It is a pleasure to welcome Kristi Nolan to Rocky Top’s back porch once again. She is a young woman who continues to bless me by allowing herself to be open, honest and just flat out real! Her story shouts of the grace and forgiveness we just celebrated on Easter.
It took more than 10 years for me to walk through a March 30th without struggling with the date – and then, all of a sudden, I would find myself on April 1st and it would hit me – I made it through! So as we celebrate Passion week, I am celebrating His love, grace and forgiveness.
It’s been 20 years since I saw a line on a stick in a Wendy’s restroom – since I sat in disbelief and wondered what it meant.
20 years since I hesitated to make a phone call to a clinic and set an appointment for a consultation.
20 years since they told me I was making the right decision.
20 years since they told me it was safer to terminate the pregnancy than to try to carry to term and deliver a baby – safer for me anyway.
20 years since they performed an ultrasound and told me I was lucky I came in when I did because it was going to cost me $250 less than it would have in another week.
20 years since they handed me a valium and sat me in a dark room with other women, wait, other girls, who sat in silence and tried not to think about what was to come.
20 years since they positioned me on a table and told me it was my last chance to change my mind.
20 years since I didn’t.
20 years since I laid upon a table and read the serenity prayer taped to the ceiling above me and pondered the irony.
20 years since the sound of life being sucked from my body brought me to the reality of what exactly it was I was doing in that moment.
20 years since I couldn’t get out fast enough to throw up in the parking lot.
20 years since the enemy began an assault on my mind that would convince me I didn’t deserve a loving husband or children.
20 years since I felt my sin was too deep for the Blood of Christ to cover it.
20 years since I took the innocent life of what was formed by the Lord in my womb.
But in those 20 years, though the enemy tried to win – he has lost.
Christ’s Blood has won.
In those 20 years I met a man who would love and cherish and serve me – who calls me his “bride” every single day.
In those 20 years God showed that the enemy had no power over my womb, but He did – He has given me three beautiful children.
In those 20 years God has replaced my guilt and shame with FORGIVENESS and JOY.
In those 20 years God has used my darkest sin for His greatest glory.
In those 20 years every time the enemy tried to whisper “you’re not worthy”, God would shout “MY GRACE IS ENOUGH”
“Not that I have already obtain all this or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14