How I Re-Discovered God’s Love After Making Choices I Regret
23 Sep 2015
The only way I’ve been able to sing about God’s love, mercy and deliverance through my Zion Daughter ministry is because I have experienced it, even when the choices I made led to life altering consequences. Some of these choices have been the same ones that have been the subject of heated debates due to the recent Planned Parenthood fiasco and Pope Francis’ comments on forgiveness.
Those of you who have read my recent blog posts regarding the radical change in my life that was a result of rejection and overcoming obstacles to step out in faith are getting some insight into my faith journey. Though many know the Mary behind Zion Daughter, whom some describe as a someone “filled with faith and the joy of the Lord”, this hasn’t always been the case. My lack of faith and low self-esteem indeed led me to make many choices that I now see were anything but wise. Though I grew up in the Christian faith, using the Bible as the guide to right and wrong, I haven’t always lived up to the expectations I had of myself.
I have made choices that went against everything I believed and this included the decision I made to exercise the right to choose that had been given to women in the U.S. through Roe versus Wade. I made a decision twice in my young adult life to have an abortion because:
• I was trying to hide the guilt and shame I felt for not waiting to have sex until I was married;
• I was afraid of not being able to provide for my children as I had not yet established a career;
• I was afraid of being a failure in the eyes of my family and friends who looked up to me as an example;
• I numbed my conscience and made myself believe that the abortions would help me get my life back on track. Like David killing Uriah in order to cover up his sin ( 2 Samuel 11) I did the same through abortion.
And just like in David’s case there were consequences for the choices I made.
1. My relationship with God suffered a severe blow.
• I knew deep down inside that I was offending God but my fear of facing the consequences of my sin overrode the fear of God. Eventually, I faced the fact that by making this choice I had hurt God by making myself an idol (another god) who decided to bring to an abrupt end to the lives He had created Psalm 139:13;
• I found it hard to believe that God could love me after what I had done, even after I repented and this kept me distant from Him.
2. I hurt my unborn children and my daughter
• I didn’t give my children a chance to live, a chance to choose anything: who they would marry, where they would go to college, if they would go to college, if they would run for President or work in the mission field…
• I caused my daughter such great sorrow and anguish. The tears she cried the day I decided to tell her about the choices I had made said it all. I remember how nothing I could say or do could help her stop from grieving. I deprived her of the joy of growing up with her siblings as I had.
3. I hurt myself in many ways through abortion that manifested as:
• Self-hatred and low self-esteem;
• Depression (at one time so severe I had to go on medication);
• Emotional numbness (that led to relationships with people who would perpetuate the wrong thinking I had developed that I was not worthy of love or respect);
• Distrust and unforgiveness (of myself and others).
4. I hurt my family
• I denied my wonderful family the opportunity to share their lives, love and laughter with my other children the way they have with my daughter.
As I experienced God’s forgiveness, as well as that of my daughter and my family, I started forgiving myself. Forgiving myself and learning to live with the consequences of my choices was difficult. What was most instrumental in helping let go of my mistakes was a Bible Study led by Laurel Pregnancy Center which ended in a beautiful candlelight service that included a naming ceremony for my children. Indeed it’s been God’s Amazing Grace that has saved a wretch like me and through Zion Daughter ministry and my writing I want to let others know that this same grace is available to them as well.
Some may wonder what led me to share my story, as indeed it was not an easy one to share but one that required me to reach out to that bold and fearless woman of faith I have become. The recent uproar in the news regarding Planned Parenthood’s questionable practices have led me to revisit my past choices. I have shared my experiences in the hopes that God will use this to touch someone who is at a crossroads and that someone who is still living under the burden of making choices they have lived to regret. If this is you please remember that if you can’t forgive yourself, then you are saying that what Jesus did for you at Calvary isn’t enough.
If you have repented of that wrong choice then by faith believe that “Him whom God sets free is free indeed.” (John 8:36) Your mind may wonder but how can it be? How can God forgive me for this choice that I made? By faith, it just is. Forgive yourself, let go, and make yourself available to share your story with someone who may be facing the same dilemma. You never know, it could save a life and lead you to your purpose.