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

 

 

I Am God’s Wildflower

I Am God’s Wildflower

Luci’s Blog

I was part of the sexual Abuse Recovery Bible Study with a small group of women through the “My Ashes To Beauty” ministry. And when I agreed to participate, I figured it had been so many decades since the abuses took place that there wouldn’t be any new discoveries. Well, it turns out there were things that I had not yet processed, even with all the counseling I had over the years.

I had the opportunity to mourn the loss of a safe and happy childhood and teen years that every girl deserves to experience. One of the things that really moved me is when we shared photos of the timeframe that we lost our innocence. I felt such compassion for the other women’s photos and how precious and vulnerable they appeared at the time of their abuses. When I looked at my photo, I felt such love and mercy for the young adolescent girl, that was me; I shed tears over that. I didn’t see myself back then, the way I now do. I had blamed myself for the abuses and couldn’t see beyond how it defined me. I was reminded over the course of this study that I am God’s precious and adored daughter! And that was definitely a good thing to allow to sink into my heart!

As I got to know the women in this intimate setting and hear their stories, I realized, I’m not alone in this, that others have experienced similar atrocities and it endeared me to them. We bonded in a way that goes beyond a typical group gathering for prayer or Bible study. I got the sense that God brought this particular group together so we could pray for, encourage and show one another that there is further healing and work to be done. The prayers that were prayed over us was like a healing balm that sunk deep into my soul!

Sexual abuse recovery takes time, as we peel away layers of false beliefs and negative thinking which keeps us in bondage and from moving further on the beautiful path that God has for each of us to walk. Not only do we need to continue to grow in Him, but He also wants to use us to show others the healing and forgiveness that is waiting for them, through His love. This study ws a safe place to share and be vulnerable with like-minded women.

His beloved,

Luci

 

My Identity in Christ (Part 1 & 2)

My Identity in Christ (Part 1 & 2)

Luci’s blog

My Identity in Christ (Part 1)

 

2 or 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

See My Identity in Christ (Part 2) below.

 

Luci’s blog

My Identity in Christ (Part 2)

 

QUESTIONS:

What is your identity? How is it different from when you met and received Jesus as your Lord?

As Jesus walked the earth, teaching and preaching about the Kingdom of God, He validated women and showed them great mercy and respect. He went against the culture they lived in. In contrast, their culture treated them like 3rd class citizens, with few rights or respect. He accepted, healed, loved and taught them. And He is available to do the same for you and me today!

According to Romans 8:17, those who have repented of their sins and received Jesus as their Lord and Savior, become His heirs (which is one who receives ownership of an estate and all that is in it), but in this case, we are receiving the Kingdom of God in all its amazing beauty and perfection. We are precious and loved daughters of the King and will be for all eternity!

I want you to picture yourself dressed in a lavish, flowing white robe, which is the symbol of purity and perfection, and let’s read what it says in Isaiah 61:1-3, which was written 740-700 BC (before Jesus walked this earth).

“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” ESV

God takes our filthy rags, which is a symbol of our broken lives, and He replaces them with clean, white robes or righteousness, comfort, healing, joy, peace and strength!

Isaiah 61:10 “My soul will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Blessings,

Luci

The Holy Spirit—My Guide & Friend

The Holy Spirit—My Guide & Friend

Luci’s blog

We receive this peace through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

If we have given our lives over to Jesus and are following Him we have the very spirit of Jesus Christ living in us! He is always present, interceding and guiding us into truth and peace, in and out of the storm.

What is His purpose? It is that you will live with peace and joy in your heart, knowing that He loves you and nothing will come between you and Him, no matter the situation. It is that you will be made righteous, that you may display the gifts of His Spirit and show Him to a dying world.

Prayer is always God’s plan to connect us to Him but now more than ever, we need to be praying earnestly for God to draw us to Himself and praying about all that’s happening around us.

We have access to the very Spirit of Christ in His Holy Spirit who will intercede for us when we don’t know what to ask for!

~ Romans 8:26-28

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[ the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

“Our prayers are not always answered by a specific action. Sometimes our prayers are answered with a shift in our attitude or in our emotions. After prayers we may find that confidence has replaced our fear, contentment has replaced our desire, hope has replaced our despair, comfort has replaced our grief, patience has replaced our frustration, joy has replaced our spirit of heaviness and love has replaced our anger. I know many of us are shaken by the events in the past few weeks so, let’s look at Isaiah and see how he coped:

When Isaiah’s life was shaken, he responded by looking up. As a result, he had a fresh vision of the Lord. This is the time to look up…from our knees! Let’s ask God to give us a fresh vision of Himself. Because, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear… since He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from…the deadly pestilence…You will not fear the terror of night…nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…” Anne Graham Lotz

 

Blessings,

Luci

 

Sanctity for Human Life

Sanctity for Human Life

Luci’s blog

As I write this, it is the 47th anniversary of Roe vs Wade when the US Supreme Court decided abortion will be “legal” in all 50 states.

Churches all across America recognize this 3rd Sunday in January each year, as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. It is a day when we as believers, thank God for the gift of life, we remember those who have died as a result of abortion, and we commit ourselves to protect the unborn.

To give you an idea of where we are, here are some statistics:

From 1973 to 2017 more than 60 million lives have been lost to abortion.

Every year, an estimated one million abortions are performed in the US.

As many as 2,500 unborn babies lose their lives in abortions every day.

4 out of 10 women who choose abortion identify as Christians and are attending church at least once a month. The sad truth is, many of us have been affected by what has been promoted as a quick fix to an inconvenience. Some of us have personal experience, some have a family member or know someone who has had an abortion.

But we have been lied to by the enemy of our souls. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” And the enemy has been involved in the killing of God’s children since the beginning of time.

Some of you may have hearts that are burdened with sins from your past. For some sins, it is harder for us to receive the forgiveness Christ offers than for others. Especially those sins committed against the body. Sexual sin and abortion are difficult to share and receive healing for because they touch us so deeply and there is great shame and stigma attached to them.

I am passionate about this because it has affected me personally. And I suffered so much for my choice! I was alone and afraid; I had no one in my young life that could speak truth to me. I was fed the lie that it wasn’t a baby and that I would be better off without it. For many months after the procedure, I was deeply depressed and felt empty inside over my decision; I cried every night. After being witnessed to over and over, I turned to the Lord Jesus for forgiveness because the burden was too heavy. He turned my life around and immediately forgave me. But I had to work through a lot of emotional struggles. I look back on that time and since the Lord showed me His forgiveness, over time I learned to let go of the guilt and shame I was holding on to and receive healing from the Lord through His Word and other believers.

The Lord exposed me to some compassionate and amazing Christians who were involved in the pro-life movement. And they helped me work through the fallout and heal to the point that I was able to minister to other hurting women who were alone in their secret suffering. It was a great relief to get rid of the burden of myself hate!

And the cross is open to all; the Lord receives all that ask for His forgiveness. There is healing available for grieving hearts that regret their involvement in abortion. It is not the unforgivable sin. Our Savior went to the cross for all sins.

When our hearts are surrendered to Jesus, we make better choices for ourselves and others. And there is support and protection in the body of Christ. But there are people out there who don’t know this yet. It’s up to us to share Christ love and truth with the those He brings into our lives and our church.

As we often say, the courts can make abortion illegal but only God through his church can make it unthinkable. The good news is, the abortion rate is declining but there are still so many we can reach out to with God’s love and healing!

—Luci