Thursday, July 9, 2015

Our Heart's Song Blog Series: Abby's Story

So to explain this post I will have to tell you a little about my story. It's never easy for me to share with people, but it's my story and I know God will use it. I'll share the condensed version with you just so you get the main idea!

So I grew up with great parents and a good childhood except for one thing. From about kindergarten through 2nd grade I was sexually abused by someone close to me. It was a horrifying and traumatizing thing to go through. It wasn't until my family moved to Lafayette and away from the situation that I got the courage to tell my parents.  I never went to counseling, instead God truly became my counselor. When I was in College going to ministry school  is when God really set me free of what had happened and did a healing in my life that is undeniable. After ministry school I married my now husband and life was good. Until the day that changed my life forever.

On August 4th, 2003 I was to pick up my mom for lunch-something we did regularly because we were very close. I'd say she was my best friend.  I knew she was out cleaning the pool because I had just talked to her on the phone before leaving to go get her. She said she was about to go in and get ready. When I arrived I found her in the pool unconscious. I'll never forget screaming for help while trying to give CPR to my mom's lifeless body. It felt like a really bad dream-like it couldn't really be happening. My mom passed away that day. I'm pretty sure she was gone before the ambulance even arrived.

Since that awful day life hasn't not been easy to say the least. Its been an uphill climb to find peace and be able to say the words to the well know hymn "It Is Well." After the loss of my mom I walked through two miscarriages, pain from a church split, and other various trials I won't go into. Sometimes it just all felt overwhelming. When I tell people my story the question I get asked ALOT is this:

"How did you keep your faith in God after all that?"

At first I didn't know how to answer the question because quite honestly I wasn't doing such a good job at "keeping the faith". I had my share of anger, questions, and frustration. Now, though, I found that here is the real answer:

"It has nothing to do with me keeping my faith in Him and everything to do with His faith in me."

God was faithful. He believed in me. He never let go of me and that is something I can say now with absolute certainty. He kept loving me when I wasn't sure I had any love left to give. He gave me hope when I was hopeless. He had faith in me when all my faith was gone.

I say all this to show you that its ok if you are struggling in your faith because God sees and understands. He is right there- patient, sure, and steady. I was listening to a song yesterday that I will share with you at the end of this post and it says the words "It Is Well with my soul." The lady that is singing it keeps saying  "..because of who you are Lord". It hit me that I wasn't able to say those words until I realized who God was. My circumstances didn't change, my life was still exactly the same, but through all of it God showed me HIM. He showed me his deep love and compassion. He showed me his very near presence and how true the verse is that says:
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

I thought I knew who God was until I had to walk through some very dark times. That's where it gets real. Not to say that I know everything about Him now-I never will, I'm still learning. But I know a level of God now that I would never know unless I went through all of this. If your heart is breaking right now be encouraged that God hasn't left. He is very aware of what you are going through and is "…a very present help in times of trouble."

So even though I truly believe keeping my faith didn't have a lot to do with me, I want to share a few practical things that looking back I know helped me.

1) Don't isolate yourself
Let other people help you. Keep going to church and being with people that have faith even when you feel like you could punch the next person that says…"God won't give you more than you can handle….." haha 

2)Don't push down your grief
Let it come when it comes…grief looks different for every person. Never let people make you feel bad or tell you "It's been long enough."

3)Tell your story
The bible says we overcome by the word of our testimony and it is oh so true. I can tell you from experience that even though it's hard-every time I share my story I feel a little lighter like a weight has lifted. It doesn't have to be in front of a big crowd or on an internet blog…find a support group if you have to. The key is to not stay silent. Trust me.

4) Give yourself grace
This is the thing that took me the longest to learn. I felt guilty for a long time about how I felt towards God. I let it put up a wall between me and Him. Please don't do what I did. It's a downward spiral and a trap that the enemy wants you to fall in. God is not mad or disappointed in you. God knows our weaknesses.

PSALM 103:13-14
As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.

I'm praying that this post reaches out to you and you feel God's love so tangibly today. You can get through this. You are loved. Remember that when your faith is weak- His is strong.

"It Is Well" by Bethel

Author Bio:

Abby Thompson is a writer and author of the blog Beautifully Broken.  Her desire is to help women see beauty despite all the ways they may feel broken. When she is not writing and blogging she fulfills her other lifelong passion by working at her home church as a Worship Arts assistant. Abby is also is a wife and mother of three little spunky boys! Find her blog at

(This post was written by blogger Abby Thompson as a part of the Our Heart's Song Series this month. I encourage you to read her story and check out her blog. This is one of the many incredible women that I will have the privilege to meet at the SheSpeaks Conference, at the end of this month, where over 800 women across the world will gather together and ask God to take us to the next level in our speaking/writing ministry. I ask that you would please pray for each woman as she shares her story.)

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