In 2009 God called me to share my abortion story publicly online.
When I first felt this call, this unwavering prodding in my spirit, I thought, “No way. I can’t do this. I cannot put this in words in public where my family will see it and other people will see it and . . . it’s just too vulnerable of a thing.” I shared this prodding and my fears with my husband and he said, “If God is calling you to do this, you need to be obedient.”
Shoot. I knew.
So I did it. I sat at my computer, closed my eyes, and typed my story. I cried through the whole writing of it, not only because I needed to relive it in my mind to write the story with authenticity but also because I was scared.
After I hit publish, I took my shaky self and went to bed. The next day I had nearly a hundred comments and emails coming to my inbox that said, “Me too, but I’ve never told anyone.”
Women wrote to me and told me how even years later they felt locked up and unable to fully enjoy their own kids or be honest with their husbands. They didn’t know how to process it. They wanted to tell someone, so they told me. Many of them thanked me because it caused them to choose to finally seek help or tell someone their secret.
I received other comments that said they were on the verge of an abortion but then read my story and they weren’t going to go through with it.
Only heaven knows how many women began a path of freedom because of God’s story in me, or how many women turned back to the Lord or turned to Him for the first time believing for healing and hope for them too.
If God has worked in your life — and He has — then our songs of redemption and healing and grace and truth and freedom are begging to be sung to each other and to the world.
I waited patiently for the Lord
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:1-3 (ESV)
When we tell our stories of what God has done and who He is, people perk up. We all love stories because stories draw us closer to one another in the humanity we all share. And the thing about our stories is they aren’t our own. Our stories aren’t meant to be hidden for safe-keeping; they are meant to give glory to the God who gave you the story.
David, the Psalmist-poet-king knew this. He knew that his life and his words were God’s. He knew that people would see and hear of what God did in his life, and through that people would put their trust in the Lord.
What we have in Jesus is what the world needs. And a lot of the world, people you and I know, feel forsaken by God because of the pain of this life. They may not say it that way. They may say it like this: “If there was a God, why would He let all these bad things happen? No thank you to a God like that.” What they need to know is that Jesus knows what it is to feel forsaken.
Many of you know the words of Jesus on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 ESV) But what people don’t know that you and I know is there’s more to the story.
In Psalm 22:1, there is this prophetic utterance from David: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Now if we skip to the very last verses in that Psalm, we read this:
. . . it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; They shall come and proclaim
his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
Psalm 22:30-31 (ESV)
He has done it. He has made the ultimate covering for all the bad, in us and in the world. And He has the victory over the darkness that right now is present and active in the atmosphere.
But as we tell the coming generations, as we proclaim His righteousness, His goodness, His faithfulness in our own pain, in our own feelings of forsakenness, and we tell of what God did and what He does, God uses our words and our lives and our stories to soften the hearts of others toward Himself.
Stories thread us all together, and God uses the voices of victors to reach the hearts of hearers.
Our job isn’t to save anyone, just to be obedient to the telling. I believe one day in heaven we’ll get to see all those who bent their knees to Jesus because of our willingness to be vulnerable with our lives.
We must not restrain our lips. Let’s tell our stories to those around us and to future generations. Let’s step into the vulnerable space of truth-telling and speaking because He has done it.
Our stories aren’t meant to be hidden for safe-keeping; they are meant to give glory to the God who gave you the story. – @sarahmae: Click To Tweet