The name Deeper Still reflects the definition and design of every aspect of our ministry. God is ever inviting all of us into a deeper place of health and intimacy with Him. Going to deeper places of healing does not negate any healing we’ve already gained. But it does humbly acknowledge that there may still be places in our soul that have not been made whole and have been preventing us from walking in our full destiny in God.
The wounds of abortion can be described as systemic. By this I mean the effects of abortion can be like a cancer in our core identity. It gradually and even silently runs through all the organs and blood system of our whole identity and then eventually begins to manifest on many different levels. For example, a woman who has had an abortion is not just left with an empty womb because of a medical procedure. She comes to realize that this abortion, that was supposed to liberate her, is in reality counter intuitive to the very nature of what it means to be created as a woman, a mother, a wife, a friend, and one who influences. Abortion now gets woven into her core identity, and with it comes all the attachments – guilt, shame, dishonor, grief, fear, victimization and so on.
A woman is one who was made to be a life giver and a life nurturer. She is a protector and caregiver to her offspring. She is one who can see herself in her children and can get glimpses of their destiny. She is made to partner with the creator of the universe in calling her child’s identity and destiny forth. This is the spiritual and psychological DNA that God has put into the creation that He calls woman. When this core identity and essential role is ripped from her, it cannot be restored without divine intervention from the God who created her “female” in the first place.
For a man, intrinsic in his spiritual and psychological DNA, is the fathering instinct to protect and provide for his children. God created fathers to lead their families to victory and destiny, not to have them sacrificed on the altar of an abortion table. These realities only emasculate men. Their God-given strength and courage to be a leader, protector and provider isexchanged for a passive capitulation to the demands of living in this world as a survivor not a conqueror. This moral failure can cause him to compensate in many ways. One way being that he becomes void of the passionate pursuit of his own destiny let alone being able to speak into the identity and destiny of his other living children. These erected barriers also rob him of the hope of legitimate intimacy with his wife, friends, or with God. As with a woman, these core identity issues for a man can only be restored by the God who created man after His own image.
So what are the necessary steps that one has to take to receive healing, freedom and restoration from their past mistakes.
If you are a Christian, you know that receiving forgiveness and atonement for sin can happen instantly as long as it is received in faith and with a sincere heart. When this happens, it means that the debt the person owed for the sin committed has been cancelled and wiped off the ledger.
Often times a woman who has had an abortion has asked God to forgive her and she usually believes He has on some level. She then assumes that she has fully dealt with her abortion and that she has been healed. So therefore, she wonders why anyone would even suggest that she might need to go deeper still in her healing journey. If you ask that same woman if she believes that God delights in her and has good things in store for her, she will most likely hesitate to answer or even tear up if she thinks about it very long.
Forgiveness and atonement for our sin, is certainly one of the first steps in the journey to healing and restoration. But there can be quite a journey between having our debts cancelled and walking free from shame and grief and living in the hope of restoration.
As humans we tend to want quick fixes. If we are in trouble we want a quick way out. The whole abortion industry is built upon the false promise that it will all be over quickly. In a similar way, when we are seeking healing from our depression or anxiety we want to find the quickest way through the valley. So we hope that if we pray to God and ask for forgiveness, we will receive it and it will instantly be as if we never had the abortion in the first place.
Let me be clear here, it’s not that God can’t do a quick work, because He certainly can. By His sovereign grace He can choose to instantly heal and deliver us from that which holds us captive. I think the question pertaining to the length of time it takes to receive healing and restoration from an abortion is not so much about how long will it take, but it’s more about how deep are you willing to go. I have seen the Lord do a quick work when He is given permission to do a deep work.
Probably the number one response I get from women who’ve had abortions and who have asked the Lord to forgive them or have taken a few steps down the road to healing is, “Oh I’ve already dealt with that.” The implication always seems to be, “I’ve done the work, and I’ve moved on, you needn’t ask me anymore about it.” Upon further probing, it is likely that although she has received a measure of healing, she is not yet walking in the confidence and joy of lasting freedom.
Sometimes people ask me if I think you can ever be totally healed from an abortion. I think the answer is yes, but I would also give it some qualifiers. There is one sense in which we still live in a fallen world, and we will always strive against the ravages of sin and its effects. But that also does not mean that we are doomed to be crippled until Jesus comes back.
I think healing is quantifiable. If I have a broken leg, then I can’t walk on it. If my broken leg gets healed, then I can walk on it again. If I build the muscles back up, I can maybe even run a marathon on it. I think wounds of the soul and spirit have similar dynamics.
If I have an abortion wounded heart there are many ways that I’ve been crippled, whether I recognize them or not. But as I receive healing, then I begin to experience freedom from the guilt, shame and condemnation that I once lived under. Sometimes you don’t even know you were in bondage until you begin to experience freedom. I then find that I can talk about thingsthat I could never talk about before. I can now actually say the word abortion. I can now think about my aborted baby as a person that God created and as separate from me. I can now begin to grieve my loss, andreceive the Lord’s peace, knowing that I have been reconciled with her and that I will be reunited with her someday. I can now even be an advocate for life and for others who have been wounded by abortion.
So, I definitely believe that the Lord can and does heal us to fully walk in freedom, joy and hope in this life as well as for eternity. On the other hand, if I am not willing to go through that journey with Him, I won’t enjoy the freedom He wants to give me.
Beyond the gift of freedom to live and function with emotional health, and to have hope for the future, there can always be more that the Holy Spirit could reveal that would bring more healing, but would not necessarily be considered something I need in order to restore my foundational emotional and spiritual health. For example, these could be more like gifts of “revelation” about my baby, or a new perspective on my past that would bring me joy, peace, or resolve to know.
Let me discuss one more aspect of healing here. In the same way that I referred to earlier that the wounds of abortion are systemic because they affect many other areas of our life such as relationships, mothering, identity,the Lord’s healing grace is also systemic. His healing work spills over into other related wounds. For example, the wounds caused by abortion probably started with the wounds caused by sexual sin. So the Lord is also about healing those sexual wounds as well. That’s why as part of the Deeper Still retreat we take time to sever the soul ties that have been formed through sexual sin.
Our Deeper Still retreats are designed to help women go to deep places of healing in a short amount of time. Most of the women who have participated in our retreats have already experienced some level of healing going into the retreat. Most are not even aware of what else God might want to touch. But without a doubt, they all come through the retreat walking in new levels of healing, freedom and hope for their future.
For some, Deeper Still means taking the first step into the healing process. For others it means allowing the Lord to take them to deeper places of health and wholeness in their relationships. But for everyone it means a deeper place of intimacy with their Savior.