Welcome back to the Womens Bible Cafe as we continue our bible study for abortion healing. You’ve started your journey up the mountain and you’re about to unload some of the weight you’ve been carrying since your abortion day. This week in your learner book you learned about the power of the secrecy. In the video for session two you watched the STS (Surrendering the Secret) women talking about how they felt the first time they shared their abortion story with another person. Many of the women revealed how much they felt the presence of God, the feeling of relief and the lack of judgment from others. “I saw love when I shared my story,” said one STS sister in the video. Another replied “it’s the biggest lie…when we just speak it out we immediately start to feel the healing.” A few of the women expressed feeling “disconnected” from their feelings as they shared their story. Your journey is personal and your reactions will vary from relief to fear.
“It’s hard for people to understand how important it is to walk through this process and not just ‘put it away,'” says pat Layton in the video. When you share your story or tell others about your participation in the abortion healing bible study, some family members and friends might suggest “you’re forgiven, why put yourself through this study?” Yet we know there is value in the process and healing as you complete this journey. Don’t stop short by telling yourself “I’ve shared my story, now I’m finished with my study.” Keep moving one step forward at a time…as your healing continues.
For those of you who’ve had abortions twenty or more years ago, you now realize that you dealt with your pregnancy as a younger woman and today you’re facing it as a mature Christian woman. You’re turning the clock back and looking a the younger version of yourself. Jesus would not throw stones at you…so don’t throw them at yourself! As you tell your story and take ownership of it….you’ll face a mountain of emotions. Don’t let the stronger emotions of anger or sadness overwhelm you…grasp for the hand of your support partner and know that you’re not alone. Pray scripture, talk to God and seek healing. Never, ever turn inside and isolate yourself and your emotions or your pain. This would be dangerous for you and for those around you.
You’ll see in the video a few women share their abortion stories of being lied to and deceived by the doctors or organization that performed their abortions. While it’s difficult to hear, it’s healing to know that the deception of abortion is a common thread uncovered in post-abortion healing. You’ll be dealing with the enemy and feelings of anger in Session Three of the learner guide.
Here’s what some of the women healed post-abortive have experienced when completing session two of the STS study:
Before StheS I had truly never given the enemy credit for any part in my abortion. I knew I’d given into sexual temptation in the first place and then fear and panic and shame and self preservation in choosing abortion. I only blamed myself and my boyfriend. Before StheS I felt the greatest areas of bondage for me were lies and wounds. Lies to cover the secret and to myself that no one could ever know. And wounds; the pain that I had no idea how to deal with and no one I could really share with. The risk I took sharing my story was others reaction to me. I have been in some type of ministry for over 25 yrs. My children’s reaction was love and support. They’ve even said they were proud of me when I’ve shared publicly. Since this is mine AND my husbands story , he was hesitant at first about my sharing, but now is supportive and has done the Surrendering the Secret study with me.
I grew up in a Christian home and became a Christian at age 13. Very vocal about my Christian faith in High School and College, I had a “good Christian girl” reputation. Deacon’s daughter dating my Pastor’s son in the biggest Baptist church in my little town (18,000 pop.). Thinking I would not ‘give in’ to sexual sin, but of course too much alone time and all, sure enough….and first time to really have sex….Pregnant. My mother had already suffered 3 nervous breakdowns in my lifetime, and I thought for sure my being an unwed, pregnant 18yr old, would do her in. Not to mention the gossip of the church, remember, I was the Deacon’s daughter dating the Pastor’s son. I admit I was concerned about my own reputation too. I remember when I mentioned abortion, my boyfriend at the time (husband now) said, “I didn’t think you would.” Even in 1976 with abortion barely talked about and newly legal, we knew this was wrong. This was something the me I thought I knew wouldn’t do. But how easy to believe the lies when they fit your situation,eh? Of course so many lies I began to tell just to carry out the deed and to hide. I denied who I really was and hiding the secrets became a major part of my life. The innocent died. No church gossip, no nervous breakdown, no marred reputation, no “shotgun wedding.” I hid the secrets of the pregnancy and abortion from everyone close to me for over 25 yrs. I worked very hard to be the person I was before, without this in my life! “Forget it and go on”, but no one forgets! A ‘God-prompted’ confession to my daughter was what changed everything….I’ll save that story for later! Tricia Heflin, National Trainer and Group Leader for Surrendering the Secret email email@example.com or visit www.triciaheflin.com
I never considered that Satan had anything to do with my abortion, I only blamed myself and my stupidity. Before STS I was in greatest bondage to false beliefs and carried my shame 24/7. Though people couldn’t see it, inside my heart I blamed myself for being weak, stupid, irresponsible and selfish. I hated myself. By exposing my secret I risked rejection and abandonment from people I loved, so I carefully decided who to share my story with. Over time it became easier to share my story and it no longer held me captive with shame.
They didn’t have home pregnancy kits back then, so I looked in the yellow pages for “family planning and pregnancy” because I noticed I was gaining weight in my stomach. There was no internet or access to information either. So I asked by phone if they had counseling and options besides abortion and they assured me they did. When I walked in I thought I’d be getting a test and then options for keeping the baby and supporting me. Instead they told me I was almost 12 weeks, and said “if you don’t abort by the next day you’ll no longer have a choice. If you keep it and you’ve been drinking and not taking prenatal pills, chances are it will be born with a birth defect and can’t be adopted.” I asked if it was a baby and the counselor said “not yet, it’s still a mass of cells. In another week it will become a fetus.” I accepted the advice of the pregnancy counselor, then I called the baby’s father and he offered to pay, which I declined, because I felt it was my irresponsibility that caused my pregnancy. I loved the father and didn’t want to burden him and force him into marriage or fatherhood. I called my best friend and she offered to drive, though I’d hope she would have talked me out of the decision. I was so angry at myself I refused any medication, wanted to feel the pain, and didn’t deserve comfort from the pain or procedure. Once I went home I started telling myself God could never love me and I wanted to be invisible from him. I hated myself and thought God hated me too. I really hated myself for believing the clinic workers and killing my baby, and I lived with my regret and self-hate for 20+ years until I completed the STS study. Denise, past participant
I don’t know if I actually thought of the enemies involvement or not at the time. I feel like because of my circumstances at the moment, that I had invited the enemy into my life. I do know that I chose to believe lies over God’s truth. I was living such a double life. By choice. There’s always risk of rejection when you share what God has done in your life. When I shared my story for the first time publicly on my blog, I was encouraged and loved on tremendously. Sharing my story gave others the courage to do the same. I had a few friends I had known for a few years that shared their story with me and some of their family members wasn’t even aware of their choice. One friend of mine, who I thought we knew everything about each other called me the morning I shared it on my blog and said she too had one when she was a teenager. It was something her kids never knew about her. Two years later her teenage daughter was pregnant and was going to abort until my friend shared her story. She shattered the perfect image her kids had of her, but she now has a grandson. God is good and will take our messy lives and use them for His glory.
I was raised in a Christian home, attended a Christian school and went to church twice a week my entire life. In my 30’s I found myself choosing to be in an affair all while serving as a youth leader in my church. On Wednesday night I was praising God along the youth group and by Saturday I was in a hotel. Pregnant with the other man’s baby, I exchanged my pro-life beliefs for choice out of convenience. What I thought would be a quick fix ended up being a regret. God has taken all of that ugly and my husband forgave me and it is now our ministry. God’s grace is powerful…read my story here…http://leliachealey.com/from-abortion-to-restoration/ Lelia Chealey STS certified leader in Nebraska…email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.leliachealey.com
Your journey continues this week. Start by viewing the video for session three (optional due to the cost) and then complete the exercises in Session Three of your Surrendering the Secret Learners Guide.
During this abortion recovery bible study, we encourage you to pray for one another and for the leaders of the study. Please post a prayer request or praise report below, or visit the Prayer Wall.
Pat Layton Quotes
- In our fallen world, deception is the norm rather than the exception.
- The Devil’s goal is to isolate you and take you out.
- We let our burdens become our identities and we settle for survival in place of real life.
- Remaining silent keeps us in the darkness of the lie.
- He’s a protective, caring Father who cares for His children with grace, not shame.
Group Discussion Questions
God will comfort you in the heart and voices of other women who share this journey. For confidentiality, we’ve created an anonymous email address for use during this bible study. Please use the same nickname throughout the study and use the email email@example.com if you want to remain anonymous and keep your comments confidential.
- Have you ever considered that the enemy may have been involved in your abortion?
- In what area do you feel the greatest bondage- wounds, lies or false beliefs?
- What risk do you take by exposing your secret?
- Share any thoughts you have about this week’s lesson.
- Post a prayer request or tell us how we can support you right now.
If you need additional support for this journey, please contact Carrie Bond from Surrendering the Secret at firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-629-9435