Saturday, August 28, 2010

beauty from ashes, part 4

To read this story in it's entirety, please click on the "beauty from ashes: my life" tab above.
Please pray for me as I realize I have flung the door wide open for criticism and controversy.  I feel some safety since I know most of you reading this know me personally and love me, failures and all.  Thank you so much for that.  I am on the front lines in a dangerous battle over life and death.  Let's be sure that satan (he doesn't deserve the capital 's') doesn't like what I'm bringing out here, so I am a target.  "When we make a stand, we become a target." (~Sally Clarkson )  He is a great destroyer...that is his mission.  "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." (John 10:10a)  But, his time is short.
Please pray that when I am attacked, I will respond with grace, love, and truth.  Pray that people who don't see the unborn as living babies will have their blindness lifted and see the truth.  Abortion stops a beating heart.  Pray this will be equally about hurting women and the loss of millions of innocent lives. 1 abortion = 1 dead + 1 wounded.  Pray that men and women will see themselves as the protectors and nurturers they are created to be.  And that they will realize how absolutely satisfying those roles are; and boldly, confidently step up to be the heroes they are meant to be.  We are a culture, a generation of people who expect life to be easy and don't want any hardships.  We shirk our responsibilities and dump them on others because we "can't handle" what has been dealt us.  In our weakness, HE IS STRONG. (2 Cor. 12:9)  Tap into His power when life overwhelms you.  He will see you through and bring you out a glorious and majestic butterfly...soaring in beauty and peace.  What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

(To read the beginning of this story, go here.)

I wish I could say I let my boyfriend walk out of my life, I healed, and life was dandy, but that isn't the reality of what happened.  Remember, I was absolutely wrapped up in him and, to his defense, I was expecting far too much from him.  I had altogether placed my life in him.  He told me I wasn't the bubbly, positive person I once was.  And that I had become too needy (Gee, I wonder why).  He didn't like that I was a dancer and had no financially-thriving future ahead of me, and I imagine the list goes on and on.
In the living room of his parents' house, he dumped me.  He was about to leave for work.  I crumbled to the floor, desperately gripped the hem of his pant leg and begged him with everything I had not to leave me.  I was totally pathetic, pitiful, and heartbroken.  A complete basket-case.  And he walked out the door.  I ran after him.  He got in his car. I got in mine....crying, screaming, frantically chasing him down the road.  I don't know how far I went or how long I followed him but I ended up at my mom's place of work and burst in the door, hysterically crying to see her.  I went to a private room and told her my boyfriend broke up with me and that there was more...

She already knew.

I sobbed and sobbed inconsolably...for weeks.  I became a drain on my mom and I was utterly wretched.  I worked, went to school, but I don't remember any of it.  I only remember that I hoped I wouldn't wake up in the morning and my tears never ran dry.
I was close to my boyfriend's best friend.  He told me that the reason he wanted the abortion was so I wouldn't go after him for child support.  Like that even crossed my mind...especially since he had asked me to marry him multiple times.  But, a man of his word only has to ask once...and mean it.
Yet, still, I wanted to be with him.  I concluded that if he didn't want me, no one would, and so I kept trying.  I gave him a gift and he coldly returned it, leaving it on my car.  I was so angry, I went to his house late at night and hurled the gift at his front door...screaming at him.  What a complete wreck I was.

I had one friend that I had told.  I called her, but she wasn't home.  Her mom answered.  I cried hysterically and her mom, Renee, asked me, "Are you ok?"  "No!" I cried, "my boyfriend broke up with me..."  "Oh, I'm so sorry," she said.  I blurted out, "And I had an abortion!"  More tears.  The other line was silent and all I heard was, "Whoa."  --Renee is the wife of a pastor and one of the most fantastic Christian women I have ever met.  Praise God she was on the other end of the phone that night.  I lay in my sister's bed talking to her.  She said, "I am going to pray for you."  And she began to pray.  I have no recollection of what she said, but I was overwhelmed as if immersed in an ocean of peace.  In my heart, I suddenly knew that everything was going to be alright.  ...That I was going to be alright.  I can't explain the feeling except to those of you who have experienced it yourselves.  You are in the midst of the craziest hurricane/tornado of a storm of your life, things hurl past you, yet you are calm, peaceful, if a bubble has been put around you and nothing can harm or even touch you.  "Amen."  The word meaning, "so be it" anchored deep in my soul.  "So," I said, "what do I do now?"  "Do you have a Bible?"  "No," I said, "but my sister does."  I still remember leather, silver on the side, large and heavy.  Renee said, "Read the Psalms."  I got off the phone, and I began reading the Psalms.  But, I didn't just read, I wrote down nearly every one, I cross-referenced...without even really knowing what that was.  "Really?!  Does the Bible really come alive like this," I thought.  I couldn't believe how the words spoke directly to me and my circumstances.
You have filled my heart with greater joy. (Ps. 4:7)
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Ps. 4:7)
Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray.  In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before You and wait in expectation. (Ps. 5:1-3) 
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.  My soul is in anguish.  How long, O Lord, how long?  Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of Your unfailing love.  I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears...  The Lord has heard my weeping.  The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. (Ps. 6)
O Lord, I have done this and there is guilt on my hands--I have done evil to him who is at peace with me... (Ps. 7:3-4)
The victim commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless. (Ps. 10:14) 
As if that were all.  But, no, the Psalms were my greatest comfort.  A link to reality and peace and hope.

For my birthday, which was only days after this phone call, a friend gave me a sweet, pink Bible.

Oh, how I wish you could see my beloved Bible!  Entire sections fall out, some pages are so dearly loved, that I can't even turn them because they have become so fragile.  I have highlighted and written in margin after margin and any blank space I could find.  God's Word is a deep and vast treasure to my soul.  How I LOVE His Word!!  How often I take it for granted.  But, I truly, truly adore His love letter written to me for my redemption, salvation, and healing.  To this day, every time I am at a Bible study, and the leader asks, "What are some names of God?"  My response always is and will forever be: "HEALER!"  He is my blessed Healer, more dear to my heart than any person or thing or all of creation.  How very thankful and indebted I am!

I digress a bit to just share my emotional state at this very moment of writing.  The rejection of my boyfriend was possibly more emotionally devastating to me than the abortion, initially.  I have so much pain when I tell this part of my story, and I can not, to this day, share it without crying.  So, as I write, I go there all over again.  But, I have to tell you, that picking up that old, worn, pink Bible and reading the circled, underlined, and highlighted passages delivers me from that pain instantaneously.  Because the love of God is far greater than any pain dealt to us in this life.  He is a good, holy, jealous God.  Jealous for me and jealous for you.  He loves you so much and is your all in all.  Hurl yourself into His arms.  Cling to Him.  He will never let go of you.  Thank You, Father.  Thank You, Jesus, for delivering me from the pit of hell, even my own hell.  He came "that we may have life, and that we may have it more abundantly." (Jn. 10:10b)

Ok, so three days after this phone call, I called Renee again and said, "I've finished the Psalms, now what do I do?"  I think she was a little shocked.  I actually walked from class to class at Grossmont College reading my Bible.  There was a guy in my French class that would lovingly tease me about it.  But I was enraptured with God's word.  It became my life.
Renee told me to read through Proverbs.  When I finished that, she led me through a Bible Study called "The Woman God Wants."  Wow!  Was that an eye-opener!  Haha!  For someone who is strong-willed, independent, and sassy, I had a lot to learn about my role as a woman.   But, it is such a beautifully fulfilling role.  And so easy to melt into...if we only have a heart to obey His Word.  And obedience brings peace.

There was still a major problem, though.  The guilt of my abortion remained a hindrance to me and I would have meltdowns often.  One night, while having one of these meltdowns, I found myself on Renee's door step desperately needing comfort.  She is so wise...  I will tell you next where she sent me.

To be continued...

Click here for part 5.


  1. I'm with Renee...all I can say is "Whoa".

    The story God writes with each of our lives as He saves them is unfathomable. Your story is riveting and powerful and so very are so very brave, Kori. Brave to share so much of the part that most of us choose to keep hidden beneath our masks, brave to share your heart.

    I pray His blessings on you and your family as you finish your story.

  2. You are so very eloquently unfolding this story for us. But it is more than a story isn't it? Your drive to share this is for a reason my sweet friend. God will use this and it may be opening a door for yet another ministry for you.

    Thank you for sharing and thank Jaime for allowing this.

    You are so loved <3

  3. I'm reading and remembering, my friend. Thank you so much for your boldness and grace at the same time. The world needs to see and read stories like this that are real, raw and transparent. There are so many that are trapped behind veils hiding in their shame and guilt and so many hidden things.

    I'm sad to hear that you have received some negative feedback regarding your willingness to testify of the things that happened to you. I can only imagine that it is so because they too have secrets and hidden things that they are yet unwilling to face. I know you are praying for every one of those people. I will too.

    Continue your journey, Kori, I know you are not necessarily nearing the end of the story. As we both know, it goes beyond just the experience itself.

    Much love,

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I know it's not for me personally but I am reading it as so. It's really touching me. Thank you for sharing God's love. Sometimes I forget He has already forgiven because I drudge up the past and can't forgive myself. Hugs to you. Jenn Charles

  5. Kori -

    This is Kathleen, Rose's sister. I am so happy that I am able to be reading your story. Your courage and detemination are admirable. This is what it's all about, isn't it? Using "our story" to tell others of God's redeeming love is the best way, by far, to share the good news. As someone who has personally experienced the rescue and resucitation of His unconditional love, in both a physical and spiritual way, you are uniquely positioned to give hope to those who don't know it.

    The unborn have long been one of my passions. I have been a volunteer with a local Pregnancy Center for many years ... counseling pregnant women in the past and, most recently, performing ultrasound exams and being able to see the look on women's faces when they first "see" their unborn child. Because of my involvement with the center and the fact that the center's Director is one of my best friends (who herself has a history of multiple abortions), I have been very aware of the impact of the post-abortive program they offer. What tragedy the abortion industry has created in the lives of so many!

    I didn't intend to be so wordy, I simply wanted to encourage you in the important work you are doing here. I pray for fortitude, peace, and protection for you. BTW, I have a cat named Rapha ... HEALER! =)