Surrendering the Secret Online Bible Study Week 2

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:

Tricia’s Story

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 tjhef@aol.com or visit www.triciaheflin.com

Denise’s Story

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

Lelia’s Story:

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 leliachealey@yahoo.com or visit www.leliachealey.com

Homework

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.

Prayers

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 biblecafe16@gmail.com if you want to remain anonymous and keep your comments confidential.

  1. Have you ever considered that the enemy may have been involved in your abortion?
  2. In what area do you feel the greatest bondage- wounds, lies or false beliefs?
  3. What risk do you take by exposing your secret?
  4. Share any thoughts you have about this week’s lesson.
  5. 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 cbond@greenwoodbc.com or 817-629-9435

Comments

  1. 1. Like many women in the study, I never thought that the enemy may have been involved in my abortion. I just thought I couldn’t bring another child into the world and bring more shame and disappointment to my family, that I couldn’t do it alone. I was very young and selfish. I didn’t know the truth from a lie.
    2. I feel the greatest bondage in “unworthiness”. I feel that because of all the wrong decisions in my life, that I do not deserve anything good.
    3. As I surrender my secret, I risk rejection of those I love most.
    5. I pray for strength for all of us taking part in this study, and I ask for prayers/support that I am able to unearth all I need in the depths of my soul to fully heal from my past abortions.

    • Praying that you forgive yourself for your choice, that you recognize how much spiritual warfare was involved in your decision, and how you are so very loved by God. He knows you by name, He knows your unborn child and He is your strength and comfort as you complete the healing journey. Break the stronghold and bondage the enemy has placed over your heart, remove the duct tape one painful strip at a time…and remember always…you are loved. If the devil says you are not…it’s just another lie.

  2. Nicolie says:

    1. Funny, even while doing the study, I didn’t contemplate what the enemy’s role is in all of this. I think He has always worked at twisting the truth and telling me of my imperfections and weaknesses. Sadly, this was just one more area where I listened to him and a lot log other mistruths instead of following what was True and Right.
    2. I think my false beliefs are what I have had to battle the most- feeling unworthy each time I was short of perfect.
    3. At this point it is no longer a risk to share. I am a daughter of the King and if he accepts me and my sin and everything else no one else can see, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says!

  3. I absolutely know that my abortions were a product of the enemy’s lies. I recently confessed to my partner last week something I never told anyone. When my husband and I decided to start a family together a few weeks later I got scared and changed my mind. I had already raised a son who was 22 at the time. God had other plans, and I soon found out that I was pregnant. Shortly after we found out, my husband was injured on the job and our income was cut to a quarter of what we were used to. I soon started hearing this voice in my head to get an abortion (even though at the time I had already ministered to so many women about my previous abortions, had received forgiveness from God, and was very vocal on my pro-life beliefs). This voice was so dirty and evil, and kept telling me I could then lie to my husband and tell him I had a miscarriage. It was at that point when I knew my child’s life was on the line and I had to fight for him. Our whole way of living was crashing around us, and being pregnant was no longer “convenient.” That voice kept nagging at me, and I resisted with every little bit of energy I had in my spirit.

    Now my son is going to be 3 next month, and I’m so grateful I didn’t listen to that lie. As I become more and more active in helping women overcome and heal from their past abortions, the enemy has hit from every angle. I can’t even begin to tell you how many terrible things have happened to us in the last 6 months since I became a volunteer with a local Christian family resource center. The attack has been unbelievable…but obvious. It’s not been easy to resist giving up what I know God’s calling me to do in this type of ministry. One of the main targets through all of this HAS been my son. He’s been afflicted with a very horrific illness that doctors cannot determine what’s wrong. It started almost immediately when I began this ministry, and each time I opted to step back for a while, he got better. And each time I get back into it, he gets sick again.

    The enemy will always use our past, particularly our abortions, to condemn us in our weak moments or times of need. The sad part is that the rest of the world has bought into this lie and has made it way too easy by calling it a “choice,” rather than what it really is: a life.

    Beware, that even after your healing, the enemy will always try to sneak into this area of your life and try to bring it back to the surface somehow.

    • Praise God that you resisted the voice of the enemy and stood your ground! Satan lies to pregnant women and gives them many CHOICES that seem more appealing than motherhood. Someone gave me excellent advice and said that when you lead a ministry, you need intercessors praying for you daily. She has been praying for me ever since and while I still see the enemy, he is diffused. We need to find the same protection for you…intercessors who pray over ministries. Ask God to bring this into your life and He will send someone. You are loved.

      • Thank you, Christine. I do need that. What’s odd to me, after getting deep into this week’s study last night, it suddenly dawned on me what “Surrendering the Secret” truly meant for ME. At first it didn’t make sense because being active in pro-life organizations for so many years, and sharing my story with so many women, I didn’t feel I had a secret that needed to be surrendered anymore. However, the taunting, terrorizing secret I had been hiding for so long was that nagging thought to have an abortion with our son. I finally told my husband about it last night. He wasn’t surprised. He said that God revealed it to him while I was dealing with it and all he could do was love me through it…and he did!! I’m thankful God showed him what I was going through. I just wish I hadn’t kept it a secret for so long because it allowed the enemy to wreak havoc in my life for nearly 4 years!!

        I’m so grateful for this study and how it’s opened up a whole new door in my life to be set free from NEW strongholds the enemy had over me in this area of my life. Although I didn’t abort Tavin, the thought was “deadly” enough in my mind!

        • The Lord continues to sift us until all hidden things are revealed. This is most important in ministry as it removes anything the enemy might use against you. God is so good when He does this and reveals His love to you!

  4. Have you ever considered that the enemy may have been involved in your abortion? I had no clue. I just knew that my mother said it was fine and I trusted her.

    In what area do you feel the greatest bondage- wounds, lies or false beliefs? I would say false beliefs- I have always felt that I was not good enough, that I was a horrible person and no one could or would love me.

    What risk do you take by exposing your secret? People seeing me as weak or a bad person. People not liking me once they know.

    Post a prayer request or tell us how we can support you right now. Please pray for my focus, the enemy is pulling me (with my busy schedule) away. Trying to tell me I am fine and I don’t have to “do” this.

    • The enemy keeps you captive when you tell yourself people will not like you. In reality, they will see love and grace when they know your story. You’re a prodigal daughter who returned home to God…what’s wrong with that image? Nothing! You’ll experience intense anger during week 3 as you realize how much influence Satan had over your abortion experience. He doesn’t want you to know the truth so the enemy is going to fight hard to keep you hidden and in bondage. We’ll all be praying for you and anyone else going through this week three journey. You are loved.

      Precious Father, I pray for your daughter Sarah as she confronts the enemy and discovers his hand in her past. May she see the truth through her tears, your love in her secret, and acceptance in others. May Sarah walk as a Princess of the Light, with your love glowing through her. Bind the enemy from his attempts to distract Sarah this week and release your protection over her. In Jesus name, amen.

  5. 1. I hadn’t ever considered the enemy’s involvement in my abortion (or any bad decisions for that matter) until I did this study. I have just always blamed only myself and figured I should have known better.

    2. I feel the greatest bondage in the false self that is the result of all the enemy’s work. Once you become something, even if it is false, it is hard to change. Sometimes it is even hard to recognize that it is a false self and not the real, true self. It’s amazing how easily we become the masks we wear.

    3. For me, this was about two things: judgement and disappointment from those I love, and losing the ministry work I did with the students at my church; Ironically, the very same reasons I had the abortion in the first place.

    4. I found it interesting this week that, although in past studies I have felt relief knowing there are so many others who share my hurt out there, this time I felt anger. There are SO MANY women affected by this!! Why are so few speaking up?

    5. It is my prayer for myself and all of us that we are able to push through this no matter how hard it gets, ditch the lies we have been told for entirely too long, and live FULLY in the freedom of the truth. I see that there are a whole lot less women commenting today than on that first day, and I want to encourage those who have either given up or want to to come back and wait this thing out. I know it is hard and scary and heart-wrenching, but it’s worth it. Every chapter, every page, every second of it.

    • Your words are encouraging, thank you Natalie. You are loved.

    • Thank you Natalie for sharing and the encouraging words to keep going. I started the study a week late so I’m not through the second chapter yet, but I feel the devil is working overtime to convince me that I really don’t need this study…..I’ve worked through this stuff, right?? Ha, NOT! I’ve had two abortion, one 23 years ago and one 18 years ago. Sure I’ve told some friends and even shared with them in a way to make people think “I’m healed”. Ha, wrongo! Just going through the first chapter has opened up a war of emotions, and I believe this study is reaching into areas of my soul, and heart that I’ve closed off and have come to realize that I’ve allowed satan to stand guard at those doors to be sure they don’t open. Step aside satan, you are about to be fired from guard duty!

      I don’t normally deal with feeling depressed but it’s taken me everything I have to even clean my house the last couple weeks. I normally have no problem getting up at wee hours of the morning to pray and do bible study. The past week & especially the past two mornings has been such a struggle to even get out of bed. Haven’t been able to even crack the STS book in three days. It wasn’t until I started reading the posts today that I’ve realized it’s not my flesh I’m waring again, it the principalities – satan I’m waring against in this battle.

      I truly never blamed satan before, I blamed my self even to a point of being so angry at myself I pulled my own hair out and hit my chest. I did eventually work through some of those emotions and stopped doing that and wasn’t so angry at myself , but then turned my anger towards my mother who was there assisting me along in the abortions, by providing me the money and drove me to and from the abortion clinics.

      Well I say all that to say I’m not going to quit I can’t now…. Please pray for me to fight this battle.

      • The enemy doesn’t want you to know the truth so he’ll do everything to cause you to doubt and be discouraged during this study. Once you break past week 3 the warfare is less intense and you’ll claim victory through Truth. Keep going..call your STS partner…and thrive in the presence of God. He is near! You are loved.

    • Natalie, I feel your anger! One night when I couldn’t sleep I flipped over to some documentary on the affects of rock and roll music in our society/world/culture. As a former music journalist/groupie, I found the topic interesting yet highly disturbing. Towards the end of the show, it then started to discuss how the music then correlated with abortion. I soon found myself in tears of rage! It’s actually what sparked my desire to get back involved in the ministry. I will never in my life forget that rage I felt for the devil at that moment. I told God that night, “I hope You allow me the privilege of kicking Satan into the depths of eternal damnation.” I had never felt such righteous anger in my life! And ever since that night, the enemy has cleverly found new ways to threaten me and my family and our livelihood.

      • You always have victory over the devil….stand your ground. One of the best books and bible studies I’ve ever done is “Invisible War” by Chip Ingram and page by page I saw how the enemy walked all over my heart. He no longer has access to it and I no longer rage at him…he’s annoying, nothing more.

  6. 1.At the time, no, I did not consider the enemy being involved in my abortion. All I could think about was how I was 19, I was suppose to be a christian, and I didn’t want to be tied down to the guy after all.

    2. The area I felt the most bondage was the wounds of guilt. There was a point I didn’t even want to talk about this, and when I did, it would end in tears.

    3. The risk I take by sharing this is judgement. I gave my heart to the Lord at a young age. So I was a christian when this happened. I went into a state of rebellion due to church hurt, and the abortion was one of the results of it. The boyfriend at that time did let some people in church know and boy, did I catch it. I guess that is where the shame and guilt all begin.

    4. I am truly feeling a break through this study. It also encourages me to see I am not alone with my story, as others can truly relate to my experience.

    5. I pray for all the women involved in this study that we we all receive complete healing from this, and that some how God can use our experience to help other women in Jesus name.

    • Praying with you for the women who have the courage to heal…you are loved.

    • Grace4Life says:

      Some of our worst pain can, unfortunately, be inflicted by those who claim to know Christ. I love what the Bible says in John 8 where people accused a woman of adultery. After they had all left, Jesus says “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” If Jesus doesn’t condemn us, I guess no one else has the right to condemn us , either. Praise Him for His grace and mercy in our lives!

  7. Vicci Mauldin says:

    I remember when my healing started from my abortion. My abortion was in May of 1983. I had been reading my Bible in the New Testament. I was searching for help. Then one night I laid in my bed and said, “On My God I murdered my baby!!” I was agreeing with God of what I had done and he began an overwhelming healing in my life. I was baptized for remission of sin in May of 1991. I went through a post-abortion Bible study in the fall of 1991. I received no judgment-just pure love through the women-the love of God. Share. That’s what God wants you to do. You will receive healing by sharing and talking with each other. I have bonds with the women that I went through the Bible study with that last to this day and will last forever. I have bonds with the staff of the crisis pregnancy center where the Bible study was conducted out of. You have something in common. Don’t let satan stand in your way because he will try. He is the father of lies!! Don’t let him steal your healing. There is no sin that God cannot truly forgive if you approach Him with a truly repentant heart through the blood of Jesus. I am so proud of each of you. It takes courage to dig in the past, but there is a light at the end that will overwhelm you with God’s love. Please keep trying. Don’t give up you true healing. It takes time. I pray that you will experience nothing but love. That is what God is all about. Love you all, Vicci :-) Standing for Jesus and His healing power!!

  8. Sue Alice says:

    1. I can and can not say at this time if Satan had a part to play in all of this. I believe He did, but as i said I was 17y/o and that was over 40 years ago. I know this study as already brought out alot of bury feelings.

    2. That I never know the truth of what my mother had me do…..that I was harming someone that was alive in me. It was years before I found out this truth.

    3. People will stay away from me and have nothing to do with me. Shame and guilt. Does God really love me, and care?

    Christine,

    Thank you so much for all you do and this study. You are a mighty woman of God. Blessing to you.

    • In the next chapter you’ll come face-to-face with your anger towards Satan. Over the years you’ve expressed how mad you are at the Devil and this week when you get to the root of how he impacted your life, you’ll have a new awareness at the cause of your anger. The week ahead is tough and much as it is refreshing…put on your safety helmet and prepare for the ride. You might want to get a bag of rocks…walk to an empty field…and launch them at the invisible enemy! You’ve got to release your anger in a healthy way…and not internalize it or throw darts at people you love. You’re a soldier in an invisible war and you’re about to confront the enemy. Do it carefully my friend! You are loved.

  9. thank you Christine and Bible Cafe for offering the Surrendering the Secret Study! We are everywhere, women (and men) who need God’s healing from our regretted choice of abortion and its effects on our lives!
    Our God is reaching out to us because He loves and wants us whole and healed. (Isaiah 61, Luke 4)
    This study has changed my life like no other, because abortion wounded my life lke nothing else!
    What the enemy meant for evil, GOD can use for good! Don’t stop now, everyone!

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