Our Dashed Dreams

Our Dashed Dreams

Our Dashed Dreams
by Toni Weisz/Spiritual Disciplines

Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Isaiah 61:7 (ESV)
Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.

I never imagined I would abort my first child. I grew up in a large Italian family (my mom was one of ten children). At our family get- togethers there were always children running around. I was the oldest granddaughter so it was my job to look after the younger ones so the adults could talk without interruptions. I loved children and I even thought about getting a teaching degree. What happened to my childhood dreams? How did I go so far off the path I thought would be my life?

Sin destroyed my dreams. I decided that being the “good quiet one” wasn’t working for me anymore. I wasn’t getting the love and attention I needed so I decided to take matters into my own hands – a true recipe for disaster. At 12 years old, I started experimenting with alcohol and began sneaking shots of scotch whiskey while my parents were at my brother’s football practices. My sister and I were left at home to do the dishes for a short while but that’s all the devil needed – a little bit of time to get me alone and wanting. My child-brain started thinking of ways to get my needs met, but in unhealthy ways. This destructive path the enemy led me down was one of drugs, alcohol, numerous sexual partners, and then my abortion at 21. It was a dark and destructive journey. I hid in my secrets and was tormented by the devil. How did I get here? One bad choice after another after another…it happens that fast.

I would continue in this self-destructive pattern for 22 years. Thankfully, God finally rescued me at the age of 34, when I heard the gospel for the first time. Jesus died on the cross for MY SINS. I had never heard that before. I desperately needed and wanted someone to take all my sins, shame, and guilt. I needed a Savior – someone to love me just for me. I found all those things in a relationship with Jesus. I am so grateful for the love, forgiveness, and peace I found in Him.

God has turned my mourning into joy. He has given me a new name, a new life, and a new calling. No matter what you have done in your past, God is able to forgive and redeem what the devil has stolen. You can still have a wonderful, fulfilling, God-glorifying life-it just may look a little different from your original plan. But rest assured, God is a good Father and has a good plan for your life. Will you allow Him to help you dream new dreams?

Questions & Final Thoughts:

  1. What were some of your childhood dreams?
  2. Did the devil steal your dreams of having children and a family?
  3. How have you been able to move on and dream new dreams?

I pray that the Lord will minister to your broken heart and give you new dreams.

I hope you know how much you are loved,
Toni

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

The Courage of Mary

The Courage of Mary

The Courage of Mary

Abortion Recovery Women’s Support Group (ARWSG)

Luke1:26–38, 1 John 1:9, Deuteronomy 22:20–21, and Romans 8:28

In the book of Luke, we read about an incredibly brave teenager named Mary. Mary was a common name back then; it meant bitter. The people were bitter because the prophets were silent for 400 years. There was no revelation at all between the Old Testament and the New Testament for all this time. They felt bitter because they thought God had forgotten them and His promise of their Messiah.

We see this incredible dialogue between Mary and the angel Gabriel. He said to her, “Rejoice highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women! Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” He proceeded to tell her she would conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Jesus. God used this young woman mightily to bring forth the promised Messiah, Emmanuel—God with us. Instead of running from her situation or panicking, she prayed and sought the Lord’s leading. Why didn’t we trust God when we found ourselves with unplanned pregnancies? If you have confessed this sin to Him, He has forgiven you. 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Mary could have been stoned for being pregnant outside of marriage because that was the law back then. Deuteronomy 22:20–21 speaks about the laws pertaining to sexual sins. Not only could Mary have been stoned, but Joseph, her espoused husband, could have walked away from the relationship by writing a bill of divorcement because they were legally betrothed to one another. But God protected Mary from both of these consequences because she had not sinned. She was supernaturally impregnated by the Holy Spirit of God. She was so courageous and brave. She risked her own life and reputation to obey God. What a beautiful testimony we see in her life.

This week will be 41 years since I aborted my son, Joseph, on December 10, 1980. I wish I had the courage like Mary to have my baby, but I allowed the fear of man to push me to abort my baby. I cannot change my past, but I can learn from my mistakes. God used my abortion to bring me into a relationship with Jesus. Now, I have the distinct honor of walking with all of you on your healing journeys. God has certainly taken my ashes, my horrible sins, and turned them into something beautiful for my good and His glory, and you are all a part of that. I believe that God makes all things work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, is continually sanctifying us and conforming us to the image of Jesus. You all are so precious to Him; I hope you know that.

 

Questions

  1. How long has it been since your past abortion(s)?
  2. Are you still holding onto your secret of abortion(s)?
  3. Have you allowed God access to all your broken places so that He can heal you? If not, trust Him today. He wants you healed and whole so that you can become the woman He created you to be.

You are loved,
Toni

 

 

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

How Has God Used Your Pain?

How Has God Used Your Pain?

(2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

When I came to Christ at the age of 34, I was suffering from severe depression, physical pain in my joints and fatigue. I sought answers from several doctors, but they could find nothing. My test results, CAT scans, MRIs and blood work all came back normal. I was perplexed. What is wrong with me? I now realize that my mental, emotional and health struggles were God’s way of getting my attention. Because of how poorly I felt, I couldn’t participate in my regular activities. It was during this time of suffering that God began drawing me to Himself.

How has God used suffering in your life to get your attention? In my case, God used my pain, weakness, fatigue and depression. God knows exactly how to reach all of us so that we turn to and focus on Him. God has always used my physical health issues to remind me to lean on Him. He uses suffering so that first, we will realize how much we need Him in our life and secondly, what kind of changes we need to make.

When I had the courage to trust God and finally wanted more than mere survival, God met me right where I was. God used my distress to bring me to Him. Even during my period of pain, God used me to help others. When I followed His lead by reaching out to those in need, I received even more healing for myself. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, God’s Word says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” (ESV) God never wastes our suffering. It is all for a specific purpose. Some of you dear ones have suffered for a long time, and my heart goes out to you. It can seem very lonely at times, but God sees you. He loves you and has a purpose for your pain.

Christ suffered a horrific death on the cross for us. He also endured torture having been scourged, beaten, slapped, hit with rods and pierced in his skull with a crown of thorns. If anyone is acquainted with anguish and pain, it is Jesus. Come to Jesus just as you are, and He will give you comfort. Only He can carry you when you can’t take another step. He is the only one who will never leave you. He will not abuse you or take advantage of you. His love is pure, holy, just and life-affirming. His ways lead to true freedom and healing.

How has God used suffering in your life?

What is God showing you?

One day, beloved, we will be in glory in a place called Heaven where there is no more pain, sorrow or crying—a place where we will be embraced by the peace and love of Jesus.

You are loved,
Toni

 

 

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

A Time for Prayer and Repentance

A Time for Prayer and Repentance

A Time for Prayer and Repentance
by Toni Weisz / Spiritual Disciplines

2 Kings 24:14, Psalm 139:23-24, and 2 Corinthians 7:10

Recently, my pastor preached about the prophet Jeremiah and the reasons why God punished His own people during that time. God allowed Nebuchadnezzar, a powerful and ruthless Babylonian king, to overtake Jerusalem. He plundered the temple and the royal palace, and carried away the King of Judah, his mighty men, and 10,000 captives including all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except for the ‘poorest people of the land’ (2 Kings 24:14). But why would God allow this to happen? Much like us, the children of Israel struggled greatly with idolatry, specifically child sacrifice. The Bible describes this act as passing children through the fire (2 Kings 21:6). In ancient times, many Israelites sacrificed their children to the false gods of Baal and Molech. Nebuchadnezzar’s successful plundering and capturing of Jerusalem’s royalty and workforce was part of God’s divine punishment for these sins…

In a similar way, we have followed in the footsteps of the Israelites by terminating the lives of our children. We may not physically hand over our newborn babies to be sacrificed like our ancient Jewish counterparts, but we end the lives of our children while still in our wombs. As a nation, we have murdered over 63 million children, passing them through the fire in sacrifice to our own false god: ourselves. My heart breaks when I think of the multitude of families that are missing a child, a grandchild, a great grandchild, a brother, or a sister. Entire generations of our families are missing. We have played “god” (little “g” god) by deciding whether our children live or die. So, today I dedicate a special prayer to each woman in this ministry and for our nation to repent of its sins of abortion and self-idolatry. My hope is that God will save future generations from this death and destruction.

Forgive us, Lord, for putting ourselves on the throne of our hearts instead of You. Only You can give life and take life. Forgive us for our sin of abortion. We are so sorry that we robbed You of the precious lives that You gave us. Forgive us for having sex outside of marriage thinking we knew best. You only wanted to protect us from the harm it would cause us and our children. Forgive us for our sin of lust and fornication.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in Your way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24) Heavenly Father, in the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Come Holy Spirit and search each heart now, remove any blindness, help us to trust You and to surrender every part of our being to You. Bring into the light our evil thoughts and actions that have hurt You, others, and ourselves. Lord, forgive us for our selfish ways and our impure thoughts. Cleanse us from all our iniquity and cleanse us from our sins. We need You to renew our minds and purify our minds with the powerful Word of God. Bring down any unhealthy thinking or critical and unkind thoughts. Help us to be humble and teachable. Remove our sin of pride far from us. We want to walk in Your ways, Lord. We want to relinquish control to You, Lord. We want You to be first in our lives, Lord. We want You to be glorified through our lives, Lord. Be magnified in us today.

“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10) Lord, we are totally broken over our sins. When we sin, let us think back to the Old Testament and picture the gruesome sacrifice of animals for a covering over our sins. In the New Testament, Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God, came and atoned for our sins and removed them from us. He was our substitute. He paid our sin-debt so we could be righteous before You. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. You are Holy, Lord. Help us to be pure and holy. Help us to be separated from the world. We are foreigners here. This is not our home. Let us not be like Lot’s wife, who turned back to see the destruction of the world she came to love more than You, Lord. As a result, God judged her, and she was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). Let me love Your ways, Lord, more than anything this world can offer me.

How long, Lord, will you hold back your hand of judgment upon America? Is the turmoil we are experiencing today a result of your church not standing up against all the evil in our world? How long will You tolerate our sins of pride, idolatry, and murder without bringing judgment upon us? Have mercy upon us, O Lord, and hold back Your hand of judgment upon us. Help us to acknowledge that our time is short. Help us to be about Your business in this world. Give us a new, fresh outpouring of your Holy Spirit to be bolder, more courageous, and more effective in the things we do in this ministry, in our churches, in our families, and in our workplaces. Set our hearts on fire with the power of Your Word. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Let’s take time now to allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts. Thank you, Lord for what You are doing in our lives.

Questions

  1. What has God put on your heart to pray about today?
  2. Is there anything you want to confess?
  3. Is there a person in your family that you are especially praying for?

Please feel free to reach out for prayer, toni@myashestobeauty.com. God bless you.

You are loved,
Toni

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Delight Yourself in the Lord

Delight Yourself in the Lord

I Will Delight Myself in You, Lord.

Psalm 37:1-9

1 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.

2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.

9 For evildoers shall be cut off:
But those that wait upon the LORD,
They shall inherit the earth.

Lord, I am feeling weary and tired.

Lord, I feel I don’t have much to give because my energy is so depleted.

What do I do when I feel like I have nothing left to give?

God speaking to me through the Holy Spirit, “Come to Me. I am the fountain of living water. Now drink. Fill yourself with My Spirit and My power. For when you are weak. I will make you strong.”

Lord, what do you want me to share with the women tomorrow?

The Holy Spirit responds, “I want them to be hopeful and confident in Me. This world will wax worse and worse. Do not look to the world because it cannot give you what I can. I am your only source of strength, hope, salvation, forgiveness, love and peace. You have a home in Heaven with me forever. My Kingdom will never end. This world has been taken over by the evil one because the church has fallen asleep, and the enemy has crept in unawares. My people don’t realize the power they have through My Holy Spirit. You have access to me through prayer 24 hours a day because I never slumber. I hear every whisper, and I see every tear, I have collected them in a bottle. There is power when your hearts and voices are united in prayer and praise. How the enemy hates when you praise Me! Praise Me when things are hard. Praise Me when you are sad or feeling weak. Praise Me when it looks like you are all alone. Praise Me! Be bold and courageous and fear not for I will be with you wherever you go.”

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28)

 

How are you feeling? Hopeful and confident? Or, fearful and alone?

What are you struggling with right now?

How can we pray for you and your family?

Please reach out; we are here ready to help.

Blessings,

Toni

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!