Friday, October 28, 2016

Breaking through the Chains

Come, Holy Spirit, I need you
Come, sweet Spirit, I pray
Come in your strength and your power
Come in your own gentle way 
           ~ Heritage Singers, Come Holy Spirit Lyrics 1st verse

What a beautiful song this is. What a beautiful prayer. And as the time approached for me to share my testimony for the first time publicly speaking to the crowd all I could do was focus on God. Ask for His help and strength. Ask for Him to use me to do His work. And ask the Holy Spirit to come to me.

The O'ahu 40 Days for Life rally was amazing in so many ways but even with the wonderful support on that sidewalk, I was still more nervous than anything to speak. I had my speech ready. I practiced it and cried every time. I didn't want to fall apart. I wanted to share my story with the hope that maybe one day, one person will be saved in one way or another. I may never see the fruits of my labor and that is okay. I will still persevere and push forward for God.

I was one of the final speakers at the rally and headed up to tell my story. I had to take a deep breath and center myself. I introduced myself and began reading my speech and then it moved to the hard part. My story. I quickly lost my place on the paper as my hand shook and reading in the dim evening light is tough but the thing is, I knew my story. It is my story.

I crumbled the paper in my hand and continued forth telling my story. It wasn't exactly as I wrote it or prepared but it was my story. It was probably one of the hardest things I had to do in my life but it was also one of the most amazing. To be able to tell my story and make it to the end without crumbling down. To do the scariest thing ever. To be so vulnerable full of fear and to look out and see a sea of eyes of compassion and love with a swirl of some understanding.

I messed up my final line but my 8 year old daughter assured me, everyone knew exactly what I meant. I REFUSE to be silent. I will be silent no more.

God blessed me that night. He blessed me with my family being with me along with friends. He blessed me with beautiful hugs of support and encouragement to keep on talking. He reinforced that I am to tell my story and he helped me break through the next layer of chains that have been holding me back. I felt another load of bricks come off my shoulders and trust me, that is wonderful. Finding your voice is wonderful. Public testimony is wonderful. Healing and forgivenes is real and is there for all those who need it. And if you need help or someone to talk to you, I am here for you.

And here's my speech and please be kind and understanding, my 8 year old taped it and her arms were getting tired.

Friday, August 5, 2016

An open letter to those who say abortion is a woman's choice

After listening to Immaculate Heart Radio and a caller on Right Here, Right Now I was compelled to draft this response to those who argue that abortion is a woman's choice even when they state they are personally against abortion. I shared my response with the show's host, Chris Aubert, who unfortunately is moving on to a new ministry in life. I wish him the best of luck and God bless!

To those who say abortion is a woman's choice,

To say it is a woman's choice and they will have to face God for their choice seems to be a cop out for taking a stand and doing what is right. Many of those women, like myself were/are stuck in a crisis moment feeling helpless, hopeless, afraid, terrified, and perhaps, like me, being told by the baby's father that this is what I MUST do.

In that terror I felt compelled to confide in two others what I was being told to do, forced to do. Maybe I was hoping someone would stop me. Who knows but I can tell you this -- all I heard was the propaganda that it is my choice, best for me, best for the baby. It is just a clump of cells, a tumor.

It was all lies. Definitely not best for the baby. Not best for me. I can't even begin to express the hate I have felt for myself, the disgust, the disappointment that I was too weak. Too stupid.

If only someone would have said NO and took the time to listen to me, my irrational fears, and give options that were really better for all. If only someone LOVED me enough to say STOP, choose life.

You see, when a woman is in that moment of crisis and fear there is no way she can make a rational decision. She needs help. So I will continue to tell my story hoping that it saves at least one life, stops one woman in her moment of fear, or encourages one person to stop saying it is a choice but to say it is wrong. Let me help you.

A great analogy is would you let your friend jump off a building in a moment of fear when she feeks helpless? Is it her choice? Wouldn't you do something to stop her? I hope the answer is yes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Thoughts on a sleepless night

I lie awake and all I hear is crickets
This is not new to me
These long nights have been with me forever

Some filled with excitement of what tomorrow brings
A first day at school, a new job, a race
But may are filled with worry
What will happen, how will ends meet, where did I go wrong

The crickets are so loud
I want to quiet them and sleep
But ultimately the crickets are quieter than the thoughts racing in my mind

I turn on soothing music
I toss and turn
I lay upside down
Anything to help me sleep
But there is no rest

How do you quiet the turmoil of an anxious mind
How do you soothe an aching heart
How do you heal a broken girl
Will the scars of my past ever fade away

I am forgiven yet still broken
I want to quit but forge ahead
I dream of better days
If only I could sleep

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mother's Day

For some Mother's Day may not be a day full of joy and celebration. For some it may bring up repressed emotions related to the past decision to abort. Some post abortive moms are blessed with children later in life. They may be surrounded by those happy smiles but still missing that additional smile at the table celebrating this day in honor of motherhood. They may or may not recognize that empty feeling inside is them mourning for their lost child. For some, their abortion may have left them unable to have another child. My heart goes out to them. May the Lord comfort them in their time of sorrow.

There are some beautiful prayers out there for mothers during this time of year through the Silent No More Healing the Shock Waves of Abortion initiative. I wanted to share them with you today and ask that you join me in prayer for all mothers this week and throughout the month of May.

Prayer for Mothers who have Lost a Child to Abortion
by Fr. Frank Pavone

Lord of all Life,
You have entrusted us to the care of one another,
And called us to be one Body in Christ.

You call us to rejoice with those who rejoice,
And to weep with those who weep.

Lord, you have compared the love you have for us
To the love a mother has for her own child.

Hear our prayer today
For all mothers who have lost children to abortion.
Help us to understand
The pain that is in their hearts,
And to be a living sign to them
Of your welcome, your mercy, and your healing.

Help them to undergo with courage
The process of grief and the journey of healing.
Never allow them to feel alone;
Always refresh them with the presence of Your Spirit
And of their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Console them with the sure hope
That you love and care for their children.
Give them new strength,
That even while they grieve what they have lost,
They may look forward to all the good
That you still have in store for them.

Lord of healing and hope,
Give us all the forgiveness of our sins,
And the joy of your salvation.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

Prayer of a Mom who Lost a Child to Abortion
by Fr. Frank Pavone

Lord God of Peace,
I thank you for your love for me,
Which is more tender than the love
Of a mother for her child.

I thank you for your forgiveness,
Which is more generous
Than the forgiveness human beings can offer.

Thank you for helping me to know
That I am not my abortion.
Rather, I am your daughter, Beloved and Redeemed,
For whom your Son would have died
If I were the only one who needed salvation.

Save me always
From the menacing voice of useless guilt and the oppressive force of shame.

Rather, lift me up in the light, peace, and grace
Of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ,
Who lives and reigns forever and ever. 

A Prayer for Those Afraid of their Motherhood
Lord God, we thank you, the Source of Life, for all those who have welcomed and nurtured our lives.

In particular, we thank you for our mothers, who with trust in you and self-sacrifice beyond description, have made it possible for us to live and praise you today.

Give them the reward of their labors.

Today, Lord, we also pray for mothers who are afraid of being mothers.
We pray especially for those carrying a child within them, but afraid to bring that child to birth.

Look with favor on these, your daughters, and give them trust and strength.
Enable them to give themselves to their children, as you give yourself to us, and to experience the joys of motherhood.

Enable us to do our part to encourage them and provide for their needs.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

I held a baby!

4 simple words....I held a baby!

For many those 4 words may mean nothing as they sound so simple. Many people hold babies every single day. See a mom and baby and women tend to swarm to her, to congratulate her, to have a chance to hear the baby coo, and to hold or touch the baby.

Not me.

I walked by trying not to seem rude.

I wasn't always like this. I grew up around kids, I babysat, I held babies. No big deal. Until it became one. And the thing is, I didn't realize it had become a big deal until another post abortive mom mentioned how she "feared" pregnant woman.

I can't say I feared them after my abortion but I wasn't running up to them to talk baby stuff, to hear all the details, to ask about due dates, planning, and baby showers. Please oh please let those just pass me by!

And for the most part they did until things changed. Babies were everywhere! They were at my church cooing all around me and right in front of me. Co-workers were having babies left and right. It was a baby epidemic and I was shuddering inside. New babies were in the office and I tried not to see, to hear, or to appear rude. It wasn't their fault that their moment of joy was my moment of despair and mourning. And having a child after my abortion didn't make things better. You can never replace a life lost. Never.

Then one day I made a conscience decision. There was a co-worker in the office next to mine growing bigger and bigger with her pregnancy. I love this lady and her husband. They are both the dearest angels on Earth and I wanted to be happy for them. Really happy. So one day I decided to bite the bullet and do the hard thing. She would want through my office almost every day so I started not only saying good morning but asking every now and then how she was feeling. She would give me very brief pregnancy updates and I thank God for that. He knew what He was doing as I worked through my uncomfortable mind and asked about a pregnancy and a baby. Once again, something so simple for so many.

It got easier and months passed, she went on maternity leave, and one day I let myself smile at the baby in front of me at church. More months passed and just the other day, I held a baby!

The very same co-worker I was telling you about. She walked in the office with her gem and I smiled at the baby, talked baby talked, and the new mom asked if someone could hold her baby for a few minutes. I agreed and held the baby. The first time I have held a baby since mine 8 years ago. I came home from work that night and announced, "I held a baby!" I doubt my family understood the significance of that statement but to me it is a sign of continued healing. I held a baby.

I want to scream from the mountaintops, I held a baby!

This is big y'all, real big. There is a part of me that yearns to have another child but I am chalking it up to that biological clock. I am "old" and my husband is "older" so I think that ship has sunk but for now I am just beyond grateful that I held a baby! And she was precious. Just like all life. Life is precious.

Dear God,

Thank you for walking me through the steps to overcome my avoidance of pregnancy and new life. Thank you for helping to heal the wounds just enough so I can see and appreciate life. Thank you for your mercy, for forgiving me, and for turning my wrong into some sort of good in doing your work. I am thankful to be the Silent No More Regional Coordinator on Maui. Please grow my ministry and let me do your work on Earth to bring an end to abortion and healing to post abortive moms. I am here for them, O Lord. Guide them to me but not my will be done but yours.

In Jesus' name I pray,

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Goodbye Regret

I read a wonderful thing the other day about regret. In a nutshell, it said regret is the devil's work to keep you from finding the peace and joy that you deserve. Regret is a stumbling block to forgiving yourself and leaves you thinking more negative thoughts about yourself than you deserve.

Does this sound about right to you? Do you struggle with regret? Is it holding you back from living a life of joy?

It totally hit me very close to home as I had been reviewing my prayer journal that I started at the end of December. There are so many prayers saying how very sorry I am that I had an abortion. That I regret that choice. That I wish I was stronger and chose better. That I will carry the cross of my regret and do good. All good intentions but in all reality, as much as I was saying in one way that I have finally forgiven myself I was still holding onto regret and thinking about how weak I was. How wrong I was. How badly I messed up. Do you think our loving God wants us carrying that negativity each and every day?

I don't but I also know I need help in this battle in life. I need to ask Jesus to help me, to help me carry my cross in life, but to do it without tearing myself down with negative self talk. How can I love others and be merciful when I am so hard on myself? In a nutshell, I can't and neither can you if you are tearing yourself down with negative self talk and regret.

God loves all of us and like the prodigal son, He is waiting to welcome us home and celebrate. I am not saying life will be problem free. He never promised us that. I am not saying I won't be held accountable for my sins. I expect to be and in all reality, I think I may be harder on myself that God would be. He is much better at extending mercy than I am! I am working on that.

I want to be more like Jesus. I want to be loving, merciful, and reaching out to those in need. I want to see the "unseen" and bring joy into their day.

Dear God,

Thank you for today and your mercy and healing. Thank you for blessing me and I pray that you bring healing to all post-abortive mom and for an end to abortion. Help me to see those in need so I can help them. Help me to be more merciful to others and to myself. 

In Jesus' name I pray,

Thursday, February 11, 2016

How the Planned Parenthood Videos Affected Me

This article was originally published on August 14, 2015 in the Hawaii Catholic Herald. The original source is HERE.

When I first heard about the content of the videos about Planned Parenthood selling baby parts my heart sunk into the pit of my stomach. I was horrified at the thoughts and all the wounds of my past abortion surfaced at once. I wanted to run and hide. I couldn’t face the videos. But through God’s grace and inspiration from Immaculate Heart Radio I knew I had to face them, view them, and understand what was happening.

The interviews and images were gut-wrenching. I was immediately sick to my stomach on the verge of throwing up. The feeling hung with me and I couldn’t shake the horror. I prayed that nothing like that happened to my precious lost soul. I prayed to my child in heaven, pleading once again for forgiveness. I prayed that all those impacted by abortion would find the strength to endure this challenging horror.

In all reality, if I hadn’t attended Rachel’s Vineyard (a post-abortion reconciliation retreat) this past May, I don’t think I could have survived this news and go forward, even if going forward meant no longer putting on mascara as I found myself crying many times throughout the day. I found strength in realizing God’s timing is perfect and he extended his healing grace to me prior to this devastating news.

However, even with his grace I have felt an increase in irritability and annoyance that no one who knows my story has reached out to me to lend support, to ask how I am, to give me a hug. No one around me is talking about these disturbing videos and I wonder how that is possible. The silence is deafening and I can’t remove the horror of babies being ripped apart and sold piece by piece. It scares me that this is okay in this time and age. I am devastated but strong.

But I also know not everyone is as lucky as I am. There are women hurting and I am certain many do not know where to go for help, don’t forgive themselves, and need our help and prayers. I pray for them daily, have started prayer circles, and have broken my silence and am taking a more active pro-life role. I refuse to be silent anymore.