I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine. I met Lee-Ann several years ago and have enjoyed many conversations with her about what God is doing in our lives.
Lee-Ann has kindly agreed to share her story with Wield The Word readers. I trust it will be an encouragement to readers who need healing after deep hurt. May this testimony restore hope.
I was pregnant at 14. Just finished grade 7 and enjoying a summer of fun with friends, I was contemplating tough decisions like:
- telling my parents about my pregnancy,
- what having the baby would mean for my family,
- running away with my adult boyfriend,
- or having an abortion.
I was terrified and confused. All I knew was that my parents would be disappointed and angry and that I needed to fix the “problem” of being a pregnant teen.
Not understanding the realities of homelessness, I devised a plan to run away with my boyfriend and have the baby. I believed I was protecting my family and avoiding the consequences that might follow if they found out.
Eventually, my plan to run away was found out and a deep depression settled in as I was faced with the reality of having to reveal my secret to those who could help me with my plan to abort the baby. Those who could not help were kept in the dark.
I had the abortion. I thought my problems were over. I was wrong.
The World’s Lies
I learned the importance of sexuality when I discovered pornography. My views of how women are to dress, or how to respond to men’s advances, were shaped by feeding the lust of my flesh. This led to many relationships with men and, eventually, drug and alcohol experimentation.
At age 19, I was confronted with the reality that all these experiences were not fulfilling my longing to feel loved, to feel important to someone, to know that I matter and am accepted just as I am. I was tired of my relationships being based only on what I could give someone.
I began to question the existence of God. I had heard about God as a young child at a Bible camp. Now I was wondering who He really is. Did He see my pain? Did He care about me? And was I too sinful to be saved by Jesus?
I began to ask questions of other sinners who had been saved. They graciously led me through God’s Word, showing me Scripture, and being examples of God’s unconditional love. They were loving and patient, but never compromised God’s instruction for righteous living.
It didn’t take long before I opened my heart and surrendered my life to Christ.
I had given my heart to Jesus and invited Him into my mess, but the sinful patterns and behaviors of smoking, drinking, and relationships with men didn’t all disappear immediately. It was a process.
God patiently and lovingly performed a work of transformation. My desires to feed my flesh with worldly pleasures began to diminish and were replaced with a desire to know this God of the Living Word.
Soon, I met a Christian man from church, married him, and had children. But the pain of my abortion was still present and the hurt of my sinful actions would not be healed without the Lord’s help.
There is a belief that, when we are saved by Christ, all our hurt, pain, and trauma goes away. The truth is that when we are saved by His grace, we have salvation and will spend eternity with Him. But our hurts still need to be addressed.
Through a ministry called Healing Hearts, I was guided through Biblical counseling that addressed the lies I had believed about myself and those around me. I learned about my true identity. I came to understand how I could be saved and loved even though I had committed murder.
I was confronted with the reality of my sin, then given the opportunity to repent of that sin and receive the incredible freedom that Christ offers.
What I Learned
Through my experience and the ministry of Healing Hearts, I learned 3 life-altering truths:
1. Love Isn’t Secretive
I did my fair share of sneaking around (even after becoming a Christian). I learned that I can’t live in two different worlds. God gave us freedom of choice, but our choices still have consequences. When I chose to live in the ways of the world, disappointment, loneliness, and a broken heart would inevitably follow. When I chose to live in the light of God’s Word, not trying to hide my actions, I would have peace beyond my understanding.
Real love is truthful. There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18).
2. Wisdom Seeks Counsel
In 1 Samuel 30, we read about David being faced with a difficult decision while his friends were turning against him. He didn’t give in to grief or fear, but instead found strength in the Lord. He inquired of the Lord instead of trusting in his own knowledge.
I needed God’s wisdom to navigate me through my challenges. The Christians who patiently answered my questions were an invaluable part of my journey to freedom. It wasn’t easy to step out of my comfort zone and make new friends or go to church by myself. I read God’s Word even though I didn’t understand it all because I wanted what He offered.
As I keep my eyes on God’s Word and build relationships with other Christians, He imparts His wisdom into my life.
3. God’s Good, Glorious Plan
Even though my journey from adolescence to adulthood was a painful one, it taught me that God really does have a plan for my life. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’”
God’s heart is not to punish us or make us pay for our mistakes. His desire is to bless us. He already knew we would sin before He gave His Son Jesus to die for our sake (Romans 5:8).
God took my brokenness and now uses it for His good. I share my story with others so that they can know the healing power of Jesus through the repentance of sin and the grace that He provides when we humble ourselves before Him.
Healing Hearts Ministries International offers Gospel-centered, grace-driven counseling for those wounded by their past. Healing Hearts Certified Counselors guide you through discovering how God’s Word offers hope and healing from tragedies and afflictions such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, abortion, rape, and catastrophic loss.
No matter what you’ve gone through, there is hope and healing available for you. Don’t walk this road alone! We’re here to help.
God is good. He loves you. Reach out for the wisdom, strength, and truth that can be found in His Word.
To visit some of the other places online where I might be sharing this post, click here.
Our next monthly email newsletter includes a 30-Day Bible Reading Challenge on Love! A simple plan with a short passage to read each day, and options to take more time and go deeper. Don’t miss it! Subscribe today!