Strongholds-Lies We Believe

Although the majority of my posts are about abortion, adoption and infertility, I want this blog to be about the whole person.  Because the choices we make in life are often dependent on how we were raised as children, how we see ourselves and how we think society views us, I want to talk to you about strongholds.  Mental strongholds are lies and distortions we believe about ourselves, things, opinions, reasoning’s and offenses. So, I’m going to tell you about a lie I believed about myself and how it shaped a huge part of my life.

Infertility mimics a slow agonizing death.  The emotional and mentally draining wait each month hoping you’re pregnant usually ends in despair.  It can and does, consume all of who you are if you allow it.  In my post, Adoption An Answer For The Pain.  I share my hopeless feelings about my miscarriages and the way I perceived myself because of the infertility.

At the time, I didn’t realize my response to my inability to have a child was related to issues I’d had most of my life.  Poor self-esteem from being the “fat child in class”, and a teacher who in front of my entire 5th grade elementary class, continually, openly criticized me for having a weight problem.  I never told my parents what was going on.  I was too ashamed.  When you’re in 5th grade, you think teachers are always right, and this was proof that I was not “good enough, not worthy”. That year created a major emotional scar and a lie I believed about myself took root in my mind.

This was 1965.  Eventually, my mother found out, and God bless her, did everything she could to have the teacher removed from the classroom. During the process we found out the woman had been moved around from school to school with similar problems of verbally attacking certain students she particularly didn’t like for various reasons. (not just weight)

When people met me, usually I was told something like this, “You’re so pretty, what a lovely smile, your blonde hair is beautiful.”  But then they glanced down, below my face to the rest of me and the look on their face said it all.  “If you’d just lose a few pounds, you’d be acceptable.”  What I saw in their eyes was, “You’re not good enough”.  The teacher’s critical attitude securely reinforced this same belief.

I made friends when I could shove the lie down deep enough, but the pain always lurked just beneath the surface, threatening to jump out and tell everyone how unacceptable I believed myself to be. I share this with you because what we believe about ourselves and our circumstances has a major bearing on the choices we make in life.

When I speak to you about abortion, I stress how much God loves us.  How He made each of us unique, with special gifts and talents to expand His kingdom of light on this earth, and be a service to others.  Strongholds keep God’s light from coming through us. The lies we believe distort how we see things and judge our circumstances. They argue against who God says we are, His creation, formed in His goodness and glory and how very much we are loved and valued by Him.

Strongholds are open doors, opinions satan can use in our lives. We need to close these doors, slam them shut, lock them up and throw away the keys.  The lies cloud our perception about what God is doing and thinking about us and others.  When you don’t agree with God, you empower satan.  Lies form attitudes in our life and keep us from seeing our responsibility in situations. The spiritual side of ourselves becomes clouded, and we justify the sin in our lives and the choices we make from that belief as if they are “OK”.  The lie that abortion is legal, therefore it’s not murder and acceptable to do is a stronghold in our thinking about the value of life.  Satan uses this untruth promoted by our law and society to destroy life before the baby has a chance to be born and become a part of God’s family on earth. When you want to not be pregnant, it becomes a lie you can embrace to justify changing your perceived dreaded situation.  Strongholds take your mind to a place of negativity and hopelessness.

God says we are His precious creation, His children.  Believing abortion is acceptable keeps us from embracing God’s truth, and instead we believe our actions are justified.  Strongholds are the exact opposite of what God wants to happen, His knowledge about you and your child’s destinies and purpose.  Acts 17:26 (NIV)  26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

Strongholds are not demons.  You don’t cast them out.  You pull them down and out of your mind using God’s word.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5  New Living Translation (NLT)  We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to pull down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Ask for God’s help.  Use His word to take your thoughts captive to who Christ says you are. Pull down the lies you believe. Ask Him to speak His truth to your mind.  Repent for the falsehoods you’ve thought were true about yourself and your life.  Ask God to show you how He sees you and your child.

Donna

Baby Boxes Save Lives And Bring Hope

 Today our extended family celebrated the birth of a new baby!  We anxiously awaited her birth, and welcomed her into our lives.  At the same time, I await the arrival of my third grandchild and first granddaughter!  I can hardly believe it’s true.  So many years ago the thought of being a grandmother seemed like an impossible dream due to my infertility issues and miscarriages.  I wanted desperately to become a mother, and because two women gave life to their children and the gift of adoption, I have a daughter and a son and three grandkids.  I’m so blessed, but many mothers face insurmountable choices and often the consequences to the newborns are devastating.

I’ve been aware of different forms of “baby boxes, or hatches” for a long time, but today, I read an article about the resurgence of these boxes in numerous countries around the world.  The use of baby boxes are being implemented in European and Asian countries in an effort to save the lives of children from infanticide or abandonment and subsequent death. When an unwanted child is born and the mother is unable for cultural, religious, or emotional reasons to care for the child, and the babies birth would be a stigma placed on the woman for the remainder of her life, this safe form of anonymous abandonment is one way to save the child’s life who is then placed with an adoptive family.

Typically the boxes are at hospitals, and are an incubator with an outside door for the mother to place the baby inside, shut the door, which then signals the medical staff that a baby is inside and in need of attention.  The baby’s life is saved and protected.

The United Nations is promoting a ban on these boxes and wants the use of them stopped, stating they “violate the rights of the child”.

Infanticide is on the rise around the world.  Where are the rights of the child in that situation?  Any idea that saves the lives of children is a good idea.  Yes there are social, poverty and educational  issues to be addressed, and countries need to do this, but while waiting for these answers which will only be a small percentage of the problem solving, children are being abandoned and murdered.  These boxes are one way to encourage adoption and life for the children.

Adoption gives life and creates new families. Adoption gives hope for the future to desperate people waiting for a child to love and raise as their own.  Adoption is one way God answers these prayers for the birth mother, the baby and the adoptive family.

I know.  My children are adopted, and now our family is completing the circle with grandchildren.

God is so good.  Prayerfully consider adoption, or support people who are trying to save the lives of babies through pregnancy homes for mothers, or communities sponsoring baby boxes, and orphan care homes.  Save lives.  Love a child!

Here is a link to the article I read.  http://news.yahoo.com/europe-mulls-banning-boxes-abandoned-babies-075454911.html 

Donna

All-Sufficient God

The memories of this past holiday season are sealed in my heart.  I was blessed to have my son’s and daughter’s families at home for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year which of course included both my grandsons!  My children are not often home at the same time, and I cherished the special days together.

Grandsons . . . I have two, and if it’s God’s plan, they’ll be more grandchildren.  God’s intentions for us are always good.  I remind myself of this when I can, because I remember a time I was certain I’d never be a mother, let alone a grandmother.

Everyday God’s goodness amazes me. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us God has good plans for us, plans to give us hope and a future, and even though these words were spoken by God in the old testament to the children of Israel, when you become a christian, you become heirs to God’s promises to Abraham as well.  God has good intentions for all our lives, but He has requirements as well.

Jeremiah also tells us God wants to prosper us.  Prosperity in the scriptures means sufficiency in all things, God’s grace abounding toward us.  In order for us to receive His bounty in every area of our lives, He wants us to first seek Him and His kingdom, and when we do, He promises to care and provide for us.

In my post, Adoption An Answer For The Pain, I shared my heart with you about my infertility, miscarriages and eventual adoptions.  After ten years of infertility and my first miscarriage, I gave up on everything, including God.  My pain swallowed me; and I was sick to death of listening to women complain about their kids and motherhood, or not wanting to be pregnant at all.  God, in His loving mercy allowed me to grieve and heal, and eventually I returned to His arms of forgiveness and hope, even though He’d never let me go to start with.

God had blessings planned for me.  His path was different than I’d thought of for my life, but oh, how good His ideas were for me.

If you still wait for a child, or you’re pregnant and don’t want to be, don’t give up on God. He’s not given up on you.  He wants you to have a child; perhaps through natural birth or adoption, or maybe foster care.  He is the God of life.  If you’re considering abortion, wait and seek Him first.  Allow God’s Holy Spirit to speak to you and share His good intentions for both you and your baby.

He is the “all-sufficient one” who never slumbers or sleeps.  God cares about every detail of your life and He will sustain you.

Over time, I healed  after my miscarriage.  I prayed.  I cried out to God.  I wanted peace.  I wanted what He wanted for me because I’d come to the realization He wanted only good for me.  I stepped back and let go of my baby quest, and in His great compassion, love and timing, God brought my baby daughter into my life.  He’d wanted this for me all along.  God never let go of me and He used one woman’s choice for life to be the answer to my prayers.

He’ll do the same for you, no matter what side of the motherhood equation you’re on.

Seek Him first.  You and your child will never regret it.

Donna

 

A Mother Will Do Anything For Her Child

I want to address this post to the women who are considering abortion.  If you can, take hold of the stress, confusion and pain, and make yourself think beyond now and think of the future of the precious life growing inside you.  Think about your future.

All the voices bombarding you, tell you abortion will solve everything for everyone involved and that your life and the life of the man involved will return to normal.  But in reality, the only person who can make the decision is you.  I’m asking you not to listen to anyone telling you abortion is the answer until you’ve found a quiet place, cried out to God and waited a week to give Him a chance to speak to you and intervene in your life and the life of your child.  As a mother, you owe yourself and your child this chance.

Yes, if you’re pregnant, you’re a mother.  Right now.  The baby is just living inside you instead of in your home.  The location does not make your child less of a human being, and does not make you less of a mother.  Think of any pregnant woman you know or have been around; the first thing the doctor does is advise you how to care for your child by caring for yourself.  Don’t drink, smoke, take drugs, have x-rays, make sure you take vitamin supplements, eat right, rest, ect. etc..  You’re the mom, it’s up to you to make sure you do everything you can to protect your baby.  Abortion does not protect your baby, and it does not protect you.  Abortion ends your child’s life and can seriously damage your own.

Women who abort have an 81% chance of experiencing major mental health and addiction issues after aborting.  See my post When God Says.  Abortions can lead to infection, a higher chance of breast cancer and many other health issues, and you may face the possibility of not conceiving  or carrying a child to term when you do decide you want one.

Isaiah 49:15 asks, “Can a woman forget her child?”  I think not.  Abortion will not keep the child and it’s death from your heart or mind.  I know.  I’ve lost two children through miscarriage.  There’s hardly a day I don’t think of them and grief still wells up inside me, and this pain is from miscarriage.  Not a choice I made.  I can’t imagine the heartache a woman must feel when she thinks about her abortion decision.

So, I ask you again.  Please wait.  Go to God, not clinics, friends, boyfriends or anyone else.  Just God.

Father God, I ask in the name of Jesus that You will speak to the hearts and minds of any women who are reading this post who are considering abortion.  I ask that they will cry out to You for help.  Reveal Your heart to them.  Show them how much You love them and quiet the voices around them who are urging them to abort. Quiet their minds and let them hear only Your voice.  You’ve given us free will.  You do not force us to do or say anything we do not want to.  That’s how much You love us.  Holy Spirit, come now and guide the choices being made. Speak life to the mother’s hearts because You love them and their children so much.  Amen.

Donna

All God’s Creation Is Good

Last weekend my husband and I spent three days in Colorado driving the highways and mountain passes bathed in aspen gold and orange.  Each bend in the narrow roads lured us on with the promise of the next stunning vista ahead, and we were not disappointed.

Some of the local residents told us the views were the best they’d seen in thirty years.  We stopped at any pull-off area we could to take photos.  My husband is quite artistic and has a good eye for setting up the frame to capture the best picture.  We have numerous examples of his talent to remind us of this, and past trips.

I share this with you because, at many of these photo-taking stops, I stood beside the car or walked to the road’s edge and found myself telling God how awesome His creation is.  Praise erupted from my heart and tumbled out my mouth in gratitude for the beauty and for opportunity He gave us to view it.  I had some pain issues during the trip and was not physically doing the best, but even that could not restrain my enthusiasm or love of the magnificent scenery.

 Genesis 1:31 Amplified Bible (AMP)    And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely.

God made us.  His creation is good, very good and when we live in right relationship with Him, we accomplish what He created us for in every area of our lives.  That however, is the key.  Living in right relationship with God.  Which means we have to get to know Him as a friend and a father.  You can only do that by spending time with Him in prayer, praising, asking questions, being still, listening to His heart and then, going about your life based on the things you learned from sitting at His feet.

I get myself in trouble every time I neglect this most important area of my life.

In my post, Adoption-An Answer for the Pain, I shared with you the devastating loss of my first child through miscarriage after eight endless years of infertility.  I suffered a miscarriage again, later in my life. During each of these life crises, I tore myself apart by believing lies I told myself, that I was useless, and a failure as a woman.  While battling the infertility and dealing with the first miscarriage, I negatively questioned, begged and finally railed against God for His seeming non-caring of my life issues.  In reality, nothing was further from the truth, and after some healing time had passed; He opened the door to adoption and now I have two children and two grandchildren!

I got my self into this self-pity arena by not spending time with God as His child and my Father.  Sharing intimacy with someone is not time filled with blaming and anger. God patiently waited for me to heal, all the time aiding my recovery by the power of the Holy Spirit, and I did’nt even know it was happening. He loved me then, and He loves me now.  Just like He loves you.  We are His creation, His children, and He loves us with a good Father’s heart.

If you’re telling yourself you’re worthless, useless, a failure, or that God has abandoned you, those are lies from the enemy, (satan).  Recognize them as lies and do not receive those falsehoods into your spirit.  When you spend large amounts of time with someone, you pick up their traits and mannerisms and incorporate them into your own life.  I want that from God.  Not only for Him to abide in me, but for me to live in Him, become like Him.  So, when you hear those lies in your head.  Rise up!  Say NO! Your are God’s creation, His child and He loves you.

It’s a journey.  A path we’ll travel our whole lives.  Sometimes, we’ll step off the path, get back on, make some wrong turns and perhaps, even turn around and walk back before we right ourselves again.

Donna

John 3:16

New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)  “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.

 

Children-A Gift from God

 Children, too are a gift from God . . .Psalms 127

Children come into our lives in many ways.  Most are born into our families, many adopted, some fostered, mentored or rescued by the kindness and good deeds in our daily life.  No matter which way they arrive, children are a gift from God and therefore, our responsibility to love, nurture and protect.

A few days ago my daughter, who is so good at staying in touch with me when I let life sap my energy and want to hibernate, sent me a text inviting my husband and me to her house for chicken and noodles after work. My son-in-law made the delicious meal and we enjoyed the evening with them and chased our non-stop two-year old grandson around the house while he said quite pointedly, “Grandma Donna, gitta me.”  The evening at their home was the warm, comfortable time I’d dreamed of when thinking about raising my children and watching them grow into moms and dads with little ones of their own.  While at my daughter’s home, I’d left my phone in the car, so I missed a phone call from my son.  He’d left me a voicemail that touched my heart.  He told me he’d been thinking about me, praying for me, and reminded me that God cared about an issue I’ve struggled with in my life.  That was it.  Nothing about himself and his life, it was all concern for me. I was his mom, and he wanted me to know he loved me.

If you read my post Adoption-An Answer To The Pain, you know both my children are adopted and that I’ve had two miscarriages.  I went home after the evening with my daughter’s family, listened to my son’s voicemail, and wept.  God, in His merciful goodness, reminded me of the precious gift He’s given me in both of my children and grandchildren.  Because I was able to adopt, not only did I become a mom, but a grandmother, too.  The lives of children are generational, and the blessing they bring to our lives passed on through those generations.

Before my children arrived, I often cried out to God that I’d have to endure this pain all over again when the time in my life came that I should be a grandmother and would not be.  God loved me so much.  Just like He loves you.  He heard my cry and answered my prayer.

If you cannot keep and raise your child yourself, I sincerely understand this.  You can still give them your love and their life.  Prayerfully, consider adoption.  The life you carry is generational, and so many families are waiting and praying for the chance to love and care for the child you can place in their lives and hearts while caring for, and loving yourself and your child.

God will honor and bless your decision for life.

I know. . . and everyday I’m reminded.

Donna

Choices-We Make Them, We Live With Them

I’ve struggled with regurgitating my pain and fear during the birthing process of my posts and, physically, gasped at the tangible emotions staring me in the face.  In spite of it all or perhaps because of, everything I endured to become a mother pales in comparison to the joy of being a mother and grandmother!

When I made my choice to create this blog and write about the extremely sensitive subject of abortion, the heartache of infertility and the pain and joy of adoption, I thought I knew what I was setting myself up for from the reader’s comments.  I prayed about it many times, pondered it, and plunged in.

During my prayer time God made it quite clear; the blog is what He wanted me to do at this moment in my life, and I made a choice to follow His direction.

Then something happened that tested my resolve and convictions.  A person whom I shall call a friend for privacy issues in this post, made it known to another person in my life that they thought my abortion views were not compassionate, judgemental, and not based on knowledge of the subject.  Because this person is a part of my life, I was not only hurt by the comments, but also the fact they did not tell me to my face or comment on my blog.  They chose to go through another person, who in turn, told me.  All of this was too close to home and I was angry.

I watered flowers, paced the house, mumbled and plopped down on a stair in the stairwell leading to my garden.

Then, as He is so good at doing, the Holy Spirit said in His quiet voice, “How would you have responded to someone posting or emailing those same opinions?”  I sputtered and told Him, “It’s different, this person knows me, I know them, we have a history, they should have spoken honestly to my face so we could have discussed it like adults, not told someone else who had to tell me!”  The Holy Spirit did not respond to my blustering.  Silence sat down beside me in the narrow stairwell.

I repented.  Writing to a stranger about these topics can come across as impersonal and more factual, which in some way is good and in other ways not so good.  We feel free and safe to type our words in an email or small comment box and start the healing process or share truths. We tell ourselves it’s o.k., no one knows me.  But, the human side to these topics is often tragic and painful.  We are here as God’s creation to help each other, to offer a listening ear, encouraging words, guidance and forgiveness.

This blog is very personal, not only to myself but to those of you who read and say, I agree, I disagree, I understand and I feel pain or I feel joy.

My opinions about abortion are based not only on my faith, but on scientific fact and judicial rulings stating that life begins at conception.  If you are pregnant and you are human, the child in your body is a human being. Our own Declaration of Independence states: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  Nothing is mentioned about first being born, only created, which happens at conception.  A human egg comes together with human sperm to create a human being.

My friend said they knew intelligent women who’d had abortions and made that choice with thought and compassion and did not see their pregnancy as simply a lump of tissue. How did they think of it?  As a baby?  I see compassion, but for themselves, their situation, their lifestyle and stress level that giving birth to the child they aborted would greatly complicate.  I am not saying in any way that the choice they made was easy.  I’m certain the majority of women who abort anguish over their decision, especially if they deal with it with knowledge of what they’re doing and what the consequences are of their decision.  How is choosing to take your child’s life showing compassion for the child?  Adoption is a life giving alternative if the woman cannot keep the child.

During a past conversation with this same friend they said that crimes against children were abhorrent to them.  An aborted child is killed. How can this not be a crime? Depending on the abortion method used, the baby dies immediately, or even worse, after several hours of horrific pain. Our law tells us this is not a crime as long as the child has not been born.  But once born, we use every measure available to us to ensure the baby’s health and safety.  The truth of what’s taking place with abortion is unconscionable.

According to our current law a woman has the legal right to choose abortion.  Abortion is legal by civil law, but not by God’s moral law.

What is legal is not always right.

Donna