Thursday, January 28, 2010

New & Free

"Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry,
but that your sorrow led to repentance...
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation,
not to be regretted;
but the sorrow of the world produces death."
2 Corinthians 7:9-10

"And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

* What stands in the way to hinder God's redemptive work in you?

* Does your repentance and the laying of your sins at His feet have lasting value, power, and influence?

* Has your attitude changed--about you, your worth, your perfection in Christ, your forgiveness?

* Has your heart changed--is it healed, mended and whole?

* Has your mind changed so you believe God's mercy and love is really yours?

* Do you act and think as if you are free in Christ?

* Do you have any lingering shame?

Those are tough questions for anybody, let alone post-abortive, wounded women seeking healing for their hearts and renewing of their minds. If those questions came at you like high-speed fast balls, please stop and ask God to lead you through them. Ask Him to reveal to you the places where you need His righteous guidance.

Sisters, this is the Truth:

You are new in Christ.
You are free in Christ.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."
Romans 8:1-2

"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin,
but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:11

"For sin shall not have dominion over you,
for you are not under law but under grace."
Romans 6:14

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God,
a worker who does not need to be ashamed."
2 Timothy 2:15

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,
and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."
Galations 5:1

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:32

Repent of your sins and be restored to God.

Wow, that certainly sounds like a simple enough equation. But because our minds and our hearts oftentimes come heavily muddled, yolked, wounded, and confused, it is far from an easy task. Despite how it may look right now, know this, it is an achievable feat. I did it, but I did not do it alone. You can do it. But you can not do it alone.

You need someone to pray with you, stand by you, and encourage you. Reach out. There are people around you. Really, there are. And know that we are here too. But most of all, pray and ask God for help. He will strengthen you through the Holy Spirit. He will lead you to the foot of the cross to once and forevermore exchange your heavy burdens for His righteous freedom. Just ask.

He has what you need to be new and free.

Let us humbly pray:

Father God, we come before You this day. We are seeking You. We need You to take us by the hand and lead us by the heart so our minds will be renewed in You. We want to be free of the sins that bind us so tight and press upon our very souls. Lord, help us to stand in Your liberty, free of shame. Help us to be new creatures, new women, in You. Let us accept Your grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. Let us accept those things deep into our marrow so that the very cells of our beings believe it to be true. Oh Lord, we seek You with humility because we need You in order to lay these burdens down. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Work of Heart

"And the vessel that he made of clay

was marred in the hand of the potter;

so he made it again into another vessel,

as it seemed good to the potter to make."

Jeremiah 18:4

"But now, O LORD,

You are our Father;

We are the clay, and You our potter;

And all we are the work of Your hand."

Isaiah 64:8

Have you actually worked with clay--felt it's heaviness and held its possibilities in your hand? Although the ruddy mass can be miraculously transformed into wonderful objects of beauty, it is rather stiff, and oftentimes even unyielding.

Are those the thoughts that God thinks of us as He shapes us into His vessels?

Boy, she is really resisting My work in her today/this week/this season/this year. When she yields she will feel My loving hands mould her into a work of art, no, actually, she will become a work of My Heart.

What work is God trying to do in you? Are you ready and willing to let Him lovingly begin a healing of your heart and a renewing of your mind? Friends, yield today.

Let us humbly pray:

Lord, let each of us become workable vessels of clay today. Give us strength to yield and a desire to obey. Give us grace to bend and mercy when it hurts. Father, mould us into works of Your heart. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Treasure Hunt

Oftentimes I am underwhelmed by the doings of my own self, but constantly I am overwhelmed by the doings of my Father God. During the course of my Walk with the Lord, He has been more than merciful in connecting me to others who have encouraged me, taught me of humility and re-birthed me in His Truth. When I was seeking someone to side with me and pity me, I found none. What I found instead where people who gently peeled the layers back and at each removal of decay, they showed me where to find the balm. Sometimes it burned a little. And yes, sometimes it burned a lot. But His healing salve cannot work unless it is placed upon the wound. Nor can it work unless the wound is scrubbed clean...

1. Encourage One Another

"that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love,
and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding,
to the knowledge of the mystery of God,
both of the Father and of Christ,
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:2-3

"but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,”
lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
Hebrews 3:13

Treasures are hidden. For the riches of the Lord to be draped upon you, first you must search. His enduring love, grace, mercy and freedom are not carelessly set adrift on the sea, rather they are bound in His Word and found among His people.

When I realized I couldn't find the treasure chest alone, I sought others. Their encouragement propelled me along His path.

2. Humble Your Very Own Self

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,
and He will lift you up."
James 4:10

"For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord,
and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness,
who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge
of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
2 Corinthians 4:5-6

Sometimes it takes a treasure map to the bottom of the sea, but for me, it took a trip to the bottom of me. I was stuck in that place of mire and it seemed that each time I opened my mouth, I swallowed more gunk. More of my dredged-up sludge. It wasn't my mouth that needed opening, it was my heart.

When I realized I wasn't even holding the map, I dropped my pack crammed full of survival gear. And fell on my face in humility.

3. Seek the Truth

"Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom."
Psalm 51:6

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:32

Once I realized that fear was my compass and the plotting of my own route was futile, I began to set aside my useless tools (my own efforts, independence, and pride). My encouragers were with me, pointing the way. No longer did I flail wildly along a dangerously misguided route, instead I was guided by the shining light of Truth. His Truth.

When hands are empty, your hearts are ready, and minds are willing--that is when the real treasure of His Truth can be fully grasped.

Let us humbly pray:

Father God, we come to You this day, propelled by encouragement, humbled by Your Love, and desperately seeking the treasure of Your Truth. Please speak to each treasure-seeker today with a voice so loud that it cannot be ignored. Please fill each with Your Truth. Become not only the treasure map, but The Treasure for each of us this day. Reveal Your shining and glorious map of Truth. Fill our minds, hearts, and souls today with revelations of Your love. Remind us constantly what sort of treasures we are to You. Lord, let us each set aside our own self and our own ways. Let us drop our packs of useless tools. And lead us this day right into Your gracious grasp of tenderness, forgiveness, mercy and love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

* Thank you all for such an encouraging and praise-worthy welcome as a post-abortive ministry out here in Blogland. Your comments reaffirm God's whispers to me. Come, let us lace up our boots and walk together as we discover His treasures in each of us this day! Friends, may God richly bless you with all that you need today as you seek the treasure He sees in you. Spend some time alone with the Lord as He reveals what He really thinks of you...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Do It Now, If For Me

If you linked over from Aspire To Lead A Quiet Life, thank you for following me here. And if you found Healing Hearts, Renewing Minds from another blog, welcome. I am Darlene. This is a place inspired by God out of a very wounded woman’s past. My past. I spent twenty-two years heavy-laden with guilt, pain, and shame due to a teenage abortion. Oh, I never really expected to be healed of that wrenching heartbreak and the deep-rooted pain, shame, and unforgiveness. Actually, it all practically strangled me. Thankfully when I started walking with the Lord nearly seven years ago, He had other plans…

As dawn broke December 25th, God spoke to me. Our Lord whispered in my ear as I lay in bed with my head resting on the pillow of Christmas morning. This is what I heard:

- “you…such a time as this”

- I rescued you from your own self, from your sins, and from your past;

your future was doomed without Me.

- You have a letter – share it boldly, in My name

- You know women who will help, pray, guide, encourage…

elicit them, ask them.

- Look, I gave you my son, birthed in the dirtiness of a barn,

what are you waiting for? Do it now, if for Me.

One year ago this week, I penned the Letter. And for the past year I held onto it. Tightly. But while I was clinging, God ever so diligently was busy working, molding, changing, and shaping me. With divine tools in-hand, He chiseled, refined, scraped, peeled, de-gunked, and fired me red-hot in the furnace heat. After all of this intense sculpting, one might erroneously think I emerged as a finitely finished, delicate ceramic bauble. Indeed not. Rather I am a work in-progress and it is in this very condition that I gently come to you.

On bended knees and with tears streaming down my face, I humbly hand you not only the Letter, written one year ago, but I tenderly hand you my heart. Because He wants this of me, I must obey.

Dear Pastor/Church Leader,

Consider for a moment the way the church acknowledges “Sanctity of Life Sunday.” Facts are spewed, data is presented, images are shown, pamphlets are handed out, books are dispersed, and preaching is perfunctory. And wait a minute, what is happening right there in the church pews?

In some, folks are squirming with discomfort of public discussion regarding such a horrid topic. It is an atrocity they cannot even imagine and don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about.

In a few, people even are shouting “Amen!” out loud as a battle cry to join forces and money and prayers to hinder such an appalling act.

In most, congregation members are joining forces quietly. They put money in the offering plate for their local pregnancy care center, while some even make baby blankets sewn with love and prayers to donate to those moms who keep their God-given babes.

But in an alarming number of those wooden, hymnal-lined pews, women are dying. Dying because they have never felt the forgiveness offered to them by their Heavenly Father. And they are dying because they haven’t taken His hand in order to forgive themselves. One out of every three women sitting in church pews across America are suffering unknown pain, agony and torment come “Sanctity of Life” Sunday. Often times they do it discretely and silently. Some even do it right next to you, but behind a mask. A great deal of our church-going women are being overlooked. Neglected. They line the pews.

“Sanctity of Life” Sunday is an honorable and worthwhile day, but for many, it is a day that bashes them against the cold, hard brick wall of their reality. They had an abortion. They did the unspeakable. They committed the sin of murder. They killed a baby. They broke God’s heart right in two. While “Sanctity of Life” Sunday revelers spout the statistics and pass the offering plate, the broken sit in the pews. And they bleed all over the place.

If they haven’t taken their burden to the cross and have not rested their head in God’s forgiving lap, they remain broken, bleeding, and dying. And what is the church doing about it? Rubbing their faces in it. To those precious women sitting in your midst, it feels like their sin is being held up front for everyone to see. It feels personal.

How do these women cope? Why don’t they seek help? Many may harden their hearts and push it deeper down into the pits of their being. Bury it way inside. After all, they are sitting in a church pew.

What would the other proper ladies think? Would they turn away in disgust? Would they shake their heads, lower their eyes, and walk away from me? There is no way I could confess my sin. Not here. Not in God’s House. No way.

If I tell them of my history, will they understand my choice? If I tell them of the troubled teenage promiscuity I experienced, could they relate? If I tell them of the rape, would they pity me? If I tell them of my drunken stupor, would they still listen? If I tell them someone else made me get the abortion, could they, would they, comfort me?

And what about my family? My husband. My children. Do they know they are living with a murderer? How could they endure the shame? The whispers? The guilt of being related to me?

I should tell somebody. I hear that God forgives. But how could He forgive this mess? How could He forgive me? Why would He? Look, it is a big deal they are making today. It even has a name and a national day of recognition. Oh, I would mess up their service with my truth. With my pain. But I feel like I need to talk.

Oh, no. I won’t even bother. The service will end soon. Who will care after today? It’s a touchy subject. What does the man preaching know about women anyway? Who could I turn to? Not the pastor’s wife, she definitely won’t understand. Not the elder’s wife, she couldn’t possibly relate. Nope. No one.

So, I will stuff it down. Oh, my. I am bleeding all over the pew. My tears. Oh no, does anyone see? What’ll I do with the mess I have made here in my pew? Smooth it over with a weak smile. Wipe it up with a donation to the pregnancy center. There you go. Shove it back inside. Until next year.

It may cross the mind of a suffering woman to find help, but when the focus is on the atrocity, on the act itself, and on the innocent baby, the broken woman, although surrounded by Christians, often sits alone in her very own church pew. Hoping no one is on to her. Her secret. Her past.

I know. I was that woman. By God’s grace, mercy, compassion, and infinite love, He helped me lay down my burden. I am one of many who bore that cross, but only one of the few to lay it down. To really lay it down. I had a couple of trusted women on my side. They knew. They prayed. Twenty-two years after the abortion, God spoke to me and filled me with a supernatural strength. I reached out and someone was there. Right there.

Very soon after, and in God’s strength alone, I literally went to the cross and wept. I did it when no one else was at the church. I placed my heavy burden of guilt, shame, fear, sorrow, remorse, and depression right into God’s hand. I wept for the baby. I wept for myself. I wept for could-have-been grandparents. I wept for the doctor and nurses who took my baby’s life. I wept for the baby’s father. I wept for my family.

That night when I gave my burden to the Lord, I accepted His forgiveness. And I forgave myself. You see, that is the component of the equation that often gets overlooked. Forgiving ones very own selfish self.

Forgiving the one that is being talked about at church. Forgiving the one who feels like her sin is absolutely unforgivable. Now, that is hard to do. And the burden gets oh so heavy every “Sanctity of Life” Sunday. So heavy that I, being free from my sin, but knowing other women are weeping and bleeding from their wounded past, felt God gently tapping me on the shoulder to write this note.

Please know that there are precious daughters of Christ right in your midst who sit broken and bleeding and dying among you. Some may be young, some may be up-town, some may be down-and-out, some may be elderly—but all are children of God who deserve grace, compassion, mercy, their Father’s forgiveness, and your tender love.

Consider for a moment the way the church acknowledges “Sanctity of Life” Sunday.



Only because God healed me, do I have no shame in sharing this part of me with you. And in doing so, I pray that God will intervene and bring other wounded women to a similar place of peace and freedom as they rest their whole heart and head in His forgiving lap. It is in the Lord’s name and by the Holy Spirit’s urging, that I boldly dedicate Healing Hearts, Renewing Minds as a ministry to and for post-abortive women.

Even though my initial thoughts to His Christmas morning prompts were laden with doubt (What? Why me? Why now? But, I don’t even know how!),He lit a fervent fire deep in my soul. So, it is with a burning desire to trust and obey that I am here, doing this. In hindsight I see that God divinely wove together my sinful past, my current forgiveness and healing, some rather lengthy and painful periods of refinement, all to bring me right here. Right to this very place.

Friends, I trust you with the utmost and most tender places of my very being. These nooks and crannies used to be dark and scary and tormenting, but ever since I set my burdens down at His feet, I am no longer haunted. I am forgiven! I am free! It is my prayer that this ministry will be used for His glory. He is the only One who can heal hearts through His loving salve. He is the only One who can renew minds through His Truth-filled words.

Gently join me, please, as God continues to move in Healing Hearts, Renewing Minds. If you are a post-abortive woman, come, take my hand and let us bow before the King in humility, seeking His forgiveness, grace, mercy and love. If you are a church leader, please spend some time getting to know the hearts of these wounded women. Please remember that God’s mercy and His Truth have no boundaries or condemnation, rather it is steeped in love and forgiveness.

Healing Hearts, Renewing Minds is here solely because God whispered to me, “Do it now, if for Me” and I unabashedly am saying, Yes, Father!

* I must mention that part of His promptings included a list of requirements for getting this ministry started and a list of wildly wonderful women to elicit for assistance. God graciously met need after need with and through these ladies. In addition to prayer support, personal encouragement, insight, and sisterhood in Christ, they gifted me with contact information to other post-abortive women (some of whom you soon will meet here as they share their stories and healings), other purposeful leads, inadvertent contacts (thus resulting in this uniquely beautiful site), technological assistance, refinement of the written word, marketing assistance, and so much more. Thank you God for blessing me with such beautiful workers for Your Kingdom.

* Just like you and me, this site is a work in-progress. There are still links to piece together, connections to be shared, pages to be filled, and stories to tell. If you like what you see, please grab a button from the side bar for your site. Thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Share Your Heart

With love & humility,
we would be honored to grasp your hands in prayer,
gently balm your heart with encouragement,
or just listen...

Contact Darlene
(Healing Hearts, Renewing Minds ministry founder) here:

DarleneHHRM {at} gmail {dot} com

Contact Jennifer

JenniferHHRM {at} gmail {dot} com

*When you send us a note, please be understandingly patient for a response. We are women desperately trying to balance this ministry with all of the other wonderful gifts (motherhood, family time, jobs, home schooling, college classes, domestic duties...) that God has graciously bestowed upon us.

It is important to us that we encourage you, pray for you, wrap you in His love, and speak God's Truth as we respond to emails. We want to take the time to listen and share.

Know that you are gently and tenderly held up to the Lord -- with hopeful expectations of the good works we expect Him to do in you!

(more contacts coming soon for ministry-specific needs)

HHRM Sisters

Once-wounded, but now and forever more restored, sisters in Christ share at Healing Hearts, Renewing Minds.

Listen, as each woman tells her story, offers inspiring encouragement, wraps you in His tender love & gives you God's Truth.

Click here for Darlene's story and to read about the beginning of Healing Hearts Renewing Minds ministry. Although this is an encouraging place for post-abortive women who seek healing and renewing, it is a gentle place washed in God's Truth and is applicable to us all. His Words are intermingled with my heart to offer support, encouragement, and to knit us together in His Almighty Love.

For now, you can catch a bit more about my passions, my family's simple country life, my heart, my attention to God's littlest details, at Aspire to Lead A Quiet Life. There, I am also known as A Simple Country Girl.

Click here for brief introduction to Jennifer. She is my dear sister-in-Christ whom I met along my journey of post-abortion healing. God cross our threads a while back and then He wondrously wove them together for this ministry. Although she was walking the same path when we met, now however, she runs strong in His strength!

Her support and encouragement for HHRM has been nothing short of outstanding. To read her words at HHRM, please read Lay It Down. She is a Surrendering the Secret leader. Maybe you have the heartbreak of abortion and need to "surrender your secret" or perhaps you have a heart to lead other women along that path? Jennifer is our Surrendering the Secret representative and contact.


For contact information, please visit our Share Your Heart page. Although you can email us at the given addresses, but do consider leaving a comment on that page. It will find its way into our hands, hearts and prayers sooner...

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