Don’t believe the lie that your past disqualifies you from having God’s best for your future.

I never planned on having a past to let go of, only a future to look forward to. But though I’d been raised by Christian parents, my dad a Baptist pastor, and I’d given my heart to Jesus, I still messed up. I lost my virginity at 18 to someone I loved and who I thought loved me. This wasn’t my plan — I was going to save sex for marriage. And it wasn’t at all what I expected. Instead of feeling loved, I felt used and humiliated. Something died inside me that day as my eyes were opened to the truth about sex — it was a big deal. In fact, I sensed that it was something holy and divine, and I had just carelessly given it away. But it was done; I couldn’t take it back. And this was the man I planned to marry, so now all I could do was stuff those feelings away, pretending it didn’t matter.

That one decision led me down a path I’d never planned for my life. Because my parents didn’t approve of him, I found myself running away and eloping with this man — but it didn’t last. Just two years later I was back home, broken, rejected and on my way to a divorce.

After that relationship ended and I moved on to others, I found I was giving in to sex even though I didn’t want to. I was skidding down a road that I felt so much shame and regret for, yet could not stop. Until I heard these words: “You’re pregnant.” By then I had hardened my heart to block out my feelings of pain and shame that the only voice I heard, said, “Have an abortion.”

This was the bottom for me, the end of the road. Although I married again and had four children, for the next 25 years I lived in a prison of shame, self-condemnation, pain, and regret. I asked God to forgive me many times, but it never seemed to work. I never felt forgiven. I knew God still loved me, but I believed He would never want to use me again. What I know now that I didn’t then, was that although God had forgiven me the first time I asked, without healing from my sexual past and abortion, the wounds I’d accumulated kept me suffering in silent shame, keeping me from being able to experience God’s forgiveness.

Until God set me free.

When He began to show me the wounds I’d suffered because of my past, how they were impacting me now and my need for healing, I chose to trust Him to heal me. God took me through a grieving process for my abortion and sexual past that healed my soul. Healing allowed me to receive and experience God’s forgiveness and released me from my prison of shame and pain.

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