Will You Trust God With That?

Gwen Smith abortion, Blog, Broken into Beautiful 9 Comments

On the far side of a desert, high upon the Mountain of God, a voice called out to Moses from within a curious, fiery bush. He had been tending the sheep of his father-in-law’s flock – going about his normal day-in-day-out tasks on the day that God spoke to him from the flames. On the day that God called Moses to a fresh and fiery mission. A mission of deliverance.

Once a noble prince of Egypt with the world at his feet, he had become a lowly shepherd with dust on his sandals. His crown had been traded in for a staff. The palace days were far behind Moses now. He fled them because of what he had done. Glancing to his left and right to be sure that no one would know what he was about to do, Moses took a horrible situation into his own hands and killed a man. He murdered an Egyptian and covered the death with sand.

Fear and shame bombarded his heart so he fled – away from his dream-filled, royal future to a desert place of humble hiding. The door to his yesterdays was closed. Moses had moved on to a new place. His past was his past and he had no intentions of returning to it. His life was different now. Normal, not noble.

Then God interrupted Moses’ new normal. His plans for Moses were different.

Bigger.

God’s intentions were for freedom – the freedom of His people, the Israelites, who were captives – slaves to Egypt. God called Moses to face the pains of his past so that the Israelites could face a future of freedom. His plans of emancipation required that Moses obey Him, listen to His voice, follow His instructions and trust Him.

Moses quivered and doubted. He made excuses. He felt unfit and unqualified for such a task. But God met Moses at his doubts. He called him to courage and went on to use Moses as an instrument of deliverance, truth, power and freedom.

Yes – Moses made mistakes along the way, but God was powerful in, through and in spite of each one. Through it all, God led as only God can. He led with power. He led with purpose. He led with love. And through Moses, God led His people to a new place of promise and freedom.

On the far side of Charlotte, North Carolina, high upon a mountain in a retreat center, a voice called out to me from within a curious and fiery story. I had been tending to my husband and children, to the laundry and the dishes – writing songs and leading worship – going about my normal day-in-day-out tasks on the day that God spoke to my heart from the testimony of another woman. On the day that God called me to a fresh and fiery mission. A mission of deliverance.

Once a sold-out, dream-filled God-girl, I had become a grace-embracing, yet disqualified-for-anything-big-because-of-what-I-had-done God-girl. My use-me-in-a-big-way-Lord prayers had been traded in for average, can’t-have-a-dream-anymore faith-living. My God-dream days were far behind me. I had fled them because of what I had done in my junior year of college. Glancing to my left and right to be sure that no one would know what I was about to do, I took a stressful situation – an unplanned pregnancy – into my own hands and killed a baby. I robbed my baby of life when I had an abortion and covered the death of my precious child with sands of compartmentalizing and reason.

Fear and shame bombarded my heart, so I fled – away from God – away from my dream-filled, royal future to a desert place of heart-hiding. After a season of brokenness, God brought me to a place of beauty, forgiveness and healing. I was restored and redeemed by scandalous, merciful grace. Then I closed the heart-door to my yesterdays. I moved on to a new place in Christ. My past was my past and I had no intentions of returning to it – or to the God-dreams that swelled my soul as a young, sold-out Jesus lover. My life was different now. Normal, not dream-worthy.

Then God interrupted my new normal. His plans for me were different.

Bigger.

God’s intentions were for freedom – the freedom of His people, the women, who were captives – slaves to their life-wounds. God called me to face the pains of my past so that my Girlfriends in God might face a future of freedom when they hear my testimony. His plans of emancipation required that I obey Him, listen to His voice, follow His instructions and trust Him.

I quivered and doubted. I made excuses. I felt unfit and unqualified for such a task. But God met me at my doubts. He called me to courage and is using my broken-into-beautiful story as an instrument of deliverance, truth, power and freedom.

Yes – I make mistakes along the way, but God is powerful in, through, and in spite of each one. Through each surrendered day, God is leading as only He can. With power – with purpose – with love. And I pray right now that this story – my story – will bring you to a new place of promise and freedom through the grace of Jesus Christ.

What fresh and fiery mission is God calling you to trust Him with, friend?

Stop with the excuses.

I’m living proof that God can free anyone from shame and use anyone for His purpose.

Step up to the burning bush – into God’s presence. Listen to His voice. Obey. Follow.

Take courage.

Trust Him with your past and with your tomorrows.

Allow grace to direct what your mission should look like.

But I have raised you up for this very purpose,
that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

(Exodus 9:16)

Dear God,
With a trembling heart, I ask You to show me the plans you have for me. Bind me to Your Word and to Your strength so I will have the courage to obey. May my brokenness be restored and redeemed for the beauty of Your glory.

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
Take a few moments to consider where you’ve come from and where you feel God is leading you.

Some of you may feel this devotion was written specifically for you. Don’t ignore that. Explore it. Let’s take the conversation deeper on the wall of my blog. It’s time to trust God with your yesterdays, your todays and your tomorrows.

Can’t wait to hear what God’s stirring in your heart.

Grace and peace, friend. Grace and peace.

GWEN

Today’s post is an excerpt from TRUSTING GOD. Get the book from Amazon or grab a copy from my store for 20% OFF with code 20OFF.


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Did you ever start a Bible Study and not finish? Yeah, me too. It’s normal and it happens to all of us. But studying the Bible is important to helps us know God more, and to equip us with His power, perspective and peace.

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Comments 9

  1. This has given me encouragement, I know that God has something for me I’m just not sure what it is. At the moment I can think of a lot of things it can’t be, such as I’m not gifted in writing or speaking. What is in my heart is that I want so desperately is to keep learning and growing in my faith with God. To be an encouragement to others, to be a help and support to others with eating disorders. I know that I just have to keep being obedient in doing God’s will for my life each day.

  2. This touched me deep to the core. I’m in transition once again, uprooted, both excited and fearful. I’m following God to lead a small group with women to reflect and grow on Part 4 Psalms.
    I love how you were honest about trembling as I’m feeling that too. I leading for the first time at church while some transitional things are going on within the church and some include feelings of people not so positive toward my husband. I wanted to run away. Cancel. But God’s voice is clearly saying be “brave” and obey for my strength will lead you like Moses.
    Sister in His Grip with Grit
    Thanks for journeying together 🙂

  3. This has really blessed, and encourage me. This story shows me that I am not the only one. Although I have never had an abortion, but I had many missteps. I have been called into ministry, I went dragging my foot,but now I am stepping up to the call with a fresh start. The willingness to listen and obey. Thank so much for stirring my pure mind up,such a beautiful testimony.

  4. Hi Gwen! At your Greensboro, NC event last September 8th, you shared this testimony from your past. All at once there was a huge hush in the room like the air being sucked out. I could hear small groans and murmurs around me, probably too small for you to hear. I thought, “That takes guts to share, in a church, what Gwen just shared!” Yet there you stood, a beautiful servant of the Living God, unashamed because you know what the Lord has done for you. That spoke to me that I have nothing to be ashamed of anymore because of My Lord Jesus Christ, taking my shame on Him, canceling out my debt, nailing it to the cross. See Col. 2:13-15.

    “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

  5. I too have a very similar past and have hidden it away. It has caused a lot of pain and broken marriages and Brokenness in my life. I know God has done a wonderful healing in my heart. I really feel that he wants me to serve somehow and help other women. This diversion really was right on today.

  6. I have been thinking a lot about my past and wondering how the events have shaped my life. What if one thing different had been done. What if I went with my sister instead of staying home. What if she had caught a ride with a friend instead? What if I more easily shared my experiences? What if I was more open about what it was like to live in a home where everyone was broken but they didn’t know how to say they were broken? I hold back an awful lot, I think I am like Moses sometimes, hiding in the desert, with my head down and face hidden. What would happen if I looked up AND opened my ears AND opened my heart AND took that next step. I wonder where God would lead me. Where He would have led me.

  7. When you said that some may feel that this devotion is written specifically for you, you hit the nail on the head. Several months ago I felt God calling me into a new ministry. I have been part of the worship team at my church for sometime but God has placed on my hear that I am supposed to start teaching and move into women’s ministry, and I have come up with every reason as to why I am not good enough. I have asked to meet with the Pastor of my church to share my thoughts and ideas but have not gone through with the meeting yet out of fear of being rejected. Thanks so much for this post and the verse from Exodus.

  8. I didn’t kill my sons but the amount of pain I inflicted them makes my pain seem to be the same intensity as yours. Therefore the issue is guilt, not what we do, because as we share the same nature we cannot ‘rank’ our mistakes. Guilt is a smart way of departing us from a God to whom we are beloved children.

  9. I’m wondering what God wants to say to me this morning by reminding me of my similar past. A past I have hidden away in forgetfulness (my go-to defense mechanism) until ‘reminded’ from time to time.

    Although THAT misstep is still a secret, I believe I’ve accepted God’s grace and have moved on.

    I’ve since had other missteps and experienced more grace.

    I had a second unplanned pregnancy. I kept my baby that time. I accepted the consequences which were life altering – even to today, 27 years, a marriage and 2 more children later.

    Still processing…….

    Now I have another secret…. a broken marriage…..how broken is my secret. But we have accepted God’s grace.

    We celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary this year. But we have been together longer than that. How long? 4 pregnancies, 3 children, a restored marriage and much grace long.

    We now have a passion for marriages and serve in a marriage ministry at our church. ‘Our’ secrets have led us to service.

    I’m still learning to fully embrace the truth that God’s grace is sufficient. I’m still learning to appreciate brokenness……. especially my own. I’m learning to let go of ‘perfection’.

    This trip down memory lane has reminded me that God’s grace is more than enough. It’s been and will be enough through every misstep, and it has been and will be enough for every imperfection.

    Afterall, His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

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