I’ll never forget the testimony that Christina Wilson shared at Hope Community Church in Shawano, WI on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (1/18/15). You see, Christina is currently serving as the Director of Hope Life Center in Antigo, WI (one of Care Net’s affiliate pregnancy centers). Her journey to this role reminded me that God can take our points of deepest sorrow and regret, and turn them into something beautiful for His kingdom.
In reflecting on what she shared, God has reminded me that regardless of what we have done in our past, when we turn back to God, He accepts us as an “indispensable” part of Christ’s body, His church. (see 1 Corinthians 12:22) As “indispensable”, we have a mission from God that is unique to who we are. My friends, that is indeed true of Christina Wilson’s life. And it’s also true of your life. Below is an excerpt from what Christina shared at Hope Community Church as part of Care Net’s message for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. You can listen to the entire message at the bottom of the post.
The Lord used Jackie Sazama to give me back my life – and not just any old life either. Abundant life! [Jackie is the Director of Hope Life Center in Wausau, WI – one of Care Net’s affiliate pregnancy centers.]
I have two children - Michael and Joshua. I’ve never actually met them though, because thirty-three and twenty-six years ago, respectively, I made the decisions to end their earthly lives by aborting them.
Those decisions haunted every single aspect of my life for many years afterward…..and I can honestly say that I had no idea the problems I was having were directly connected to my abortions…
From the point of my second abortion, even after accepting Christ as Savior, my life can be summarized as an exhausting process of maintaining a facade that everything was alright. In reality, I hated myself. My self-talk was extremely negative, I was very depressed – although I didn’t recognize it at the time. I expended all my energy during the week keeping up appearances and my weekends on the couch watching TV and wondering, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?” I had suicidal thoughts from time to time about ending my life either at home or by driving at high speed into a tree.
I had these struggles and thoughts as a believer in the Lord. I had accepted His great offer of salvation. I was very active in my church in different roles over the years. What I didn’t understand then, but do now, is that forgiveness and healing can be two different things. Intellectually, I knew forgiveness was mine when I asked God for it. However, being healed from my abortion experiences was something I needed help with.
Sadly, my experience is not unique. Current statistics indicate that about 1/3 of American women will have had an abortion by age 45.
In 2009, I began looking for help. My online research led me to Hope Life Center [and Jackie Sazama]. I began the abortion recovery study. God walked me through the process of accepting what I had done, understanding His forgiveness, and grieving the loss of these children and all that means.
God has taken the pain, grief, shame, condemnation, self- hatred, misery, and sorrow and transformed it into something I believe He uses to help other women who are spending years not understanding why they feel so bad, why they hate themselves, why they are depressed, why they make the same bad choices over and over again…why, why, why…..
God used a pregnancy resource center to heal me. I walked into Hope a broken person…you couldn’t see it, but it was true none the less. And, I walked out free and whole, having truly experienced a miracle not only in my life, but in the lives of the women with whom I went through the study. Job 33:26-28 says: “He prays to God and finds favor with Him; he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state. Then he comes to men and says I sinned and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved. He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.”
The God-given compassion of one person – Jackie Sazama – changed my life…
I could literally feel her deep care for me and the other women in the group I was a part of. She wept with us as we grieved our decisions. I remember thinking, “If she can feel compassion toward me, maybe there’s hope for me.” She was a safe person. She could be trusted with my secret. Because she was faithful to God’s call on her life, my life completely changed direction. I’m free. Really free. I have no idea the ripple effect of her obedience….but I know there is one. And, I’m praying it’s a doozie!...
As Christina mentions, her story is not unique. Given the fact that there have been over 55 million abortions since 1973, there should be little doubt that a large number of Christians have had one or more abortions in their past and are now suffering in silence as a result of their decision. What are you doing to reach the Christinas in your church? Yes, there is a role for pregnancy centers, but for every Christina that finds a pregnancy center, there are undoubtedly others in your pews that need to hear from you right where they are at. At Care Net, our prayer is that our nation’s churches would increasingly become more effective voices for life, including the restoration of lives that were once broken due to abortion. And that, my friends, will be a beautiful day!
Listen to Care Net’s entire message from Sanctity of Human Life Sunday below.