Today is a big day for me and anxiety is running high. I'm not sure why I allow the devil to use his ways against me. But, never the less the anxiety is there. Normally my blogs with not focus on such intense discussions. However, the weight of today can not be lifted until I get it out of my head.
Unplanned is premiering today all over the United States. I am going to go and see it with my best friend and constant support system... my sexy hubby. If you have read my last blog then you know why this movie hits so close to home. And to be honest, as I am writing this, trying to not tear up again, there is no denying it. I AM SCARED. I am scared (and anxious) to see this movie. Ever since having Briseis I have not be able to see anything that deals with children in pain. Heck, I cried on Kung Fu Panda 3 when his mother had to leave him to save him! I don't know if that is you or if I am just really weird in this area. But I cry at every heart pulling thing that involves a child. LOL. But like I said, I am scared to see this movie. I am scared because of the pain it is going to cause me (something I feel I have no right to complain about). Regardless though I need to see this movie. I WANT to see this movie!
Now on to why I am a Paul. If you do not know Paul let me give you some back round. Paul was actually Saul to begin with. He was a pharisee and a shrewd one at that. He not only had followers of Christ murdered but he even carried some of them out himself (Acts 9 NIV). It took Christ revealing himself to Saul and blinding him so his eyes could not betray him, for Saul to finally see his sins. After Ananias was given the power to restore Saul's vision he then became known as Paul. Despite him murdering Christians God still chose to use him for His glory (Acts 9:15 - But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my CHOSEN INSTRUMENT to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel."). This proves that no matter our sin our God is so powerful he can turn it to be used for good.
Despite all the goodness that Paul was then used for after sinning against Jesus and repenting, Paul still has consequences he had to endure. There were Christians that ran from him fearing he was lying to get to them for example (Acts 9:26 NIV). But this was not the half of it, nor the worse of it. God makes a promise about Saul in Acts 9:16 NIV which states; I will show him how much he must suffer for my name. Now there are a couple of things I feel as Christians we must understand. One, God loves us and is for us. Two, God tells us in Philippians 4:13 through Paul, I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. But as Christians we must be careful to read the previous text. This verse is so simple, it means no matter the circumstances we find ourselves, happy, sad, in good health, or in torture we can find contentment in all when we lean on Jesus. Three, to share our testimonies (1 Peter 3:15). So Paul's suffering was in my opinion not found so much in the physical but in the spiritual. His suffering came from the thorn in his side that God would not remove (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV).
"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take away from me. But he said, " My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
As mothers we have all made a sin or sins that we use to give testimony to our faith. But have you ever been able to forget that sin or more likely the regret of that sin? Now all sin is seen as equal in God's eyes, but to use we tend to put a scale on ourselves. A white lie I may have told someone I may also have forgotten. But then there are the big sins. The ones we can't stop from regretting. An abortion (my case), lashing out in anger toward our children, saying something that is so cruel you can see the actual damage to the soul of the person at the receiving end and the list goes on. I believe, like Paul, that these regrets that wont leave us are our thorns we must suffer. We suffer not because God wants to punish us, but instead to strengthen us through Him. How can we continue to give testimony after testimony to others if we no longer feel the pain of regret? Would it possibly start to seem fake to some, like we are just going through the same old story with no emotion or worse, as Paul says, conceitedness or maybe self righteousness? No, God loves us so much he allows the pain in our soul to stay long after the person we hurt has moved on because otherwise our testimony would become stale and dead.
As much as the regret of what I did to my child still hurts, God uses that pain when I give my testimony every time. The person I am telling can see the hurt, see the pain, see the raw regret of sin. And once seeing that I have been used to allow an opening for the Holy Spirit to work in that person. If I were to yell and scream at the person why they are wrong, then all I accomplish is the hardening of that person's heart. Especially if I have not walked in their shoes. That is what makes our testimony, our thorn so powerful. We HAVE walked in those shoes, we know the pain is real because we live through it and people who hear it believe it genuinely because it is "lived through truth".
So sweet momma, the next time you feel the regret of your repented sin climbing its way up your chest into your throat and out your eyes in the form of tears, be still and let it strengthen you for the battle of a soul is heading your way. We have three weapons on this earth you and I, love, prayer and personal testimony (our thorn). We are to LOVE all regardless, we give TESTIMONY to sway someone from a sin that we ourselves committed, and if those fail, we PRAY for our God to help by sending the Holy Spirit to intervene. We were once all Sauls and through God's grace we are now Pauls.
I was 21 years old and on my own. I was "playing house" with my boyfriend of a year. I had just gotten home from splurging at the grocery store. While there I had picked up a pregnancy test, I had a gut feeling. I followed the instructions on the packet. When I looked at the results I felt sick to my stomach. So many emotions! Fear, regret, anger. My life was going great and now God was going to throw this curve ball?! I didn't want kids and certainly didn't want them under the current circumstances. What would my parents think? I was the oldest, the one all my siblings looked up to. I had already been kicked out of the house so this was going to make me look even worse. My parents would kill me... No they wouldn't because I was going to take back control of this situation. Immediately I called and scheduled an appointment. I put the groceries away, I ate some strawberries and called my boyfriend to tell him the news. Without telling me he comes over, he wants to talk about options! Options!!! I'm in control and I'm doing this my way. Reluctantly he doesn't argue. The next day I go to the facility. Oh, the devil made it so easy! No protesters, but I'm still scared of the pain the procedure may cause me. They do the ultrasound, I barely glimpse at it, but I remember, to this day I remember that little ball of light. Almost like the sun shinning in a mess of blackness. But that devil, he is good. They tell me I am barely three weeks if that, no heart beat, not attached. To stay in control will require a pill!!! No painful suction, no prolonged wait, easy as pie. I accept, no questions asked. I remember thinking it was weird that the doctor watched while I took the pill, like I wouldn't! I go home and have to insert some pills to fully flush things out. Painful cramping begins but no big deal. I am in control and life can go back to normal, no regrets, just the knowledge I did something wrong.
Fast forward almost 8 years. My boyfriend, now my husband of two years, and I decide we want kids. Well he does and I think I do. Funny how God likes to work. The day my daughter was born was euphoric. Blissful labor, oh and I get to watch the Gator's win while giving birth. The doctor places Briseis on my stomach and that little baby looks dead into my eyes. I feel my heart break into millions of pieces. I was so wrong, I did want kids, just when it was convenient for me. She is my world but a new emotion is sinking in, guilt. Something is trying to resurface, but hey I am in control. I find out my husband cheated on me and we seek out God with a new found passion, determined to salvage the marriage. It works.
Briseis is a year, my husband and I are healing and we decide to have another child. I get pregnant with no problems. I am three weeks along. We are helping my parents move from Houston back to Florida. I go to the bathroom, an ever so small blood clot. Fear creeps in, fear not of the unknowing but of the knowing. I'm going to lose this baby. My family tries to comfort me, tells me God knows what He is doing, that something was wrong with the baby. I agree with them, but a new emotion starts sinking in, regret for a sin made long ago. I had no control, I lose my baby.
I love my life, I love my God, I love my husband and I love my three children God blessed me with despite what I did. I have asked God to forgive me for taking control of my child's life all those years ago. I have asked the child and family members for the same. I have forgiven myself, but that will never make the regret go away. Regret is the scar tissue that covers old wounds that we cause. It keeps us growing. It hurts, it will never stop hurting. What I did wasn't as bad as not trusting God enough to be in control. I wanted control of a situation I put myself into because I didn't like the outcome I was getting. I know my miscarriage was God's way of showing me, even when I think I'm in control, I'm not. There was nothing I could do to save the baby I miscarried. It has taken me years and years of emotions adding onto other emotions to realize the extent of what I did.
When you take another being's life, it is said you lose a part of your soul. Of that I have no doubt. I took something that wasn't mine to take. I doubted the plan God had for me. I doubted He was really in control of what was going on. Because of my blindness to the fact God was trying to spare me I will forever more have this scar of regret. It is a wound I want no other woman to bear because the scar will never go away, the guilt will remain and it will hurt. God's gift to woman of being able to bear children is a way to lose control and let God take control. Whether from rape, or an abnormality, or an accident. God makes no mistakes, He's in control, all He asks is that we lose control.
This excerpt was my first, it was also the hardest and most emotional one I have written. This was also the first step I took on this path.
I will never forget that time in my life. From the moment my stomach hit the floor until the relief came from the “burden” being taken care of. But why? Why did I do something so bad when I knew how wrong it was? There is a great word to sum it all up…FEAR.
The devil crippled me with fear as soon as I saw those double lines on the test. Fear of not wanting children period because I had taken care of and babysat my siblings and they were not all angels all the time. Fear because I was the oldest and the example I was setting was so lowly. Fear because my parents and I had helped my best friend in highschool tell her parents she was pregnant. Fear of the thought of the changes my body would go through and the pain if child birth. Fear of going through all that work to just give the baby away. Fear of what people would think when they saw I was not married. Fear my parents would hate my boyfriend forever and never let me see him again. Fear they would control me by helping me through the pregnancy only to hold it over my head in the future. Fear in every single aspect.
The devil really new how to twist me into his image that day. It was one of the easiest things I have ever done. Swallow a pill, so simple, and then that ball of light on the ultrasound screen would go out forever. I had no idea of the consequences of my actions or the revalations I would have down the road. I just wanted my life back. I remember when I was pregnant with Briseis and she didn’t come on the date I wanted her to (seriously I was that naïve). I remember telling my parents that I felt like she was a parasite that wouldn’t get out of my body. Shame on me!!! I had murdered my first child and yet God showed me grace by giving me another chance. Yet here I was complaining and ungrateful because she came 4 days later then I wanted and ONE DAY past her due date! Selfish. Yet at the time I did not yet realize the weight of my sin.
There are no words to describe the feeling I had when the midwife laid Briseis on my stomach. But back up even further. The labor experience. I went into labor on New Years, that night I went to the hospital. Get this, the on call doctor didn’t believe I was in labor!!! So he admitted me and gave me something to help me sleep. And was it good!!! I was “high” on the drug and sleeping well and full of relaxation and peace any time I would wake with a contraction. And then… pop (even Lance heard it on the monitoring system), my water broke. I was euphoric from there on out. I went through my epideral watching the Gator game (which they won) with the anesthesiologist being a fan as well. I lost track of time from there until my midwife came in to check me. The nurse and I quote, “She’s not ready. We just checked.” To which my midwife answered, “I bet she is.” She was right, Briseis was crowning! A couple pushes (2 is all I remember) and she was out. And that feeling, there is no way to describe it. The closest I have ever been able to come is when the Grinch’s heart “grew three sizes that day.” And then terror… she was grey! Yeah, no one, not even my mother told me babies come out that way! So you future first time moms, you’re welcome. They assured me she was fine and just like that my sweet Peanut looked up at me with those huge eyes and coed at me. Now did I mention not wanting kids? Did I further mention NOT wanting a girl and if we did have one I had wanted the boys first. Well it’s a really good thing God knows better. But I’ll save that for later on in the book.
It wasn’t until that point that guilt started to nag at me over the child I had murdered. My angel baby that forgave me just as God did the second I asked for it. But it would take much longer for me to forgive myself. God knows our children just as He knew us and our parents and their parents, back to the beginning of time. My first angel baby had a purpose and God knew it, but that doesn’t mean the scar goes away. It doesn’t mean it was okay. That child’s DNA will NEVER, EVER be recreated. That is a burden I have to bear. In my ignorance and self-perseverance I took something that was not mine to take, my child’s life.
By now you can see why this was the first and hardest excerpt to write. My only hope is someone reading this will feel the hurt in my words when I took a life and the joy in my words when I gave life. And even if it changes the heart of just one person, maybe that person is you, then glory be to God. For I received three blessings because He loved me enough to not withhold children from me, he showed me grace. And do not for a second think there was not a consequence. Just as David lost his son because of his adultery with a married woman and the murder of that wife’s husband, I too lost a child because of a sin. My second angel baby was the revelation I needed to see I was never in control of anything. I may have made the choice the first time, but God knew all along I would. So for my second angel baby He reminded me He was in control the whole time, and that he can give it and he can take it away. So in all things seek the Lord and have good friends to call you out if you are in the wrong.
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands ~
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under