Why I Talk About My Abortion

Why I Talk About My Abortion

*by Ashley Sigrest (this post originally appeared on A Lively Faith.)

 

Many people over the years have asked me this & why I don’t stay quiet…

My answer is simple- because God has told me to speak out. 

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So many women walk around with shame, regret, & pain from a past abortion. 1 in 3 women in the Church between 15-55 has had an abortion. Christian women!

 

 

1 in 3 women in the Church between 15-55 has had an #abortion. (CLICK TO TWEET)

 

These women are dying on the inside, tormented by Satan, overwhelmed with fear of judgment if anyone ever found out. Christian post-abortive women tend to understand the forgiveness they have in Christ but have a difficult time forgiving themselves & walking in true healing & freedom.

When I share my story it lets them know they’re not alone. If the Blood of Christ can cleanse me & make me new, it WILL do the SAME for THEM!

 

How do we defeat Satan?

And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12:11a

A couple of years ago I filmed a documentary about Rape Conception. The director of the film sent me this email earlier today:

I just wanted to tell you that Saturday after I left Planned Parenthood a ran into a lady who was probably 70 years old who had an abortion many many years ago. She said that even though she knows that God has forgiven her that she couldnt forgive herself. She said it still haunted her and found herself experiencing deep shame and regret. I shared your words with her from your interview and read Isaiah 43 to her. She had me read it over again as she bowed her head. She looked like an angel when she lifted her head up. She said her heart felt so full of God’s love and mercy that she couldnt understand how her heart could remain in her chest. 😉

I do believe I witnessed a miracle!

When I see God heal someone from the guilt of abortion it makes my heart rejoice even more than when someone chooses life.

Blessings to you precious Sister,
Kevin

God takes our sins and turns them into testimonies to help others.

Glory to God!!! He takes our ugliest sins & turns them into testimonies to help others! THIS is why I talk about my abortion! 

God takes our ugliest sins & turns them into testimonies to help others! THIS is why I talk about my #abortion! #postabortive #healing #LivelyFaith (CLICK TO TWEET)

…listen to the LORD who created you…the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consumeyou.
For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah‬ ‭43‬:‭1b-3a‬ NLT

Here is a video testimony of my rape & abortion story.

If you are struggling with a past abortion.

If you are struggling with a past abortion I would be honored to talk to you! If you would like to find a post-abortive Bible study near you, check your local pregnancy center or CPC! I went through Surrendering The Secret (aff link) and HIGHLY recommend it, but encourage you to walk through healing with a group. It’s safe and confidential. Be sure to check out the STS website for more information!

There is COMPLETE healing in Christ!

 

By using affiliate links from aLivelyFaith.com you help this ministry continue to grow and reach women from all over! Thank you for supporting Lively Faith!

You can hear more of Ashley’s story and some encouraging words on The Whole House Podcast:

Episode 69


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About Ashley

I’m a self-professed dork who loves sharing the Gospel and digging deeper into Scripture! I want to live my life in such a way it inspires others to passionately seek Jesus and have Lively Faith.

I’m a happily married homeschooling momma to four blessings who runs on Holy Spirit power, coffee, and laughter. I enjoy good books, yummy tacos, Crossfit, and cheesy jokes. I might be a tad too sarcastic at times. I think I’m absolutely hilarious though!  What can I say? Sanctification is a process and God totally has a sense of humor.

I speak fluently in sarcasm, puns, and FRIENDS references. I would love to tour the Holy Land and move to the fictional town of Stars Hollow to plant a church!

You can find Ashley on Instagram @Ashley.Sigrest and on A Lively Faith.

Are Foster Parents Superheroes?

Guest post by Lindsay Emswiler

In my opinion, want to know the biggest lie that the enemy tells?

Foster Parents are Superheroes.

55845507_2040546226247479_8384669923011461120_nWhen sharing our story, I never want it to seem as if I have it all together. I just don’t…

Last week my kid dumped Chex mix on the floor. I left it for a week.

Yesterday I had to remind my older kid to brush his teeth. It had been a while.

All the while my younger son is completely addicted to watching videos.

My desire is never looking superhuman because that’s NOT attainable. I want to put real faces on a terrible situation.

It’s such a blessing, while in the trenches, to have people lift you up and encourage you. It’s literally has saved me somedays. I have been ready to throw in the towel and a Saint of God will come along and speak like into me. It rejuvenates me!

Foster Care is for Real People.

I want you to see that my family is real, completely normal, yet crazy, and healthy.

We get way too attached because we are normal.

We get angry at their situations because we are normal.

We cry when they cry because we are normal.

My children are completely and totally worth the fight. Regardless of how they got to me, they are wanted.

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You don’t have to be a superhero to be a foster parent.

7,000 kids in WV are in foster care. Honestly, I think that CPS workers would be quicker to remove children from unsafe situations if they knew they wouldn’t have to BEG people to put them in their home.

You don’t have to have superhuman strength. You don’t have to be a superhero to be a foster parent. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in child psychology. You don’t have to be anything special. You just have to have a desire to make a change. A willing heart. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy. Don’t wait for the perfect time. There isn’t one. We don’t foster because of how we feel, we foster because of how the children do. Simple as that. Rise up. Step up. Toughen up… and say yes.

 

*Lindsay Emswiler is just a regular mom, business owner, and pastor’s wife whose eyes were opened and life transformed when she became a foster parent. She and her husband, Cory, live in Charleston, West Virginia with their kids–two biological, two adopted, and whomever the else the Lord brings their home!

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear more from Lindsay!

Episode 66

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS/GOALS AND HOW TO KEEP THEM

BY JESSICA McHUGH SOAR FITNESS STUDIO EMAIL: soarfitnessstudio@yahoo.com

First, let’s look at some facts about resolutions/goals. About 49-50% of Americans make them at the beginning of every New Year. Of those millions of people, only 40% of them are still applying them in June. That essentially means that 60% of people FAIL. That’s a lot. The number 1 commonly broken resolution is…. lose weight and get fit.

Hopefully, the information below will help you succeed if you have made a resolution going this new year.

Make your goals attainable.

Sure, it sounds great to say that you are going to lose 50 or more pounds by the time summer rolls around. Is that possible? Sure. Likely? Not so much. Studies of goal-setting are pretty universal in saying that the more manageable your goals are, the more likely you are to succeed. It’s also important to keep in mind that when you set a goal to lose weight, you are not 100% sure how your body is going to react. It’s a lot of trial and error. You HAVE to do your research and revise your expectations, especially if you have not done this in awhile, or are completely new to the idea. Having an attainable goal also can indicate how you do in your future endeavors. Research shows that people who don’t meet their goals are more than likely to fail in subsequent attempts. They begin to tell themselves that it is impossible to do. They will only remember their failures and not their victories. Once they fail, it makes it hard to start again.

Make your goals attainable

Have an accountability partner(s).

Who has tried to be their own accountability partner? How did that work out for you? You probably just answered, “it didn’t”. That’s because accountability is KEY for your success and one of the most powerful principles you can follow on your quest. Just knowing that someone is going to ask you how you are doing on your goals will more than likely do the trick. You can keep it simple. You can find 1 or more people (family, co-workers, friends, a virtual buddy, ANYONE) and set in stone how often you will ‘check in’ with each other. It can be daily, or even weekly. You don’t have to make a production about it, you can do it over email, facebook message, support groups, whatever. YOU JUST MUST DO IT!!! I know for me personally, I love my support group I run on facebook. It’s a group of like minded woman that check in daily with what we’ve done to help meet our goals. I can tell you that it absolutely helps keep me motivated. On days that I just don’t feel like getting off of the couch to exercise, I log in to facebook and see them talking about their workouts and it inspires me to do the same. ** If you are interested in this group I will gladly add you. Email me or private message me on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/jessica.s.mchugh **

Give yourself some slack.

You are going to screw up. AND THAT’S OK!! If you eat something that you shouldn’t during a meal, don’t think that your whole day is ruined. If you do, research shows that people will say to themselves things like, I’ll just start again tomorrow, next week or next month. And how many people actually start back up? It is better to acknowledge the mistake and IMMEDIATELY get back on track. I, personally, hate the idea of a “cheat day”. I think that “cheat meals” are perfectly acceptable and much needed for most people to stay on track but whole days dedicated to “cheating”? NO. One meal with a slice of pizza or 2 is in NO way a legitimate reason to give up on a weight loss goal altogether.

Commit to change.

 Changing our routine is HARD. EXTREMELY HARD. That’s why 60% of people fail. It’s easier to sit on the couch than get up and workout. It’s easier to go through a drive-thru than it is to cook yourself a healthy and balanced meal. That is why it’s a MUST to sit down BEFORE you start and MAP OUT what will be different about your life and how you will manage that change.

Let’s say you eat out with your friends/family once a week. How will you now manage to do that with your new lifestyle? You will get frustrated and quit if you think that you will, for some reason or another, have to give that up. Instead, HAVE A PLAN. Figure out what works best for you. A couple examples would be:

– Work out a little harder in the morning in order to indulge

slightly.

– Eat before you leave your house that way you’ll be less likely to binge eat all the food.

– Use portion control and moderation. Do things like having one less glass of wine or skipping the bread.

Make it visual.

 Start by writing down your goals. (Again, make them attainable) Why write them down?

– It will force you to be specific about what you want. – It will help you plan accordingly. – It will motivate you to take action. – It will help you overcome resistance. – It will help you see & celebrate your progress. 75% of what we write down, goal wise, happens. It sets the brain in motion. Always use the word ‘will’ instead of words like ‘would like to’. For example, “I will exercise for at least 30 minutes daily”. “I will eat clean the best that I possibly can”. I personally like to do this weekly. On Sundays. Goal setting is an ongoing activity and if done correctly, should be ever changing. Once you cross off a goal that you’ve achieved, what would you have to strive for if you didn’t then add another goal? The end goal may remain similar over the long term but your map to get there can change significantly.

Declare it.

 You don’t have to tell everyone that you know, take out an ad in the newspaper or even make an updated facebook status about it but telling SOMEONE what you are going to achieve and by when will remind yourself of your goal and help keep your eyes on the prize. It will give you confidence in yourself and your ability to achieve your goal. It helps others believe in you also. These 3 people just may end up being in your accountability circle. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you. Declaring your goals on a regular basis will provide yourself with the strength, courage, and emotional fortitude required to see them through.

Keep trying.

What happens if mid February comes around and you want to quit? The answer is simple, DON’T. Instead, look at the list above and start fresh. Re-evaluate your goals. If you are not writing down your goals frequently, it’s easy to lose sight of them and they may seem too far to reach. Recommit yourself for 24 hours or a week. By doing this the short time increments will soon build on each other and before you know it you’ll be back on track.

I truly wish you all the best of luck and want to offer my services to help you reach your goals in the new year. Once again you can email me with any questions at soarfitnessstudio@yahoo.com or find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jessica.s.mchugh 

– Jessica McHugh, Owner & CPT

Soar Fitness Studio 729 Fairmont Ave Suite 99 Westover, WV 26501 vagaro.com/soarfitnessstudio 

Want to hear Jessica talk about the subject of goals and resolutions? Listen to this week’s podcast!

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May each and every one of you have a blessed New Year!

When Resolutions Fail

It’s only ten days into the new year and we planners, those of us who resolve to do all sorts of good things may already be feeling a bit off. I’m a planner. I make goals and lists and I am pretty good at following through. But, that’s not what I want to talk about. Resolution makers (like me) often get a false sense of reality, as if we can control the circumstances just because we wrote something in our planner or tacked a sticky note on the wall. We can’t.

I’m a firm believer in making plans. We can’t be a vague, thoughtless or foolish with our time. But, sometimes our plans don’t work out because of things out of our control. How we respond to things we can’t control matter. Honestly, my track record with reactions isn’t that great. I tend to respond with anxiety and questions. I doubt my call to do whatever it is. Guess what, that’s not a God honoring reaction. God said we would have trials and troubles. Resistance and calamity don’t negate your call. They solidify it. It’s your proof of purchase. It’s your reminder that someone doesn’t want you to complete the mission. That someone is not Jesus or your friend or husband. Jesus said to take heart ❤️, He has overcome the world!Every worthy endeavor has obstacles

Whether your resolution was to be a more organized Mom, workout four times a week or finish a manuscript for a book, there are going to be circumstances that come against you. Some of the circumstances may be God-driven and ordained, such as caring for a sick child or helping a friend or relative. In those instances, we play the people are more important than things card. When we see interruptions as a sign that we shouldn’t pursue fulfilling our resolutions, we’re reading the signs wrong.

Resistance is a sign that we are doing things right. When lifting weights or working out, we count on resistance to make us stronger. Without resistance, we’re just beating the air and not getting any results. The same is true with our resolutions, our God-sized dreams, our desire to make positive changes in our lives. We encounter resistance and it makes us stronger, if we let it, if we don’t just drop the ball and give up.

Instead of letting circumstances deter us, let them ensure us.  Let us see them as a sign that we are on the right path. Every worthy endeavor has obstacles. If your resolve is to be organized in your homeschooling and home and you end up taking your sister’s kids while one of her’s is in the hospital (true story), then don’t beat yourself up because your house is a wreck. Don’t say,  “I quit”. Say, “That was a God-opportunity to do the right thing.” Rest. Recover and start again.

The problem is when we make the resolutions the god and not a desired goal. We can’t control the universe. What we can do is persevere and continue to sow good seeds even when circumstances send a storm our way.

What circumstances have blown your way?

While you’re here, make sure you check out The Whole House Podcast,  Episode 2 is live- Human Trafficking Awareness Day. If you haven’t listened yet, start with our Introductions. Are you ready?

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WVU Farm Day

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Amerey shot me a text Monday about WVU farm days this week. We wait for these with joyful anticipation every year. First, it was my young children, Now it is my grandchildren (and the teens we dragged along). It’s such a fun outing. And this year the weather cooperated, sunny and sixties which made it even better. No freezing in the open aired barns.

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Gathering corn for the journey round the farm!

This wasn’t our original plan for Tuesday. Amerey, Ania and I planned to head to the Fiestaware outlet in Newell, WV. We planned to spend a minimal amount of money and have a maximum amount of fun. Then, last week in the midst of last minute details for my book release party and serving her younger-college-starving-brother dinner, Amerey’s water heater broke and leaked all over the garage. There went the shopping budget. Hmmm. Hot water or Fiestaware?  I voted for Fiestaware, but, hot water won. So, in the spirit of Totally Broke Tuesdays, we chose farm day at WVU instead. Two dollars per person (unless you are two or under) fit the ‘only’ bill. Audrey met us there with her four. Ania, Rafal and Jerry came along for rich, satisfying outing.

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Gathering eggs!

My favorite event of the day (besides watching grandkids and their wide-eyed wonder)?  Watching a chick hatch. I cheered when that little gal poked her head through the end of the shell. And I whooped out loud when she struggled half-way out. Then she rested. And started the struggle anew. Finally, after wrestling with that last bit of shell, she freed herself and fell over exhausted. Whew! What hard work!  New life. Birth. A miracle.

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The birth!

It was kind of like watching a new convert. Like being born again. We say it is easy, but it isn’t. We must be honest about this new life. It is a struggle to break free of the old. The shell closes in on us and we must peck away with the Word that is able to save our souls.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].- Romans 12:2

This transformation is work. Hard work. The external circumstances are something we are comfortable with. We have adapted to them. To break free, to be changed, to have new ideals and attitudes is exhausting. We must rest, like the new chick, work and then rest, work and then rest. When that chick finally emerged, all wet and slimy, she wasn’t finished. Her work wasn’t complete. She rested before she moved on to the next stage- to fluff and dry.

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Graypaw and twins

Being born again is like that. We are born with the water of the Word, the power of the Gospel. We are wet, exhausted from the toil of leaving old ideas and suppositions behind. They creep up on us and we fall, exhausted under the weight of them. We must rest, renew our minds and move to the heat lamp of the Lord for the fluff and dry. Know what the chicks did to warm up? They gathered together. They moved in close. Wait. Don’t miss it! This is important. They gathered together under the heat lamp. We gals need to gather together under the heat of the Son for our fluff and dry. We need to connect, encourage one another with songs and hymns and spiritual songs! We need to share our ‘birth’ stories, the pains, the victories, the hopes for the future (not talking about child-birth). I’m talking about that tough road of rebirth.

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Granddaughter chicks and NiNi

Sunday evening, long time friend, Tammy Goff stopped by. We ended up talking until eleven (PM), way past this gal’s bedtime. But, we had no idea what time it was. We laughed til we cried. We cried til we laughed. We told our stories. We fluffed and dried. When my son finally gave us a heads up about the time, neither of us could believe it! She jumped up, “I have to work in the morning!”  Our attitudes were refreshed. We encouraged one another. I felt lighter, fresher.

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I must taste like a Mama.

The pecking out of the shell we must do alone. No one can change your attitude. No one can force feed you the Word. You must eat (peck) away at it yourself. The transformation will happen alone. In private. We must do the work of carving out time to study the Word, to write it down, to pray it and remind God of His promises. Then we rest and wait on Him. Next we must bask in the Son lamp with the chicks and fluff our feathers by  encouraging one another and telling our stories. We overcome him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). Got that chicks?

Step one-Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling- that is peck your own way out of the shell!

Step two- Gather together with in chicks under the Son for encouragement and tell your story- that is- fluff and dry!

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Sharing my farm-day lesson with Kristin Hill Taylor by linking up with Three Word Wednesday!

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