by Debra Gray-Elliott
Every day of every second a woman has an abortion. Every day of every second a woman has to live with the emotional turmoil of her decision. Forty years ago, at the age of sixteen I had an abortion changing me forever. I fell into the darkness of pity and struggled to rise from the ashes into the beauty of purpose.
From Ashes of Pity into Beauty of Purpose takes women who have had an abortion from hurting to healing through many journeys of self-discovery, showing them how God delights in them, how they can achieve their purpose, and learn to live again.
Struggling to rise from the ashes of pity takes many journeys. A woman who has had an abortion goes through many of journeys of self-discovery. She must learn to heal, forgive, give herself value, respect herself, have confidence, and be content in who she is.
Going through each journey helps a hurting woman discover nine ways God delights in them. From Ashes of Pity into Beauty of Purpose shows a hurting woman how to become a woman of faith, knowledge, encouragement, compassion, strength, wisdom, hope, character, and purpose in order to get through the ashes into the beauty.
Discovering how God delights in them helps a hurting woman find her purpose. From the Ashes of Pity into the Beauty of Purpose directs women toward the beauty of purpose with healing the broken, helping the hurting, and harboring the lost so they can live again by rejoicing in everything, renewing their mind, reviving their spirit, rejuvenating their soul, and reminding themselves of their beauty.
Rising from the ashes of pity is difficult. From Ashes of Pity into Beauty of Purpose is designed to make the journey easier.
THE JOURNEY OF SELF-HEALING
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Psalm 46:1-3 KJV
The years have slowly tick-tocked away and I still have not found the solace needed throughout my journey of self-healing. I constantly find myself (as I am sure other women who have suffered and survived through an abortion; planned or unplanned) pondering the reality of what happened to me, to my body over forty years ago.
In my personal journey of self-healing, I have dealt with that reality in many ways to block the memories. I wanted to forget those painful memories forever seared in my mind, burned into my soul. I turned to drugs (one of the most common areas that many young women who have experienced an abortion do too often) tuning out the pain, the memories.
Drugs are a quick fix and only temporarily block the pain and the reality. Drugs aren’t the answer, nor should be a solution to a woman’s journey of self-healing. I also turned to unprotected sex as a way of forgetting the pain I had pent up inside my hollowed-out body, a shell of my soul. I knew unprotected sex was wrong. I knew I could get pregnant again. In the months following my abortion, I became confused as to who I was. I became reckless and irrational in my behavior. I didn’t care what I did or who I had sex with, I just wanted to forget. I couldn’t face myself. The bitterness and shame grew deep within my soul like the roots of a mighty oak tree.
My heart and mind were being strangled with guilt and shame. I could not let myself heal. It took years for me to come out of my dazed stupor and realize unprotected sex wasn’t the answer for my healing process. It took years to realize I was never alone.
Throughout the years of my most painful, personal journey I have learned to express my feelings in writing. I have found that writing is a good release of all the pent up emotional baggage a woman stores inside herself after an abortion. As a Christian woman who has experienced an abortion, the most meaningful part of my journey of self-healing has been the bible.
The Word of God has brought comfort to my hurt. I learned to replace drugs and unprotected sex with God’s love. Psalm 46:1-3 tells us that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. When our heart and soul are troubled, we should turn to God. We heal through His strength and very presence in our lives. Let the Word of God heal you. Let it be your strength, your solace, and your comfort in your journey of self-healing.
Debra Ann Gray-Elliott is a Christian speaker and author who shares the Lord’s message of hope and love in everyday life.
Her works includes two poetry collections, as well as inclusion in several Christian anthologies.
Debra’s recent works include her personal stories of dealing with the loss of her daughter Ashley in 2013 in the anthologies Grief Diaries: Poetry & Prose and More and Grief Diaries: Will We Survive.
Debra’s first non-fiction Christian inspirational book From Ashes of Pity into Beauty of Purpose brings emotionally charred women who have had an abortion out of the pits of fire, through the ashes into the beauty of purpose. With the direction of God, hurting women weather through the painful journeys, become women of spiritual beauty, find God’s purpose, and learn to live again.
Debra is currently working on a new devotional to honor her daughter Ashley who passed away in 2013. Dancing through the Storms 365 Day Devotional: Surviving the Loss of a Child takes grieving parents on a daily journey of healing and hope.