Monday, March 26, 2012
I have a most precious "real life" story to share with you. It is the story of one very brave and amazing woman. Her name is Karen Elliott and she lives in San Antonio, Texas.
What Karen is about to share on this podcast (listen to it by clicking the link) and written pages will cause you to weep as as well as rejoice at the forgiveness of the Lord and His power to wash away deep traumatizing shame and sorrow.
Share this story with young women, friends, and others with a painful past or current trauma. It is not recommended that you share this with young children due to the sensitive information regarding abortion in it as well as a few detailed graphics.
This testimony has now been aired all over Europe and Israel as well as the USA and other Nations and countries. The Lord is using this tremendous story to tell of His Mercy and Grace.
If you are touched by Karen's brave sharing, please send her an email and bless her as your sister in Christ. If you need someone to talk to about a similar series of events, Karen is on of the most discreet and kind women you could ever share your broken heart with.
In His Shadow,
“Silent No More”
Testimony of Karen Elliott
Thank you so much, Ladies and Gentlemen, for the opportunity to speak to you today. I’d like to share my heart, my life with you. All I ask is that you please listen with your heart!
You know, I used to ask myself what I wanted to be when I grew up. There are so many things that interest me that I just wanted to embrace them all. Art, fashion, interior design, real estate. I was an art major in college, I had five years of private painting lessons, and painting is a chapter in my life which isn’t over just yet. I have been under contract with a modeling agency in Texas, because I believe that mature women need to be equally represented in advertising, a trend that is just now coming to the forefront.
I design interiors for people because I believe God wants us to flourish in our surroundings. Another one of the things I do is to consult with women about their wardrobes…what sort of styles they should wear for their body type, what colors look good on them, even how to organize their closets so that getting dressed can be easy.
But on a more serious note, I’d like to share some of the secrets that have been hidden away in my closet. Because you see, all of those things that I loved and embraced were on the surface. Underneath, there was a secret that I had buried -- a secret that I told no one.
I was born to loving parents who were and still are very much in love with each other. (Karen's Mother has recently passed away). I was raised in a Christian home and went to church. I accepted Jesus and was born again in my mother’s bedroom when I was only nine years old. I was already selfish and self-centered and wanted my own way. I already needed His saving grace.
I got married at 19 after two years of college, long before I knew who I was and what I needed in life, much less what I had to offer someone else. That was what we had in common, and we were soon disappointed in each other. I went to work immediately while my husband went to college and then law school.
So much of our life was focused on when we got out of school that we forgot to invest in and enjoy the present. The goal was more important than the means by which we would attain it.
Church was no part of our life and neither of us thought too much about it. I occasionally remembered that I felt God had called me to the ministry as a pastor’s wife, but it seemed that no longer had any relevance in my life. All that mattered is that we had two darling little girls. After seven years together and much of the enemy’s intervention, we divorced and I went to Atlanta to live with my parents.
At 25, divorced with children, and with no college degree, I felt ill-prepared for the workforce and I had to tell everybody within the first five minutes of meeting them that my ex-husband was an attorney. My whole life had lost its focus.
I had to support myself without my ex-husband’s education and credentials. It seemed that I had no identity of my own. You know, when a couple is divorced, the woman is suddenly no longer “the wife.” The man still has his name, he still has his career, he still has his education. If the woman did not have a career before marriage, she has to establish herself on her own. If she marries again, she has yet another name and a new identity to assume. It can be very confusing. A woman may ask, “Who am I, anyway?” She searches to establish who she is. Who she was is not who she is anymore!
Though I had been a Christian most of my life, my identity was wrapped up in being the wife of my ex-husband. So when my marriage ended, I experienced an identity crisis. God wanted my identity to be wrapped up in Him, not in another person.
After my divorce, I started dating, and for the next couple of years I had very stringent rules for myself. But the unthinkable happened! I found myself pregnant! It was not the Immaculate Conception! I was old enough to know better! How could I have been so stupid? The choices I had made had trapped me!
The devil began warring on my senses. Now I felt I had no choice! If I were to have this baby, my ex-husband could say that I was an unfit mother and might try to take my children away from me! I felt I had to act fast. I decided I had to terminate the pregnancy. I made a call to a man I knew who made the arrangements for an abortion. The details are as vivid as though they all happened last week.
I could not have been more than four or five weeks pregnant. After the procedure, I passed a tiny piece of pink flesh which was the beginning of a little baby. It was not a blood clot like we sometimes have during periods of heavy flow; it was unmistakable. I will never forget what I saw.
That image has haunted me, when I least expect it, and has never been forgotten even though I have kept my secret entirely hidden for many years. In a book by Francine Rivers called The Atonement Child, many passages pierced my heart. The words expressed so many thoughts and emotions that I have felt. I would like to share one of these passages with you.
“She had sought a way out, any way out, and then had lied to get the money for an abortion, sacrificing her unborn child. And since then, she had lied to herself and others. Sowing seeds of destruction. Why had she done it? To hide her shame? To pretend the past couldn’t harm her? To avoid condemnation? And what had she accomplished? She was ashamed, hurting, and condemned anyway. She could have made a hundred excuses for herself – and did – but none mattered. None helped heal the secret pain within her because her own blood cried out against her. You can’t run away from God!”
I had thought that an abortion wouldn’t matter, that no one would ever know, and I would just continue life as usual. Isn’t the woman the one to make the choice about what happens to her own body? Why hadn’t I made another choice a long time ago, saving myself from this dilemma? I thought that the decision to abort was the end of it. God did forgive me when I wept and repented before Him. How could I have known that it would come back into my conscience more than 30 years later with such glaring detail?
I married the man whose baby was aborted. We were only married a month when he filed bankruptcy. Life seemed to be a financial roller coaster and we were doomed with financial woes. No matter how much money we made, we never had enough to pay everyone who wanted to be paid. We were not tithing and we were not going to church. I was taking birth control pills and got pregnant!
The next year our precious son was born and now we had what you could call a “blended” family. I tell you about the financial problems so you can see that I began to live under a curse of insufficiency. Bill collectors were always calling. There was never enough money.
Our marriage just unraveled with all sorts of sin. By this time I had become an astrological expert, and I could, with just a few details of your birth date, time and location, tell you more than you knew about yourself. I attributed it all to God who was All-powerful, All-knowing, and All-creative. He was absolutely able to put all of your characteristics and personality into your tiny body depending upon when and where you were born. I was VERY convincing and had a lot of “believer-followers.” My door was always open and the coffee pot was always on.
Then one day, in desperation, I knelt down beside my bed and I asked Jesus to help me with my life and my children. I had not been doing a very good job with any part of it. He was right there as soon as I called His Name. Soon after that we enrolled the girls in a Christian school.
I began to feel that we needed some continuity between school and home. We started going to church and one morning I just could not quit crying. The pastor invited me to come to his study the following week to talk and right there I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. When I left the church, my car just transported me to a church member’s house, where I never had been before. They welcomed me and invited me to stay for lunch with them and the youth pastor who was also visiting at the time. As we discussed the Holy Spirit, they asked me to renounce all the forms of the occult.
I had been involved in everything - astrology, fortune-telling, tarot cards, ouiji boards, tea leaves – you name it! It was then that I received my prayer language and I began to pray in tongues.
A friend of mine called the next day to tell me that she had given birth to her first child in a neighboring state. I could not tell the baby’s astrological sign and I still cannot to this day. I was totally delivered from all of the occult! I burned and destroyed all of the books and items related to astrology, worth more than $1,000! God miraculously set me free from that whole part of my life! I thought I was no longer under the curse, but problems continued to plague our marriage and I ended up divorced again.
Within a couple of years, I married again. This time I decided that I was only going to marry a Christian. I might as well have said I was going to marry the next red-haired man who crossed the street! I started going to church and praying with this man, but my spirit was warning me. I charged ahead into a relationship that was like oil and water.
We were never able to live in harmony even though we stayed married for 13 years. My children were unhappy, our finances were pitiful, I was deathly ill, and we were living in a constant state of war.
Because I was not able to keep current on the payments, I was given a notice of foreclosure on the house. I went through the house proclaiming all the scriptures in Gloria Copeland’s wonderful book entitled, GOD’S WILL FOR YOU IS PROSPERITY. I spoke to the windows, the doors, the walls, the floors! No devil was going to take them from me!
I entered a state of faith in God’s Word and one night before the house was to be sold on the courthouse steps, I received a call from a man who offered to pay the court in return for a second mortgage on the house! It was a stay of execution! The Lord had delivered me and my house!
During this marriage, the government demanded our boat and trailer to pay taxes we owed, the bank repossessed our car, we could not pay our mortgage payments, and I finally had to file bankruptcy to keep my home. Another stay of execution! I ended up paying off the court, the fees, and all my debtors because my original in-laws loaned me the money and told me THEY did not want my house!
I shall always be grateful for their kindness to me in a time of need. Over the next few years, I fully repaid them by the grace of God, who always made a way for me. During this whole period of my life, I would be under so much pressure, unable to sleep because of so much tension. I plunged from one crisis to another, and the relief that came was always temporary….another crisis always hit.
I remember getting up during the night in turmoil and to begin thanking God for my blessings. As I did this, I would eventually come to the place of true praise with my hands lifted to Him, dancing around in my kitchen! I would sing, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God hath done!” The Lord did enable me to overcome my circumstances.
However, there were some other circumstances that came into my life which were not financial. It was my health. I found out that I had fibroid tumors which required a complete hysterectomy, and while in the hospital, the doctors discovered a lump in my breast. This, of course, is part of the lingering curse from having had an abortion, though I did not make the connection then.
After this time, I came into a new season in my professional life. I had become a successful businesswoman in real estate in Atlanta, Georgia. One of my coworkers was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Exactly one year later she died and was buried.
My emotions were raw over the loss of my friend. I left the next day to help my youngest daughter move to Philadelphia. While there, I discovered a new lump in my breast. Alarming as that new health concern was, there were still more scary circumstances of a different nature just around the corner.
As I flew back to Atlanta a few days later, two Canadian geese were sucked into the engine at takeoff. We had to make an emergency landing back in Philadelphia with foam on the runway.
Completely shaken, I vowed that if I only had one year to live, like my friend, I would not live my life like I had been!! I set about to change it. I filed for divorce and put my house up for sale. Within a few months, my housing and marital status had changed.
Then, one day, my high school sweetheart – Steve- and I began a long-distance friendship by telephone. I called it a “phoneship!” I was in Atlanta; he was a thousand miles away in San Antonio, Texas. The Lord said to me one day as I was dressing, “I have chosen Steve to restore the years the locusts have eaten in your life and for you to do the same for him.”
A year after I had decided to change my life, Steve came to see me. We only saw each other on four different occasions. Then we got married in Georgia and I moved back to Texas. Over the last fourteen years Steve and I have been closely involved with various people, churches and ministries that have continuously taught us in the ways of the Lord and helped us understand that together we have a call to the nations! We can say now that we have a global vision. One day the Lord impressed me to have the word “restoration” inscribed in our wedding rings, which Steve did the very next day. Truly, we are experiencing restoration in its fullness. Jesus will transform your life when you let Him!
Once I was scheduled to go on an antiques- buying trip to Paris on the first of March with my employer, an interior design firm. As I was praying about it, I distinctly felt God by His Spirit say, “No.” That was on a Saturday. Two days later at a Christian conference taught by Alan Vincent, I introduced myself to the woman sitting beside me. It was Mary Lindow from Colorado. She felt impressed to invite me to join her and the U.S. ministry team at the first-ever Women’s Conference in Strasborg, France, to be held in three weeks. I told her I would pray about it and let her know. My husband was very supportive and encouraged me to go. All week I enjoyed the teaching of the Word, but I secretly was in turmoil over this decision. Satan was constantly telling me I wasn’t good enough.
Finally, on the last day of the conference, as I was sitting at the back of the room it seemed God said to me, “Karen, you are 60 years old. When are you going to start?” You see, I had told the Lord for years that I wanted to be on the cutting edge of whatever He wanted to do on the earth! Immediately, I realized that God DID have something for me to do. It didn’t matter if I felt unsure and inadequate. I had listened to too many years of Satan’s accusations against me, seeking to diminish me and tell me I could not be useful to God. He had kept me squelched under his thumb long enough!
It is true that you put Fire on God’s altar when you answer, “Yes!” I did say, “Yes, Lord, yes!” It felt glorious! I ran to tell Mary that I would go! Two weeks later I was in Germany and France in life-changing ministry as part of the team!
After I returned home, I was on my way to a prayer meeting about abortion. There were representatives there from an organization that is seeking to end abortion through America’s court system. The organization is called the Justice Foundation. As I was driving, I said out loud, “Well, God, I hope You don’t expect me to have anything to do with that!”
At that moment, the Holy Spirit filled my being and I began to realize that what God wanted was no less than what I wanted for myself. “Restoration!”
Near the end of April I wrote out my personal statement, also known as an affidavit, admitting the secret of my abortion. God led me to share the affidavit with Mary while she was visiting me later that same year in June. I also shared it with a friend of mine, Eileen Vincent, who later became very involved in Prayer for the Justice Foundation.
They were both so kind and understanding, and prayed with me to have the courage to do everything that God was calling me to do.
Well, my affidavit lay there – hidden in the file folder all summer.
What was I waiting for?
I had been asked for the very first time to give my testimony and it was for a Christian women’s meeting called AGLOW in San Antonio, Texas the following September. I knew that God wanted me to finally reveal my secret – that which had remained hidden for so, so long in the closet of my heart.
I knew I must first share my testimony with my husband and children. Their reaction was wonderful. Instead of shame and condemnation, they were so accepting of me! I was so proud of them!
I went to the Justice Foundation to have my paper notarized and turn it in. As I left their office, I felt that something really remarkable had happened. My act of obedience to reveal the secret in my closet would allow God to use me in new ways. Two thousand affidavits were turned in from all over the country and were finally sent to the Supreme Court of the US to help overturn legalized abortion in America! I was so pleased that my affidavit was among them.
I have come into full agreement with God’s TRUTH, and that truth is that “it is not in the human or legal interest of any mother to kill her own child. A mother’s true interest is in her child’s LIFE and her relationship with her child. Abortion should come to an end.”
I don’t know what the statistics are, but women who have had abortions are much more likely to develop breast cancer and they are also very often unable to have more children. The Lord allowed me to have a son in spite of my sin. The blood of
Jesus is enough, for He has forgiven me. I asked for and received that forgiveness more than 35 years ago. But God wasn’t really through.
He has been leading me to give my testimony so that all of us who have been through this awful act will have the courage to come forward and admit what we have done.
By coming out into the open, we can end hell’s grip on our lives. We can be free of the trauma, the guilt, and the shame.
Researchers describe something called, “Post Abortion Syndrome” as a woman’s inability to process the fear, anger, sadness and guilt surrounding her abortion. She may have trouble with these emotions as well as grieving the loss of her baby, and coming to peace with God, herself, and the others involved in the abortion decision. A woman can experience many lasting effects from an abortion, including, guilt, crying, flashbacks, sadness, anger, anxiety, sleeping problems, relationship problems, alcohol abuse, depression, eating disorders, drug abuse, and suicidal thoughts.
Those secrets that remain hidden continue to have power over you, and what I’m wanting to do is to help women see that if they can come to terms with abortion, that Satan’s hold and power over them would end. Like a bomb, I had to detonate abortion’s power so it wouldn’t be something that Satan could use to keep me bound.
In answer to my question, “What was I waiting for?” God has a plan for my life that is constantly unfolding. That date with AGLOW in September was another turning point in my life. It was the same month in 1969 that I had had an abortion, ending a little life so recently begun. I began my journey of sharing my testimony and doing my part to help end abortion more than thirty years later.
Is there anything hidden in your closet?
Has Satan been talking to you, like he talked to me, keeping you silent and squelched, unable to answer the Lord’s call, like he did to me? Has he rendered you ineffective in your life?
Today we can break agreement with the enemy.
We can choose to believe what God says about us. We can say, “Yes, Lord.” Why don’t you make a decision to give 100 percent to Jesus? He’ll take you to new places, doing new things, and He will restore the years the locusts have eaten in your life!
Whatever we have done in the past or whatever has been done to us or someone we love will lose its power when we put our fire on God’s altar by saying, “Yes, Lord, Yes!” Whatever the Lord God asks YOU to do, do it!
If there has been an abortion in your past,
I encourage you today to silence the enemy once and for all!!!
Won’t you decide today to be silent and shameful no more?
Duplication and re-transmission of this writing is welcomed provided that complete source and website information for Mary Lindow is included.
Copyright © 2012 " THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow