A story of redemption ~ by “Anonymous” (I am so honored to share!)

1 John 1:9 ~ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Think about that one… If we confess our sins, he forgives… Wow! What an amazing GOD we have to be able to take the pain and unrighteousness away!

Many years ago, I was that young lady walking into Planned Parenthood… Yep, I said it. That was me–––I was that girl. I walked into a place that I thought was a woman’s health care center. I was taught that it is the place you go in order to stay healthy, you get your physicals there, birth control, all of it, and since I was low-income with no insurance that’s what was recommend for me.

I remember finding out that I was pregnant. The shock, the horror and the tiny piece inside of me that was ecstatic. My mother, wanted me to go get tested so she took me to Planned Parenthood and it was confirmed. Soon I was in a separate room with the doctor, who right away asked me if I wanted to abort and she felt that was the best situation for me. I was given a week to decide.

AFor one whole week, I pondered. When you have the media, schools, clinics, family, and friends telling you that it is all right, that it is your choice and that you have that right as a woman. You believe it. You have nothing else to back it up. Even the little voice that says it’s not okay is hidden behind the woman’s rights. So, I did it…

I said goodbye to a part of me that I was told wasn’t even alive, that it was just tissue. I remember the pain, the tears, the cramping. Blood, so much blood for weeks. I remember the loss and it became so unbearable that suicide was the next best thing. I remember sitting there on the porch with three pill bottles of pain meds, writing in my journal of all MY pain–––then I’d take another pill, and another one, and another one until they were all gone and sleep came. But what I really wanted was peace and forgiveness!

I woke up the next day. I woke up. Yes, with the worst hangover of my life but I woke up. My heart, even though it hurt, along with my head, and of course my body from being crouched like I was, it was beating. I knew then that GOD had plans that I couldn’t even begin to understand. I asked for forgiveness to a GOD that I knew had to be real.

Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

God healed me. And now looking back, I know I had more options. I know that I could have saved my baby and given him or her to a glorious couple. But without morals, without god, who can sin? If you don’t know god and you’re taught that it is okay or you’re pressured into it you don’t realize what your doing is actually wrong because everybody tells you how right it is. That is my point… I have learned through GOD, Yahweh that I have no rights to this body that which he gave me a vessel, and my body is for Him. I don’t have that right to pick and choose what life is to live and what is to die. That is his right alone. I know that He has forgiven me, and He has so much love that it burst out of my pores. I ask of you, if you have ever made that horrible choice- to abort your baby, ask God for forgiveness… and forgive others. I have received forgiveness from my Heavenly Father, as well as forgiven myself, and those around me. I also, forgive you too.
Matthew writes, for if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. –––So I have.
He’s always waiting, wanting, to be part of your life. Allow yourself peace.

I’ll part with this…

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come!

God has cleansed my spirit. Has forgiven my sins and will always continue to hold me in his arms. I am thankful that I have Him in my life. If you are… someone like me, know…you are not alone. If you need too… reach out to Catherine who has wonderful healing words. May GOD bless you and give you the courage to speak out.


For post-abortive support check out: http://www.healinghearts.org/


don’t forget the dad

If you know someone who has lost a child and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you’ll make them sad by reminding them the child died…they didn’t forget they died.  You’re not reminding them. What you’re reminding them is that YOU remember they lived and that’s a GREAT, GREAT gift.

~ Elizabeth Edwards

I just came across this link that a friend, who has also lost a baby, sent to me:


Here are a few of the most helpful points:

1. Don’t forget the father.  In the case of a stillbirth, the mother must also recover physically from the delivery.  It can be easy to focus on her physical healing and forget that fathers hurt just as much.  Also, fathers may feel pressure to be strong for the mother – help him to grieve as well.

(Our very loved counselor, Cyndi Mesmer, gave Ryan and I matching bracelets that say “Tirzah Catherine”… that was very special, because that was the first time I think that Ryan felt specifically remembered in his grieving)

2. Acknowledge that this baby is a loved member of this family.

3. Let the family know you remember their child on special dates: anticipated due date, anniversary of birth day, holidays, etc. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are especially painful.

4. Remember them and their child in the months and years to come.  It doesn’t matter how much time has passed – they still love and miss their child daily.

5. Having subsequent children does not replace or take away the love for the child who has passed. These parents have been forever changed by the experiences they have had – just as if their child had lived.

6. Don’t expect them to be the same people they were before they became pregnant.  Accept them for who they are now and love the new person who has to be the parent of a heavenly child.

Most of all – remember that hugs and prayers go a long way.

If you know someone who has lost a child and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you’ll make them sad by reminding them the child died…they didn’t forget they died.  You’re not reminding them. What you’re reminding them is that YOU remember they lived and that’s a GREAT, GREAT gift.

~ Elizabeth Edwards

To weep with those who weep (a guest post)

I recently read this blog post: “To Weep with those who weep.” …. It is written by a man, Luke Parrott, whose sister Lindsey had 2 terminal pregnancies in 15 months. Each baby girl, lived 10-12 hours before passing away. I think that his words are VERY MUCH NECESSARY.  (below is an excerpt, emphases mine, and the link to the full post is at the bottom). :

There is one shared experience of the entire human race that should unite us but deeply divides us all.  It is a socio-emotional factor.  It is the common experience of pain.  Pain can be an invitation to embrace others but it is more commonly used as a way of distancing.

It wasn’t until I watched my own sister and brother-in-law walk through two terminal pregnancies in the last 20 months, that I have felt the anguish of pain, suffering, and death.  I have held my only two nieces in my arms for only a few minutes each.  I have only held them both two times.  Once when they were full of life.  Once when they had passed on to death.

In this grief of my own, I have become deeply sensitized to the grief of others.  All pain and suffering is different for each human.  We cannot really know what the other is experiencing.  But our pain feels the same.  Our grief rips us both apart inside.  Our tears are the same.

Nothing is more painful for a grieving heart than to experience it alone.  And nothing is more painful for a grieving heart than to see others distance themselves from your pain.  What pain needs is very simple:  presence.  And that presence does not need any words.  It just needs to share in the pain.

I have now learned that when I hear pain, I choose to listen.  When I hear suffering, I want to be present.  When I observe grief, I want to partake.  Because that is what I have needed in my life during this season.  I don’t want to sleep through someone else’s suffering.  I want to be there with them.  Fully present.  Weeping as well.

Jesus weeps with us in our pain as he did with Mary.  He invites us to weep with Him.  And as we weep with Him, we realize we are weeping also with those who are in pain.  Those who suffer.  Those in grief.  To follow Jesus is to enter suffering.  It is to be present in pain.  It is to stand in solidarity with the one who weeps.  To ‘weep with those who weep’ is to weep with Jesus himself.

I wonder if we can only find unity in our humanity if we are willing to weep together.  To enter one another’s pain.  I think my country and our world needs this more than ever now.  Do we have the courage and vulnerability to enter the pain of others (even if we don’t understand it), grieve together, and allow that pain to be transformed into something new—for both of us?


Christmas Eve Prayer

My prayer for this Christmas Eve: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” ~ Psalm 51:12

God reminded me on this day, the day before Christmas, just *why* we celebrate… because Jesus came for *me*… To bring Light into the Darkness of *my own heart*. Through a painful experience God reminded me of the darkness that my heart is capable of… And that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom *I AM CHIEF* (1 Tim 1:15)… But God did not allow me today (or for eternity!) to remain in darkness- Jesus said, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” Thank you God, for sending Jesus “ to open their eyes {and mine}, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they {and me!} may receive forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 26:18)

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?- Psalm 85:6

And the Lord has accomplished his will for me! I have been laid low and HE has lifted me up!

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. – Isaiah 57:15

Isaiah 25:9 “It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

The banquet was not canceled

“Is it proper to cry for a baby so small
for such a tiny coffin?
Yes, i think it is.
Does Jesus have my too-small baby
in his tender arms?
Yes, I think he does.
There is so much I do not know
About you- my child- my Tirzah-
Will I recognize someone i knew so little about,
Yet loved so much?
Yes, I think I will.
Ah, sweet, small child
Can I say that loving you is like loving God?
Loving- yet not seeing,
Holding- yet not touching,
Caressing- yet separated by the chasm of time.
Our broken hearts mark your sojourn,
And God has called you by name.
The banquet was not canceled,
just moved. Just moved.
Yet my tears remain, and flow
Where my baby should have been,
nestled under my chin.

(adapted, some words changed, from Bob Neudorf, “To My Baby”; a poem someone sent to me)

IMG_3398 Akissforever

My Friend Nancy

My Friend Nancy
When I first came to Calvary Baptist Church in Urbana IL, and sat in the wooden pew, in the second row, and looked up at the large wooden cross in the center, and sang the old hymns, and listed to Pastor Gritton preach, I had this peaceful feeling of being at home. My brother had this funny phrase “Are you grinnin’ with Gritton?”
And I remember that first Sunday when I met Nancy Miller, an older lady, a “farmer’s wife” as she called herself, and she gave me a hug, which I desperately needed at that moment. And after that, we would sit together every service, and many times she would hold my hand during the service and would always hug me. She and her husband would take me out to eat every Sunday as well. We had several adventures, Nancy and I… exploring the Amish country… visiting an Amish church, making friends with an Amish lady also named Catherine… and later visiting Catherine’s home and riding in her buggy.
Nany and I had hardly anything in common. She was in her 60s or 70s, had about a sixth grade education, and grew up near the Amish farm country of Arthur, Illinois. She had three husbands in her life time. And here I was, a suburban, single ,20-something- year- old, veterinary student. But I learned so much from her… mostly about love and friendship. She was a living picture of God’s love to me… which I didn’t deserve from her or from God… her love for me was simple… she loved me simply because I needed to be loved. She didn’t care about my education or knowledge or abilities… it didn’t mean anything to her. She didn’t seem to notice when I was tired, and callous, or irritable, or a poor listener… or when my attempts to love and relate to her were clumsy and awkward. She loved me regardless of what I did or didn’t do, it was always the same.
It’s just about the biggest regret of my life so far that I’ve lost touch with her. It is a dream of mine, to hold her hand again in this life time. I *know* I will in the next.

(I wrote this in 2010… and I still haven’t seen Nancy, and still hope to… My life has kind of been on 80 miles an hour it feels like for many years!)

Little footprints… (Dear Tirzah 10/3/14)

Dear Tirzah,

You are the only “you” this world will ever know, And God made you to show His glory and His beauty in a unique and special way, that only you  can do. Just like your little finger prints and foot prints are yours alone- You have left a unique mark on this world. A mark that God had designed and planned just for you.

God extended His creative power and majesty in forming every detail of your little body- your face, your little fingers, the color of your beautiful red hair. And He delighted in every detail as He formed you and sang over you- a lullaby for you alone. And He called you: “Arise, my love…”, and you heard His voice and followed: “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine”…  And now He walks with you and talks with you, and tells you that you are His own.

My sweet Tirzah, He just couldn’t wait for you because you are so beautiful. And if I had a garden, wouldn’t I give my Lord the most beautiful rose of the garden? How could I give Him any less than you?

You were just so close, so close to being here with us. But God was watching over His will to perform it.

I just want to learn everything through your life that I can. To be still before the Lord and know that “My Beloved is mine, and I am His.” To follow my calling from the Lord, with simple obedience- as you did. Just ask the Lord, along with me, for your mommy to have a double portion of the Lord’s grace and presence. “Mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.”  People keep telling your mommy that she’s strong, but really I’m not at all- any strength I have is directly from the Lord- you know that I know! ;o)

And may the Lord teach me to be “content with weaknesses.. hardships.. and calamities”.. so that His power may rest upon me- For His sake, so that the Lord only would be glorified. ( 2 Corinthians 12)

I am so weak Tirzah, and I am continually tempted to run into distraction- but you keep reminding your Mommy to run to the Lord instead.

In Him my faith has found a resting place… and soon my faith shall be made sight, and in the fullness of His presence, together with you, and all the saints… my heart looks for that day, and Tirzah, I rejoice with you as I wait.

this holy moment

This passage in James 1:3-4 scares me: “.. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” (New Living Translation)  It’s this word: anything that scares me. It just does.

It feels wrong, maybe shameful to admit this. I know it sounds like doubt.

But in the midst of this fear, my heart and soul cries out to God: “I believe!! Help Thou my unbelief!!”

Aren’t those similar to the words I cried out several years ago: “I am powerless to sustain even my own faith- I need YOU Lord to pour faith into my heart and sustain me!”

So this word: anything.

It’s the realization that life will bring more pain. There is no bargaining with God. It’s not true that since He has Tirzah I am now entitled to a smooth road. Even though I feel like I want it to be true: “God, since you have Tirzah, now I get a healthy baby next and no more deaths. And I get to keep Jeremiah and Ryan.”

But the truth is: I don’t know God’s plan… And. Even. If. He calls Jeremiah away. He is still good.

Is this what it means to hold life with an open hand? To hold my most precious loved ones loosely. They *are* the Lord’s.

And what can I do but fall on my face before the Lord and worship?

Now more than ever I have a sense of the majesty of God.

This majesty calls forth the *Highest* praise.

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; *blessed* be the name of the LORD.” ~ Job 1:21

And I say with this ancient man: “ I, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,…  and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”  (Daniel 4:34-35)

I lay my hand over my mouth- and fall on my face.

*This* is Holy Ground. This place of grief. This moment when Tirzah was called away. This Holy Moment.


into Arabia

…but I went away into Arabia~ Galatians 1:17

So *this*, this desert of grief is my Arabia…

My life verse is Jeremiah 2:2: Thus says the LORD, “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.

I love this verse. I’ve also tried to escape it as *my* verse. Before all this. I’m not sure why. But it seems like I was always looking for a different *life* verse. Even though the Lord clearly gave me this one. I guess I was running from the wilderness. The idea scared me. But now I’m here and there is no running. Just tears. And hope. Painful hope.

Right now it is most painful to look back at the moment my doctor put the heart monitor on my abdomen and found no heart beat. At that time my mind was reeling- all I could think was- “We have to trust God. ”  And then trying desperately to hold Ryan together. I was afraid I would loose him too. And then phone calls i had to make to family and friends. To Mom, to Sara, to Janet- how did I manage to say the words “we lost her”. I couldn’t say the words dead or died then.

My whole body clenches.

This is the sting of death.

And it feels like it’s choking me and squeezing the breath from my lungs.

Am i to be pitied most of all??

Is my faith in vain??

“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied…And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile…”

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead… For as by a man (Adam) came death, by a man (Jesus) has come also the resurrection of the dead….The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.”

“then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

My heart waits for that triumphant day.

Until then I am steadfast, immovable… knowing that my struggles are *not* in vain.

(Scripture selections quoted from 1 Corinthians 15)