How Has Love Changed Your Life?


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"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

-- Jesus (Matthew 5:16)

You Can't Change Your Past; But You Can Determine Your Destiny.

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As a patient at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque #abq I had my spirits lifted up by a housekeeper named Twonika Galane (Nika). Nika shared her testimony of God's love for her. She then sang me this original song she wrote called, "A Long Road" . I hope the song lifts your spirits like it did mine. This is an ABQ TRUE #abqtrue Real People, Real Stories series. Share this video:



Joe said... "How has Love changed your life?"

The Lord came into my heart at the age of 13. I remember leaving school early one day, because I hated my life. I was tired of fighting off the bullies. I hated the feeling of no hope, no way out, feeling nobody cared, if I was to live or die.

When I arrived at home I had already made the decision to die, so I went into me parents bedroom and took my dad’s gun from his night stand and then moved the guns safety into the off position. Preparing to die I began to cry out to God. Trying to justify my decision saying to Him; 'I'm someones mistake. Nobody wants me or loves me, I'm just a burden to everyone in my life. Why did you even allow me to be born?' My finial words to God were, 'I'm sorry Lord, I can't go on any longer please forgive me' and with a loaded gun just under my chin I pulled back on the trigger.

The gun didn’t fire! I then realized that the safety which was always left in the on position was somehow placed in the off position that day. So, when I thought I'd turn the gun's safety to the firing position I'd actually turned the safety ON causing the gun not to fire. I can't explain the situation with the gun's safety other than God's intervention.

All I can remember is at that moment which the gun didn't fire, I drop the gun and fell to my knee’s and busted out into tears crying out and pleading, “Oh God, please forgive me Lord.” I immediately felt the presence of what I now know as Holy Spirit coming upon me filling my heart with thoughts and words as if God himself was speaking directly to me telling me, “I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW!” As tears poured down my checks God spoke these thoughts upon my heart, that my birth mother didn't give me up for adoption because she hated me, but because she loved me so much that she'd made the sacrifice to carry me through to full term birth. The Lord said, to me, "I HAVE GREAT PLANS FOR YOU! Follow me and I'll be with you always".

Our Father is in Heaven. His Son Jesus Christ came into this world and died for OUR sins. The Holy Spirit is present here on Earth to help us daily. God loves us more than we’ll ever know. And if you don't already know His son Jesus pray to Him and ask Him to come into your life. He'll bear all your pain and burdens. I know...

Many years later when I made the decision to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength. I then found these verses in the Bible which are almost word for word the message which was placed upon my heart that fateful day when the gun failed to fire. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

Moving forward last year (2010) through another miracle of God I was able meet both my birth mother (she's commented below) and biological father. Today, I share a relationship with them both. I now have children myself one of which has given birth to a child herself. Everyday, I thank God for all the love and miracles which he pours down upon all of humanity.

I pray for all women who are carrying one of God's tiny miracles in their womb and may be contemplating the life of their unborn child. I also pray for you if you're struggling, or hurting and contemplating God's decision for your own life hoping and praying that all the while you will come to realize and understand that, "GOD LOVES YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW!"

The Best Decision I Made


Chris Esty said... "How has love changed your life?":

Before becoming a Christian I was subject to a life of uncertainty. At least, that is what I had thought at the time. You see, I didn’t know where I was headed, nor did I really care that much about it. All I knew was that I existed, and it didn’t matter to me if I didn’t exist. I was angry and depressed about many things, and had trouble trusting people as a result of what had happened to me as a child as my biological father had left me at a very early age. Unfortunately, the person who took his place was both physically and verbally abusive. So my self-esteem was not even remotely positive.

Eventually I got into drugs and started drinking alcohol. It was my way of escaping the pain of my reality. In fact, I did this so much that I used to refer to life as a ‘party’. Hence, all that mattered to me at the time was when and where the next ‘high’ would be. Of course, when the party had ended I was right back where I started from—angry and depressed…

I had always believed in God; I just didn’t care that much about Him, because I didn’t believe He cared about me. Of course, this was all the result of not taking the time to find out what He’s all about. I was too busy for that. And besides, the bookshelves in my house were filled with books on magic and witchcraft, as my stepfather was a magician. So I didn’t have the best of influences at the time!

This kind of lifestyle continued until I was in my mid-twenties. That is, until I heard an Evangelist tell me how valuable my life is to God, and introduced me to the Bible. That’s when I found Jesus Christ! He gave my life new meaning and revealed love for me like I had never experienced before. He even worked a miracle within my life to get me off drugs and alcohol.

I spent hours in the Bible. I couldn’t get enough of it, because it gave me hope for a better life and assurance that I was loved. It also provided me with answers to life, which was something that no one else had, at least not without using a Bible anyway. Thus, I gave my life to Jesus Christ in 1996. It was the best decision that I had made. And my experience with Jesus Christ is what I would like to share with you on this website as we open the Bible together and study the life of Christ. So let’s grow together in Jesus Christ and become the people that He would have us to be. Let’s learn from Him and walk in His steps together.

If you would like to discover what it means to give your life to Jesus Christ and how to do it, then read this article: The Assurance of Salvation

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NKJV)

Sincerely,– By Chris Esty from:

The Rhema Marvanne Story


"How has love change your life?"

Rhema Marvanne said... I just turned 8 years old. I want to sing like my mother who battled ovarian cancer and went home to heaven 11/8/08. I want to make her proud and follow in her footsteps to serve and glorify God. God called me to do gospel; And I believe gospel can touch peoples hearts...Maybe I can change bad peoples hearts...

Once Heartbroken


B®idgette said... "How has love changed your life?":

Today marks the third year anniversary of the day my world was turned up-side down. I look back and think about the emotions I experienced: hurt; despair; betrayal…the list goes on. I didn't understand why someone who promised to love me could cause me so much pain. A piece of Scripture comes to mind now that I am a follower of Christ: Proverbs 3:5, 6 which says: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight all your paths."

I wasn't a believer then, so I turned all my attention to anything I could to make me feel like I was still wanted, loved, even desirable, instead of trusting the Lord completely. I was even questioning whether my life was worth living anymore. I wanted to close up and shut down. Even when I wanted to cry, I felt like I couldn't; like it was going to tear me apart and I wouldn't be able to stop. The grace that God had afforded me even when I was not walking in His ways is truly remarkable. He had His hand on my life in ways that were so palpable; I can almost see His fingerprint when I look back. I've had many other changes just in the past year, but none as shattering as when my divorce was final. I prayed for him and for our marriage, believing that those prayers were not falling on deaf ears. There's a country song called "Unanswered Prayer" by Garth Brooks. I'm not much of a country-song girl, but that is truly a remarkable way to describe my life at this point. I believe God seen every tear, comforted me and gave me strength, and wanted our marriage to be healed. Why He allowed my ex's heart to remain hard is beyond my comprehension. Maybe I'll never know. Maybe a few years down the road I'll see why. Right now, I must trust Him. Trust that the last four years have not been in vain. That being wounded to the very core of who I am will not be for nothing.

This makes me think of how Jesus suffered. He was betrayed by the very people who promised to be by His side no matter what. Peter was adamant about never denying his Lord…but he did. Can I assume that I will be blessed in this lifetime and get back every second that was spent crying and praying for the man I married to love me? I can assume that. It doesn't mean I will. God's ways are not our ways, and for that I'm thankful. If I could've had my way, my marriage would've been salvaged. But I wouldn't be here in Indy and I wouldn't have met the wonderful people I've met at my last command in Pennsylvania and here in Indy. I suppose I could be bitter. I have every 'right' to be as far as the world is concerned. There are many divorced people who are, right? I know a few. I never wanted to be one. Asking the Lord to help me forgive and let go was possibly the second most important prayer I've ever prayed next to accepting Christ. Who knows if I ever would've accepted Christ had it not been for the heartache I was dealing with? Now I know I can rest in the assurance that Christ is my vindicator, and though I don't wish any harm or hurt upon my ex-husband, I hope that through my witness and character he will one day accept forgiveness by a God who is so patient and kind. If I had to go through a painful separation and divorce for one person to know the Lord…I know without a shadow of a doubt that it was worth it. Jesus endured an even greater pain, and look at how God exalted Him.

I can only pray that my life would emulate His; that through my heartache, God would be glorified, and that others will see Him in me instead of a scorned and bitter woman.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight all your paths." -- Proverbs 3:5, 6

"You're My Girl..."


Kim said... "How Has Love Changed Your Life?":

Six weeks after my second son was born I became a statistic – one of over 2 million women raising children alone. My husband of six years announced without warning, and without a good reason he was leaving me. He abandoned me to chase a dream he could not define and left me to pick up the broken pieces of my own shattered dream.

As he walked out the door with his bags in hand, he took with him every ounce of confidence I had in myself. My spirit was crushed. I went from believing in myself to questioning everything about me. It’s amazing how much damage occurred in those short weeks. He shot a hole through my heart large enough to spill out every good thing I knew to be true. Battered and broken, my heart was crippled with self-doubt and I unwillingly joined the sisterhood of women dying to feel loved in a most unloving world.

The initial days and weeks following his departure were the toughest. Despite an army of friends coming to my rescue with words of encouragement and support, I felt lonelier and increasingly more rejected with each passing day. Seeing a perfect opportunity for emotional destruction, the enemy remained close enough to whisper how unloved and undesired I had become. I bought into the his propaganda – hook, line and sinker. He worked overtime on me, whispering persuading lies during a season of life when emotional vulnerability prevents you from seeing truth clearly. He stripped me of my self-worth and convinced me I had been forsaken by the one who once loved me. He enticed me into bondage and I agreeably followed.

I longed for the companionship of my husband, for the security of a provider and for the embrace of a man. I remember crying out to the Lord many nights for him to “fix” all of my problems, to bring my husband back and restore our marriage. Having been a believer for twenty years prior to this event, I thought God owed it to me to work this out. How could he let this happen to me? And how could I feel so desperate and so empty?

On the morning I first returned to work since the drama began, I stood in my bedroom trying to hold back the tears. Unsure of how I was going to get through the day feeling so wrecked, I selected a long, black skirt and heels that were supposed to trick my brain into feeling like going to work. Every movement was a conscious decision – breathing, walking, and blinking. At times, I willed my heart to continue its rhythm as every involuntary action had been paralyzed by sadness. My two-year-old son entered the room as I was getting dressed and pleaded repeatedly, “Spin, mommy, spin!” He liked to watch my skirt flow outward as I twirled around for him, pretending to be a dancer. Dutifully I spun around for him, trying to memorize the smile on his face that it might get me through the day. He sweetly giggled and I obliged him again and again. After three or four spins, dizziness overtook me and we both fell laughing on my bed. Laughter quickly turned to tears – and big ones. They were the kind of tears you can’t hold back even if you try because you don’t even know why you’re crying. Perhaps I had to make up for the last three minutes I had spent actually being happy since happiness seemed like a betrayal to my new prison of loneliness. A moment later, my son put his tiny arms around me and proclaimed through my tears, “Mommy, you’re my girl.”

I cannot describe the blessing in those words from that tiny voice. I was his mommy and he loved me no matter what. My little one didn’t care what I looked like, how smart I was, or where I had to be. I was his girl and I was loved by him.

I began to listen closer. “You’re my girl. You’re my girl. You’re my girl.” I listened until it was no longer the two year old voice talking to me, but the gentle, quiet spirit of the Father calling me out of my world of rejection and into His full acceptance where grace and mercy and unconditional love abound!

My life changed forever that day. For the first time since my husband left, I felt loved and cherished. I began to surrender my pain to the Father. He began an amazing work in my heart. He healed it, and then he claimed it for his own. As I pursued Him, he filled every hole and refined me. My longing for companionship with my husband was replaced with a sweet intimacy with the Father. The emptiness that imprisoned me was destroyed by the acceptance and affirmation of my King. I found what I was looking for – a love that lasts.

My husband never returned; and I was never the same. I was whole, complete and I was loved without a doubt. It wasn’t the ending I had envisioned but isn’t that just like the Father? The crazier the outcome, the more I’m convinced it is the hand of God. I learned the Father was more consumed with affirming HIS love for me than he was with a man’s affirmation of love for me. And this is a love to be treasured!

It is my testimony that when the Lord becomes the fountain of everything meaningful in your life – when He is your companion, your protector, your provider – you will never be lost or disappointed by what happens or doesn’t happen on your journey.

Isaiah 45:3 "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel who summons you by name."

Thank you, my King, for those treasures of dark times, because now I know You are the One who calls me by name.

"Livin' in Your Love"


"How has love changed your life?"

Alma Rivera said... "I love to worship God...And for me to say that word is to say, He is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; And to say you know God, You are the King and I'm going to declare that. 'You are the King of glory!' That's why I want to give you my worship, I want to give you all what I have inside of me."

(To view video w/o background music; pause playlist at bottom of page.)

Sherry Rose Sheppard's Story


"How has Christ change your life?"

Sherry Rose Sheppard shares her story of depression and struggles with body and self-image issues. The love of Jesus broke through in her darkest times to save and rescue her.

(To view video w/o background music; pause playlist at bottom of page.)

Given Life Through Death


Bonnie said... "How has love changed your life?" :

Because my story will take a while, I will do it in parts.

Part I
I grew up fast, and was very young when I had both of my abortions. My mother and father divorced when I was about 5. My dad left, and never contacted me as a child. My mother remarried a wonderful man when I was 7. He's been the best father I could have asked for and has always loved me as his own. With their union came a good home. I had love, stability, support...everything I should have. Yet, at a young age I ventured off and got involved with a man that was older than I.

Not surprisingly, I fell deeply in love with him, and was in a relationship with him until I was 21 (9 years to be exact). He came from a very dysfunctional and unstable upbringing with no real positive male influence. The men in his family were womanizers and lived very risky lifestyles. That's what he learned, and that's what he became. With this, I was introduced to a raw world that I was not prepared for. I believe my real fathers absence had everything to do with me getting involved with a man that lived wilder than I had ever known. I longed to be loved and accepted, and I guess that it what I felt being in a relationship with this older man. As unstable as he was, I always felt safe and protected with him. The flip side is that he would proclaim his great love for me, and then be all over town if you can catch my drift. As a young, naive, and vulnerable girl, I was completely confused as to why someone claiming to love me would do this?

My self confidence was reduced. I doubted my ability to satisfy him, and felt completely responsible for his lack of faithfulness. A quiet depression started in my heart with all of this. I honestly did not know at that time how to get around what I was experiencing. I hated what he was doing, but at the same time didn't want to be without him (typical of so many women, isn't it? ). My mother never approved of this fellow, and had great concern for the path my life was taking. I heard and took to heart every bit of her concern, but my actions said otherwise. I was driven by my misconceived interpretation of the relationship.

Part II
My spiritual background at that time was that my family and I did believe in God, and we did pray, but never as a family. We mostly prayed when times were difficult. We were Catholic, and I can remember going to church with a friend on occasions like Ash Wednesday and Christmas Eve, but that was the extent of it. I had no real idea what-so-ever of what it meant to have a true relationship with God.

So, there I was; young, depressed, confused.....and very lost. I put up a good front that I was strong and fine, but that really couldn't have been any further from the truth. With all that I had compromised of myself, I had become someone that I no longer recognized.

At the age of 16, I learned that I was pregnant. No one knew. We did tell my parents, however. They were devastated. All of my mother's concerns for my life were now painfully confirmed, and all hope for my future became desperately dictated. Abortion was the only logical solution that could be seen.

I remember soaking in a tub the morning of my scheduled abortion. Full of tears, I told my baby how sorry I was for what I was about to do. My spirit had deep conviction and sadness for what was about to happen, but I did not allow myself to stay in that place too long. I knew that I would not go through with it if I didn't toughen up quick. So... that's exactly what I did. It sickens me to share with you that my mother, father, boyfriend, and I all went down to the clinic together. I sat in a waiting room full of other women that were also very quiet and focused. My turn came, I had the abortion, and then sat and recovered with the same group of women; now all quietly facing the reality of the death that just occurred.

We all went on with life, and no one ever discussed it. I did not allow myself to feel anything other than hardness, because that was the only way I knew to cope. It wasn't until a couple of years later that much of my brokenness began to overpower the hardness. I still never spoke to anyone about what I was feeling. I really thought that there had to be something wrong with me. After all, I knew other women who had been through abortion and they seemed just fine. I can guarantee you that we were all feeling it, but no-one would dare talk about it.

This is the cycle that exists everyday around us.

My relationship went on in spurts of on again - off again with the same man. The depression that began to develop before my abortion had now graduated to a deep, secret despair. I numbed my pain every opportunity I could with substance, and just kept on carrying on to the best of my ability.

Part III
Days turned into months, months turned into years, and not one day went by that I didn't regret what I had done. I would have given anything to have been able to go back and choose life. I knew it was the biggest mistake I had ever made, and I knew I would never allow myself to be in that place again......................................Three years later, I was still in the same relationship and things were surprisingly going very well. He had changed a great deal, and was no longer running around. We were experiencing a season of great happiness together. For the first time I was optimistic about the possibility of a future with him. Although I was hopeful, there was this little nagging doubt that would not let me forget that this man may never truly ever change his ways. I wanted a future with him and dreamed of how happy we could be, but there was always the risk factor that poked at me. Against my better judgment, and in a routine I had become accustomed to, I proceeded ahead with the fantasy of happily ever after with this man. We began to speak very seriously about getting married and were anxious to have a child together. So anxious in fact, that guess who was pregnant again? We were both overjoyed. He immediately gave me a ring, and the wedding plans were on.

My mom disapproved more than she ever had before. Her stance concerning this man and all the potential she seen for my life never changed. Major decisions were being made, but all without her blessing. This dimmed what should have been a happy time of planning, but it didn't stop the planning. There were many people that were happy for us, and that's what I focused on.

It was about a month later that my whole world fell apart.

His mother, whom he was extremely close to, was in a tragic automobile accident and very suddenly died. This was a cruel blow to him, and, needless to say, hit him very hard. This changed EVERYTHING. He was filled with a sorrowful rage. It was a rage that I had never seen before and hadn't known he was capable of. It terrified me and I was gripped with panic. All hope for my future was now replaced with complete terror. I feared for myself and for my child. What was I about to bring my child into? The same position I swore I would never find myself in was there to wickedly revisit me. I felt completely bound. I was in a lose/lose situation, and I would not bring my child into that.

Please understand, I hated abortion at that point. I hated that I had already had one. I hated that I was in a place that abortion was the only trapped option I felt I had. I can imagine how terribly perverse my story may sound. But it was my reality. It is very hard to describe how grueling it is to feel forced to do something that goes against everything you believe or want.

I let my partner know of what I had decided. He begged me not to abort. I took authority like I had never taken before and quickly moved ahead with my decision.

Things this time around were very different. I soaked in the same tub, and once again told this child how sorry I was. I was unable to toughen up this time though. I was fragile walking into the clinic, and that made the experience impossible. I walked out, unable to follow through. It took days to coax myself up with enough toughness to get through it. When I finally did, the procedure was excruciatingly painful in every aspect. I walked out of that office a completely different person. No life, no care, no anything! When things couldn't possibly get any worse, I began hemorrhaging two days later, and was forced to return to the clinic so that they could repeat the procedure. This was a very traumatic experience. I remember freaking out, hyperventilating, and trying to do everything I could to communicate to the doctor that there was no way I could repeat it. I told him to put me to sleep, that I couldn't handle it. My requests were ignored. They took complete advantage of my vulnerable state of mind and forced me back on the table to finish their job.

I might as well have died. Everything inside of me was now dead. I immediately became severely and dangerously depressed. I isolated myself from everyone. I didn't eat. I didn't bathe. I existed in a mute and numb state. I often awoke in the middle of the night in complete panic attacks. I was literally losing my mind, and I told my mom numerous times to admit me to the mental hospital.......................I didn't care.

Every one of my days were filled with deep weeping and sorrow. I could not relieve the hell, substance could not relieve the hell, NOTHING could relieve the hell, until....

The day came that I was down on my face in despair, and I cried out to God. I cried out for forgiveness! I cried out for relief! I begged for another chance to live a better life. I even bargained and said, "God, if you will just give me one more chance, I will serve you all the days of my life! I honestly didn't expect anything to change. But oh, how it did!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity."
Jeremiah 29:11-14...

Part IV
Something DID change as a result of that desperate prayer! I hadn't known that just a few weeks prior to this time, a close cousin of mine had began to attend a Christian church. It was very soon after my prayer, that she invited me to attend with her. I didn't hesitate because I knew I needed some kind of help, and at that point, I had nothing to lose. I also wondered if God couldn't possibly be responding to my plea.

I ended up attending church with her, but with a very critical attitude. I sat in the last pew, and can remember sizing up the Pastor before he even spoke. This church was different than what I knew church to be, and I felt confused.

The music began, and it was beautiful. The atmosphere in that place became so peaceful. The Pastor started to speak, and for the first time ever in my life, I experienced God talking directly to me through that man. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing! That message was for ME! I wept and wept as I realized without a doubt that God really had heard me, and that God really did care! I determined before even leaving that evening, that I was not going to miss this opportunity for new life. I determined right then and there that I would return on Sunday morning, and publicly commit my life to God. I really didn't understand the depth of what was happening inside of me, but there was this new spark of hope that was not there before.

Sunday morning came and I put on the prettiest dress I had. I couldn't wait to get there. At the end of the service they extended an offer to pray for anyone who wanted to make things right and give their life to God. I couldn't walk to the front of that church quick enough. I decided to say "yes" to God that day, and I meant it with everything inside of me.

A radical transformation began in my life. Every single day that followed became a thrill as I discovered the truths and promises of God's word. I stayed in His word and surrounded myself with worship music constantly. I knew I couldn't afford to come out from under His covering.

There were three life changing revelations that became my lifeline:

1. God had forgiven me for the unforgivable, and would never remember my sin again.
"You will again have compassion on us;
You will tread our iniquities underfoot.
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."
Micah 7:19

"I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake;
and I will not remember your sins"
Isaiah 43:25

As far as the east is from the west,
so far has re removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:12

2. Satan wanted to kill me, but God promised to save me.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

3. I would never be that same person again.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

My dear friends, I do not know where you're at in your life, but please know that God is mindful of you. He loves you more than you can imagine. Committing your life to God is not just about the deliverance that He can and will provide in the midst of turmoil. That is definitely a major benefit, but the truth is, we are all sinners in need of the Savior. We all need to be forgiven and redeemed from our sin (no matter the sin). We must be born again. What is it to be born again, you may ask?

In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

Jesus answered, " I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, You must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3: 3-8

Perhaps you haven't yet given your life to God, but you recognize your need to. It's really very simple. It involves a heartfelt, sincere prayer to God acknowledging that you understand that you are a sinner and in need of a Savior. Saying a sinner's prayer will not accomplish anything on its own. A sinner's prayer is only effective if it genuinely represents what a person knows, understands, and believes about their sinfulness and need for salvation. The first aspect of a sinner's prayer is understanding that we are all sinners. Romans 3:10 proclaims, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." The Bible makes it clear that we have all sinned. We are all sinners in need of mercy and forgiveness from God (Titus 3:5-7). Because of our sin, we deserve eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). The sinner's prayer is a plea for grace instead of judgment. It is a request for mercy instead of wrath.The second aspect of a sinner's prayer is knowing what God has done to remedy our lost and sinful condition. God took on flesh and became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14). Jesus taught us the truth about God and lived a perfectly righteous and sinless life (John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus then died on the cross in our place, taking the punishment that we deserve (Romans 5:8). Jesus rose from the dead to prove His victory over sin, death, and hell (Colossians 2:15; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). Because of all of this, we can have our sins forgiven and be promised an eternal home in Heaven - if we will just place our faith in Jesus Christ. All we have to do is believe that He died in our place and rose from the dead (Romans 10:9-10). We can be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8 declares, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." Saying the sinner's prayer is simply a way of declaring to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ as your Savior. There are no "magical" words that result in salvation. It is only faith in Jesus' death and resurrection that can save us.

Here's an example:
"God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I choose today to trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I acknowledge and believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I ask you to cleanse me and re-make me. I confess and receive Jesus Christ right now as my personal Lord and Savior, and I commit my life into your hands. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!"

I encourage you to study the referenced scriptures carefully so that you have a complete understanding for yourself.

If you've made a decision to follow Christ, please don't hesitate to let me know. ( It is a milestone in your life I wouldn't want to miss! I'm praying for you all.

Part V
Right around the time that I began to serve Jesus, my partner went to jail. He had gone off the deep end in response to the loss of his mother and everything else, and gotten himself in a lot of trouble. I continued in relationship with him, but it was in a completely different manner. I stayed committed to sharing Jesus with him during that time. I would visit him in jail and share about all the things God was doing. He was eventually moved to a Christian rehabilitation program as part of his sentence. This place was quite a drive for me, but I would make every effort to visit him, attend church with him, and encourage him in the things of God. I could see definite change and I was sincerely happy for him.

In the meanwhile, I continued going to church myself. I was totally focused on receiving from God. God was continually filling me up, and I felt so satisfied. I understood that it was only He that could fill my void inside, and my dependence was now on HIM and HIM alone. It was liberating!

Everything around me was changing daily, it seemed. My mom was so impacted by my change, that she decided to come to church with me, and too, gave her life to God. Soon after, my father followed, and as a family, we were following God together. Such a glorious thing that God was doing within all of us! I remember asking God for new friends who would share my love for Him. Before long, a whole new family of friends entered my life. I began to spend my time with other like minded people, and it was great.

Two years later, my partner was released. I knew this would be his true test. He stayed focused on God for no longer than a couple of months. The temptations that lured all around him quickly became too much for him to resist. He went back to the former things. I knew that this was where things ended. He was now choosing a lifestyle that no longer lined up with mine, and I would not allow anything to hinder my walk with God.

The end of my relationship with him was indeed a sad time. I was sad in my own heart, but was mostly saddened for him, and all that he was choosing to give up. As I looked to God, He continued to tenderly love me through and once again help me to heal.

It was then, that I no longer had any associations with my past, and that God would begin to really build my future.

How Could Anyone Do This? (conclusion)
It is appalling to consider that a couple or woman would make a conscientious decision to end the life of their unborn child. This goes against the very principle of "life" that God is and created. Yet, day after day, decisions to abort continue to be made. And day after day, the consequence of this horrendous sin lingers to confront.

Women who have had an abortion are not bad people. They are very real, very human people that are most times so paralyzed with fear and the inability to see beyond their circumstance, that they make a life altering decision without any real comprehension of everything abortion involves and will cost (and I don't mean financially). Many are quick to form judgment on something they are sure they would never do, but let's be honest. Haven't we all been there at some point-in one of those cringe-inducing moments that leave you wondering, "how do I get myself out of this one?" I realize abortion is an extreme example, but my point is, we can all relate to experiencing that feeling to varying degrees at some point or another.

So the question is: How could anyone do this?

According to many studies, the primary reasons for choosing an abortion are:
- The pregnancy was not planned or wanted
- The couple does not feel ready to have a baby yet
- It's an inconvenient time of life for the mother or father
- The child would interfere with goals
- There are financial concerns
- There is pressure and influence by parents or other family members to abort
- There is fear of disappointing loved ones or being abandoned
- There is fear of bringing a child into a troubled relationship
- There is fear of people finding out about the pregnancy
- There is a lack of support or encouragement
- There is a lack of accurate information given to help make an educated decision

The number one reason that women choose abortion is that their partner, the father of the child, either passively or aggressively, refused to support the women in carrying the child to birth. It has been reported that an estimated 70% of these relationships that continue after the abortion will end within the first year following the abortion. When men refuse to live up to their responsibilities, they often will resent the women that they have let down-the mother of the child that they did not support. And, when a woman realizes the pain abortion has caused, she will resent the man who got them pregnant and did not fulfill his obligations as a father.

Other contributing factors can stem from a woman's or man's family history:
- Did abortion run in the family?
- Were their parents divorced?
- Was she or he abandoned by one of their parents?
- Was there physical or sexual abuse?

This information is intended to offer a small glimpse into the state of heart and emotion a women is often in when she chooses abortion.

May God have mercy upon us for the generational sin that has festered and spread like infection upon our nation.

Christian's Story


Carly said... "How has Love Changed your life?":

Since I wrote Christian's Story a few days back, I have had this memory in my head. I think because I was feeling quite down as I was writing his story this memory kept showing itself to me to make me feel better. When I was about 6 months pregnant with River I remember laying in bed in the middle of the night wide awake. Lying next to me was Scarlett, she wasn't very well so I had brought her in to our bed and kicked Sam out! On my bedside table I had put Christian's ashes as I was feeling really down that day and wanted to be close to him. I remember lying there and thinking. . . ' I am lying here with my three children' even though there was only one physically present. Scarlett was wrapped up under my arm, River was curled up in my womb and Christian was right next to my heart. I remember at that time what a special moment it was. Most people who have 3 children could say that they laid in bed with all of them, my story is a little different and you know what . . . . . . I like my story!

Have you ever seen the children’s animation Surfs Up? Well if you haven’t there is a scene where Cody the main character who happens to be a surfing penguin gets dumped by a monster wave. Every time he makes his way back to the surface of the water there is another wave crashing down on him. This continues until he finally cracks his head on a rock and passes out.

If I could explain to you the feeling of losing a child it would be the above paragraph only I am neither a penguin nor a Pro Surfer!

On the 17th of January 2007 I went for a routine ultrasound to check the health of my unborn baby. It was the day that first wave came crashing down on my family and I.

I was getting Scarlett into the car to go when a black wasp stung me on the hand about 3 times. I recalled only weeks before when I had bought Scarlett and the new baby a Christmas angel each. I broke the new baby’s angel. I knew it was a sign. Kind of like God warning me to prepare myself for something big. A strange feeling came over me. I was worried. . . not for my hand but for my unborn baby.

We arrived at the hospital and only had to wait a little while. A lady called my name and we all went into a little room where she slapped that horrid cold jelly over my now quite big tummy. There our baby was! Wriggling around! Breathing.

I noticed the lady was looking at our little ones head for a long time. Sam asked if everything was okay. She didn’t say “Yes everything looks fine” she said “I still have to look at a few more things” I knew something was wrong. After a few long minutes the lady said she had to check something and she would be back in a few moments. A couple of minutes went by and then 10 minutes passed. I said to Sam if she walks back in with another doctor something is very wrong. 5 minutes later she walked back in. . . With another doctor.

The doctor sat down and put her arm around me. I felt all this heat rush to my face. “We are very concerned about the size of your babies head Carly” She went on to explain that she thought our baby had a condition known as Hydrocephalus and that it looked serious. I asked her what the sex of our baby was as I knew in my heart that this was going to be very bad and I wanted to name them. The lady who conducted the ultrasound said your having a little boy. The doctor would not tell us anymore only that my obstetrician would call me tomorrow and she sent us home.

I held it together until we got to the car. I cried all the way home. Sam was silent. He drove home with one hand and held my hand with his other.

I called my Mum. I told her we were having a little boy but he was very sick and I didn’t know what was going on. My parents drove straight over to our house. Sam’s Mum and Dad were down south about 2 hours away. They came too. We all just sat around in shock. The unknown ahead of us was excruciating.

The next morning I remember calling my obstetrician Susan, a beautiful caring woman. I asked her what Hydrocephalus was and she said that it was “water on the brain”. Susan said that this didn’t necessarily mean that our little boy was going to die only that he would have to be born by c-section and would have to have a big operation when he was born. He would hopefully live a relatively normal life.

Susan said to me that she had organized an appointment for me to see a fetal medicine specialist the next day to see how severe the hydrocephalus was. I remember getting off the phone feeling so much better. I was given some hope. . . even if it was only going to be short lived.

Saturday morning came. Sam’s parents and mine came over to look after Scarlett for us while we went for the appointment that would devastate our lives

All I wanted to do was fast forward to a years time. I wish at that point I could have been shown the photo above. . . a glimpse into what would be my beautiful future. Something that I didn't know would be possible.

We waited in this tiny little waiting room for 45 minutes. Then a voice from down the hall called my name. Sam and I rushed in and I met two doctors. The lady diagnosing our little guy was named Jan and she was lovely. As I looked up at my little boy on the screen I thought to myself “is this the last time I will see you alive?” The doctors were very quite. Before I knew it the ultrasound was over and they wiped my tummy with a towel.

Jan asked us both to step into another room. As she opened the door for me I looked at the room. . . I knew this was the room that they tell people that their baby was either going to have very special needs or that their baby was not going to survive, as the room was filled with big comfy couches rather than your average table chairs.

Jan sat us down and said “This is very, very serious. Your little boy has the most severe case of hydrocephalus that I have seen in my career.” My heart sunk. I asked how bad it was and she went on to tell us that there was a scale from 1 to 7 (1 being minor and 7 being severe) our little guy was on 15.

Jan told us that our baby would never open his eyes. There was a part in his spine that was completely missing and it had caused a lot of fluid to flow into his skull where the brain should be. He did not have a stomach as there was not enough brain matter to tell him to swallow. If he was to survive the rest of the pregnancy he would be kept alive on a machine and would be known as a bean bag baby.

As these words were spilling from her mouth and smashing in my ears I felt completely numb. It was the worst case scenario. I held it together and so did Sam. We were in shock.

Jan told us our options. A: we could wait for him to die or B: she could interrupt the pregnancy. She wanted to do an amniocentesis to find out the cause but I was not interested. I just wanted to go home. We were given a DVD of the ultrasound and some photos. I dropped them as I was leaving. I remember everybody in the waiting room staring at me as I tried to hold the tears. I got out as quickly as I could while Sam paid the bill. The second wave came crashing down.

On the way home we decided to name our son Christian. It was a name that we both loved. I remember asking Sam how we would tell our parents. I prayed the rest of the way home for God to give me his strength for the days ahead and especially then when I would have to deliver this devastating news to our family.

We pulled into our street and I just started taking deep breaths. We walked into the house and our parents all stood up from where they were sitting and stood around us.

My hands were shaking and in a weak voice I told them that it was the worst case scenario, there was no hope for him and that it was only a matter of time before he dies. I told them that we had decided to name him Christian.

I remember the sigh from Gloria (Sam’s Mum) as she put her hand over her mouth. My Mum (Annie) held my hand as her eyes welled up with tears. My Dad put his arm around me. I remember thanking God for giving me the strength to tell them without completely collapsing in my sorrow.

Our family and friend’s were called and before we knew the house was filled with concerned people.

The following days were precious to me as I knew that the time that Christian and I had together was limited. I noticed that his movements slowed down to the point where I was only getting a few a day. I was keeping count. Over those days I held it together really well. I wanted to look strong in front of my family even though I felt far from it, but it all got too much and I completely lost it. I sat on the floor and whaled as I hadn’t slept in days and I just couldn’t believe this was happening to me and my little boy. Sam left the house and drove to the hospital to get me some sleeping tablets. He came back quickly with the medication and I went to bed. I felt like I was going to drown in my misery.

We received so many well wishes. One woman from my Mothers Group named Katherine came with a box of presents for us. There were blankets to wrap Christian in, a teddy bear and beautiful candles. I remember showing them to my Dad, he couldn't even speak, but his silence said everything.

The last time I felt Christian kick was 11am on Thursday January 25th 2007. I was admitted to hospital. Jan came to see me along with the head midwife. We had a talk about the events that were about to take place. They wanted to know my wishes and concerns.

I was calm but at the same time I was dreading the labor. Scarlett’s labor was 36 hours long and I just didn’t know if I could bare that or not. The Hospital Chaplin came to visit us. He was a gentle soul and had much sympathy. He explained our options for Christians remains. We decided we would have him cremated at the hospital.

I was induced by a drug called Misoprostol. They told me that I would deliver Christian any time from 2 hours up to 2 days.

The hours past and my family came in with Scarlett to visit me. I didn’t say much to anyone. I felt so sick, so sick of life, sick of this situation, sick of being me. I think my family went home around 7pm. I had an epidural placed in my spine to make it physically painless. I was not going to deliver a child that was breathing, there was not going to be a reward for all my hard work.

I noticed as the hours were passing that the pain was getting worse. I shouldn’t have felt anything with the epidural. We advised the midwives that I was in pain. They tried everything. My body was pumped full of pain meds but nothing would work. It was 12:30am and I was screaming. . . I don’t mean like just raising your voice. . . I was screaming with every inch of my body. The pain was excruciating. At 2:08 am I gave birth to Christian. He was breach (born bum first). I remember Sam praying to God to take his son to Heaven and to send us Angels.

Sam cut the umbilical cord and the midwife wrapped him up in a blanket and passed him to me. There he was, my beautiful little sweet heart Christian. He was lovely and pink. He had a button nose just like his big sister. I remember the love I felt at that very moment but that love was flooded by heavy sadness. I could not believe that he wasn’t alive. He looked like he was just sleeping, but he was never going to open his eyes. He would never look at me. And yet again more waves came crashing down.

I gave him to Sam as my placenta would not come out, that was the last thing I needed. The midwives were getting me to do all sorts or weird things to try and get it to come out. I was completely humiliated. They advised me that I would need surgery to have it removed. I remember looking over at Sam. He was sitting in the rocking chair with Christian. He was just staring at the wall. He looked completely shattered. I knew the last thing we needed right now was me to be rushed off into surgery so I just prayed. God answered my prayer and my placenta came out. It was over. I felt like my heart had been ripped out, stomped on, run over and then thrown back in my chest.

Sam and I sat in the dark together with our son. Sam sung MLK by U2 to Christian as he rocked him in the chair. It was a precious moment. He gave Christian back to me and I placed him on my chest and closed my eyes. I just lay there. Still. I didn’t speak or pray. I just lay there holding him. I knew that this event in my life would shape and mould me forever. I knew that I could take either 1 of 2 paths. I could let this ruin me and my life or I could let this make me and make my life.

As I opened my eyes I saw a blue light flash out of the room, what I mean by “out” is it was like the light in our room was switched off just as I was opening my eyes. I don’t know what it was, but I hope it was an Angels.

So at 3:40 am I called my parents. I could hardly speak. My grief was so intense at that point that I couldn't string a sentence together without pausing for long moments. They were so quite on the phone. Heartbroken, they told me that they loved us all.
I knew that I was not in control of this situation but took peace in the knowledge that God was.

Soon enough the sun began to rise. It was a warm amber glow in the dark forest that I was lost in. The midwives brought in a bassinet for me to put Christian in. I had the epidural removed from my back and I sat on the end of the bed and looked at the little lifeless body in front of me. Sam organized with the midwife Carole to give Christian a bath and take his hand and foot prints.

In came Carole with a bath of warm water, some ink pads, paper and a camera. I sat on the bed and watched my beautiful husband bathe my little boy. Sam's eyed were filled with tears and so were Carole’s. I just sat there in disbelief crying. Sam took Christians hand and foot prints. I remember Sam and how gentle he was with Christian it was almost like he was frightened of breaking him. What an honor it was for me to witness such a beautifully heartbreaking event.

It was 11am and I could tell that Christian was starting to lose the colour in his face. I said to Sam that it is time to say Good Bye. I wanted to remember him as the lovely little pink body that he was and not the little grey body he was becoming. We advised Carole that in about half an hour we would like her to take him for us.

Saying Goodbye to a child that never got to hear Hello is unbelievably hard and harsh. I remember kissing him on this head and praying my best prayer I ever did pray.. I felt so many things. It was pure heartache and sorrow at its strongest. Letting go of him was the hardest thing I will ever have to do in my life. I gave him to Sam. He said his goodbye and then the moment came. As Carole took Christian from Sam’s arms we cried and held each other tight. We watched her walk out of the room with our son. We would never see him again. Another wave came crashing down on us.

We lied on the hospital bed in each others arms and just sobbed. Shortly after this my Mum called. She was downstairs with Dad and Scarlett. I left my room and started walking down the hallway in my turquoise satin robe and bare feet. I saw the lift open and there was my little sweetheart Scarlett and she was walking! She was 11 and a half months old and of all days to start walking she decided her brothers birthday would be the best! I felt blessed to have her. I gave her the biggest hug that I ever could and we all walked back to the room. As I opened my door I noticed there was a big blue tear drop sticker on the front of it. They must place them on the rooms of woman who lose a baby so that people know before they enter.
After a few hours of our parents visiting us I decided that I needed to leave the hospital. I was still very weak from giving birth but I just wanted to be at home in my own bed. I told Carole and she went and organized my memory box. Carole was the most amazing woman. Her heart was as big as the ocean. She cried along with us. It wasn’t just a job for her. I was blessed to have such a gorgeous woman as my midwife.

After a few hours she came in with some paperwork for me to sign and a box of memories. Inside were his birth details, a beanie that Christian wore, some little clothes, a small album of photos that the midwives took for me, his hand and foot prints and some information about grief counseling.

Sam packed up the car and we walked out of the hospital with a memory box instead of our baby. I remember walking out the front doors and the heat hitting me in the face. It was 42 degrees a real typical Australia Day. I was faint and weak. I remember looking back at the hospital, we had left our son in there. It felt wrong . . . it felt so wrong.

We spent the night with my family. We had a birthday cake pavlova for Christian and from memory there was a bottle of champagne. I remember collapsing in a chair and balling my eyes out to my Mum while Sam sat in our room with his Dad. Our situation was completely hopeless, there was nothing anyone could say to make us feel better. We were empty.

At about 9pm Mum and Dad left. They took Scarlett with them so that we could just go straight to sleep. I will never forget waving good bye to them out the front of our home it was still 41 degrees. We went inside and got straight into bed. The day was finished. It was over, Thank God.

The following Thursday was Christians Funeral. It was held at the hospital chapel. I wore a new white dress and frangipanis in my hair. I remember walking in to the hospital with a racing heart. We got there early. I walked into the chapel and saw a tiny little box with a blue butterfly on it. I knew that Christian’s ashes were inside. At that point it hit me that I was attend a funeral for one of my children. It was too much for me and I had to get out. I wasn’t going to be able to sit in there and wait. So I went downstairs with my Mum to give some ‘Thank You’ cards out to a couple of the midwives.

When I came back up, most of the family was there and I went in and sat down. The funeral was truly gorgeous. Sam read out a letter that he had written to Christian earlier that week and I asked the Chaplin to read out mine as I was unable to be brave. We played some beautiful music including the song by U2 that Sam had sung to Christian when he was born. The Chaplin read a passage titled Joy and Sorrow.

I remember looking over at my Mum, Dad and Brother. Mum was rubbing Dad’s knee. He was just staring out the window. His face was full of anger. I don't think he could believe that this had happened, and the thought of his face still breaks my heart. The last thing I wanted him to be was angry as I wasn’t.

During the week Sam and I had bought a piece of jewelry to give to each other in Christian’s memory at the funeral. We exchanged the gifts. Sam gave me a gorgeous gold ring with a stone that reflects all the colors of the rainbow. I gave Sam a crucifix with Christians name and date of birth on the back of it. I haven't taken my ring off since that day.

As the funeral came to an end the Chaplin gave me Christian’s ashes and I walked out of the hospital with my son.

That afternoon Sam's parents held a wake for Christian in their beautiful back yard. All the family came. Sam and I gave out frames to everyone with Christians hand and foot prints in them. We were so blessed to have such a loving family. Everyones support was nothing short of a miracle to us.

This experience has brought Sam and I closer together. It has been hard on us as a married couple but we will not become a statistic as God holds us together and we stand strong with LOVE in our hearts.

I sit here 19 months after Christians birthday and in all honesty if I could change it all and have Christian here with me, I wouldn’t. I have learnt incredibly intense, beautiful and heart breaking lessons that could only be taught to me through the loss of a child. I got back up on my feet and I now have another daughter River Eve. I thank God every day for all 3 of my children. I am not angry, but thankful. I have learned to live through my Tidal waves of grief, I duck under them when I see them coming. I know that the place that Christian is in is so incredibly awesome. I will miss him every day for the rest of my life. I Thank God for giving me the strength to rise above my sadness.

I found my way out of the dark forest and I am now living in the amber glow. Life is rich. Life is precious. Life is beautiful.

So until we meet again My Dear Sweet Heart Christian may you soar up in the fields of gold.
This song is for you

Bookends by Simone & Garfunkel


Christian's Story