When I Told My Daughter About My Abortions

In my twenties, I had three abortions. Before that, I also miscarried from my first pregnancy. The emotional and spiritual healing has been long, sometimes unnoticed, and very very real.

Maybe you’re in the middle of making a decision. Maybe you need healing from a recent loss or you’re in a place in your life where you need to confront hidden issues. I hope this post is an encouragement to you and will direct you to seek the Lord’s comfort and wisdom in your situation.

Recently, I told my daughter about those incidents. Mind you, it wasn’t the sit-down dinner conversation that went along with “how was dance production?” In the course of different conversations, there was an opportunity for me to speak [maybe the better word is “admit”] to things that happened before she was born.

Perhaps in the state of anesthesia from the first procedure, I remember dreaming about a little girl, standing at the doors of the clinic waiting room. I went to get her, and she said, “I’ll see you later, Mommy.” I didn’t have any live children at the time. I saw her as the child that I was letting go through the procedure that I was undergoing at the time. I woke up, sobbing, and ultimately, hyperventilating. The nurses gave me a paper bag to breathe through and told the person picking me up that they had to delay releasing me because I had to get my breathing under control.

Calming down from my grief, in that clinic bed, a nurse gently touched my arm and said, “How did you know it was a girl?” I had no words. Just shook my head slowly and let the tears fall. “You just knew,” she answered. I could barely nod. I turned my head, as if to pull away from the weight and sadness that was in front of me.

Years later, I got the news that I was pregnant (yes, again). I told God, “I’m not running away this time.” He blessed me with a beautiful daughter, who is my only living child. I felt that the child I have now was my second chance from God. I lost the little girl at the doors of the clinic. And this time, I got her back. Even with that blessing, the story is really softened when she said something to me the other night.

“I’m sorry you went through the abortion,” she said. In my auto-pilot mommy strength, I thanked her and sagaciously went on to say that those lives are in God’s hands and He has given me healing from that time. He has changed my mind about abortion and revealed the truth and beauty about unseen life. He gave me Psalm 113:9, which reads, “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” Even though I can’t physically get pregnant anymore, the Lord has given me opportunities to show other children motherly love. I listed names of teenagers in our lives whom we’ve ministered to and encouraged.

Then she counted the would-be siblings out loud and said, “I can’t wait to meet them in heaven.” I think that was probably the greatest comfort of all. To listen to my living child have such faith in God and her home in heaven. To hear her rejoice in the promises of God and to show appreciation for the life we’re living now, despite our hardships and my past mistakes.

Only the Lord could make something precious and new in my memory with the voice of the child that God chose for me. It humbles my heart to know that He wastes no pain. That every dark and careless episode can be turned into an opportunity to glorify Him, to lean on Him, to find out who He is, and that He is greater than my mistakes.

Friend, I know that healing is a hard road. But we’ve got to walk it with the right Guide, and that is Christ. I pray that you can take the first step or the next step in healing from those hard things in your life.

Blessings,
Mahal

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The small, loud joys of this week

If I could bottle up the small blessings for this week, shake it vigorously so it bubbles up in confetti and fireworks, I’d package it and ship it to you.

Not all the posts need to be deeply spiritual. Here is a short list of the wonders of the last few days that I wanted to share with you. I hope this encourages you to look around and appreciate the really little things that most people race by.

*Took my daughter to a dentist appointment. She had several cavities that needed work since last year, but I didn’t set the treatment dates because of the out-of-pocket cost that overwhelmed me. (yea yea, i know, bad mommy). Dentist was gracious enough to do extra work and didn’t bill us for it. What a blessing to our health.

**Bonus: her father voluntarily sent a text that he would help with the cost of her dental work. Believe me, that’s a miracle.

*A friend sent a $50 Target gift card! She said that the Lord put it on her heart to give it to me and my daughter. The timing could not have been more perfect. I’d been meaning to get leggings for my daughter but the bills kept choking it out of our budget. That extra money got her one pair and other things she needed. Praises for provision.

*I learned what “blanch” meant when fumbling with brussel sprouts, a recent favorite of my daughter’s. Thankful for blogs that have cooking enthusiasts who explain things in three steps or less. I NEED THOSE POSTS!

*Target has onesie pajamas .. for grown ups! AND i saw a Batman one. I know. I can’t take it either! 🙂

*I heard Andrea Bocelli sing “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Nuff said.

Okay, one more. I was able to eat a dish with onions in it. [I used to be allergic to onions and garlic, a side effect of radiation. True story.] Anyway, I was able to eat it without bloating or other incidents.

What are your small, loud joys? Small to others but BIG to you!

Blessings,

Mahal

The Last Ten

I was taking inventory of my life. this week’s theme is “The Last Ten.”
last ten pounds: i have ten more fat pounds to kill before reaching the ideal, non-diabetic weight range. it’s usually the last ten that people struggle with. it’s so cool that i’m at this point.

last ten years: goodness gracious! i can notably label the last ten years as the most exhausting and unstable period of my life. (insert maniacal laughter here. eye twitch). after seeing it, it really turned out to be a fun prayer. in the last ten yrs:
*moved 5 times
*went through 3 cars
*3 to 4 ‘boyfriends’ or watever you kids call them these days
*cancer
*3 banks
*2 to 3 cell phone numbers

I am so thankful that the Lord is bringing me around the bend and that important people in my life are around to see it. buh-nanas. Is this fun or wat?

I pray that you can look back on the last ten years and see how God has stood up for you, walked with you through the storms, rejoiced with you in the blessings. May you see and appreciate that He is the right Source and the right Result.

Blessings,

Mahal

5 Lessons I Learned from Month One of Not Dating

I made a decision to not date for a year. I wanted to focus this next 12 months on getting good at the basics in my life, like budgeting and reaching my ideal weight, and to let the Lord speak to my heart without the distraction of chasing after a relationship.

The last two years have been intense: from going through cancer treatment, fumbling through a would-be relationship and bundled with the hardships of sorting through the financial fog after going through almost 15 weeks of not working. Some of you might know what I’m talking about. Even though you’re back at work, things don’t quite go back to normal right away.

The Lord has already showed me really amazing truths about my past, the way I grew up, my deep insecurities and most of all, about who God is and how I can trust Him at His Word. Here are five “aha” moments that God gave me in my first month of not dating.

1. God cares about my relationship. // I may not be in a dating relationship now, but He cares about my relationship even before I get into one. I honestly used to think that I had to be married to “qualify” for a relationship miracle. It sounds silly, but I think a part of me figured that God didn’t take notice of dating situations. I learned that His attention doesn’t have prerequisites. Maybe some of us feel like our situation has to be good enough before it can be presented to the Lord. He blessed me to realize that He cares about everything I go through.

2. My daughter needs a father.// I don’t mean a replacement. She has a dad who is now saved. Through candid conversations with my daughter about what it would really mean for us and our home if I got married made it all the more real and clear that she needs a loving father figure in the home.  I think because we typically do well with getting through our days, it doesn’t always occur to us what we’re missing/ needing.  With Jesus as the head of our home, we can rest in the assurance of His love. This also means that we have a pattern that would only allow a godly man with the right heart to protect, guide and lead us.

3.  God can answer prayer while I’m dating. // I heard about the painstaking prayer of a burdened wife for her husband to make wise choices. But I seem to miss the stories of answered prayer of dating couples. It could be a softened heart to help in the other person’s ministry, or even a basic faithfulness to church. It could be a wiser perspective on fundamental issues like having children or money management. This lesson ties in with my first item, where God opened up my understanding that He has all aspects of the relationship covered and wants to hear our prayers every step of the way.

4.  I hid behind ministry to drown out thoughts of dating. // This is true workaholic reflex. If I bury myself into some kind of work, then I won’t have to deal with it. Truth is, I have many belief systems and patterns about relationships that had not been dealt with or washed against a biblical truth. I threw myself into ministry because I figured keeping busy would mean that I wouldn’t notice some empty spaces of my heart that needed confessing to the Lord. He already used conversations and experiences in other ministries to bring up my true feelings and to follow His loving plea to bring all those things to Him.

5. I could be wrong.// With a quick-witted mind, I can backfire on myself. More than once!  The Lord showed me that my need for a conclusion is a symptom of a need to be right [a.k.a. Pride —> sin].  I get caught up real quick in what people intended to do and surmise their intentions, sometimes even rationalizing their shortcomings to avoid the truthfulness of a rotting situation of convenience. The Lord gently showed me: when I start to think what I think that I think, just pause and consider that I could be wrong.

I pray that if you are dealing with something that you think is too big or too small or too unimportant or  too significant, then please consider taking that situation to God and allow Him to steer you to the right decision. I pray that you can hold on to His truth instead of shaping your own conclusion.

More lessons to follow.

Blessings,

Mahal

See what happens in Month 3!