little if they will read my words - and I wonder not if they are judging them, but to what degree. The thought was as a "Christian" I ought not vent my struggles or my grievances. Then I thought about all the Psalms and an entire book of Lamentations that God saw fit to share. Maybe you think that is an arrogant comparison, but I think that the one or two people who have come back to me and thanked me for being "real" here on the blog and for sharing the anti-Pollyanna side of being a Christ follower make it worth it... even if it disqualifies me in the eyes of someone else. That's truth.

I wish I was someone who didn't think so much or feel so deeply. When Paul in the Bible says "it is better for me that I go, but better for you that I stay," talking about how he looks forward to death, I understand that sentiment, and I hear agony in his "voice" as he says it. Though I think we tend to read over it somewhat passively. I don't think it was said passively - I think it was said with longing in his heart, and perhaps even regret that it were so. Obligation was what kept him going. That's my take on the matter.

I know a woman who is facing death. Though I pray for her not to go, there is a part of me that envies her that she may. I don't want her to go- not for her sake, but for the sake of those who love her. But I envy the idea of being in a state where all the bullshit is bullshit instead of what we have to maneuver through in life. Bills to be paid, chores to be done, anything relational outside of the most critical of connections completely fades in importance. Instead of the tyranny of the urgent, she lives, however weakly, by the predominance of what is truly critical, and that is what I envy.

So we ought to live that way completely anyway, right? Absolutely! But it doesn't happen. Urgent tyrannizes, life demands, crap rises to the surface and time and purpose are consumed. Oh there are some who feel less of it. There are the few fortunate whose purpose is tied into their everyday life - and it's all clearly defined. They are the ones who usually sit in judgment of the rest of us who are not so clearly directed. But in all honesty I know that is only my perspective - my sinful envy of those whose lives I look upon and I see something. Anything really that could be construed as success - whether it's accomplishment or direction, or a sense of purpose, confidence even.

As for me I feel stuck in the struggle. I feel like there is supposed to be "MORE." But that more is not something I can clearly define. Is it a doing or a being, I do not know. Do I feel somewhat guilty in the sense? Yes. Because I know (or maybe I have heard) that I should be satisfied in the sufficiency of Christ. There too lies part of the struggle - another brick in the wall. And yet here I remain feeling like there ought to be something more and yet I am at an absolute loss for what it could be. And when I look around at what should qualify as accomplishment, I see none. What have I done that will matter? I see nothing.

"Seek the Lord." That is a popular piece of advice. You know what I say? Sometimes it feels like He is the best player of "Hide and Go Seek" in all of eternity. I cry "olly olly oxen free" and hidden He remains. Hidden and silent here in the dark hole.

Yes, I have His Word. Remember it is His Word that assures me He is here in the hole. But there are times when it makes His presence no more tangible. Real as He is, even as I declare it and know it to be truth, sometimes grasping for Him simply feels like grasping at vapor. I know it's just a feeling, and though we cannot live by the feelings, neither will they be completely denied. Having them isn't unhealthy, but denying them might be. And being in the word isn't always an instant panacea. Sometimes God allows us to be stuck to wander in deserts or to hide in cave. Sometimes the belly of a whale is EXACTLY where God's purpose is for us to remain. And even being vomited out doesn't necessarily make for a better experience. Sometimes things just suck, and therein lies the struggle. Dark holes are dark places, physically and spiritually - and emotionally too. Even with God - not FOR God, but for us, even when He is with us. At least that's been my experience. That's what I'm feeling right now, and it sucks.

Still I follow. Still I even trust and believe, but struggle still because it is hard, disheartening and lonely. But God is sovereign. God is still good. That's not spin, it's truth, but it's not always plainly seen. Because even as a Christian, darkness is dark. At least for me.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
Psalm 139:7-12