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!

My People-Pleasing

My People-Pleasing

From the time I was a young child, I never felt secure, confident or accepted. These insecurities gave the enemy an opening into my heart. He planted the lie in my mind that if I were perfect, I would be loved. Perfection in every task and responsibility set before me became my obsession. From school to sports and hobbies—basically anything I did—I had to be perfect. When I look back, I can see that my efforts were a waste of time. The enemy’s plan was quite insidious because he knew I could never be perfect. Only God is perfect. By striving for perfection, I would ultimately fall short and feel rejected.

The enemy drove me to failure so that I would look for other means of satisfying my longing to feel accepted, included and secure. He accomplished his mission. I failed. Being the good, quiet one in the family was not working for me anymore, so I decided to rebel. At the age of 12, I began sneaking Scotch whisky from my parent’s liquor cabinet when they were attending my brother’s football practices. Alcohol use was the beginning of my demise, which ultimately lead to the death of my child through abortion. My poor choices opened the door to more evil as a consequence. My striving for acceptance from all the wrong people would lead me to use drugs and sex to fill the void in my heart, which I would later discover could only be filled by a relationship with Jesus. I had no restraint. My conscience was slowly becoming numb as I failed to use sound judgment. Over time, I barely felt conviction for sin. I wanted to protect my parents from disappointment, so I kept all of this a secret.

My fear of rejection was stronger than anything else in my life. As a result, I became a people-pleaser. I would do anything to be loved and accepted. I would allow others to use me, and I used others to fulfill my desires. Heartbroken from my wound of rejection, I hungered for love, leaving the door open to accept abuse from others. I believed that I was not a person of value. I was easily manipulated and controlled by those closest to me because I had no boundaries. I had no self-respect, so others didn’t respect me either. I felt used, abused, unloved and worthless. During my teenage years, all of those unresolved emotions lead me into depression. When I entered into college, I was no longer restricted and restrained by my parents’ rules. I would drink alcohol to the point of abusing myself. I hated who I had become so much so that I wanted to hurt myself. One day in my dorm room, I actually kicked out the small window by my bed. Thank God I was wearing cowboy boots at the time, or else I would have badly cut or broken my foot. I was like a walking volcano. My excessive drinking led to fits of rage where hot lava came spewing from within my inner darkness, and I had no control over who was going to receive that hot mess. Afterwards, I would feel so much shame and guilt over my actions. It felt like being trapped in a dark pit all alone with the abuser and accuser—the father of lies. It was a living hell, but I didn’t know what to do to stop the destructive cycle.

I could never say no to anyone because I didn’t want to disappoint people. I just wanted to be loved and validated by others hoping they would see value in me because I couldn’t see it. My people-pleasing strategy backfired when I failed to follow through on all the things I said yes to. There were simply not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that I had agreed to do. I would overextend myself, and then I would have to back out of things. That was such an uncomfortable thing to do. A vicious cycle had developed, and I didn’t know how to stop it. I put others’ needs above my own needs. I truly believed that if I didn’t keep a perfect house, if I didn’t follow all the rules and if I wasn’t the perfect wife, my husband would toss me away. As a result, I tolerated unacceptable behavior out of fear. The enemy constantly tormented me with his lies when all I wanted was to be loved.

I realize now that the enemy wanted me to kill myself, but God had another plan for my life—one that was good and filled with hope and a prosperous future. (Jeremiah 29:11) He did not allow the enemy to succeed in having me take my own life even though I had taken the life of my child. God thwarted Satan’s plan to destroy my body and my soul. God knew that I would receive Christ as my savior at the age of 34. He knew that in 2006 I would start my abortion recovery and healing journey. He knew that in 2013 I would start My Ashes to Beauty, a post-abortion recovery and healing ministry. What the enemy meant for evil God turned around for good. (Genesis 50:20) God has been watching over me all these years while protecting me from the enemy so that I could fulfill His calling on my life. I now live my life to please God and Him alone. I no longer care about what others think of me, which is a form of idolatry. I am so humbled by and grateful for God’s mercy towards this poor broken woman who was dying inside. She is now alive and adopted as a daughter into God’s family.

Are you or/were you a people-pleaser?

Are you still concerned about what others think of you?

How did you break that dysfunctional cycle?

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Genesis 50:20 – “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

Blessings,

Toni

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Boundaries—Why Are They So Important?

Boundaries—Why Are They So Important?

Psalm 34:18, Jeremiah 29:11, John 3:16

Personal boundaries, as defined by Psychology today, “Are the limits we set with other people, which indicate what we will accept and what we consider unacceptable behavior towards us. To know our boundaries comes from a healthy view of ourselves.” When that view is distorted due to emotional trauma as children (whether we did not get the love and care from our family which is a Type A Trauma or we were sexually, emotionally, or physically abused as children which is Type B Trauma). All these experiences as children cause us to have a distorted view of ourselves, God, and others and it prevents us from maturing into healthy stable adults. (Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You, A Life Model Book)

This distorted view of ourselves especially those of us who have had abortions opens up the door to all kinds of unhealthy and destructive behavior. God created women to love and nurture their children and then we did the opposite. Our hopes and dreams as young girls are dashed, and we are now open to all kinds of unhealthy destructive coping mechanisms and ungodly behavior to deal with our pain. Our very souls are tormented and we feel desperately alone, depressed and even suicidal.

So how can we stop this destructive cycle of accepting and enabling unhealthy behavior from others? First, we must realize we have a Savior and a friend who is the lover of our soul, and His name is Jesus. He is the only one that can heal our broken spirits, our broken bodies and our broken minds. Psalm 34:18 ESV “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves the crushed in spirit.” He is the only one that can take the disaster we have made of our lives and restore order and peace. And He alone can give us a new hope, new dreams, a new purpose, and a new life. 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.”

In childhood, I did not learn what healthy boundaries look like. I became a people pleaser at a very young age and as a result I allowed people to take advantage of me and treat me very poorly and I never said a word. I wondered why I never truly felt loved by others; what was it? I was allowing all kinds of unhealthy behavior because I didn’t love and respect myself, especially after my abortion. I now despised myself. I didn’t understand why others didn’t treat me with love, kindness and compassion. I realized they cannot give what they do not have. But that took many decades for me to come to that understanding. I also recognized that they did the best they could with what they had and I released them into God’s Hands and started praying for and forgave them.

We all have our wounds and issues from our past, which causes us to be self-consumed and blinded, and we cannot see how we are hurting others closest to us. Only God can give us awareness and the courage to stop accepting unacceptable behavior and establish healthy boundaries. For the first time, I used my voice to explain my boundaries and insist they be respected. There was some push back but I was not going to waiver. At first, putting up boundaries is hard to do. But as God heals us, we get stronger, bolder and more courageous, and we no longer want to just exist, we want to experience the abundant life Jesus came to give us. The first step in recovery is recognizing my life is unmanageable and I need God to help me.

Dear One, I want you to know that God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for you. (John 3:16) Have you received this gift of love and forgiveness from God? If not you can do that today? If you do know the Lord, then ask Him to help you to love yourself and to have courage to put up boundaries and no longer accept unhealthy behavior. He will help you if you ask Him, He did it for me and I know He will do it for you too.

 

 

Blessings,

Toni

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Focusing on the One Thing I Don’t Have

Focusing on the One Thing I Don’t Have

Focusing on the One thing I don’t have, Eve.

Genesis 2:15-3:9, and Isaiah 61:1-3

How does the enemy torment a believer? It’s very simple actually, by getting us to focus on the one thing we don’t have: it can be financial security, a relationship, good health, a job, a family, a nice home, etc. So, let me ask you, what one thing are you focusing on right now that you don’t have?

Let’s look at Eve for example, she lived in a beautiful garden in perfect harmony with her husband and all of creation and they walked with and spoke with God daily. She had everything she could ever want, except one thing; God told them not to touch or eat of the tree in the midst of the garden because when they eat of it their eyes will be open and they will know good and evil. So, what does the serpent, the devil do? He comes to Eve after observing her looking at the tree. This is not in the Bible, but we know that the devil cannot read our minds. But he and his demons observe us and how we react to things. So, he is observing Eve over a period of time and notices her looking at the tree; he slithers by and starts talking with Eve. The first thing he does is to put doubt in Eve’s mind that God doesn’t love her or else he would have given her everything, that “God is holding out on you, because he knows if you eat of it you will be like God knowing good and evil.” No, the truth is, that by disobeying God, sin entered the world and there will now be conflict between the woman and her husband, all of creation will be forever changed, and their relationship with God will be broken. They will now experience pain, grief, sorrow, shame, and guilt and Adam and Eve will be forced out of their beautiful garden to never return again. They will be cursed as a result of their sins. That sounds pretty harsh but that’s how evil sin is, we like to justify sin so it doesn’t sound so bad, but the truth is sin is destructive and it separates us form God and others.

Many of us chose abortion, drunkenness, drugs, promiscuity and lying, as a way to cope with all of the pain and destructive choices in our lives. We were spiraling out of control, until one day we met the Savior, who had mercy on us and saved us from the path of destruction we were on. He exchanged our ashes for something beautiful, He took our mourning and grief; he gave us joy and exchanged our rags for a beautiful pure white garment. He gave us a new life, a new destiny, a new song, and a new purpose. I don’t want my old life back because that person is dead and gone. I have been made new and I no longer desire the things I use to do.

 

Let me ask you what are you struggling with today?

 

What thing is the enemy causing you to focus on?

 

Have you ever asked Jesus to forgive your sins and to become your Lord and Savior?

 

How can we pray for you?

 

Blessings,

Toni

Stinking Thinking: Negative Thoughts

Stinking Thinking: Negative Thoughts

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 and Philippians 4:8-9

Stinking Thinking refers to the negative thoughts that torment us especially when we are HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired) or have thoughts such as a distorted view of God and self, negative thinking, justification, fear, and anxiety. We will address each of these topics so we can discern between the lies we have believed over the years and replace them with God’s truth. Our goal is to equip you so you can have victory in these areas.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God for pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of God, brining every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

Philippians 4:8-9 NKJV

“Finally, brethren whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received, and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with.”

All of us know a person who can suck all the air out of a room because every word that comes out of their mouth is negative. Have you ever experienced that before? It is emotionally draining to be in the company of a negative person for a long period of time, before we too are dragged down into the pit with them. Are you plagued with negative thoughts?

The enemy is continually trying to trip us up, because his goal is to get us to focus on the negative things, instead of all the things we should be thankful for. Do you have a gratitude list? If you don’t, I suggest you do one today, and write down all the things you are thankful for. When you feel a negative thought coming on, just get out your list and remind yourself, God is still on the throne and He is in control and He is aware of everything that is going on in the world. He uses all of it for His purpose and plans in all of our lives. We must remember God is good all the time, and He is love, that is His character. He never changes, He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The battlefield truly is the mind, that is where spiritual warfare starts and that’s where we have a choice to take it on or not. Right now, we are experiencing a worldwide pandemic, many are fearful, but as believers we need to be seeking the Lord even more now, so we have His perspective on this. What are you focusing on now? Do you feel peaceful and hopeful or depressed and hopeless?

I have a list of Biblical truths that I read over every morning to remind myself that I am adopted and loved by God. This is how I put my armor on to protect myself from the fiery darts of the enemy.

Who I am in Christ, to Combat Rejection.

I am worthy.

I am loved.

I am accepted.

I am adopted.

I am confident and competent.

I am a child of God.

I have the Holy Spirit within me.

I am victorious in Christ.

I have a home in heaven.

Nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.

I am valued by God, I am His precious child, I have a home in heaven.

I will fear no evil!

When I read this every morning it protects my mind from the lies and negative thoughts that the enemy wants me to focus on. When I don’t read my list, I am vulnerable to the enemy’s devices; I am impatient, unkind, and easily frustrated. Lord You are showing me that today in fact, I must make time with You each morning; You are my priority, reading Your Word daily is food for my soul, praying is a time for me to hear from you and to talk to you, and journaling is a time when I go even deeper with You seeking your wisdom and wanting so much to hear from you to lead and guide me in my life and in all I do, because I want my life to be pleasing to you and I want you to be glorified through it. Thank you, Lord, for reminding me and convicting me of that today.

Father in heaven, I pray for each woman on this call and for the women on-line reading this blog. I pray they will seek you with their whole heart. Show them how much you love them in a very real and tangible way. Protect them from the lies and negative thoughts of the enemy and help them to focus on the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. Renew their minds daily as they read Your Word. Heal them and bind up their wounds as only You can, for you only, are their Mighty Counselor and Great Physician. Meet them where they are and lead them by Your righteous right hand. Forgive all of their sins and heal them Lord. Thank you for Your love, mercy, grace, and compassion upon them. We pray this in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Do you struggle with negative thoughts?

How often are you plagued with these thoughts?

Is there a person or situation that causes you to start thinking negatively?

What have you done to help protect yourself from this kind of negative thinking?

Blessings,

Toni

Read more of Toni’s blog posts here!