Do you have a secret that is holding you back from living the life you desire? I had a remarkable conversation this summer with a woman who had been living with a secret for over a quarter of a century. And it was killing her—until she decided, with God’s divine intervention, to do something about it. I found great hope in her story. I trust you will, as well.
*She and I went to high school together, but hadn’t talked for thirty years until our reunion this summer. She graciously told me her story in the middle of the Embassy Suites ballroom, with 80’s music blaring from the speakers. Here’s her story…
I was in a huge, unfamiliar church, in an unfamiliar city, not really knowing anyone, visiting on the night of Ladies Bible Study called “Beautiful.” It was the night to reveal the study we would do that semester. There was a lady on stage talking about abortion—the one subject that seems to be taboo in churches.
Her name was Pat Layton, and she had authored the book, “Surrendering the Secret.” There she was standing on this huge stage in front of hundreds of women telling us she had an abortion and how this class would be for any of us who may have never shared this secret with anyone, but have experienced how the pain of abortion can tear you up on the inside. She invited us to, “Come to this class and heal through Jesus.” Wow! Are you kidding me? She was talking right to me.
As I was sitting there freaking out, I knew the only reason I was sitting in this strange city, with these strange women, was to take this class. This was not an easy thing for me to do. To bring up 28 years of hurt and hating myself was going to be a rough ride. But a ride I knew I needed to take.
What I learned from the women in this class is that I came off as very closed and quiet. But I assure you by the end of this study, I was one open, happy person. This whole process was uplifting, forgiving, and tearful.
“Surrendering the Secret” was why God wanted me to be in Florida. I had never heard of this kind of Bible Study in Nebraska and I cannot believe I haven’t. I have spent so much money on therapy for my mistake 28 years ago. To walk around for 28 years with a heavy heart, guilt, and feeling unworthy is not a fun feeling, I assure you of that.
During the second to last meeting we had, we had to write a letter to our babies that we had aborted and then read them out loud in class. Really? Out loud? We would be holding a doll wrapped in a baby blanket, and then read the letter to that baby in our arms. One at a time. I about lost it right there with fear. I am not one to like to be in the spotlight, so I was not happy about this.
As the ladies stared to read we were connected as one. We were right there for each other. Then came my turn. I thought I was ok, I thought I wouldn’t cry because I was “fine.” Boy, was I wrong. As I started to ready my letter, I lost it. Do you know what this does to your soul? It rips it out of you. As I was reading my letter to my child and holding this doll, my mentor was sitting next to me holding on to me as I bawled and let it all out. I had never been allowed the chance to grieve like this, to actually grieve with other women who have had this same experience.
Jane, my mentor, was there for me. She said these words to me that I will never ever forget in my life. These words freed me from the hell I had been living for 28 years. These little words I had never thought of or had anyone ever say them to me. “Give this child of yours to Jesus. Let Jesus take him from you, let Jesus take him home. Give it to God, you are forgiven.”
I had truly been forgiven, and felt it. Like, I really felt it. I felt the brick on my heart gone—the hole was full again. My baby boy was in heaven with Jesus and I was happy for that. I was happy for the other ladies in my group that we all felt free of that guilt, that feeling of empty.
My mentor also had said to never forget this feeling that you feel right now—the feeling of Jesus and forgiveness. Well, Satan had other plans for me that night. He came to my dreams and tried to ruin that feeling, I woke up and told Satan, “Why would you do this to me after the night I had? Go away evil one, leave.” After this I went back to sleep. Jesus came to me then, I saw my child with Jesus. I saw them holding hands walking to the light. I saw the cross right there. How could this be? It finally happened to me. I finally saw that figure I needed to see. I AM FORGIVEN.
The years of hurt have been lifted by this one class I took at church—this one Bible Study. Now, I am hoping to get the word out there to the many women that need this message, this class. This is one subject that needs to brought up in church!! 1.5 million abortions happen a year. We need to help women know they are forgiven by Jesus. I cannot tell you what this Bible Study has done for me. I thank Jesus for my forgiveness, that he died on the cross for me, my sins—our sins.
Thank you, my friend, for your bravery in sharing your story, and for telling us all that there is always hope for a better today, free from the shackles of our wounded past.
For more information about “Surrendering the Secret” please visit surrenderingthesecret.com
Or you can purchase study resources from Lifeway Christian Stores.