Wednesday, August 18, 2010

YES to GOD Study: Surrendering the Secret/Week 4

I am beyond sorry for my absence from the blog.
I have been in correspondence with Jennifer and this has been a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. I have really stuffed this part of my life and opening it up, I almost feel like I'm walking around with vomit all over me.

See, with my abortion, I took "the pill". And the two anti-abortion girlfriends I had told about my pregnancy, I couldn't dare tell them that I had aborted, so I told them that I miscarried. So, I let my lie become my truth. And every time I would think about what I had done, I told myself that I had miscarried.

And so it made it a little easier. And when I would start thinking about how old my baby would be, I'd stop before the tears could come down. I reminded myself that "I had no other choice". Lie after lie I fed myself and swallowed every bit of them.

So a few weeks ago, my oldest daughter and I had to go to Bellevue, which is less than an hour away. When we were heading back to Lincoln, she made a wrong turn and there, right across the street from where she turned around, was the clinic.
The clinic where I was handed the abortion pill that would let me swallow my secret sin.

Instant sinking of my stomach.
It's so dirty looking.
You think they could at least take some of the money they make and pave the parking lot so their doctor has a decent place to park.

I said, out loud, "Oh my gosh, that's where I had my abortion". My daughter gave a sympathetic, "Oh" and off we went. There's a sign at the exit off of the highway to Bellevue that says "When a woman has an abortion, something inside of her dies". They should have that on the outside of this dirty building.
But as my daughter found the right street, I just did what I've always done when thinking about my abortion choice, and quickly stuffed it. Problem is, I  am supposed to be "leading" a blog study of this very thing and I don't want anything to do with it. It was so much better when I didn't allow myself to think about it.
Because not only as a mom, but as a human, what I did was horrible and everything in me wants this baby back.
WHAT would God have done with my situation had I allowed Him in and really took Him at His Word of being the great "I Am"?

Looking at this picture of the clinic, I wonder how many babies have been left behind.
And the thing is, I have always been so protective of my kids, that there is no way if this was a daycare that I'd leave my child there, but I did. The minute I let that doctor place that pill in my hand and watch me swallow it, I left my child there. To die. Oh Lord, I'm so sorry.

So amongst other things that have happened, I have chosen to ignore this blog. I like easy and it was easier for me to text Jennifer saying "I promise promise promise today I'm posting!" and week after week she'd text back encouraging me to press forward and trust God with this like she had to do when she first went through this book. I was really hoping she'd say, "Oh, don't worry about it, you're not ready", but she didn't let me off the hook. Instead, she lovingly prayed and guided me. I so love her!
Also, thank you all for your sweet comments and encouragement the last post. You're all such blessings!
If you are going through this book because of your own choice of regret, I will be praying for you!

So, I know I'm way behind, but instead of trying to play catch up, let's look at session 4 this week.
If you ever want to comment, but don't want anyone to know your identity, you can comment under "Anonymous". Your input is always valued.

SESSION 4:  A TIME FOR ANGER: Tearing Down the Roadblocks
Anything in blue is a quote from the book. 

I really love how the author, Pat Layton has included pages from her personal journal at the beginning of each session. This journal entry made me cry. She was told her abortion would take a few hours and she'd be back to her normal life. Instead, she stopped breathing and was put on a respirator due to an allergic reaction from the anesthesia. What was going to be her secret became her nightmare as she awoke to her parents next to her side in the hospital. Read her words...

"They" said there was "no need to worry" about the fever and the cramps that lasted five days after I went home from the hospital. As I grew worse, "they" changed their minds and said, "We are very sorry" and admitted me back into the hospital. "They" said, "During the emergency we encountered during your first procedure, parts of the fetus were left behind. We will need to repeat the procedure." 
I never even thought about the word "fetus" as "they" said it. 
All I could think was "baby." 
My baby. 
"Parts" left behind? 
Which "parts"? 
The heart? 
The hands? 
The parts of a boy or a girl? 
My God, 
which parts? 
Nothing "they" said was true.

I cannot even begin to pretend to know what she endured during and after that day. But what I do know is the book I am trying hard to go through is proof that God can take the hardest, ugliest, most selfish time in our life and turn it for His good.

Ephesians 4: 25-26
Laying aside falsehood, speak the truth each of you with his neighbor, for we are all members of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger

So how do "be angry" and yet keep sin out of the picture.
I've always related anger with yelling, screaming, explosive behavior and yet that is not what God wants from us. So sometimes it seems easier to stuff it, but that's not what God says for us to do either. Verse 26 doesn't say, Be angry, and yet do not sin, just stuff it down in your heart and make things on the outside look as normal as possible.
Anger is a God-given emotion that helps us address issues, but it must be handled carefully. 

Pat takes us further into Ephesians chapter 4 when she takes us past verse 26 and goes to 32 where we learn what happens when we stuff our anger or let it out in the wrong way.

I've always heard, "don't let the sun go down on your anger" and have looked at that sentence as being more of a fortune tucked into the fold of a cookie at a Chinese restaurant instead of advice in my Bible penned by Paul.
 When I've been angry about something not only has the moon replaced the sun, but the lights have been turned off, the fit has been thrown, the words I can't take back have been spit out and the silent treatment has gone into effect.
And how many of these can I check off that I've done...
Explosive anger verbally attacks by screaming, cursing, condemning, name-calling, humiliating, or threatening. It damages self-esteem and trust and ultimately destroys a relationship when the exploder causes the anger recipient to retreat for emotional safety. 

Pat encourages us to get rid of explosive anger and replace it with a healthy outlet.
It's so weird, because I don't walk around screaming and yelling like a mad woman, but when I let it out oh my goodness, even Kane the dog wishes he lived somewhere far away from me.
And sometimes the anger just rises up so quick from out of no where.
Post-abortive women often react to thing sin ways they don't understand. They find themselves overreacting to events and circumstances in ways they don't expect---sometimes with anger, or other times with great sadness or hurt. Now that you are on your healing journey, you can begin to make sense of these uncomfortable emotions. 

By doing this study, it has really forced me to look at the choice that I made. The choice I convinced myself had to be done. The choice to end my baby's life. The choice to not give God a chance. The choice to face myself in the mirror and allow myself to grieve.
The choice I wish I was sitting next to right now.

It was no coincidence that my daughter missed the turn and I sat in the car looking at the building I entered years ago. I think God allowed that to happen on purpose so I would stop putting up walls around this part of my heart and give Him permission to invade me.
I hadn't seen the clinic since I walked away from it that day. I didn't even return there for my post abortion  follow-up appointment 2 weeks later.
I just wanted that day gone, but somehow God has different plans for me.
I wonder if this is what He means when He tells us in Isaiah 55:8
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,"
       declares the LORD.

Please visit Jennifer at her blog,  Spirit of Truth 
and read her insight to session 4 as we share different things from the chapter.

Join me next Tuesday, session 5: 
Forgiveness: A Giant Step Toward Freedom

I'll be back Friday to share with you some exciting things that have been happening. 
Our God...He is somethin' else, as if you don't already know!


Kelly said...


God definitely took you back, so you could go through this process as thoroughly as your spirit, heart and soul truly want to. And need to.

Isn't it odd, sometimes the most painful things are the ones we know we need to do, but we avoid?

God knows best. Just think. I believe that even before you started this study, or this blog, He knew that he would bring you back past that place and that, with only a matter of time, He would be able to heal you as fully as only He can.


I can only think of the other women that you are helping, through sharing your own deep, hard struggle. You are a blessing, God is working through you.

Love and hugs :)

Jennifer said...

I am so stinkin' proud of you my friend!!! I knew you could do this!! Thank you for being so honest and true! Your words are a gift.... they are reaching so many women who are feeling much of what you are.

Our ugly....for HIS glory!!!!

Love you my friend!


Paula ~ Princess Warrior Chick said...

Lelia my sweet! Oh how I miss you! And oh how bad of me to not call you on my holiday! Email me and let me know if you're on Skype...OK! I love this post - so open and raw. I've been very slack and haven't been reading many blogs of late so I have missed your posts on this book. Love you lots! P xo

{Karla} said...

Hi Lelia~~

I was looking for a way to contact you on your site, but couldn't locate one other than through comments...

I don't know if you remember me, but I did your "Yes to God" buttons. I am currently redoing my site (new business name etc) and was adding your button onto my portfolio. I tweaked it some - freshened it up a touch... and wanted to send it to you. You don't have to use it if you don't want to, but I wanted to offer it.

I get a giggle at God's timing... your post is so relevant to me, and for me to pop over here to ask about your button and see you writing abt abortion is totally a God moment. You see, I had an abortion 20 yrs ago. I've written about it and would love to show you the text (it ended up being reworked and published in a book {!}.

anyway... that is a lot to throw out there in a seemingly random visit. But I know God and I know better than to think it was 'random' ;)

karla (at) archercreative (dot) com
(used to be Fruition Designs)

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

oh, my.. just tears. my heart aches for those who have suffered through this.

thanks Lelia for sharing from your heart!