Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: As we begin Revive Our Hearts, I’m here to remind you of something important.

 

Today’s program is possible thanks in large part to our Ministry Partners. Our Ministry Partner team provides consistent prayer and financial support that helps Revive Our Hearts stay on the air. This team helps us minimize painful station cuts like the ones we had to make last month, and they get a lot of benefits in return. To learn about those benefits and how to join the Ministry Partner Team, visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Our Ministry Partners are helping us today to tell you the story of Martha Schaale. We’re about to hear about one of the biggest moments of her life.

Martha Schaale: As I heard the news, I could not believe that I was pregnant. I was shocked. All of a sudden I started listening to these lies from the enemy. "No one can find out."

Leslie Basham: You’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with the author of Lies Women Believe, Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that a woman’s right to privacy was greater than the unborn child she might be carrying in her womb. Abortion was made legal in the U.S. by that decision.

As we remember that fateful decision this week, we’ll hear the story of Martha Schaale. She attended one of the early Revive Our Hearts’recording sessions. It wasn’t long after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. You’ll hear Martha refer to those attacks.

Nancy asked Martha if she would be willing to share that recording session and what followed was a story of God’s ability to bring beauty out of ashes. Nancy will reflect on the tragedy of abortion at the end of the program, but first, Martha begins her story.

Martha Schaale: When I was growing up, my home was a very chaotic home. My father was a very abusive man. He was a very angry man. He drank. I grew up very frightened of my father. I can remember at nights when I would be in my bedroom and my younger sister and I would share a bed together. Outside of our bedroom wall, we would hear the fighting, the arguing taking place. We would be so frightened as little children. I can remember us holding one another and just crying together because we were so frightened.

My dad left when I was eight years old. We were pretty much left to raise one another while my mother worked two to three jobs to support us. Because she was gone so much, I did not have an authority figure in my life. I never remember being disciplined. If we as parents fail in our responsibility to teach and train our children, then the world is just waiting. The world is ready to take us by the hand and lead us down that path of destruction.

As I went into my teenage years, my teenage years were years of rebellion against my parents and against God. I drank alcohol. I took drugs. I led a life of immorality. I even shoplifted for years until I was caught and taken to jail.

But do you know what I was doing? I was looking to the world to give me what could only be found in the Lord. I wanted joy and I wanted happiness. I wanted someone to make me feel special. I wanted someone to make me feel like I had worth and I had value.

In the spring of 1983, when I was 19 years old, my older brother had invited me to go to church. I can remember sitting in a room with my youth pastor, and he was talking with my younger sister and I and shared the gospel with us. Both of us prayed a prayer, and I thought I was saved, but after only about a few weeks, I went back into the same lifestyle. There was no change in my life.

I met Rich, who is my husband, in June of 1983. Three months into our relationship, we began having an immoral relationship. In March of 1984, I went to Planned Parenthood to get on the pill. It was then that I found out that I was pregnant. As I heard the news, I could not believe that I was pregnant. I was shocked.

All of a sudden I started listening to these lies from the enemy. "No one can find out." Sin causes you to want to cover and to hide. There's so much shame. "What will people think of me?" My focus was on myself and myself alone. I didn't think about that precious life that God had blessed me with. I kept thinking, "If Rich's parents find out I'm pregnant, they will reject me. They will not want anything to do with me. They will want Rich to break it off with me."

His parents were very godly parents, and I loved them so much. Rich has a lot of respect for his parents, so I just knew if they found out I was pregnant, they would advise their son, "You need to break this off with her." I was so afraid that I was going to lose him. I finally had someone that loved me, that cared for me, and that’s what I was longing for within. So out of my own need, he had become my "savior." I told myself, "I can't do anything to hurt our relationship." How ironic, because that's the very thing that I did!

I didn't have anyone in my life to encourage me to do what was right. The world says, "It's okay. It's legal, so it has to be okay. It will only take a few minutes, and it will all be over with. No one will ever have to know. It's not a baby. It's not a life."

Do you know what, ladies? The world lied to me, and the world will lie to you. They don't care about you. The world does not care about me, and the world did not care about me or my baby.

I had an abortion, ladies. I murdered my baby. I sacrificed my baby for a relationship. Even up until the time that I walked through the doors of that clinic, deep within my heart and my soul I was wanting Rich to stand up and say, "Martha, no. We are not going to do this. I don't care what anyone thinks. I love you. I care for our baby. That baby is a part of me, too. We're going to do what is right." But that never happened.

I thought I could be like David. I thought I could hide and cover my sin and go on with my life and no one would ever know. Those few minutes that it took for me to have that abortion would not compare to the long-term emotional pain I would experience over the years.

Ladies, having an abortion affects every area of your life. There’s a bumper sticker out there that says: Abortion: One dead and one wounded.

  • One-out-of-four women have had an abortion.
  • Four thousand, four hundred babies die each day by abortion.
  • Over 36 million babies have been aborted.

As I think about how many babies have been murdered, as I think about the many womenhundreds of thousands of womenthat are walking around our world today wounded, and we’re just talking about this one sin, about abortion, let alone the other wounds and hurts and pains and burdens that they carry.

As I thought about the national tragedy that occurred in our country on September 11, thousands of lives were taken. Our country has come together. We've prayed together. We've wept together. We've grieved together, as we should. A National Day of Prayer was called to pray for those personally affected, as we all were affected by this national tragedy. I don't want to take away from anyone's loss, because that was a horrific loss.

But do you know what? God showed me that week that there is a tragedy occurring in our country day in and day out. Over 4,000 babies are murdered each day, and our country does not weep. Our country does not grieve, but our country goes on, and it allows this tragedy to happen day in and day out.

Rich and I married in 1985. We moved to Nashville and began going to Lighthouse Baptist Church. At the time a man that my husband had worked with wanted to move to Nashville and start a business there, so he asked my husband to go with him. Rich had moved to Nashville two months before we got married.

I tell you, I was so angry at his boss. I thought his boss was taking me away from my family. I was so angry at him. But do you know what, ladies?

I can look back and I know that he was just an instrument God used to move us there. I know that it was the divine hand of God that moved us to Nashville because God knew the Body that we would need to be a part of.

He knew where we needed to bewhere we could find a safe place, where we could find healing. God knew the brothers and sisters in Christ that we would need to surround us as we walked on this healing journey.

In 1989 God blessed us with a son. His name is Andrew. Ladies, when I got pregnant, it was a miracle because my husband had been diagnosed with cancer. When I was eight months pregnant, his oncologist could not believe that I was pregnant.

I know children are a gift from God, and I know Andrew was a gift from the Lord to me because I shouldn't have even been allowed to get pregnant. But He blessed us with a son, and I could not believe God's goodness. I could not believe that He allowed me to get pregnant. I could not believe that He would entrust me with another soul.

I told Him, "Lord, if You will let me have a baby, we will raise this baby to know You, Father. We will love this baby." God blessed us with a son.

About ten years after the abortion, in 1994, God brought a dear sister into my life. He used that dear sister of mine to minister grace to me. God gave me hope. That's what I want God to use me for. I want God to use me to minister grace to youfor you to know that there is hope. That is when my healing process began.

God put us together one night. We were driving in a car. We were driving out of town. She began sharing her life with me. She shared with me that she had had an abortion. "When I left Knoxville," I said, "No one will ever know about this. No one." I thought, "We were moving to a different town. I could start afresh and anew. And no one would ever know."

But as soon as she shared with me about her abortion, it was as though the floodgates opened. I began weeping and sobbing. The only words that I could get out were "I've had one, too." As I cried and wept, she began sharing with me what God had done in her life.

Do you know how I coped with it? What I did was for ten years I lived in denial because I could not face the truth of what I had done. I stuffed it, thinking it was going to go away. But do you know what? It doesn't. It was just an open wound, festering, and it was getting worse day by day. But that was when my healing process began. I had to uncover. I know that was the Lord that gave me the strength and the grace to uncover.

As I look back over my life, whenever I have been going through a very difficult trial, another way that God has shown me that He loves me is that He has always provided a sister to walk with me, a sister who had been there, who had been down the path, a sister who had been down the path where I was now walking.

I began going to my first Bible study, and that's when I began spending time with the Lord for the first time. I can remember one night in my bedroom that I got down on my knees and I told the Lord, "Lord, if I was not sincere when I was nineteen, then I am sincere now. Lord, I want You to be Lord and Savior of my life."

That is when I began seeking the Lord. God began slowly changing me from the inside out. It's a continual process. I am so thankful that He will continue working in and through my life until the day He takes me home.

I got into my second Bible study, and I began going to a study entitled, "Lord, Heal My Hurts." When I was in that study, we watched a video entitled, "Calvary's Love: Its Hell, Its Healing." As I watched that video, God gave me a clear picture of what my sin did to Christ.

My sin is what crucified Jesus. He died in my place. He suffered as no man will ever have to suffer. What I have been through does not compare to what the Lord Jesus went through for me. God forsook His own Son, but God will never forsake us as long as we live. He forsook Christ so that He would not have to forsake us.

The following year in 1995 God led me to the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Nashville. I knew again God's divine hand because I went there with a desire to help young womento help young ladies not choose. If I could go there and help one lady not to choose the path that I walked down, that was my heart. I went there wanting to minister.

But you know what? At the end of the three-day seminar that I went through, at the very end they said, "If any of you have ever had an abortion, you will need to go through our post-abortion counseling." I thought, "Okay, I can do this." I really thought that I was healed. I really thought that I was okay.

But the Lord knew that I wasn't. The Lord knew that I needed healing. I began going to counseling there. One of the books that we worked through is entitled A Season to Heal. There are the words to a song in that book entitled "Broken Believer." I want to read the words to that song to you.

God showed me I was a broken believer in need of healing. God wanted to take those broken pieces and He wanted to make me whole. God is the only One who can do that. These are the words to the song, "Broken Believer."

She sits alone when the day is done.
She tries to pray, but the words just won't come.
Life sometimes finds a way
Of breaking hearts and dreams,
Making it hard to believe.

Broken believer, hold on tight
Through the nights when you're so afraid,
'Cause in His hands He holds
All the pieces to your heart.
Let His healing start, broken believer.

There will be times when you'll feel forsaken,
But the Lord is with you
Though your heart is breaking.
When you just can't see that hope will come at last,
Because you're blinded by the failures of the past.

Broken believer, hold on tight
Through the nights when you're so afraid,
'Cause in His hands He holds
All the pieces to your heart.
Let His healing start, broken believer.

If you put your life into His hands,
There is healing in His scars.
He can touch the deepest wound
And mend your broken heart.

Broken believer, hold on tight
Through the nights when you're so afraid,
'Cause in His hands He holds
All the pieces to your heart.
Let His healing start, broken believer.1

Ladies, no matter how deep that wound is, no matter how much hurt and pain that you're carrying from the past, God's grace is sufficient, and God can begin that healing process in your life today.

In our Bible study, we began studying the character of God. I learned that my view of my Heavenly Father was very distorted. I did not know God and who He is. These were a few of the things that I learned about my Lord:

  • God is loving. Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”
  • God is merciful. Psalm 116:5: “Gracious is the LORD and righteous; yes, our God is compassionate.”
  • He is our healer. Psalm 147:3: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." There is healing for ever wound of your soul.
  • He is all-powerful. Nothing is too difficult for Him. He is never changing. Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

As I was going through my post-abortion counseling, Donna, my counselor, gave me a project to do. I had to write three letters to three people I was angry at concerning the abortion. I didn't know that I was angry at anybody. But you know what? If you leave those things stuffed and undealt with, that anger will form roots of bitterness; and then you will have unforgiveness in your heart, which can destroy you.

Sometimes you don’t realize what is in your heart until you sit down and begin to write it out. This was just a tool that we used to draw out some unresolved issues of anger in my own heart. This is my letter. I want to read to you my letter that I have written to the doctor who played a part in the choice that I had made.

Dear Doctor,

Even as I was entering your clinic, I was trying to make myself believe that I was doing the right thing. There was no one to tell me otherwise. No one at your clinic took the time or even cared enough to inform me as to what I was about to do. They gladly took the $200, and then I was off to the room.

You made me feel so uneasy as I lay on the table. I don't remember which started firstyour humming and singing or the sound of the killing machine. Both were sounds I wanted to stop, but it was too late.

As you were joyfully humming, my precious child was being violently ripped apart and sucked out of my womb where she was supposed to be safe. How could you do such evil and be at peace with yourself?

Oh, how I wish the tables could have been turned. I so wanted you to be the frightened, lonely girl lying there helpless and me the one in control. You would not have been humming, but instead you would have been silently crying and wishing it had all been just a nightmare.

For you see, a nightmare is over the moment you open your eyes. But the memories of my experience in your clinic will remain with me forever.

I had to come to the place where I could forgive that doctor for the part that he played.

As we studied about the character of God, I shared with you that He is the God who sees. I'll tell you, that was very difficult for me to grasp. That was very difficult for me to believe. But you know what, ladies? God was there in that room with me, and He was grieving, not only over what my sin was doing to Him, but He was grieving also over what my sin was doing to His precious child. My abortion did not change His love for me. He loved me just as much as the day that He created me.

Ladies, whatever you have done, no matter what you have done, God's love for you has not changed. There is nothing that you could do to make God love you more, and there is nothing that you could do to make God love you less. God loves you. God died for me, knowing that I would have an abortion. He died for me anyway. I am reminded of the hymn, "It Is Well with My Soul." 

There is a line in that hymn that says,

My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more.

My sin is covered under the blood. Your sin is covered under the blood.

Leslie Basham: Martha Schaale has been sharing her story of tragedy and of hope. You may know of someone who would benefit from this CD. It’s called Beauty for Ashes. You can order at ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1-800-569-5959.

We’re bringing you Martha’s story this week while marking the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the court case that made abortion legal in the U.S. Nancy Leigh DeMoss is going to wrap things up with some reflections.

Nancy: Martha has reminded us that abortion is both an intensely personal matter, but it’s also a national tragedy that is taking place in our country each day. This morning I went to the Scripture and asked God to give me insight and understanding into how He views this tragedy of abortion.

It’s amazing how many Scriptures there are where God speaks of His perspective when it comes to shedding innocent blood. Listen, for example, to Ezekiel chapter 22 where God speaks through His prophet about the sins of His people. Ezekiel says,

The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, will you judge her? Will you judge this city of bloodshed? Then confront her with all her detestable practices and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O city [and it’s speaking here of Jerusalem] that brings on herself doom by shedding blood in her midst and defiles herself by making idols, you have become guilty because of the blood you have shed and have become defiled by the idols you have made. You have brought your days to a close, and the end of your years has come. Therefore I will make you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughingstock to all the countries'" (verses 1-4, NIV). 

Then I think of that passage in Psalm 106 where the Scripture says,

They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves. Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. He handed them over to the nations and their foes ruled over them. Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power. Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin (verses 37-43, NIV).

There are so many verses like these throughout the Scripture where they tell us that God takes seriously the shedding of innocent blood. We cannot as a culture persist in the taking away of human life without experiencing dire consequences.

Today and this week as we contemplate a Supreme Court decision over which we had no control, I wonder if we shouldn’t just stop and pray and take some personal responsibility and ask God to have mercy on us as a nation.

Oh Father, we join our hearts together in saying that we do grieve. We grieve over this national tragedy. We grieve over our sin in this land of the shedding of innocent blood. Some of us have participated in this personally, others by association; but, Lord, as citizens of this country, we stand before You guilty.

We pray that You would have mercy on us, that You would forgive us, that You would heal our land, and that You would restore righteousness and holiness and a respect for human life created in Your image, that You would restore that in our nation.

Show us, Lord, as Your people what part You would want us to play in encouraging the preservation of life.

Thank You, Lord, for being such a merciful God. Would You restore and renew and revive the hearts of Your people in this day that this land may return to You. For Jesus’ sake we pray it, amen.

Leslie Basham: As an adult, Martha Schaale still felt the sting of abuse that she had suffered as a child. It caused her to keep her distance from an important person in her life. Hear Martha’s story tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

1Lucy Freed and Penny Salazar. A Season to Heal. Cumberland House. Song "Broken Believer."

 

 


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