Luci’s Story (Part 2) God Blessed My Broken Road

Luci’s Blog

Read PART 1 CLICK HERE

In my last blog, (Part 1) Innocence Lost, I left off having just learned that I was pregnant by a man I knew nothing about, except for his name. He had lied to me, saying I couldn’t get pregnant, but there I was with this huge dilemma. I was a single “carefree” career woman who had no desire or emotional stability to carry or care for a child.

Because of my dysfunctional lifestyle and fear of intimacy in the healthy sense, I had very few friends in which to confide in. And the one woman who I did spend time with was the angry mother of a 10-year-old, unwanted girl; this woman is the one who introduced me to the man who I got pregnant by. When I told her I was pregnant and didn’t know what to do, she said “get rid of it, you don’t want this kid.” It made me so sad, and all I could think about is not wanting to end up resenting and treating my child with contempt the way she treated her daughter. In spite of my strong feelings of uneasiness, I scheduled an appointment for an abortion, at a place called the Presidential Women’s Center. And as I look back on my experience, there was nothing pro woman about this place. They were doing abortions by the score, making so much money on women who were fearful, uninformed and desperate! I remember feeling a sense of despair in the waiting room; there were no smiling faces, no peace or joy.

I was so afraid as I lay on that cold medical table, looking at the equipment around me that would ultimately suck my baby’s life from my womb. It took just a few moments to tear apart the little human life inside that God had so perfectly knit together! I can remember feeling a sense of intense sadness when it was over. I just got out of that dark place as quickly as I could. And I cried for months over this decision. I tried to go back to my life of partying and living as though my actions didn’t matter, but it wasn’t working; I was miserable and empty.

While trying to carry on and live my life in the midst of my hopelessness, God consistently introduced me to faithful followers of Jesus Christ. As they shared their lives, testimony and love for Jesus, I began to open up to the possibility of learning more about this “loving Savior.” I wondered to myself, if this God could love someone like me. One day I asked a woman who had been sharing, to borrow a Bible, and she was more than happy to do so!

As I began to read, I found myself fascinated with God’s amazing Word. I don’t remember what my reasoning was at the time, but I went to the back of the Bible and started reading in Revelation. I was so intrigued, and it all seemed so surreal with the incredible images, angels and the way that John described the Lord Jesus Christ! He was larger than life, so bright, with His white robe and golden sash, white hair and eyes that were like blazing fire! Prior to this, the only way I saw Him depicted was lifeless on the cross with a crown of thorns on His head.

Then I began to explore more of this incredible collection of writings. I went into the Gospel of John and then Romans. Shortly thereafter, while sitting in my apartment, just me and God, I prayed to Jesus, telling Him that if He was who His witnesses said He was, I wanted to KNOW Him! I asked Him to forgive my sins, enter my heart and be Lord of my life. When I sincerely opened myself up, I sensed an amazing change in my heart, my emotions and attitude. I felt an incredible sense of freedom and hope. I could actually sense a dramatic shift in my psyche and felt the closeness of God’s Spirit. It was the most incredible day of my life! I was free for the first time since I was a little child! And this transformation took place, precisely nine months after aborting my little child. Coincidence? I think not. God had a plan for my life, not only to be healed and set free from all the abuse and oppression of my past, but He would use me to lead others out of the darkness and into His loving arms.

That day, I went in a new direction, seeking to know God in every way I could. I began attending church and reading the Bible daily. I read the Gospels that taught me all about how and why Jesus came to earth, to save us from our sins, the second death and eternal separation from Him. As I continued to read on my own and with others, my faith and desire to share God’s love grew. I had a new purpose for my life, and it was sent from Heaven!

The journey with my Lord continues today and will never end; I am His for all eternity! So, the Holy Spirit will continue to mold me into the image of Jesus until the day I go home or He returns. My peace and joy continue to grow as I draw closer the the one who loves me unconditionally! I have forgiven those who hurt me in my past, and I am completely free!

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

 

PART 1 (CLICK HERE!)

From Shame to Victory (Part 5) Then Jesus Came to My Rescue

When I was a kid, my mom would take me and my brother to church where I heard about a man named Jesus. From what I was taught about Him, I thought he was supposed to protect me. But with everything that happened to me, I thought He had abandoned me like my parents did. I remember lying in bed, telling Jesus that if I was a good girl, could He make my daddy stop drinking and my mommy happy? It didn’t happen so; I gave up on Him.

After I left my husband, I kept coming back to that moment that I was willing to take his life and something stopped me. What stopped me? Who stopped me? I kept coming back to Jesus, ‘did You stop me Jesus?’ I began to seek and find out more about who Jesus really is.

I began listening to Moody Radio and all their programs. I needed a safe place to start. I listened faithfully and one-night Dr. James Dobson who I listened to regularly, once again, gave an invitation to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I got on my knees, prayed and received Jesus Christ as MY Lord and Savior. He loved me enough to die on the cross for me and He loved me enough to stop me from making the biggest mistake of my life. I am eternally grateful to Him.

—Rhonda

 

Click Here to back to Rhonda’s Blog.

 

We Are Adopted

We Are Adopted

Isaiah 49:15

Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son (child) of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.

Matthew 10:29-31

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

John 14:18

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

God treasures the orphan. He knows that they are alone with no one to care for them and are vulnerable to the evil in this world. Some of you were abandoned as children to fend for yourselves without any love or protection. My heart breaks each time I hear your childhood stories of abuse and neglect. Your heavenly Father has a righteous anger towards parents who abuse, neglect and abandon their children. I want you to know that God sees you. He wants to receive you into His loving arms so that He can be your Father, your Protector and your Provider. He is the perfect parent—patient, kind, gentle, loving and always available. Please know just how much you are loved and cherished by God.

Courageous women and men are choosing life for their babies all the time. However, we rarely hear their stories. I want to bless your heart and encourage you today with a beautiful story of God’s faithfulness towards a mother who chose adoption over abortion. Read here: The Mysterious Providence of God: An Adoption Story, https://www.care-net.org/abundant-life-blog/the-mysterious-providence-of-god-an-adoption-story

God is love. His Spirit is moving to heal, redeem and tenderly lead us to the life He has planned for us—one that leads to freedom, peace and joy. Take heart dear ones. No, we did not choose life for our babies, but God didn’t end our stories there. He continues His work of restoring us, drawing us closer to Himself and loving us in the way that only He can. These are God’s words for you today, “I know how your heart broke when I revealed your unborn baby to you—the secret you had been hiding for so long. My dear child, I collected all of your tears in a bottle. I am looking forward to the day when we can be together in heaven forever. Where there is no more evil, abuse, pain or sorrow. Until then please know how much I love you. Your Abba Father.”

I am not rejected. I am accepted.

I am not abandoned. I am adopted.

Thank you, for that truth, Lord.

Please let me know how we can pray for you?

If you have experienced abuse or neglect in your past, please know God is here to heal you. He is not like your human abuser. He is gentle, loving and kind. His love is pure and holy. Please come to Him today, and leave your past at the foot of the cross. Give it all to Jesus.

You are loved,
Toni

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Obedience

Obedience

Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Romans 2:4b
“Not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”

John 10: 28
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”

As a young child, I developed a strong sense of responsibility. I took on shame immediately for any wrong doing. My fear of authority figures caused me to become a people-pleaser. I was a very compliant child because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, especially my parents. I yearned for love and acceptance so much so that I would do anything to obtain it. I developed an unhealthy thinking pattern and a false belief system because of what I witnessed in my home and in church. I saw those in authority—attributing their behavior to God—act very harshly when someone disobeyed the rules. Please read my blog, Stinking Thinking: My Distorted View of God. As a result, I obeyed my elders out of fear of punishment and rejection, not out of love or reverence.

I demonstrated good moral behavior until I reached the age of 12 when “the good, quiet one” persona no longer sufficed. I began rebelling against everything I knew was right. Because of my fear of rejection, I put a great deal of energy into not getting caught. You can imagine how I lived with many secrets and hid behind a mask. I lived a lie. At home, I played the role of the “good, quiet one.” However, in public, I got drunk, used drugs and started having sex at the age of 16. All of this culminated in my abortion at the age of 21. With a firm grip on my soul, the evil one led me down a path of death and destruction. Blinded by pride and deception, I believed that I could live a life of freedom by pursuing my own desires and pleasures. However, the opposite was true. My life belonged to the devil. He would eventually use me to do the unthinkable—murder my own child. I firmly believe that if we truly knew the love of God and understood it, we would not seek love outside of marriage. We would feel cherished, whole, secure and free. We wouldn’t need drugs, alcohol and other empty vices to fill the void in our hearts because we have such a strong connection to the true source of love—Jesus.

God wants us to obey Him out of love, not fear of punishment. It’s the goodness of God that leads to true repentance and a relationship with Jesus—a relationship without bondage but true freedom. Striving to be perfect by obeying unattainable rules does not draw us closer to Christ. He desires to show us His way of love, grace, forgiveness and peace. I pray that we can share this message of hope with others. For God so loved the world that He gave His most precious gift—His only Son—to die for us. If that is not a picture of sacrificial love, then I don’t know what is.

I have found that true joy comes from obeying God no matter how I feel because my emotions can be deceiving. Being faithful to follow God’s lead in my life brings a long-lasting peace. Women often say to me, “I am really struggling in my relationship with Christ.” What I have come to understand is that the key to a strong relationship with Him is obedience. If you desire a more fulfilling relationship with God, then obey the leading of the Holy Spirit even when you don’t see how God can intervene in your circumstances. Remember that God’s ways are not our ways. True peace comes from obeying God. When we do that, we are safe and secure under His protective umbrella. He shields us from the enemy’s fiery darts, and no one can snatch us out of His hand.

In this season, we are embarking on a very important study, “In the Wildflowers,” which deals with the evil of sexual abuse. The enemy has been hard at work to derail this study. Tormented by the enemy, one of my family members has begun lashing out and attacking me verbally. Someone also attempted to take out a $75,000 small business loan in my name through identity theft. Stay close to God, dear one, because the enemy knows that many will be saved, healed, redeemed and set free. Obey God even when life becomes difficult and you struggle to understand His plan. Rest assured. You will be blessed.

Love you all,

Toni

Read more of Toni’s blog posts here!

My Identity in Christ (Part 1)

My Identity in Christ (Part 1)

2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he (she) is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

John 15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

When I was a little girl, I remember having an overall sense of happiness and freedom to be a child. But as I grew older and began to develop the awareness of my identity within my family unit and became the victim of verbal and physical abuse, my perspective on who I was began to change.

In my mind’s eye, I was ugly, stupid, and overall, a pathetic girl that no one loved or wanted to be with. I can remember my father saying over and over, “Why can’t you be like your brother or why can’t you be like your sister?” He was referring to the older siblings that had gone on and became successful, in his eyes. Out of his frustration and unchecked anger, he lashed out and made us feel unwanted as he put us down by abusing us verbally. My mother was a quiet, submissive woman with multiple (total of 15) kids to care for. She wasn’t involved in our lives except to care for our physical needs. And the brothers that were still in the home, treated me with great contempt and regularly beat up on me. At age 11, I was being molested by two of my older brothers and by the age of 12, I lost my virginity to a drug-addicted man that was 14 years older, who lived in the neighborhood. He literally took advantage of my desperate need for love and affection and convinced me to cooperate with his selfish intentions. I told no one as I thought they would blame me; I believed in my young heart that it was my fault.

I felt like such a failure, that by the time I was a young teen, I began to medicate with wine and beer, and at one point, I felt so hopeless, I attempted to take my own life! Obviously, I wasn’t successful, but at the time, I believed that I was a failure even at that! I not only felt unworthy to be loved but I also felt dirty and had a great sense of shame that covered me like a thick cloud.

As I grew into my teens, I continued to abuse alcohol, adding hard liquor and was introduced to all sorts or illegal drugs, which I experimented with daily. I lived a destructive life of substance abuse and promiscuity. And at age 24, I committed what I thought was the unforgivable offense by having an abortion, essentially ending the life of what would turn out to be my only biological child. This event plunged me deeper into a sense of self-loathing and emptiness that I had yet to experience. By the time I was 25, my sense of self-worth was in the pit; I had no hope and no purpose for my future.

Then it happened! The Lord Jesus, who had been pursuing me for years through the witness of other Christ followers, opened my eyes to His amazing acceptance, love and mercy for me. And I can remember the sense of hope and love that flowed through me like a rushing river! It was incredible! My self-perspective changed that day. I dared to believe that I could be something more than I had settled into. And I embarked on a lifelong mission to get to know the God who would be willing to die for me, a pathetic, sinful, ugly and stupid girl. It took years of Bible reading, support from other believers in Jesus and some Biblical counseling, for me to accept my new identity as I embraced 2 Corinthians 5:17, which tells us, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he (she) is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Today, after walking with the Lord for over 37 years, having His amazing Holy Spirit living in me, I embrace the truth that I am God’s precious daughter, loved and cherished beyond my wildest dreams! He has given me dignity, self-worth and a future hope. I no longer condemn myself because according to Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I no longer accept the attempt of others to manipulate or put me down. I have come to understand that I can have boundaries and stay in control, by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Blessings,

Luci

Read MY IDENTITY IN CHRIST (Part 2) HERE