Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10, 2010, "This Is Where The Healing Begins..."

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."
~ Psalm 103:12 NKJV ~


For many who know me, please pray before reading this. I pray that you will not look at me with eyes of shame; instead I pray you see the transforming power of Almighty God over a woman's life who went against everything she knew and had been taught. The life I had lived was of great selfishness and vanity, a life with great void, making the intentional choice to walk away from God.

"I woke up late.

I had RSVP'ed for the event that I was to be attending at 10 am. It was now 9:45 am and I wasn't even close to ready.
The anxious thoughts of, "How are you going to get there without being beyond late?"
"The drive alone is 15 minutes."
 I thought,"Well, I'm not going then, I can't show up late."

Yet, the pull on my heart to go was stronger than the arguing voice in my head. My daughter and I with great efficiency were able to get ready...of course it didn't change the fact that I would still be incredibly late.
Upon leaving the house, my mind was still warring with me, "You can't show up late...that is so incredibly rude."
 I remember having to physically shake my head as though it would cast the thought out and I turned on the radio to KLOVE and a song came on that I had never heard before. The chorus I heard was the following phrase: "This is where the healing begins, This is where the healing starts..." by Tenth Avenue North. I thought, "Lord! Okay, I believe this is of You and You want me to go!"

I preface you with the above to confess that I am a woman scorned by her own choice to abort and murder more than one child from God. For many years I hid my choice with great shame. Because of the shame, I was never able to mourn over the sin I had committed and mourn over my children. My womb was to be a refuge and a safe place for these lives, yet it became a place of horror and death. Several weeks before going I had confessed before some dear friends as we were in an intimate setting; the horrific, shameful burden that I had carried for years. At that moment, God's healing allowed me to finally mourn over a regretful, sinful choice I made more than once, many years ago.

Before my confession to the women from my church, I had been invited to the first annual, "Born Into Heaven" Service held at Gateway Church in the cafe set aside from the church building. I was invited by my dear friend, Jennifer.  The atmosphere was filled with love and I was truly blown away to find out that the 'God Idea' had only been deposited into the hearts of these passionate women two weeks before the event. God utilized these four women who all had experienced miscarriages and a still born birth.  They figuratively conceived, carried and birthed this event full term in a matter of two weeks - it was supernatural! Again, their hearts were deposited with the healing of God to be made manifest on men and women who experienced miscarriages, still born births, a death of a child and women who made the choice to abort. To hear the testimonies from the four original women of how everything fell into place for the event was beautifully amazing. To see the centerpieces, refreshments, and gifts were all donated from different vendors in Austin was incredible. It was a 'God Divine Service' to comfort all who mourn!

During this monumental event, I met a few women who experienced the pain in miscarriages, even some who carried their babies to full term, going through labor and finding out that their child had already passed away. I was in absolute awe to see that their sadness was replaced with God's supernatural, overflowing grace and strength. At that moment, I remember how shame tried to come upon me again, knowing that many of these women desired to have a child and to receive their children as beautiful gifts, yet were unable to. The beautiful gift that they so desired, I treated as it was nothing, as worthless trash.

That Saturday, I mourned what 'I chose to lose'. I wept even more to witness the women who revealed the grace of Almighty God on their lives as their dream to have a child became even more far-reaching - the mirage of desiring for a child, slipping away into the abyss of what seemed like shattered dreams.

Observing the large yet intimate room, I was incredibly amazed to see these small beautiful stones laid out in the middle of each round table along with Sharpie markers. We were told if we wanted, we could place the names of the children that had passed away upon the stones. We were instructed to write the names on the stones and then place them into the beautiful glass vase toward the entrance of the cafe. At that moment I wept with remorse as I never knew the names of my children or who they were suppose to be. I prayed, asking as tears streamed down my face, "Lord, what do I write?  I didn't know who they were and had no plans to know them." The only thing that came to me was to write down the number of children. After writing it on the stone, I wept even more. I rose up from my chair and slowly walked to the table placing the stone into the beautiful glass vase.

As I returned to my seat, I noticed the others who approached the glass vase. I was left in awe. Amazed to see the husbands who wept and embraced their wives as they approached the glass vase together with one or more stones in hand. It was an incredibly beautiful picture of God's embrace especially through the sadness that they could never have imagined going through, especially on their own.

Going back to when I first arrived, very late I must add, a woman was speaking. One of the things that she had spoken that morning, resonated so deep within my heart. The analogy she spoke of was from a devotional written by Oswald Chambers. This is what she quoted as she said, "Patience is more than endurance. A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says - "I cannot stand any more." God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands. For what have you need of patience just now? Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith..."

To hear this beautiful metaphor was a defining moment of the stretching process which represents growth. I realized that even in my sin, God wanted me to rise up out of the ashes. I realized that He truly desired and continues to desire for each of us to be stretched so that we can go further than we could ever dream of going on our own.

Today, as I reflect on what I have been so lovingly forgiven of, I am greatly comforted by my God knowing that my children were born into heaven. I am so sorry to my children for allowing my womb to be a place of darkness and rejection.

I ask You Lord God, will you please tell my children how sorry I am? I am so sorry. I am so sorry that I robbed myself of getting to embrace such beautiful gifts. Thank you Lord for allowing me the gift in my daughter. She is our inspiration from You. She is my inspiration to go on and lift my head, knowing that I don't deserve her...but You still allowed me to raise her, embrace her and celebrate her. Thank You Lord. Thank You! Thank You for your healing Lord that You have placed so lavishly upon my life!



Lyrics:
"Healing Begins"
So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you're good
And you can't believe it's not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let 'em fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear

So let it fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now
We're here now, oh

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

10 comments:

  1. I am SO glad you were able to attend this event, and grieve your loss. I worked with a Crisis Pregnancy Center in Virginia that had "memorial services" for aborted children regularly, and it was such a wonderful thing for the parents of those children to be able to experience. But more importantly, I am glad you were able to experience God's grace...and FORGIVENESS...and come to face with the fact that HE has washed this sin away!!! Don't ever let Satan convince you that you have anything to be ashamed of ever again...all your shame was nailed to the cross, and now you are a cherished daughter of the Most High King!!!!

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  2. I praise GOD that you were able to surrender your past choices and pain to our Loving Heavenly Father. I would never think less of you...in fact I think more highly of you for sharing your experience openly....so that others may learn what an awesome, loving, forgiving GOD we serve. GOD BLESS YOU, sweet friend!
    Hugs, love, and prayers,
    andrea

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  3. Very touching, Teresa. Thank you for sharing. I never heard this song before or read the lyrics. They are good. I wanted to post this comment earlier, but your words prompt me to remember something that I made a post about this morning.

    Your experience was very eloquently stated.

    I'm so glad you are healing and sharing with others; hopefully someone who is thinking about abortion will read your words of wisdom and turn instead toward the Lord.

    Bless you, Teresa! You are in my prayers.
    May the Grace of God continue to be with you.
    Cliff

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  4. I agree with Andrea...the strength you have shown in sharing your experience will most definitely be used by the Lord to touch others...so, girl...you have another ministry now!

    This service you attended sounds amazing...

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  5. Would you allow me to re post this post at PowerUpLove.com? Power Up Love is a blog site that allows real people share real stories and testimony about how God's kind of love has changed their lives.

    The are 48,000,000 abortions each year. I thank you for sharing your story openly. I know there are others who need to hear this because their are other who are secretly suffering inside because of their decision to abort the life or lives of their child. I pray that your testimony may save the lives of others maybe contemplating abortion as the only option.

    I hate admit this, but I to am guilty of this sin. Yes, abortion effects both men and women a like. The worst part about my story is that I was adopted. My mother spared my life, but at 16 I returned the favor by asking my girlfriend to abort our child. I can't believe I did this me of all people.

    May God bless...

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  6. Hi Theresa,

    We spoke in the cafe area on Saturday. It was such a blessing to meet you! And I am so glad you braved sleeping in late and all those voices in your head telling you not to show up late and came on Saturday. I pray that our sweet Jesus continues to work his love and forgiveness into your heart, that you might live in the freedom that only he gives. I love that our God does not live in time so all at once he not only sees who we were, but he also sees who we will become in him. Thank you for your courage to share your story. I pray God uses you mightily to touch other women and men who hurt from past choices. Thank you for coming Saturday. May God bless you!

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  7. You all are precious...thank you for your encouraging words from the Lord over me and so many others.
    One of favorite men in the Bible is Gideon. He is not my favorite for who he was, but for what God saw in Him. I have been reminded for several years now that when God called him a "mighty man of valor", in the eyes of many, he was far from what was declared over him. He was the 'doubting' Thomas, before Thomas existed...lol! I love that God saw, declared and prophesied over Gideon what he was to become. Thankfully, He did not speak what Gideon was at that moment in time, in our dimension, but God saw through the time span of eternity! Praise God for His forgiveness! I love you all...how dear you all are to so many!!!

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  8. JJ said...
    Awesome

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  9. Lisa said...

    Hi Teresa,

    I just wanted to thank you so much for bravely sharing your heart. What you wrote was just beautiful. I love that God totally showed up for you on Saturday and I absolutely love that song and am so glad you shared it. We're holding a follow-up class on June 8th and I'm going to talk to Anna about incorporating that into the evening. I hope you can make it. I'd love to talk with you more.

    Bless you sister and I hope to see you again soon!

    He loves you,

    Lisa

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  10. Awe thank you for sharing! I love her and you so much!

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