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Andrea’s Story: Fear, Longing, and my Unplanned Pregnancy.

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
June 24, 2022 9:42 am

Andrea’s Story: Fear, Longing, and my Unplanned Pregnancy.

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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June 24, 2022 9:42 am

What do you do when abortion is part of your story? Andrea opens up about her unplanned pregnancy — and how God openly showed His love in her pain.

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Hear from you because I knew it was wrong and I remember even being there on the table, asking God, please don't let God please look away. I know what I'm doing is wrong and it's against your heart. Please don't welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm in Wilson Sunday will soon and you can find or on our family business. Family life today, so there are some things that are bigger than POSIX. That's true. May we all know that and it sort of feels like today's a holy holy moment like were sitting in a moment that you need to embrace and experience you all the very it's a big moment that is in our world and our nation but it isn't a political moment at some moment to say let's lift our eyes upward was go vertical and try and understand the heart of God in this moment and I think his heart is for life in the sanctity of life and today we get to have a conversation with one of our friends about life and how precious every single life is so we have Andrea Griffith with us today Andrea. Welcome to family life to a thank you. It's so good to be here with you guys know a lot of our listeners don't know who you are and you and your husband have a critical role worked here for my life so it's also little bit of the Griffith story. When we first got married, we moved into and lived in an RV travel trailer for 15 years and then we planted and pastored a church for 13 years and just recently my husband has accepted a position to be the vice president of content here at family life. So we moved our family down at the end of January and you and Trent have been speaking for the weekend to remember Mary's getaway for how many years, 16 years.

Well, we discovered recently that you have a story that connects to the sanctity of life. So actually grew up going to church every Sunday. Really every time the doors were open, but I did not understand any of what I was seeing. I remember at Christmas like looking at a manger scene and just thinking why. And it Easter we'd see the crossing, so I knew the story but I didn't know why I was kind of a leader at my church. I would sing solos on Sunday night before the pastor would preach. I was a leader in the youth group, but I lived a very different life outside of my church, and so you're saying you are there, but you really didn't understand the gospel yet and say had committed your life to him, yet exactly, but I thought I had because I thought that knowing the stories was enough. I didn't know that God had to take out my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh and change me.

So just going through the motions. It was very empty, which is a horrible place to be and so you're leading a double life.

Here you are with the church people living a certain kind of life do you think people would be surprised if they saw the other side of you for sure. So when the other side started to come out and I would do everything I could to hide it.

I became a very good liar, I wanted people's approval, but I wanted my own way. So in order to do that and became a very good liar, I knew that I was supposed to marry a Christian, but I just thought it doesn't matter who you date and so I dated non-Christians and one guy in particular, I found out one summer that I was pregnant.

How old were you Andrea 17 wow so what you feel. I just remember being shocked and just condemnation immediately just not knowing what do I do I don't know where to go with this. People think I'm one thing because that's the image I've given them, but this is reality, hitting me right now, the self-condemnation, but if that sounds like in your head.

I was no good. The choices that I had been making had led me to this point that it was very self loathing and just a feeling of being totally lost and really having no idea which direction to go.

So what do you my parents knew I'd been dating this one particular guy for a while and wanted to get to know him and so I asked, take it. I have this guy over for dinner one night and I said sure.

I think my parents must've known that things weren't quite on the up and up. So when we arrived there to have dinner that night me and my boyfriend that he knew you told him yes I know was this night you were to tell your parents feel it out okay were trying to find out can we tell them is this a safe place. Yeah, my mom worked at the local crisis pregnancy center and my mom had invited the director of that pregnancy care center over for dinner that night.

I had no idea he was coming and my mom had no idea what was happening in my life. So you got sort of.

I didn't know your mom worked for the crisis pregnancy centers will not only your church girl who was shocking yourself in anyways can find out your mom yes is actively involved. So you had to be carrying tugboat of disappointed not only God of disappointed my family so you're feeling beyond disappointment we were raised to know right but my knowing right didn't prevent me from doing all the wrong from running after anything I could to fill the void in my heart will learn about the night. It was a pretty awkward dinner and we just kind of sat there like deer in headlights the entire night.

Some of you think she was trying to flex and the message you guys. She didn't know what was going on but still she was trying to get my message to you through him. I think she totally was trying to send us a message and she was doing it. Maybe the only way she knew how was to bring someone else and why did that make you feel just more pressure, more pressure that I couldn't live up to you and it was just one more expectation that I disappointed him again. So you get in the car. I'm guessing after retail we get in the car after dinner and we drive down to appear and it was kind of at that point that I just said I can't tell him there's no way so we decided that I would have an abortion and I did go through with that decision and scared. I was terrified because I knew it was wrong and I remember even being there on the table asking Please don't look God please look away. I know what I'm doing is wrong and it's against your heart. Please don't what you feel like I thought of you. I felt like my sin pushed him further away and I had lots of sin, and so I just kept thinking that my lifestyle was pushing him further and further away and that he was angry and he was stiff arming me and really wanted nothing to do with me. I felt like I needed to crawl over broken glass to get back to him but I didn't know how and I didn't know what that broken glass looks like when you walked out of the clinic would you feel. I cried all the way home I just thought, what have I done. There's nothing I can do to reverse this. I thought I'm forever marked and forever changed and no one can ever know. I've done this I have to hide it and no one can ever know what I did take us in the next journey of what happened in your life did you stay with your boyfriend know we did not stay together at all. I so navely had thought, you know he's the one I'm going to marry. He's the one I will be with forever. But after that decision. Of course he's older than me. I'm about to be a senior in high school so he goes off to college and I continue on into my senior year of high school but something had changed in me. Something had broken whereas before it was just one relationship where I had been immoral after this it became many. I really didn't care.

I started drinking to connect cover that pain to hide it to mask it. Just looking anywhere I could for love for acceptance for approval just really wasn't living a reckless life on the outside.

When people see they still search yet they still saw the girl wearing a mask, trying hard reading my Bible singing in church going to youth group, maybe not as frequently.

But still there. So how did you do go I mean feel like it destroyed you in a way but here you are so walk us through from darkness to light what happened. I felt destroyed and I felt like there was no answer. No way out.

But God in his grace and in his mercy he got me to a place where I was around believers. True believers and when I would watch their lives, their lives were so different from they would desire purity in their lives and they would make choices and steps to make sure they walked in purity. I might have a desire for it but there was no way I was gonna let myself out to pursue it. I watched them walk in grace and in forgiveness, and it was something I'd never seen and their genuineness and the true Christianity I saw and exposed that I did not have true Christianity that they were obedient, you're saying but it was an out of obligation. It sounds like it was deeper than what I had. I had a surface obedience surface to love but Thiers was deeper and it was genuine. It was a freedom that they obeyed out of love, not out of duty not out of a hat and it was attractive. It was very attractive, so most of said what I gotta have this or well I read my Bible pretty consistently.

I did not understand, but it was something you were supposed to do. So I did it. I read my Bible and one morning I was up reading my Bible and the Lord just so clearly spoke to my heart and he said Andrea you have got to get honest about your past, you've got to bring this into the light and quit playing the game and so I was terrified to do that, but I knew he was my only hope. And if that's what God was telling me to do and he's my only hope. I knew I needed to do it so I went and pulled the pastor's wife out of a Sunday morning service and I just said I need to get honest with you, and I just started telling her about my past and it was difficult just forcing the words out of my mouth to explain where I'd been and how I'd lived and she and her husband started asking me questions I told you is a good liar. So it always been able to lie my way out. Wiggle my way out.

But when they were asking me questions.

It was like they nailed me to the wall and I was exposed and for the first time I could see my sin the way a holy God has seen it. The entire time and I was undone because that always justified and I didn't know what to do because I thought I was a believer and so I just started at the top of my head and I went all the way down to my toes and I just sent got I've got to give you all I want to be a child.

I want to obey you. I want to submit. You are the designer you are the creator I want to do it the way you have designed for me to do it and so did you feel forgiven. No will. I did not feel forgiven and facts now. I had a new view on my sin and the sin got bigger so big in fact that I made myself physically sick because I started learning who God will. He's a God of life that he's a God of love that he's a protector and I had been the exact opposite of my choices had led to death. I didn't protect my unborn child. It was like the shame and the guilt crew bigger and yet he'd heard that God forgives you but you just couldn't grasp it. I couldn't believe that God would forgive what I so when did you discover the freedom that he offers and also his love and his grace and his total forgiveness for all of what you've done and for what we have all done is been a journey for share during that part of my life. I tried everything to get well.

I ran to doctors I tried antidepressants. I tried strict diets, I tried everything and nothing was working for me to physically feel better, but I had heard that. Also this pregnancy care center again.

I had heard that they had a curriculum for women to go through who had experienced abortion and I just thought you know I tried everything else. It can hurt a minute ago. So I went and I met with a very amazing woman also named who had gone through an abortion previously and the pregnancy care center had developed a holder workbook that you could go through as I was going through this workbook. It was leading me into the word and what was happening every day is that the amount of Scripture was growing that God was a forgiving God that he was a God merciful and gracious up bounding in steadfast love that he was a God who took our sins and threw them as far as the east is from the west in this mound of Scripture was getting bigger and bigger and it was on one side and then my thoughts and feelings were on the other side and I got to the point where I had to make a choice which one am I going to believe in my going to continue to believe what I think and what I feel or what God's word says and it feels ironic because you think what you think and feel is really humble because you're feeling so bad about yourself and you're trying to punish yourself but I started to learn that's really because I'm believing what I think what I feel more than the God of the universe has said and when I started to see it.

In that light, I started to see pride in a way that I had not understood it before, and I wanted nothing to do with it.

I wanted to grab a hold of everything that God had sent and I'm still on that journey that is not a journey that was over all those years ago. Every day I have to fight to believe what God says over what I think or feel.

So Andrea as I listen to you and thank you for sharing.

I'm sure so many of our listeners have either experienced something maybe an abortion or their friends have, or sisters, or a part of that. What would you want those women to know I would want them to know there is a God who forgives and there is a God who loves you sees you and it's the whole reason Jesus came because he knew we would never be able to live out a perfect life we would fail were broken were sinful were falling and that's why Jesus had to come the gospel. It is the gospel he came in he lived out our perfection for us because he knew we never could. And then he took all of those sins on himself on the cross and Jesus paid for that sin in full so we have to. In fact, we never came. But Jesus took all of that sin unto himself, and he paid in full and in the Scripture tells us that he knew no sin became sin for us goes on to say, so that we might become the righteousness of God and I can't even fathom me neither. But that's why Jesus died, he took our sin and then he closed his eyes in his righteousness, and so today we stand free and forgiven all because of the gift of Jesus.

I think of Jesus saying I have come to set the captives free and that's what I feel like I have needed to know over the years of even having sexual abuse he's come to set me free and for our listeners. If you feel like I am not free. He is the one who has the power to set you free.

And if you have never shared, maybe a secret or something that is happening would encourage you to find a trusted believer and friend and share your story with them, and allow God's word. I love that you are always in his word to and how I love the visual of the truth and promises of his word are stacked so much higher than the lies that you are believing about yourself is so beautiful ago I gave you forgiveness when you said that earlier and rest you feel I can't be forgiven of this, I think we all have something that were like my sin is too far beyond everyone else on the worst, and yet you sit here forgiven were forgiven. Oh woman listening. That is maybe made the same decision is forgiven and there's new life in Christ you live in it which I think Tuesday as we as a church. Now it begins where we can walk alongside women in our church that are struggling with this decision.

Or maybe they have made a decision of abortion to walk beside them. Or maybe, now women have decided I'm going to keep this baby and we can walk with those women in our community in our church in our families, and even hearing your story. If my daughter comes home with this announcement to me. I want to respond in a way that she knows like Scripture says this child is a blessing from the Lord now must decide what should we do, we know that this life is precious and we will save this life. How can we help you. How can we partner with you. How can we take this before God knows you sees you and loves you thinking about that if one of my daughters came to me and said mom I'm pregnant now before I married. I would hope my response back to her would be beautiful one I love you so much and I know that where you're finding yourself today is not where you wanted to be. It's not the plan that you have.

It's not the plan that I had for you, but now that you are here. Let's move forward doing it the way the God of life would want us to do life. He's the creator. He designed life and we want to live our lives lined up for him. He's a God of life. So how can we move forward in here choosing life. There's a verse that I love in Deuteronomy and it says God is speaking and he says, but if from there and there was a place that the Israelites did not want to be.

They did not want to be where they were and God says if found there you will seek me with all of your heart you will find me and I think that's a promise for all of us that no matter where we are if we are in a very dark place of our own making. Maybe we put ourselves there. God is still saying from here if you will seek me with all your heart, you will find me in God makes a way he is a God of life and we don't know all the answers but God will make away as we take steps forward looking for him and choosing. This is David Robbins, president of family life story is a remarkable example of how the love of God is able to penetrate each of our lives and redeem every circumstance. It's also a reminder that God's love is most often expressed through people.

People just like you and me is what I know is a listen to and reflect on today's program as followers of Jesus we have an opportunity to gladly and intentionally, alongside mothers and also fathers and children who need to experience the tangible love of Jesus we are his hands and feet to those who need physical, emotional, and spiritual help Andrea story reminds us that we do not always know the deeper parts of someone's life. My encouragement today is that we worship the author and giver of life by being proactive in our love for all image bearers.

May God give you our eyes to see every person in your corner of the world with compassion and extend grace that points them to Jesus, the source of life itself.

These are the relationships that matter most family life today is a production of family life accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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