Part of our 2019 series of leadership testimonies
Four words that no parent ever wants to hear are “Your child is deceased.” Crushing my heart even more, the words, “She took her own life” came from the voice on the other end of the phone. That's the news my family received while we were on vacation in Mexico in 2015. It was as if a semi-truck hit us full force, then backed up and hit us again over and over. There are no words. My only living child, my precious daughter Jamie, was gone. You see, earlier in my life, when Jamie was just 2 years old, I had aborted her sibling. So she was my one and only child on this earth.
I share about the loss of my daughter, Jamie, because she was how God originally brought me to Healing Hearts Ministries in 1999. Jamie, too, was post-abortive. I heard about the Healing Hearts Bible study and thought it would be good for her. Believing that I had already obtained a measure of healing for my abortion, I didn't think the study would benefit me much. God is so good! He knew that healing had only partially taken place in my heart. He also knew how desperately I needed discipleship and mentoring from other sisters in Christ.
God desired to do a mighty work in my life, as I had mountains of hurts and valleys of sorrows resulting from sin—my own and that done against me. In my late 20’s I came to know Christ, and I had been living for Him about 10 years. Additionally, I was serving in women's ministry, so I thought I already had it “going on” and had this “Christian thing” figured out!
Oh boy, were my eyes opened! Through that time in Bible study, Jesus was gentle but firm in showing me the anger and selfishness that I needed to repent of as well as my sexually tainted past that I needed healing from.
He showed me what a true Father's love looked like and how I could trust Him at all times—the good, the bad, and the ugly. This brings me back to the present day. I had experienced healing from the hurt and sorrow over my abortion, but how was I going to survive my daughter’s suicide?
Jamie lived directly across the street from us. When we left on vacation, she and my grandson were all smiles and promised to take care of our pets and the house while we were gone. It was so hard to come home two days later and talk to the police. After breaking in through a bedroom window, they found that Jamie had shot herself. I couldn't even read the police report. Incredibly difficult realizations and decisions were suddenly staring us in the face. Having previously walked with the Lord through the Healing Hearts’ Bible study, I knew that Jesus was the only way we were going to survive and heal from this unimaginable tragedy.
Jesus carried me through the days, weeks, and months following until I could function again. Untold pnumbers of people were praying for my family. My Healing Hearts sisters in Christ were supporting me.
Is the pain gone? No, but because of God’s grace, my pain is filtered through His loving hands first so I can handle each day, each moment, with Him.
During the Bible study, a particular Bible passage came to mind and ministered to me, helping me continually take my thoughts captive. Philippians 4:8-9 says, “Finally, Brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is anything excellent and anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me―practice these things, and the God of Peace shall be with you.”
Once again, this passage became poignant when dealing with my daughter's death. As I lay awake at night, thoughts of the way she had taken her life swirled in my head and painfully stabbed my heart. Then the “what ifs” marched in. Next, guilt trips from the enemy bombarded my heart and mind. Each time, I would have to capture those thoughts and make them obedient to the Lord. His Word would remind me to “think on things that were lovely, good, and of good report.” I would meditate on God’s attributes and His truths. Then my heart would warm with the realization that my daughter was no longer experiencing pain or sorrow in this life. She was now in heaven experiencing the perfect love of our heavenly Father. Now that was something of good report! Reflecting on God's true nature and goodness also brought peace to my heart and mind.
The time of study in God’s Word all those years ago because of my abortion, suddenly came alive and ministered to me all over again. As I had to relinquish to God what had been His all along―my daughter―it was difficult. Yet, I found it better to be in His sweet comfort in the midst of my sorrow than to stay in my excruciating pain. I’ll close my story with another favorite passage from the study that God used to bind up my broken heart after the loss of my unborn baby through abortion and later in the loss of my adult daughter through the tragedy of suicide. Isaiah 61:1 assures us that Jesus Christ came “to bring good news to the poor…to comfort the brokenhearted.”
- Michelle Taylor, Area Coordinator (Washington)
While we may never be fully prepared for the kind of brokenness that comes from a tragic, unexpected loss such as Michelle and others like her have experienced, we praise God that there is ALWAYS hope in His Word and grace sufficient for every need. What a blessing it is to have Christ redeem our stories in such a way that they can comfort the brokenhearted! Thank you for being part of this mission through your prayers, donations, and sharing. It’s through your support that we continue this much-needed work to equip the Church with trained biblical counselors like Michelle.
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|In His Love,|