One Life Can Make a Difference

One Life Can Make a Difference

September 2020

Micah 6:8

Friday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), passed away. The second female U.S. Supreme Court Justice once admitted to aborting her second child. Because it was very difficult for women to have job security at a time when men dominated the workplace, she believed that she would lose all she had worked for by having another child. She advocated for equal rights for women. Some of those rights were beneficial and some detrimental. Her commitment as an activist judge for the left pro-abortion agenda dominated her career. Fearless and determined to maintain a liberal foothold in the Supreme Court during the current presidential election, she extended the life of her career despite facing various health challenges. She could not allow President Trump to choose another conservative Justice. She was strongly encouraged to retire during the Obama Administration, but she refused. I suppose she was still on mission to ensure abortion remained the law of the land. I read an article several years ago that stated she had an abortion in her past, but now none of the media outlets are talking about that.

Can we be as fearless as she was and work tirelessly for what we feel God has placed in our hearts? I pray that we can be faithful!

As a young teenager, I dreamed of going to foreign lands with the Peace Corps to help improve the lives of people throughout the world. Even then, God put in my heart a sincere care for the plight of others. During my latter teen years and into young adulthood, I felt a sense of joy when people would come to me for help. I felt needed, which in turn made me feel good about myself. I never could have imagined that God would call me to start this ministry. I am so grateful for God who has used my most horrific and traumatic experience—my abortion—and turned it around for my good and the good of so many others.

When I think about it, we have to be just as fearless and determined as RBG was—never giving in and never giving up. We are on the front lines fighting for women and babies against a very real and present evil. This work is not for the faint-hearted as the emotional impact resulting from dealing with women’s pasts and their abortion stories can become overwhelming at times. Because of the Kingdom work we are doing, we must also be watchful of the fierce spiritual warfare directed towards us from an enemy that wants to harm us, destroy our families, and silence us forever. Praise be to God who has raised up mighty warrior women of which many are on this call. Even if you are just starting your healing journey, you are courageous. Let us continue to do the work God has put on our hearts. I will remain on the battlefield until He either tells me to stop, or He takes me home. I will never stop fighting for you and for the next generation. No, I am not famous nor do I want to be. But, I want to be known as a warrior for those that have no voice and are the most vulnerable in our society—babies in the womb.

This week, we had an incredible opportunity to intervene in a young woman’s life who was planning to have an abortion at 24 weeks pregnant. Sadly, even though she and the father of the baby are believers in Christ, they considered abortion their only option in order to cover up their shame and guilt. With God’s intervention, her friend became instrumental in saving the life of that baby. Her friend, is a previous tenant of mine. Many years ago we connected and began Bible Studies together along with holding long conversations over the phone. Over time, I had asked a woman from the ministry to continue mentoring her, which she still is doing to this day. Thank you, Lord. This young woman, upon learning about her friend’s devastating decision to abort her baby, courageously asked for help. Immediately, we went into action by praying. I urgently texted back and forth with the abortion-vulnerable woman. We became engaged in a major spiritual attack for the life of this baby and the very soul of this woman. Our training from the Making Life Disciples (MLD) course equipped us for this very situation. God gave her friend the wisdom to show the woman a picture of her 3-year-old son, and it softened her heart. As a result, she was able to see that children are truly a gift from God.

I am still praying that this young woman and I can connect at a later date. Although the father of the baby still wants her to have an abortion, the mother has chosen to make a birth plan. Please continue to pray that she remains strong and chooses life for her baby each and every day. An update January 2, 2021 I heard from the birth mom and she decided to keep her baby. Praise Jesus!! She stated how grateful she was for our words of encouragement, and said it was ok if we shared her baby’s picture.

We never know what kind of effect our words and actions have on another person. I am reminded and encouraged to keep doing the right thing. I love what the verse in Micah 6:8b says, “…And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Let me ask you:

Are you obeying God in all areas of your life?

Do you believe He has a purpose for your life?

What is God calling you to do?

You are loved,
Toni

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

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!

Obedience

Obedience

Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Romans 2:4b
“Not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”

John 10: 28
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”

As a young child, I developed a strong sense of responsibility. I took on shame immediately for any wrong doing. My fear of authority figures caused me to become a people-pleaser. I was a very compliant child because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, especially my parents. I yearned for love and acceptance so much so that I would do anything to obtain it. I developed an unhealthy thinking pattern and a false belief system because of what I witnessed in my home and in church. I saw those in authority—attributing their behavior to God—act very harshly when someone disobeyed the rules. Please read my blog, Stinking Thinking: My Distorted View of God. As a result, I obeyed my elders out of fear of punishment and rejection, not out of love or reverence.

I demonstrated good moral behavior until I reached the age of 12 when “the good, quiet one” persona no longer sufficed. I began rebelling against everything I knew was right. Because of my fear of rejection, I put a great deal of energy into not getting caught. You can imagine how I lived with many secrets and hid behind a mask. I lived a lie. At home, I played the role of the “good, quiet one.” However, in public, I got drunk, used drugs and started having sex at the age of 16. All of this culminated in my abortion at the age of 21. With a firm grip on my soul, the evil one led me down a path of death and destruction. Blinded by pride and deception, I believed that I could live a life of freedom by pursuing my own desires and pleasures. However, the opposite was true. My life belonged to the devil. He would eventually use me to do the unthinkable—murder my own child. I firmly believe that if we truly knew the love of God and understood it, we would not seek love outside of marriage. We would feel cherished, whole, secure and free. We wouldn’t need drugs, alcohol and other empty vices to fill the void in our hearts because we have such a strong connection to the true source of love—Jesus.

God wants us to obey Him out of love, not fear of punishment. It’s the goodness of God that leads to true repentance and a relationship with Jesus—a relationship without bondage but true freedom. Striving to be perfect by obeying unattainable rules does not draw us closer to Christ. He desires to show us His way of love, grace, forgiveness and peace. I pray that we can share this message of hope with others. For God so loved the world that He gave His most precious gift—His only Son—to die for us. If that is not a picture of sacrificial love, then I don’t know what is.

I have found that true joy comes from obeying God no matter how I feel because my emotions can be deceiving. Being faithful to follow God’s lead in my life brings a long-lasting peace. Women often say to me, “I am really struggling in my relationship with Christ.” What I have come to understand is that the key to a strong relationship with Him is obedience. If you desire a more fulfilling relationship with God, then obey the leading of the Holy Spirit even when you don’t see how God can intervene in your circumstances. Remember that God’s ways are not our ways. True peace comes from obeying God. When we do that, we are safe and secure under His protective umbrella. He shields us from the enemy’s fiery darts, and no one can snatch us out of His hand.

In this season, we are embarking on a very important study, “In the Wildflowers,” which deals with the evil of sexual abuse. The enemy has been hard at work to derail this study. Tormented by the enemy, one of my family members has begun lashing out and attacking me verbally. Someone also attempted to take out a $75,000 small business loan in my name through identity theft. Stay close to God, dear one, because the enemy knows that many will be saved, healed, redeemed and set free. Obey God even when life becomes difficult and you struggle to understand His plan. Rest assured. You will be blessed.

Love you all,

Toni

Read more of Toni’s blog posts 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

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!