Jonah, Chapters 1 & 2
When Jonah decided to go against God’s plan for him, he took a ship to Tarshish, in the opposite direction from Nineveh, to flee from the presence of God. God continued to pursue Jonah, but it was impossible for Jonah to get away from God.
God sent a great wind and a mighty tempest so that the ship was almost broken (Jonah 1:4). Even the mariners, men who were used to the sea and storms, were afraid, but they knew this one was different. Jonah tells the mariners that he is a Hebrew and that he fears the Lord, the God of heaven, and he tells them to throw him overboard so that the sea would become calm (Jonah 1:8-12). The mariners were exceedingly fearful, but God, in His mercy, prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and he stayed in the belly of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights. God had to isolate Jonah to get his attention and finally, he cried out to God (Jonah 2). God rescued him and Jonah did go to Nineveh, and all were saved.
When I think back on my abortion, I see that I too was fleeing from God. I isolated myself from Him and my family. I allowed the enemy to lie to me and tell me, “Your parents will never accept you and the baby; it’s a big mistake. Take care of it now before anyone finds out.”
God had pursued me also and gave me a way to escape. The first time I went for my abortion, I was partying the night before. I was hung over and needed food, so I stopped at a place to eat on the way to the clinic. But when I got to the clinic, they said I could not have the abortion because I ate. When I think back to that day, I drove myself and I was all alone. What was I thinking? That’s the point; I wasn’t thinking clearly, at all. Whenever I have made decisions based on fear, they have never been good ones. But I didn’t allow this bump in the road to stop me from having the abortion. I bought into the lie that my child would be deformed because of my heavy drinking and drug usage. This was something I had to do; I didn’t see any other options.
I made another appointment, and that time, I did follow through with it. To this day, I wish I had not done it. But I cannot change my past. I had my abortion on December 10, 1980, and at that moment everything changed. My heart was broken, my body was broken, and my spirit was broken. It was the worst decision I had ever made in my life. My heart goes out to you precious sisters who were forced by someone else to have an abortion against your will.
I struggled with depression, crying episodes, feelings of isolation, and loneliness. I continued with the drinking and drugs, and thoughts of suicide started entering my mind. I just wanted the pain to go away. Then one glorious day, I heard the gospel for the first time on January 2, 1994 and in 4 weeks, I had given my heart to the Lord and asked Him to forgive all my sins and to heal my broken heart. From that moment forward, I would never have to feel alone again. I have a Savior who will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank you, Jesus.
God has a beautiful plan and purpose for your life too. In Jeremiah 29:11, “FOR I KNOW THE THOUGHTS I HAVE FOR YOU, SAYS THE LORD, THOUGHTS OF PEACE AND NOT OF EVIL, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE.” God can turn the darkest times in your life into something beautiful for His honor and glory.
“Running to God instead of away from God in the midst of suffering is not a natural response. It is the supernatural response that God equips His children with as we stare grief, uncertainty, fear, and sometimes Satan himself in the face.” Taken from the devotional, Pray BIG Things, by Julia Jeffress Sadler, LPC, on the You Version Bible App.
When have you run away from God?
Have you run to other things to help you cope with your past trauma instead of trusting God with it? What were those things for you?
Are you still running now?
I pray that you will know how much you are loved by God and that He has a beautiful plan for your life, but you need to trust Him.
I pray you trust Him today.
You are loved,