Category Archives: Faith

Showing My Scars

This Saturday I’ll be speaking at a conference called Shattering Stigma with StoriesI attended this event last year and experienced the powerful and informative stories of real people who struggle with mental illnesses, including anorexia, depression, and bipolar disorder. One of my writing friends, Leanne Sype, was one of the speakers. When we later met for coffee, I mentioned that I had a strong desire to tell my story and that I was drawn to this ministry. So she arranged for me to meet with the woman who created the Shattering Stigma ministry at Lake Grove Presbyterian Church.

Well, almost a year later I’d all but forgotten about this ministry, thinking they were never going to ask me to speak at their conference. That’s when Leanne contacted me to ask if I would be on a trauma panel. It didn’t take much thought to know the answer was yes.

So, the conference is this Saturday. Oh wait, I said that already. Can you tell I’m excited?

It seems weird to be excited about telling my story of having endured trauma and struggled with symptoms of PTSD and depression as a result. But I am excited because I know that God will use my story, just as He used the stories of the speakers last year, to shine a light on the truth about people with mental illnesses. That truth is that they—we—are loved by God. He desires to step into our circumstances and bring hope and healing. He desires for us to be a part of His Church and He expects His Church to minister to us in the midst of our struggles and pain.

He expects us to show the scars of the wounds He has healed so that others may find healing, too.

 

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Giggles of a Cutie

I didn’t mean to get him in trouble
But I couldn’t help playing peek-a-boo
with the cutie in front of me
squirming in his father’s arms
at Ash Wednesday service
we’re supposed to be solemn
But I made him giggle
I think God smiled

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Had to share one more real-life experience from this week that involved giggling for dVerse Poets Pub‘s Quadrille Monday.

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God’s Sense of Humor

Do you think
Jesus giggled
as a little Jewish boy

Did He make the children
laugh out loud
when He told them a story

When God created
the platypus
did He chuckle to Adam and say
Look at the crazy creature
I made today

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I’m finally catching up with dVerse Poets Pub‘s Quadrille Monday for this week. The word of the week is giggle. I actually wrote the first two stanza of this on paper on Tuesday evening, but haven’t had time until now to finish it.

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Pondering 1984

I’m a big fan of dystopian literature, like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell. I don’t know what draws me to this kind of story of a society gone wrong while attempting to make everything perfect (at least for some).

I recently started rereading 1984 in an attempt to avoid writing. The parallels between the Party platform in Oceania and the platform of the pro-choice feminist movement of today are uncanny. The Party in Oceania stands on the three-pronged slogan: War Is Peace; Freedom Is Slavery; Ignorance Is Strength. Pro-choice feminists of today stand on the slogans: My Body, My Choice; Abortion Is Women’s Health.

The biggest problem for the pro-choice position is that they don’t have an engine like the Ministry of Truth to eliminate all the history and scientific facts that prove their slogans false.

Scientific facts prove an unborn child is not part of its mother’s body. It is a distinct human being with different DNA and sometimes different blood type of its mother.

History and her own writings prove that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, didn’t advocate for choice. She was a eugenicist whose goal was to eliminate potentially undesirable babies from the population through abortion and forced sterilization.

Pro-choice feminists can try to reframe the argument to be one of choice, but absent more than one option and information about all options, there is no real choice. When abortion is the only option, it’s not choice to choose it.

Mounting evidence reveals that abortion harms the women who have one, leading to depression, PTSD, suicide, infertility, and increased risk of breast cancer. Mounting evidence also reveals that sex traffickers and abusers often force their victims to have abortions against their will so that the abuser can continue their abuse.

I am thankful that there is no Ministry of Truth to erase the facts about abortion and its negative impact on women, men, and society as a whole. I am also thankful that we have the Truth, Jesus Christ, to help us fight the lies this world passes off as truth.

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The Holy Ghost

King James and Wycliffe
called Him the Holy Ghost
like He haunted and terrorized
men, women, and children alike
Some terrible ghoul
roaming the graveyards of earth
Representing death and destruction

Yet He is life
Spirit of God
Spirit of truth
Advocate and Counselor

_________________________

It’s Quadrille Monday again at dVerse Poets Pub and the word of the day is ghost. The pub opens at noon Pacific Time. Head on over and see what ghostly Quadrilles poets are offering up today.

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Pondering the Why of Suffering

When Jesus and his disciples encountered the man born blind as recorded in John 9, the disciples wanted to know why he’d been born blind. Was it the man’s sin or his parents’ sin that had caused this tragedy?

Why me? Why her? It’s a question we all ask in the face of tragedy and suffering. I know I do. Why did my mom have cancer not once, but three times? Why did her dad die of cancer when she was only 14? Why did my sister die of cancer at only 61?

Why was I raped by someone I thought I could trust when I was only 14? Why was I faced with the impossible situation of a teen pregnancy because of being raped again when I was only 17? Was all this tragedy ordained by God to make me the person I am today? Would I have been less compassionate and more judgmental if I’d never experienced all the suffering I have?

I have a friend who is a Christian and yet she lacks empathy and compassion. Her words reveal the pride and judgment of others that flow from her heart. She hasn’t experienced the trauma I have or anything close to it as far as I can tell. I wonder if I would have been just like her—legalistic and critical—if I’d been spared the fertile soil of suffering that mercy needs to grow.

Or perhaps my suffering and my mother’s suffering are God’s punishment for the sins of her parents, my grandparents, or even earlier generations. There is certainly scripture to support the conclusion that God punishes the children for the sins of the parents even to multiple generations.

Then again, my own suffering may have been the result of my own sin. The first time I was raped happened in large part because I disobeyed my parents and hung out with the guy who did it. And after that it was one sin after another that led to more suffering.

I’ll probably never know why this side of Heaven. I can speculate until I’m blue in the face and never know for sure. So perhaps it’s most profitable to stop asking why and focus on the next part of the story of the man born blind.

Jesus answers His disciples, saying that the man was born blind that God might be glorified. Then He heals the man. He gives the man who had never seen so much as a blade of grass full sight. He took the man’s utter darkness and gave him light.

He did the same for me and that’s what matters. He healed my brokenness that He might be glorified. I’ll admit that there are days when even that answer can cause tears of anger to well up in my eyes. Couldn’t there have been an easier way for God to be glorified than for me to struggle under the weight of multiple traumas?

Then I remember the story of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his own brothers, thrown into jail by Pharaoh for a betrayal he didn’t commit, and then ultimately raised to a position of power in Egypt. When his brothers came to him for food in time of famine, fearing he would punish them for the wrong they had committed against him, Joseph responded: “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:19-20 (NIV).

I ponder that perhaps God intended the harm that has befallen me for good, to accomplish great things for Him. This helps me let go of the “why” questions and focus on where I can encourage others who have been through similar circumstances and haven’t yet found His healing light. Perhaps I can even be used by God to save many lives.

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Divided We’ll Fall

It dawned on me
late last night
before the dawn
there’s only moonlight

The days may be longer
but in darkness they stand
as hatred and murder
shroud our fair land

Together we’d stand
but divided we’ll fall
without our God
one and all

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Quadrille Monday has dawned at dVerse Poets Pub and Bjorn has given us the word “dawn” to incorporate into our 44-word poems. I won’t have time to read any Quadrille’s today, but you should head over and read what others have to write about the dawn and to read one of my favorite Robert Frost poems that Bjorn has quoted. I’ll catch up with you tomorrow.

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My Memoir Monster

If my memoir is a monster
Taking on a life of its own
Does that make me Dr. Frankenstein
Madly nurturing what I’ve grown

Or am I more like Dr. Jekyll
Consumed by my Mr. Hyde
A raging egomaniac
Fueled by wanton pride

Maybe it’s Leviathan
The great monster of the sea
Tamed at last by God alone
Just like the sin in me

I wish it were a jigsaw puzzle
Of Bigfoot or old Nessie
With pieces that fit neatly together
Instead of being so messy

In the end it’s just my story
Dying to be told
One page at a time, not in rhyme
Hopefully before I am old

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Decided to share this for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub today.

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Growing Peace in Forgiveness

Each time I see a Facebook post or Internet meme stating that abortion is murder, calling on us to save the babies, I feel a pang of anger. It’s not that I disagree with this truth. I do not. I know the medical facts that show that a baby has a heartbeat as early as 4 weeks after conception and can feel pain as early as 20 weeks after conception. It is even possible for a baby born only 23 weeks after conception to survive outside the womb.

I know all too well this truth. My anger comes from two places.

First, I am angry that the doctors and nurses at the clinic where my abortion was performed didn’t share that information with me. I’m angry that they didn’t provide me with choices or give me the opportunity to make an informed choice. I’m angry that they didn’t ask how I got pregnant. I was raped, but that didn’t concern them. I am angry that the supposed pro-choice movement in this country continues to lie to and withhold facts from women facing crisis pregnancies.

Second, I am angry that the pro-life movement spends so much time focusing on the babies that they often forget the women (or quite often young girls) who have been traumatized by the abortion industry, having believed the lie that an abortion was the only answer to their crisis pregnancy.

But then I feel God’s Spirit remind me that anger and vengeance are not mine. What is mine is forgiveness. And when I focus on God’s forgiveness, knowing He understands my regret and desires to heal my broken heart, peace begins to grow in my heart.

This is when I realize that God doesn’t call me to try to change the hearts and minds of those who are pro-choice or to condemn the methods of those who are pro-life. What God calls me to do is to bring His message of mercy and forgiveness to women, like me, who have endured the trauma of abortion and sometimes feel like there will never be peace.

There is peace. It is found in Jesus, who died to pay for all our sins, including the murder of our children. He will forgive all. His forgiveness will grow peace in our hearts when we let Him.

Are you among the millions of women who have had an abortion because you believed you had no other choice? Were you pressured by your boyfriend or husband, or perhaps even by an abuser? Were you single, with insufficient income to care for a child, and felt there was no other choice? Did you see your whole life’s plan ahead of you, a plan that didn’t have room for a child, and were told you had no other choice?

Do you live now with regret and heartache over the child you aborted? Do you struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts but don’t know why because you’ve buried the guilt over your abortion so deep you aren’t even consciously aware of it? Do you long to be closer to God but somehow feel that you will never be good enough for Him?

Dear one, you are not alone and you are loved. You are not the mistakes you have made and the wrongs you have done. You are loved by God and He desires to heal your deepest pain and hurt, to bring you forgiveness and peace. You only need to lay this burden—a burden that is much too heavy for you to bear alone—at the feet of Jesus. His truth and love will set you free to live in His peace.

Here are some resources to help you:

Silent No More Awareness

Eternal Perspective Ministries

The Radiance Foundation

Walk for Life

Lifecall – Directory of pregnancy resource centers

CareNet – Pregnancy resource centers

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You Cannot Grow Peace from Murder

I read a post by Anne Lamott on Facebook the other day regarding the Women’s March. I kept coming back to one line: “You cannot grow tulips from zucchini seeds, or peace from murder.” Today this thought continues to resonate in my heart and soul as I see so many friends posting in support of the march. It resonates because I am confused at the inconsistency of this statement and the position of the organizers and sponsors of the Women’s March that is decidedly in favor of murder, and yet believe that from it they can grow peace.

Or maybe it’s not really peace they want, but power. Power can be a very attractive temptation.

In case you hadn’t heard, several groups were originally listed as sponsors of the Women’s March, but were removed when the organizers found out that they were pro-life. The removal of New Wave Feminists and a pregnancy crisis center from Idaho were reported by Christianity Today. Had they remained on the sponsor list, showing that all women were welcome, I would support the March as well. But it was clear that the Women’s March was not meant to be inclusive of all women.

Remaining on the sponsor list are Planned Parenthood and NARAL (the National ABORTION Rights Action League). Neither of these organizations care about anything but maintaining the status quo in which unborn girls (and boys) are murdered in our country on a daily basis. My personal experience is that they do not care about the long-term affects of abortion on the women they serve. They only care about their profit margin.

In 1973 when Roe v. Wade was decided by the nine male justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, medical technology did not allow us to see inside the womb. But now, 44 years later, there have been significant advances in medical technology that allow us to see the developing child. There can no longer be any doubt that abortion murders an unborn child.

In addition, after 44 years of legal abortion, during which time millions of women have murdered their own children, we have learned that there are significant adverse affects on the women themselves. Organizations like Silent No More Awareness and the Facebook group Shout Your Abortion Regret attest to the millions of women, like me, who believed the lie that abortion is only about our own bodies. We live with the pain and regret of a decision we cannot undo. But perhaps, if we speak up in spite of our shame and share our regret, we can save other women from the same fate. We were told that having an abortion would bring us peace. But you can’t grow peace from murder.

It saddens me that the best our society has to offer women facing the prospect of having a child they can’t afford is to have an abortion. Why don’t we offer assistance in raising the child or in finding an adoptive family? Are we so convinced that women are so weak that they can’t handle having and raising a child in spite of difficult circumstances? When we say we want women to have the equal right to have it all, do we mean only if they’re willing to sacrifice their child? Is abortion—is murder—the best we have to offer? Is the right to murder your child really worth marching for? I once thought it was, but I was wrong.

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