“Who is a God like Thee? Who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious acts of the remnant of His possession. He does not retain His anger forever because He delights in unchanging love” Micah 7:18 (NAS).
I became a Christian when I was six years old. But as a teenager, I replaced the guiding voice of the Holy Spirit with the voice of my peers, especially teen boys. And like too many fifteen-year-old girls entranced by the desire to be “loved”, I gave up my virginity to the first boyfriend who asked.
A few weeks after high school graduation, I found out I was pregnant.
I knew I had three options: to carry and parent, to create an adoption plan, or to abort. As a Christian, I knew God wanted me to choose anything but termination. But as a teen in a crisis pregnancy, the only viable choice was abortion. At least that’s what I convinced myself. I was more terrified of what others would think of my hypocritical self and of the “end of my life” becoming a teen parent, than the safety of this baby. But the Holy Spirt wouldn’t allow me to believe that this pregnancy was a “blob of tissue”. In the back of my mind, I knew what grew within me was a precious baby who deserved life. And I knew I was choosing to end his or her opportunity. But I didn’t allow myself to feel these emotions for fear of connecting my soul to theirs.
I chose to terminate.
My brave, bold friend
Two months later I sat on my bed talking with a friend on the phone. She had the opposite relationship with God that I did—resolute and strong—like an army tank resistant to the bullets of temptation.
For two years prior, she lovingly asked me why I refused God the way I did. She cast a vision of the plans she imagined He had for me, but told me God couldn’t carry out these plans if I wouldn’t let Him. Each time, I shrugged her off and walked away.
But that night was different. I felt raw and vulnerable. As she reminded me of the unconditional love of Jesus, my heart softened and for the first time, I saw my sin and I wanted to change. It was like scales fell from my eyes revealing color instead of the fuzzy gray I’d learned to call “normal.”
As I rose out of the fog, I saw my life below me and I reviewed the previous years with new eyes. I expressed my anguish to God at the devastation I’d taken Him through. But He silenced my deep distress with His impression in my spirit, “Oh Lisa, there’s nothing you could ever do that would cause Me to not love you.”
I quickly reminded Him of my years of lying, promiscuity and recent murder.
But His voice was louder, “All the more amazing then is My grace. Lisa, I’m crazy about you. And I will use you and your past, for My great glory and fame. But you will have to walk away from this life. You’re must turn 180° in the opposite direction and follow Me. It won’t be easy. But I promise, I’ll make it worth it.”
And so I did. And He did. And I’ve never been the same.
The endless fame God
Ten years after my abortion, I went through post-abortion group counseling. I was reluctant at first because I knew I’d been forgiven. What more was there to learn? But there was so much more. In those two months of counseling, the Lord spoke to me every day through the Holy Spirit and His Word. God helped me work through buried emotions of grief and chiseled away the hardened clay of shame and guilt. He showed me His passion for the unborn and unheard, and His anger, no, His fury, against abortion. I saw the gravity of my sin in light of a holy God and yet the radical grace and love of Jesus despite it. He revealed to me the gender and the name of this sweet baby that I never met. Her name is Christine.
At the end of those two months, each of the women in the counseling group had a chance to release their children into the caring arms of Jesus. When Christine’s name was called, I walked to the table with a white rose in hand, picked up her “certificate of life,” and replaced it with the rose. I sat down, closed my eyes and cried. These weren’t tears of grief, but of gratitude at the goodness of my great God.
And then, though my eyes were closed, I saw something I will never forget. A ten-year-old girl, with long, dark brown hair, much like mine. She wore a white dress, was barefoot and stood with her back to me. Though I couldn’t see her face, I knew her—Christine. Joy and Light radiated from her body. She was alive and she was complete. I recognized someone else with her, Jesus. I saw the profile of His face as He extended His hand to her and she placed her little hand in His. Together, He walked and she skipped away from me and they disappeared. And sweet Jesus whispered to my heart, “I’ve got her Lisa. I’ve got her.”
And He has since said to me, “Now go, and make Me famous.”
I don’t know your story. But I do know, from firsthand experience, that there is nothing you can do to escape the love of God.
People on earth may love us based on what we do and how we love them in return. But not Jesus—His love is unconditional and knows no boundaries.
Whether you are a Christ-follower or are seeking truth, there is Someone who sees all you’ve done and all you will ever do and loves you regardless. He doesn’t keep score. He doesn’t hold grudges. And His love doesn’t require an, “if you, then I” contract. All He wants is you.
I look back on my life with many regrets, but I have no regrets with Jesus.
He has made Himself famous to me and through me and I will proclaim His fame as long as I live.
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:15-17 ESV).
More about Walk it Out
Bestselling Author Tricia Goyer demonstrates the powerful work God accomplishes if we are willing to step out in obedience to Biblical commands and His quiet urgings, no matter our fears or feelings of inadequacy.
Walk It Out illustrates the real-life results of listening to the Scriptural mandates such as care for the orphan, serve the poor, go into the world to spread the gospel, and love others of all races. The author’s journey, from accepting Christ’s forgiveness and telling her story of redemption to answering the call to adopt seven children when she least expected, is filled with the exhilarating, radical, unexpected life that we experience when we walk into God’s plans for us.
“I neither planned or expected any of this—from the ten kids to the stamped-up passport. I didn’t accomplish these things by making a list and checking it off. They happened as I took steps of faith to follow God’s directives.” ~Tricia Goyer