Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.
January 23, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Life Beyond Regret, Part 2
For freedom Christ has set you free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 (NRSV)
Instead of embracing God I permitted a roller coaster ride of emotions to lead me further and further away from the one source of love. Before long I was back at square one, pregnant again. Could this be my second chance? These words did not immediately enter my mind as I looked at the positive test result, but they were the thoughts of my heart as news of this pregnancy began to take root. This baby would be my redemption, my atonement child.
Frightened and uncertain, I shared the news with the baby's father. He wasn't excited, but neither was he breathing down my neck to terminate the pregnancy. Relief! His calmness about our situation set me at ease. "We'll get through this," was his answer. We talked of marriage, and I think he really wanted to but he was scared. He wanted to do what was right, but now he was the one on top of that "slide" looking down, terrified of what he was seeing. We did not marry, and I felt all alone.
During my pregnancy the God of my childhood called to my heart, "Come back to Me, Jami." "I love you!" Oh, how I wanted what God had for me, but I was afraid! I knew that I would have to give up everything to follow Him. My grip was tight, and I could not let go of the sin that held me prisoner. How could God forgive me? How could I forgive myself? Will my life ever be "normal?" Is this how I am going to live for the rest of my life? Oh, God forgive me!
Sheer delight over Madelyn's birth was overshadowed by brief moments of torment from the past. I couldn't escape my past. I couldn't escape the fact that I was alone. Everywhere I turned, no matter how far or how hard I ran, it was always there...abortion...loneliness...alcohol...neglect. The vicious cycle was once again spinning.
After several years I was tired of running, tired of hiding, tired of doing it my way. It was the darkest time of my life, and looking back, the only thing that can explain how my life changed is G-R-A-C-E! God used an extraordinary set of circumstances to call me back to Himself.
To my dismay, my walk with the Lord did not silence the past. It was still there haunting and taunting me. At times I thought the pain of yesterday would ruin every tomorrow, leaving me crippled for life. But God continued to give me hope. Working through denial, anger, bitterness, then extending forgiveness, and accepting the choice I made to terminate my pregnancy brought wholeness to my broken heart. Freedom didn't come over night, nor did it come easily, but ask me if it was worth it and I'll tell you - absolutely!
God has radically changed my life, heart, and vision. I am no longer a tattered woman searching for love and trying to make up for the past, but a much loved daughter of the King. Restored and redeemed, I am a virgin bride clothed in robes of righteousness. What happened to change my vision? God revealed the sin in my heart, led me to repentance and made my life new, redemption and restoration in His hand. Second Corinthians 5:17 states, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." God gave me a new vision of who I am in Him.
He wants to do the same for you. Will you let Him?
My prayer for today:
Lord Jesus, thank you for making a way for us to be reconciled to the Father. God, I ask that you would speak love and healing to our weak and weary hearts. Show us Your love in a unique way today. Help us to see that freedom in You is worth any amount of heartache we may have to go through to experience it. May the bad in our lives be taken and used by You for good. Oh, Father we thank you for grace and mercy. Amen.
If you have experienced the loss of a child through pregnancy termination, I highly recommend that you seek out a Recovery Support Group and Study. There is a big difference between being forgiven and having worked through the steps of healing.
Evaluate your life and see if there is anything from the past from which you have not been fully healed and restored.
Could it be that you fear allowing God complete access to your life? Are you still trying to be in control?
Make the choice today to start the healing process.
Have you relied on Jesus to be your all in all? Or, have you tried to do things your way?
What choices have you made that led to bondage? What choices do you need to make to bring you freedom?
Are you living like a "new creation?"
Do you have a Christian support system, or someone in whom you can confide?
Jesus sent His disciples out in two's, and in Ecclesiastes we are told that two are better than one. Do not try to go though the healing process alone. Ask God to bring someone into your life that will be a godly influence and source of support.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (NRSV)
Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled. (NRSV)
Ephesians 4:31-32 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God is Christ has forgiven you. (NRSV)
Luke 7:47 Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little. (NRSV)
Isaiah 43:1 ... do not fear, for I have redeemed you: I have called you by name, you are mine. (NRSV)
Isaiah 61: 1-4 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion - to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display His glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. (NRSV)
Seven Life Principles for Every Woman by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes
For Those Who Hurt by Mary Southerland