Garden Grove Christian Church. Our FIRST full time ministry =) John and Joyce Samples were our Sr. Pastors =) Oh how I LOVED them! They radiated the love of Jesus! We learned so MUCH from them and from the church! We were there from 1979 to 1981.
It was at this church that I learned who Nicodemas was… the HARD way! I have NEVER forgotten it either! HAHA!! We were playing a game of charades… and I pulled the Nicodemus card… and had to ASK who he was!! Yes… I was QUITE embarrassed!! BUT, I now KNOW! IF you don’t know who he is… you can read John chapter 3 just in case YOU pull the Nicodemus card at your next party =) HAHA!!
I grew a LOT in Jesus the 2 short years that we were there. Chuck was finishing up his Sr. year at Hope. We were newlyweds working on HOW to be married and IN ministry. AND God was working on ME to deal with so much pain from my past… and to NOT bury it. Which I honestly thought that was what HE wanted for me.
I am NOT sure how much to say… but I gotta say it! I know MANY of you know my story… I have shared it many times from the pulpit… just NEVER online =)
I HAD TO COME TO GRIPS with what I had done…
When I was a Sr. in HS… 1974-75… Chuck and I got pregnant. We were BOTH devastated! I went to a clinic to find out for sure and to get help. The gal shared with me that it was just a “mass of tissue” and that I had the rest of my Sr. year to go thru and didn’t need to miss any of it. I listened and believed her. I chose to have an abortion. Chuck supported me all the way! We made the appt. for the week after Christmas so I wouldn’t miss any school.
Chuck dropped me and my Mom off at the clinic…
When I was called back to the room to get on the little blue gown and get prepped… I remember being so COLD… and talking with a gal from AZ who was there for her 3rd abortion because AZ didn’t do abortions… and being so COLD.
As I laid on that table, freezing, being put to sleep… because I was 13 weeks pregnant… I was scared. When I woke up… I KNEW I had done something very WRONG… VERY wrong. I thought in my head… “I can’t change my mind.” I can’t go back in time”! “What DID I DO?????”
I left that place very empty. I did not care it was my Sr. year. I didn’t want to participate in anything… I didn’t even want to go to school. My heart HURT. I couldn’t fix it. Chuck will tell you that the girl he dropped off was NOT the girl he picked up.
After a few months… I was truly DESPERATE for help. I asked Chuck if we could go to church together. My Mom told me when I was 15 I couldn’t go to church with Chuck, it wasn’t a Catholic church. I asked him if we could find a church to be OURS – not his, not mine but OURS. We chose Crossroads.
The MOMENT I went into that building I KNEW I was in the right place! I LOVED it! I was hearing about Jesus… I blogged about my Crossroads experience HERE – I found PEACE!
NOW… fast forward a few years… we are IN ministry at Garden Grove and I had NEVER told anyone I had an abortion. Chuck was coming home from Hope telling me that I really needed to hear what an abortion really was… I kept saying no… I am not ready… (deep down I KNEW) til one day I was praying and knew GOD was telling me to face it… so Chuck and I talked. He was learning the TRUTH at Hope… sharing with me the Keith and Melody Green fliers. WOW. I couldn’t stop crying… it took a few days to even comprehend it ALL.
One of the afternoons when the students were getting out of school… a young 14 year old gal came over, like she did MOST days! She opened up to me and shared that she thought she would start having sex with her boyfriend. Ummmmmm…. My heart sank. She didn’t know Jesus, YET =) and I KNEW… I truly KNEW God wanted me to tell her my story… I did. She sat there SHOCKED! Then told me she thought I did everything perfect! OH MY! That was NEVER my intention by burying the fact I had an abortion! AND… she still LOVED me.
I was ready to deal with it… and for me… I knew I had to tell our youth group. We really were not that much older than they were =) It was the FIRST time I had ever shared with them… and this was what I was sharing! It was heavy and healing for me… and they still LOVED me after I shared it! I truly felt my heart ache lift!!
Here are a few of the verses I leaned on thru that time…
If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and righteous
to forgive us our sins and
to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
You can click on Psalm 103… the WHOLE Psalm is AMAZING!!
Oh Lord, this post is HEAVY! I pray YOU will use it for YOUR glory! I am so very thankful that YOU love me… and YOU loved me way back then. YOU have healed my heart completely… may YOU heal the hearts that need to be healed today… may those that need YOU… truly seek YOU! As Deuteronomy 4:29 says… ” you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” I LOVE YOU!