Thursday, January 31, 2013

Her abortion story


My friend Lelia Chealey first published this beautiful post here on January 22, 2009, the 36th anniversary of Roe v Wade.  At the end, you'll love reading about what happened next. 


beautiful Lelia (ignore the 'I')


“This is what I have to do.” I kept saying that phrase over and over again to myself on the hour drive to the see the doctor. The doctor who would watch me swallow the pill that would halt the Creator’s creativity happening inside my womb.

I will never forget sitting in that clinic. In my heart I knew this wayward child of God did not belong there. As I sat staring into the pages of a magazine not being able to see past the constant tears that filled my eyes, I listened to two young ladies talk about how this was not their first abortion. To them this was a quick fix for something they were not ready for and by the sound of their laughter there was no chaos happening within their hearts.

I tried to silence the pleas that I knew was the Holy Spirit begging me to leave. That day a life temporarily uninterrupted would win for when the time came for my name to be called, I got up and followed the nurse. That day I chose convenience over Christ, selfishness over trust. I put aside any belief I had against abortion and did the unthinkable.

I went from “I would never” to “I can’t believe I just” in a matter of moments.


I lay on the table so I could have an ultrasound done. “Just a tiny dot” is what the technician called my baby. Then I was led into another room for a brief, emotionless explanation of what I was about to do. I passed a young woman in the hall that was assigned to hand me my pill after my paper work was finished. She applauded and looked like a little child about to open a birthday gift.

“You’re my first medical abortion!”

I just stared at her as the tears stung my eyes. Inside a war was waging as I was desperately screaming to myself “Just leave! It’s not too late!” and this young lady was celebrating that she could add this experience to her resume.

My last stop in that clinic would be the one with the doctor and the excited young nurse. Since I was not further than 7 weeks along I was eligible to have a “medical abortion” where swallowing the pills they gave me would cease all growth. It would abort the earthly future that God had planned for this baby…His child.


I walked out of that clinic that day and as I drove past the praying women on the sidewalk I left much behind. I was childless within an hour of arriving at that clinic. The fear of my marriage ending from what caused the pregnancy would overtake me, for this was a consequence of an affair. I will never know what God would have done in the lives of me and my loved ones if I would have walked out of that clinic still pregnant.

Eventually I told my husband what I had done and my confession was met by much love and grace. Forgiveness only the Savior could give was granted and our marriage was made stronger.


I have no idea if this is something you have done also or maybe you are in a situation that you think abortion is the only choice you have, but I want to encourage you to trust God. Don’t believe the lies the enemy is trying to fill your head with. No matter what your situation is trust Him. Married or single, just give Him a chance.

When it comes down to it if I would have trusted God and turned to Him with my marriage, I would have never broken my vows. I would have never lied to my two friends that saw me through what they thought was a miscarriage.


I never thought I would have done what I did, but that is the cool part about Jesus. He really is One that can be taken at His Word. When you ask forgiveness…He gives it. When you seek Him…He will be found. When you surrender…He will take all your “ugly” and make you usable. When you give your heart to Him…He will mend and not break. When you trust in Him, you will discover why the disciples never gave up their following.

He is worth this journey and even though every motherly and God-seeking part of me wants to go back in time and choose trust over convenience, I know God will do as He says and use this for Kingdom gain.

The aftermath of an abortion offers anything but a life of convenience. What you might think is a quick fix may do just that. I will tell you this though, the day your choice hits you, every piece of you will scramble to undo what cannot be undone. It’s a pain in your heart that is unbearable and one that you cannot change. The day I chose to take my baby’s life, I missed out on giving God opportunity to show His greatness with the mess I had made of my life.


The day I repented He was given another opportunity and so now I watch as the King uses this unworthy Christian wife and mom of three for His glory. Now I watch His greatness unfold and even though it doesn’t change the choice I made, it gently covers my shame with His love and grace.

If by sharing my choice changes one woman’s mind from choosing abortion to choosing to trust God with her situation then to Him be all the glory. The life saved because a mother chose God over a quick fix is a life that will be used by Him.

Do I deserve the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ? No way…but He knows I’m willing to share Him with others.


This
is what I have to do; it’s what I want to do.


Jeremiah 32: 17
Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth
 by your great power and outstretched arm. 
Nothing is too hard for you.



UPDATE from LELIA:

Since Missy first ran my post, God used it to open many doors.

Since sharing my story of what God had done in my life, it ignited the courage in many other women to share their story with me.

In 2011, I was invited by Pat Layton to join the Surrendering the Secret team as a certified leader. I have the privilege of walking with post-abort women through an 8-week healing Bible study called Surrendering the Secret: Healing the Heartbreak of Abortion.

Last spring I was given the opportunity to share my testimony on a Proverbs 31 Ministries conference call.

Last August, Focus on the Family's Facebook page, "I Am Pro-Life" ran a blog post of mine on abortion that received over 5,000 likes and almost 500 comments.
The doors that He has opened in speaking and writing has been amazing.

I share all this with you to tell not what I've done, but what God has done with my regretful past.

God used Missy to shove me out of my comfort zone and because of her obedience to Him my life will never be the same.  When He tells us that He takes what was meant for evil and will turn it into good for those who trust Him, He really does mean it. And that is when He'll use our story for His glory.



Let's not just talk, let's do:


18 comments:

  1. So powerful!! Praise be to God for how he still used it (and still is using it) for His glory!!

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    Replies
    1. AMEN!! Praising Him with you!! :)
      Blessings,
      Lelia

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  2. What a courageous story! I am so moved by your thoughts. I was brought up believing a woman's body is her own, that abortion is not only okay, but one that requires little thought. I always thought if I became pregnant at an untimely time no biggie.....until it happened. 23, no money, no husband, trying to get back into college- this was not suppose to happen! The really confusing thing is that had I gone to my mom right away it would have been "taken care of", but instead I waited and waited....and when I finally did go to the clinic and saw that tiny heart beating I couldn't undo what was meant to happen. That little bleep on the screen saved my life. She has been my constant joy, sorrow, laughter, my everything for almost 19 years. I do not judge people at all for doing what they feel they must- everyone has a different story. I truly believe He was speaking to me 19 years ago :)

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    1. That is an incredible testimony!! I love how God works! I so wish I would have listened to Him and trusted in Him.
      Give your daughter a hug for me.
      Blessings,
      Lelia

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  3. Thanks for sharing your story -- you are making it safer for other Christian women to be honest and get help in the aftermath. He is bigger than anything in our pasts!
    Nancy

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    Replies
    1. YES He is!! He is such a sweet Redeemer! :)
      Blessings,
      Lelia

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story. May your ministry be blessed and many more lives be saved!

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    1. Emily,
      Thank you so much! God has and is doing amazing things. To Him be all the glory! :)
      Blessings,
      Lelia

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  5. Beautiful. Hallelujah for the God who redeems us!

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    1. AMEN!!! What an amazing redeeming God we have!
      Blessings,
      Lelia

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  6. For some reason this story tugs at my heart a bit differently than others than have commented. I am truly sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing. I must ask- does your ministry seek to help those who are considering abortion or just those that have had one? Do you make money on the speaking and writing opportunities or are they strictly occasions to serve?

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    1. Conni Jo,
      Thank you for expressing your sorrow for the loss at my own hands. I really appreciate that.
      The ministry path that I would have never carved out for myself is one that encourages women to stop hiding among the baggage of their past and trust God with their story. That doesn't always mean He's going to have that person travel and share their story on different stages like He has with me. Any money that I have received has been to cover travel expenses and if loss of hours at work as I often have to take work off to speak. And often I don't charge anything even if it does cost to travel or a smaller paycheck because I know Who my Provider is.
      My goal is to glorify God and make Him famous, not myself, but I will take every opportunity to share my story whether it's at a University on the east coast where He has me going next week or a small group of 5 women at Starbucks. And there are times when I don't charge like a few months ago even though I took off a day of work and drove out of town and yet God blessed me a week later with a surprise check in the mail from the group because again, He is my Provider.

      So yes, at times money is given to me for speaking. I have never been paid to write and have been doing that for years.I hope this answers your questions and if you have more, check out my website at www.leliachealey.com where there is a contact page and we can talk more. And if you know of anyone in need of a speaker who loves the Lord and loves to brag on Him, you can direct them to my page with the sharing buttons on the bottom of my speaking page.
      Thanks Conni J!

      Blessings,
      Lelia

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    2. Conni Jo,
      I forgot to answer this question you had: "I must ask- does your ministry seek to help those who are considering abortion or just those that have had one?"

      Both.

      The Bible study I lead, Surrendering the Secret, is for post-abort women as it is a Bible study that walks women through a tough healing journey. www.surrenderingthesecret.com

      Last March a woman contacted me from a different state asking for help. She had an abortion 24 years ago and the first person she told about it was in January. I was the 3rd she told in March. She was angry at herself, depressed, guilty...all the stuff that a post-abort woman deals with. She did the Surrendering the Secret study in May of 2012 and she for the first time is experiencing the freedom that Christ has available for all sinners. She now is telling her story to other women and is going to become a certified leader for Surrendering the Secret.

      A few months ago, my daughters friend contacted me and was going to have an abortion. We talked, text, prayed. She was afraid, alone and is already a mom of a little girl. Just got a text from her "I'm due May 30th and it's a BOY!"

      So, to answer your question...both. Whoever God leads my way, I will talk and share of His greatness.

      Trust me when I say telling my story isn't easy. It's ugly and it was a choice I made. I knew better and regretfully chose convenience over trusting in a God bigger than any circumstance before us, but when I get a text that a young women is going to be celebrating a birth instead of regretting the death of her child....Praises to the Almighty God.

      Without or without getting paid, I'm going to keep talking about Him.



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  7. Conni Jo can you tell me why you would ask either question?

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  8. Leila- thank you for you thoughtful response- I hope I did not offend you. I read your story and found you to be so brave. I know so many women (me included) that struggle with their past (and not just because of abortion). It was so powerful, I was hoping that you are also using your gift to minister to those who are considering. As far as asking about the money, I want to believe you (and I should emphasize that I don't think you should care if I believe it or not), I wanted to know that you were using your story to help people, if it was being sold it would simply change how I felt about it. Again, thank you for sharing.

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    1. Conni Jo,
      Thank you so much. I appreciate your questions & your honesty of why you asked them. Charging for anything or spreading the word about our availability or book is one thing a lot of my speaker/author friends struggle with. Above any dime we receive it is about glorifying our Savior. :)
      I am often brought to tears that He would use someone with a past so ugly only He can handle all the details of it and I pray He never has me share all of my ugly publicly, but I know without a doubt abortion and adultery (which got me pregnant) are the 2 messages He has me sharing. The emails & Facebook messages I receive are worth every word He has me share.

      Thanks again, I really appreciate you.
      Take care and visit sometime, for we never know why God had us cross paths. xo


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  9. It’s great to see you, Lelia. Read your story and I want to thank you for sharing your personal stuff here with all of us. It takes a lot of courage to have such life changing decisions, the one which you have taken. All the best for you future and I’ll follow you on this blog for your latest updates.
    Kristy from YourOptions

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Comments are my love language. Let's be friends!!


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