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Exposing the Ugly Truth with Living Truthby Guest Contributer | Alissa Walters, SUMC Office Manager on October 7, 2020
It is me, Alissa in the office! Last week as I was preparing the weekly email, I realized the coming Sunday, October 4th was already the 2020 Life Chain event! Then as completed last week’s church email, I began to feel the Lord wanting me share part of my testimony with you all. Every Christian has the testimony of when they gave their heart to the Lord. And every Christian has testaments of what the Lord has done in their life. Some of those things do not come to light until after you have put your trust into Him. What I want to share with you is more of a testament of God’s love for me.
I am an outgoing person, but also very private and it’s not very often that I tell people too many details about me and especially those “ugly truths” from my past. But I feel that God has a message he wants me to share. To give you the cliff notes of my childhood, I grew up in a very divided home. As early as I can remember, my mom took us to church every Sunday, Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights. In the 80’s and 90’s we went to Faith Ministries, a thriving spirit filled non-denominational evangelical church in Northern Colorado. My Dad came with us only once when I was young and then not again until his funeral in April of 2000, when I was 19. I think where church was reprieve for my Dad it was a retreat for us, away from him. I became highly active in my youth group as a teenager when conflicts with my dad became more frequent. I wanted an escape and constantly prayed for God to do a miracle in my Dad.
Although I was highly active in my church at the time of my Dad’s death, my walk with the Lord became cold and almost non-existent with-in the following year. I had so much pain that I allowed myself go numb and indulge in unhealthy friendships that led me going down a road of a leading a double life; partying on the weekends and church on Sundays. That is also the same year I met my husband. He was home on Christmas leave from the Navy visiting mutual friends in our hometown. We clicked right away and found out we had a lot in common. He made me laugh more in those first few visit than I had laughed in several months. We kept in touch and our long-distance friendship over the next year grew into a very physical romantic relationship. After the scary events of 9/11/2001, I convinced myself that due to the global economic crisis, time was fleeting, and it was OK to move to Washington and live with him. And So, I did. We got a place; I got a job and I lied to most of the people who mattered in my life about where I was living. Because, of course, it was a sin to live with your boyfriend. Fast forward another year later in July 2002 and we were verbally engaged and planning a spring wedding, but pregnant.
I remember the panic the day I found out. I went into the doctor convinced I had picked up an amoeba on my San Diego vacation the month prior. I think I cried the whole way home from the Group Health Clinic. Ironically, it is now happens to be the Bremerton Planned Parenthood/ abortion clinic. The nurse casually brought me a paper with a due date of March 19, 2003 and told me that she would refer me to an abortion clinic, and it would be no big deal. I burst into tears. Tears of guilt, shame, fear, and anger. How did I let myself get to this place? What were we going to do?! What would I tell people? And ultimately, I was going to have to face God. I thought my life was ruined, the life I had whole heartedly given over to God just a few years prior as a teenager.
Nick and I wrestled about what to do with this pregnancy. I think we even went a week cold without talking much. The few friends we told gave us mixed advice. “Just have an abortion, especially now before the baby begins to form” or “just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you have to get married” or “keep the baby, everything will work out.” The thing that made me know things were going to be OK, was when Nick finally asked me if I wanted to have an abortion. I said, “No, absolutely not” and he said “good”! We cried, we laughed, we hugged and decided to face the truth. I was reminded that there was a scripture that says “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth,”. We told our families the truth and it was very hard. From there we got their blessing and were married a month later. Our first daughter, Molly, was born on March 19, 2003.
Since we were married so close to the time she was born, we just sort of blended that year together and kept out the details of our premarital pregnancy. As Molly entered middle school and figured out the math of how things work, and that our September anniversary and her March birthdate were only 6 months apart, things did not add up with the story we were telling. Again, I was reminded to tell the truth.
As I am looking back on that time in my life and am seeing how my family has grown since then. I feel that God not only rescued me from the pain and regret that would have come from having an abortion, but he is teaching me to live in truth. When we live in truth, we can give Him the glory and praise. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life” and if we allow the spirit of truth in our lives, he will guide us to all truth. Truth is Jesus, Jesus is life. I was in sin when I chose to live with Nick and engage in premarital sex that resulted in a pregnancy. To repent of this kind of sin did not mean having an abortion. Erasing a life would not erase my sin. Turning away from it meant turning to Jesus and allowing the spirit of truth to guide me. Choosing life and accepting forgiveness was the answer. I have spent my adult life since then trying to raise my family dedicated to the Lord. And as my oldest daughter enters her senior year in high school, I am amazed at how smart and sophisticated she is. She has a purpose in this world, but I also realize that she is not perfect. I only hope that I have taught her to live her life in truth and model love and forgiveness to others the way God has led us to Jesus.