How to Overcome Trauma

How to Overcome Trauma

How to Overcome Trauma

By Toni Weisz/Abuse Recovery

Psalm 147:3, Psalm 27:10 and Psalm 100:5

“Trauma can be more than a dark pit of despair or a spiral of depression. It has the potential to be our deepest source of empathy, strongest point of connection, and most forceful impetus (stimulus) for growth if we bravely choose to let others into both the brokenness and the mending.

My Brokenness becomes beautiful when I see Trauma as an opportunity to grow.” (Excerpt taken from the devotional Suffer Strong: A Plan to Redefining Everything, by Katherine and Jay Wolf.)

Psalm 147:3

He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 27:10

When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take me up.

Psalm 100:5

For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

It takes courage to face the trauma from our past. This is not an easy process, in fact it is quite painful at times, and it is not for the faint of heart. That’s why many people don’t do it. They would rather live in their dysfunction because they know what to expect—it’s familiar.

Change can be hard, scary, and unpredictable. But it can also be beautiful, especially when we are able to come out on the other side of our pain and see the miraculous work God has done.

When I first started this ministry, the Lord encouraged me to be real…

When I am open and transparent with all of you, it gives you permission to share from your broken places too. I have experienced tremendous healing as a result of doing these calls the past nine years. The work of the Holy Spirit, self-examination, and a safe community in which to share are the most important elements for true healing and the ability to break generational curses. I am praying that each of you experience true healing in all of your broken areas. You are safe here, dearly beloved of the Lord.

Questions:

What areas from your past Trauma are you still struggling in?

I am still struggling with my co-dependency issues with my spouse. It’s a tricky place to be.

Where does Godly wisdom and discernment end and co-dependency begin?

Am I putting off conversations because it’s not the right time or am I fearful to bring it up at all? I do not want to fear man, and I feel at times I do when it comes to perceived authority figures. The Lord sweetly whispers to my heart how much I am loved by Him, how He knows the cry of my heart, and that He has collected all my tears in a bottle.

One thing I know: He wants me to be bold and courageous, to speak the truth in love, and to leave the rest in His hands.

How can we pray for you?

Please pray with me that the Holy Spirit will go before me to prepare my husband’s heart. Thank you for allowing me to share.

Remember: When your father and your mother forsake you, Then the LORD will take you up. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. He binds up the brokenhearted and heals all of your wounds. Please reach out if you need prayer or just want to talk.

You are loved,

Toni

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Spiritual Warfare in the Post-Abortion Bible Studies

Spiritual Warfare in the Post-Abortion Bible Studies

Spiritual Warfare in the Post Abortion Bible Studies
By Toni Weisz/Spiritual Warfare (Toni’s Blogs)
Psalm 91:1-12

Why is spiritual warfare so intense when women decide to step out to be healed from a past abortion?

I have been in the post-abortion ministry since 2006, when I went through my first post-abortion recovery Bible study. Unfortunately, no one prepared me for what was going to be one of the most tragic and saddest times of my life. Satan came in and ripped my family to shreds. My husband and children stopped speaking to each other; my husband and I had a huge conflict; my son’s roommate stopped paying rent and stole from him; my daughter broke up with her boyfriend because of a porn addiction. All of this started two-and-a-half weeks into my first post-abortion recovery Bible study. I was in shock, and I was numb. Much of that time is still a blur to me.

To give you a better idea of how this all started, allow me to set the scene for you.

It was January 22, 2006, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. I was sitting in my Sunday school class learning about the book of Jeremiah. More specifically, we were discussing how God called Jeremiah to be a prophet from the womb. Our teacher asked each of us, “What has God called you to do?”

For years I had asked God to reveal my calling to me. Up until that day, I thought it was just to be a godly wife and mother. But the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “I want you to help other women feel forgiven for their past abortions.”

Immediately, I raised my hand and told our group what God had just shared with me. I then shared with my Pastor after the service what God had said. I was so excited but had no idea what this would mean or how this would change my life forever.

So, I told my husband, “God wants me to help other women heal from their past abortions.” His reaction was, “No, that’s not good for you; that will be too hard. You should be in children’s ministry. You will be happier there.”

To respect my husband, I did nothing. I just waited. During the third week of waiting, my Pastor preached on obedience. The Holy Spirit moved in me so strongly that I couldn’t let it go. I went to my husband again and said, “John, you don’t understand. God is calling me to this, and I have to obey.” Thus began my healing journey.

Over the years, I have learned so much from the things that have happened to me on this journey. It has shaped the way I think, speak, and treat others. Unfortunately, I was not treated with kindness during the early parts of my journey.

Instead, I received harsh, condemning feedback and was told it was my fault my marriage was not going well and that I was in sin. These painful words led me to accept unacceptable treatment from my husband. My facilitators and mentors did not have experience in any kind of recovery work or co-dependency issues. They did not recognize I was being bullied and emotionally abused.

I thank God for the equipping He has given me. He has given me patience, gentleness, and love toward women who have lost a child to abortion. I know from experience that many factors go into the decision to have an abortion. We don’t grow up as young girls thinking, “I want to abort my baby.” No. It’s not a natural thing for a woman to do.

I decided to write this blog post about the spiritual warfare surrounding post-abortion recovery because many of us will be involved in these healing Bible studies in some capacity. Whether you are a prayer partner, co-facilitator, or a participant, each of us will experience some kind of spiritual warfare.

Know this: the enemy does not want Christian women healed from a past abortion. He wants to keep us in bondage and chains, locked away in a dungeon to be tormented. This frightening truth inspired the name of our eBook, “Leading Them into His Light.” Long before the eBook, God gave me a vision of a dungeon and women sitting in darkness and in chains. Jesus held my hand as I went into the dungeons to grab the women out so they could be rescued from the enemy. It’s a beautiful picture of God’s love for us.

Our eBook is available on our website for a donation of any amount. In it, we share 17 women’s abortion stories (including my own) and how God turned our ashes into something beautiful for our good and His glory.

Right now, the enemy is trying to trip you up. I am experiencing it in my own home, and you might be also. The enemy will use those closest to you to take you down and discourage you. But do not waiver. God is greater and stronger than the enemy. Stay close to Him and He will protect you.

About six months ago I started reading Psalm 91 every day. I suggest you meditate upon it too. It will strengthen you for the inevitable battle ahead.

 

Questions & Closing Thoughts:

  1. What spiritual warfare have you experienced as a result of stepping out and wanting to be healed from a past abortion?

    2. What do you do to protect yourself from the enemy’s fiery darts?

    I am looking forward to an exciting year in which more women will be healed from the trauma of abortion. With the healing power of Jesus, we can reach even more women and stop this cycle of death in their families.

You are loved,
Toni

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace
by Toni Weisz/Abuse Recovery
Ephesians 4:29-32 and Numbers 6:24-26

Ephesians 4:29-32
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ forgave you.

In the Moody Handbook of Theology, Paul Enni defines God’s grace as the unmerited or undeserving favor of God to those who are under condemnation. I did not grow up in a home where grace was displayed. I experienced and witnessed harsh judgment for the smallest offenses. As a child, this caused me to be fearful and to hide because I did not want to face this treatment from my parents. I went to a church that was big and dark inside and they spoke in a foreign language. The school associated with this church was very much the same. Students were hit with rulers when they disobeyed. Because I did not see grace and love in these formative places, I began to believe that my faith in God was based upon my good works: if I am good, I will be loved and accepted, but if I disobey, I will be severely punished. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t run to God when I was 21, unmarried, and pregnant. I was fearful that He too would judge me harshly and punish me severely.

During my adult life, I once again encountered a harsh church environment. My family and I attended a legalistic church for several years where it was all about following the rules with no room for grace. The Holy Spirit in me was so grieved that I could barely feel or sense His presence. At first, I didn’t recognize it, but I was experiencing spiritual abuse. Even so, I wanted to serve Jesus. If that meant wearing dresses 24/7and obeying ridiculous rules, then that’s what I would do. This spiritual oppression greatly affected my soul and inside I started slowly dying. Unfortunately, my children (who were in high school at the time) were also subjected to this spiritual abuse. I was so grateful when we finally got away from that toxic environment.

Similarly, I have experienced harsh treatment from other ministry leaders as well. In those situations, I felt like I could never do anything right and was always under a microscope. Every little thing I did was magnified and made into a public example. I was so discouraged. Until one day, God brought in a leader who was kind and gentle. She gave me permission to just be me and fostered a safe environment in which I could open up and share about the emotional and spiritual abuse I was experiencing. I trusted her and she truly encouraged me. It was so refreshing to have a leader that was sweet and kind, just like Jesus.

In our ministry, we want each woman to feel safe and know that she can share her story without judgement. We encourage her to use her voice, perhaps for the first time in her life. We want her to see the love of Jesus in our words and our actions. God wants our words to speak hope and life into the lives of the women He brings to our ministry and that is what we will always try to do. God has given us His heart for these courageous women. We are honored to walk alongside them on their healing journeys. You too are welcome here, courageous woman. Come as you are; we are waiting for you.

Closing Thoughts
What is Grace?
Grace is a gift from God; it cannot be earned.

Grace is overlooking someone else’s faults and loving them where they are.

I am so grateful for God’s overwhelming love and grace in my life. This grace compels me to love others, to extend mercy, and to be kind to all people. This grace humbles me when I think about what Jesus did for me on the cross…a gift I can never repay.

Number 6:24-26
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

 

Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you judge yourself harshly?
  2. Do you judge others harshly?
  3. Have you received God’s grace?
  4. Are you able to extend grace to others?

You are loved,
Toni

 

 

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

The Importance of Community

The Importance of Community

The Importance of Community

Ephesians 4:4-6, 11-16, Romans 12:15 and Ephesians 3:17

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

I have noticed over the years, the women who stay connected and accountable in a safe community continue to grow spiritually, they feel safe, they feel deeply connected and they feel loved. These women have huge victories in their lives because they are dedicated to following the Lord and living in community. Each of us has been given a role in the body of Christ by God. We see in the scriptures above that Christ is the Head and each one of us is apart of the body, we are called to do a specific job in the body to keep the body functioning properly.

Why is community so important? You have all heard the saying, “There is safety in numbers.” That is true for your spiritual life also, not just your physical safety. When we stay connected in community, we are protected from the enemy’s fiery darts. His primary goal is to get Christian women isolated so he can lie and torment us. How many of you know what I am talking about? We have all experienced the loneliness and despair that overcomes us when we are isolated. Especially women with abuse and abortions in their past, we are an easy target for the enemy. But after we join a safe group and stay accountable, we are now protected.

It’s not just being apart of a group that protects you, it’s being an active member of the group, serving and participating consistently, not just being an observer. We must invest in the group by sharing our hearts, our tears and our prayer requests. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15) This is how the church is supposed to operate.

My hope and pray for each of us is that our faith will grow stronger. That our relationships with one another will grow deeper. That we will be mature strong confident believers in Jesus. That we will not be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. That we would have a Biblical world view. That we are rooted and grounded in love and in the Truth. That everything that we do is pleasing to God and that our words will always speak life and encouragement to others. God has so much more for us to accomplish in the upcoming year, but we as a group must be ready and equipped for this season in the ministry. I pray you are encouraged to step up your game and make Jesus and sharing His love your priority in everything you do. I am honored to be serving with you in this ministry. It truly is a beautiful thing to watch God work in and through us.

What are some areas in your life that you are working on?

For me I am working on being forth coming with a certain member of my family regardless of the situation. Secrets give the enemy a strong hold.

I want to hear more specifically from the Lord by taking time to hear from Him and to journal regularly.

I have learned to pray about everything no matter how small.

What is God leading you to do?

I need to keep my focus on God at all times and not to project into the future.

How can we be praying for you?

That I will trust God completely with my children’s health issues.

 

You are loved,

Toni

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

My Baby’s Purpose

My Baby’s Purpose

Luci’s blog

Genesis 50:20: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

II Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

Growing up in my dysfunctional family, which included neglect and sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, did not equip me to care for or respect myself as I grew in the way God intended for me. I spent many years allowing others, especially men, to use and take advantage of me for sexual purposes. By the time I was 15, I was deeply wounded and hurting. My way of coping was to act out in self-destructive ways. As I mentioned earlier, I allowed others to use me. I also drank daily and experimented with most drugs, including mind-altering substances.

I had no hope that anything in my life would improve but that it would just continue to get worse until I died. I was so angry at the way I had been treated by my father and brothers but didn’t understand how to break out of this pattern of destructive behavior.

At the age of 24, I slept with a man whom I hardly knew. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you his name. All I know was that he said all the right things that my heart longed to hear: that he cared for me, really wanted to be with me, and made me feel special, even if it was just for a brief time. He kept insisting that we have sex, and I resisted at first but then gave in when he said he had a vasectomy, since that meant he could not get me pregnant.

I was desperate for this man’s attention but certainly didn’t want to have a baby with him! But like most of the men I opened my life up to, he had lied to me and much to my dismay, I became pregnant. I was devastated and felt a sense of desperation as to how I would “fix” this predicament I was in. Of course, the guy who said he cared so much about me left the scene as soon as he got what he wanted.

I confided in a friend that had introduced me to him. I remember that she had a 9-year-old daughter and no husband, and it was clear that she resented her daughter greatly by the way she treated her. She told me to “Get rid of it; you don’t want a kid!” All I could think about was how I didn’t want to end up like this woman, mistreating my own child! So, against my better judgement and my conscience that told me “NO, this is wrong,” I chose to abort the only child I would ever conceive.

I cried every night when no one was around to see my pain. I cried for myself because of how empty this act made me feel, but mostly for this innocent child whose life I had taken so violently. I cried unconsolably, every night for months. Not knowing my Lord Jesus Christ at that time, I had no one to turn to for forgiveness and healing. As I look back on this desperate act of selfishness, I realize this was the final self-destructive thing that drove me into the arms of God! I just couldn’t live with the emptiness and pain anymore. Nine months after my abortion, I surrendered my life to Jesus, asked forgiveness for my sins, and began to walk in the newness of life that He offers to all who come to Him in humility.

I want to read a section of the letter to the baby I named Gabriella, which means “God is My Strength”:

Although your earthly life was so short, you impacted mine for eternity because precisely nine months after I allowed that abortion clinic to strip you away from my womb, I was born again! And on that amazing day, my heart, soul, and spirit were transformed from darkness and condemnation into the forgiving and precious light of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit! God took our pain and ashes and turned them into eternal beauty!

I am pouring much of my life into other women who have experienced the pain and grief of abortion by helping them to acknowledge and heal from this event. I love you with all my heart, my precious little one, and I will see you soon!

Your forgiven Mom

 

What purpose did your unborn child serve in your life?

 

Did it move you towards God or away from Him?

 

Additional portions of letters to the unborn:

Beloved, God knows your life was not a mistake. Your life spurred me to a deeper faith and a passion for Christ. God showed me grace, love, and healing in ways that I can’t describe. He used all these things for good (Rom 8:28). Your life allowed me to defend the defenseless, to value life in the womb, and to have compassion for the hurting moms who fell into the same trap as I did. God numbers our days and although yours were few, they continue to fuel my passion.

I, your mother, hold you in my arms today in a way I could not 10 years ago because I feared to look into your eyes and to hear Gods voice speak through the gentle grasp of your fingers saying choose life.” In the light of my mind, I now behold you, my first child—the first of three girls. Do you know that you have two sisters? Do you know that your life has given great meaning to their lives? Because of you, I cherish the very breath of life God has gifted me and those whom I hold close to my heart.

As I embrace you today and always, I let go of shame, guilt, humiliation, rejection, abandonment, pride, and pain. I reject the lies that once kept your memory hidden in darkness far from the light of truth. My love, my beautiful baby girl, you were never forgotten.

Heaven has documented each moment of your existence in the book of life. Now, it is time for me to write your page into the story of my life.

In the years to come, when we find ourselves reunited in the spirit, I will delight in the unfolding of your unique personality woven together with the experience of your brief, yet significant life. For now, sweetheart, I entrust your care and protection to the Father, whose plans for you are greater than either you or I can imagine.

I named you Joseph because what the enemy meant for evil, God turned around for my good and for His glory. He exchanged my ashes into something beautiful. Joseph, you inspired a ministry called My Ashes to Beauty to help other moms heal from their past abortions.

 

Blessings,

Luci