"The choices we make change
the story of our life." ©

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

 

It's My Choice - The Lie We Believe

The following is an excerpt from the just released book: I CAN'T DO IT ALL - BREAKING FREE FROM THE LIES THAT CONTROL US, by Tracie Peterson, Allison Bottke and Dianne O'Brian.

Chapter Eleven: It's My Choice
Written by: Allison Bottke
Page 147

THE LIE: It’s My Choice.

It was clear she had something very important—and very secretive—to share. Her gaze darted around the crowded room, making certain no one was within immediate earshot.

‘‘May I talk with you?’’ she quietly asked. ‘‘Alone?’’

‘‘Help me, God,’’ I silently uttered toward the heavens, knowing from experience I was about to hear something painfully intimate—something so personal that chances are this lovely woman had never before uttered the words aloud.

That’s how things work in this ministry the Lord has given to me. Women around the country open up to me, as though we were childhood girlfriends, even though most of the time we have never met before, and chances are we’ll never meet again.

Her name tag read ‘‘Anna N,’’ and she looked to be in her early sixties. She’d been crying, and dark rings of mascara pooled under her eyes.

‘‘I’ve been married for forty-two years,’’ Anna began. ‘‘We got married when I was eighteen, right out of high school. Harry was my high-school sweetheart.’’

I smiled and held the hand she offered me. Her grip was tight.

‘‘I had a black market abortion before we got married. Harry doesn’t know, and I feel I need to tell him. I’ve been lying to him for years, and I just can’t take it anymore.’’ Interesting terminology, I thought, black market abortion.

Taking into account her age, I shuddered to think what she’d experienced so long ago. I chose my words carefully.

‘‘So, Harry asked if you ever had an abortion, and you said no?’’ I asked.

‘‘Well, no . . .’’

‘‘Then how have you lied to him? How is not telling him something that happened in your past a lie?’’

It wasn’t that I felt she had to keep her secret, especially if the Holy Spirit was convicting her to share it; I just wanted to better understand her dilemma. Had she really lied? Or simply not disclosed everything? Even Jesus, when prompted for information, didn’t always tell His interrogators everything.

‘‘Our daughter-in-law-to-be had an abortion, not with our son’s child, but before she met our son, Garth, and Harry, my husband, said some horrible things about her. He’s not being fair to her. I like her, she’s a good girl, but he doesn’t understand. I always meant to tell him what I’d done—it’s just that . . .’’ her voice trailed off as fresh tears coursed down her cheeks.

It was a three-day women’s retreat, and the day before I had been sitting next to a young woman named Lisa. We had chatted a bit about our husbands, families, the weather, and why we were attending the retreat. She was surprised to discover I was the keynote speaker.

‘‘Why, you don’t look at all like your photo!’’ she exclaimed. ‘‘I thought you’d be much older. I’m really looking forward to your talk. I got here early so I could get a good seat.’’

During my talk, I noticed Lisa sinking further and further into her seat. It’s funny, the things I notice from the podium. Often the lights make it difficult to see beyond the first few rows, so I find myself making frequent eye contact with the people sitting up front.

Walking back to my seat, it was clear that Lisa was in distress. Tears cascaded down her cheeks, and there was a stack of balled-up tissue on her lap. There was no telling what part of my message—which included my personal testimony—had hit a chord in her heart. I couldn’t tell if she was crying for me or for herself.

As the next speaker began to talk, Lisa leaned over to whisper into my ear. ‘‘I had an abortion last year, and it’s tearing my marriage apart. Mark and I agreed it was the best thing to do at the time, since our first baby was only six months old, but now we know it was a horrible mistake. I’m not sure we’re going to make it.’’ Fresh tears flowed, and my heart ached for this beautiful young woman.

There is a recurring issue—a lie—the Lord clearly wants me to address. To affirm this growing realization in my heart, He keeps sending me into groups of people with a common thread. They have all been in bondage to a past belief in the lie ‘‘It’s my choice.’’

Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that changed the course of our nation, people from coast to coast—of all ages, denominations, and ethnicities—are dealing with the aftereffects of choosing abortion. These aftereffects are largely undisclosed before the procedure, making them even harder to process when they occur. How could they know, when they believed that from conception it wasn’t a baby with a heartbeat but simply a choice without a consequence?

Come back tomorrow for more from this chapter: It's My Choice.
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Allison
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