Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss with a special announcement.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I just want to take a moment and remind you of two upcoming events that I know many of our listeners will be interested in. These are area-wide Revive Our Hearts Conferences that we will be hosting in the month of February.

On February 1 & 2 we will be in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area in Florida. And then the last weekend of February (February 29 - March 1), we'll be in the Houston area.

These conferences are Friday night and all day Saturday. During the conference we'll spend time looking in to the Word of God and letting Him search our hearts and show us the pathway to true revival.

We'll also be led in worship through each of these weekends by my friend, Shannon Wexelberg. If you've not heard Shannon, you'll be so blessed by her tender heart and her passionate love for Jesus Christ.

So if you've not been to a Revive Our Hearts Conference before, or even if you have and you just need a refresher, check your calendar—particularly if you live in Texas or Florida and can join us February 1 - 2 in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area or February 29 - March 1 in the Houston area.

I look forward to meeting many of our Revive Our Hearts listeners on one of those two weekends.

Leslie Basham: For more information and to register, visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 800-569-5959.

Years after having an abortion, Nancy Lincoln was looking through some information on pregnancy.

Nancy Lincoln: I came across “Day 21,” and it says, “The heart begins to beat.” All of a sudden I was struck, and I thought, “Day 21—that’s only three weeks!” That was the first light shed into my heart that it wasn’t a “blob of tissue.”

I remember my heart sinking. Then I went further down to find out that the “blob of tissue” that they said I had aborted had ten fingers and ten toes and beating heart. I was devastated.

I was devastated beyond words to realize that my choice to have an abortion did not abort a blob of tissue but actually stopped the beating heart of my own baby. It was the "best" worst moment of my life.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, January 23.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I’m sure you have been hearing that this week marks the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Decision in which the United States Supreme Court gave women the right to have an abortion.

I think as we talk about the issue of abortion, there’s a lot of rhetoric. There’s a lot of statistics that are thrown out, but I think we need to remember that abortion involves people. It involves the lives of the unborn and the lives of the mothers who abort those babies, and the lives of the dads, the grandparents, the doctors, and the nurses. There are a lot of human lives involved here.

We’ve been listening this week to a story that helps to put a personal face on this whole issue. It’s the story of my friend, Nancy Lincoln. If you’ve not been with us over these last couple of days, you’ll want to go back and get a CD of her testimony. Perhaps you’ll want to share it with someone else who may be today where Nancy was earlier in her life. She was engaged in a life of drugs and alcohol, promiscuity, which ultimately led to a pregnancy out-of-wedlock and then to an abortion.

She’s talked with us about the pain and loneliness and the regret that came as a result of that choice, but she has also shared with us the freedom that she began to experience as she came into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you’re wrestling with some of the shame, the guilt, and the choices that Nancy wrestled with, or perhaps you’re struggling to experience the freedom that we’ve said is available through Christ, let me encourage you to visit ReviveOurHearts.com. We have some information and resources there that will help encourage you in this journey toward freedom in Christ.

Today we’re going to hear how the abortion that Nancy had years earlier affected her marriage. But first, she shares about how after being forgiven, one of the first things she did was to make some specific commitments to the Lord. Here’s Nancy Lincoln.

Nancy Lincoln: I made the commitment to abstinence. I said, “Lord, I’m going to commit my purity to you, and I’m going to walk in holiness. My body is a living temple of the Living God, and I’m going to not defile my body any more. I’m going to save myself for my future husband.”

I made a pledge to secondary virginity—which is when women or men who make a choice to be sexually active get new information or in this case, God’s truth, and make a different choice. That is what I did. I lived that lifestyle of sexual purity—sexual integrity before the Lord. God blessed me in the ministry and brought me a godly husband, Robert, who I met there at the ministry.

We got married. We got married just a couple of months after we met. We were on staff there, so we were doing everything together all the time. We were doing Bible studies together, and we were seeking the Lord for the future of our relationship. It was the way God always wanted it to be. I was able to do that at 27 years old. I was able to dedicate my relationship to the Lord and allow Him to be the Lord of all—even who I would marry.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You mentioned earlier that you took some regrets into your marriage because of your past.

Nancy Lincoln: Yes, I did.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Before you got married, did you tell your husband about your past? About your abortion? What did he know?

Nancy Lincoln: I didn’t tell him a lot of it. He knew that I had made some choices that I deeply regretted. He knew that I did not save myself. I remember reading that it’s not always a good idea to give them all the dirty laundry.

I was very careful. I wasn’t deceptive, but I also wasn’t forthright with everything I had done, and he was the same with me. We thought, “It’s not going to benefit our relationship. It’s under the blood of Christ.” We did the best we could, and now this was a fresh start for both of us. He knew some things, but he didn’t know that I had had an abortion.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Did you intentionally not tell him that?

Nancy Lincoln: Yes. I didn’t tell him because fear kept me quiet—fear of his rejection. I had just assumed he wouldn’t want to marry me if he knew I had had an abortion, even though I still believed in my heart that that abortion was nothing more than a blob of tissue.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: At this point you still believe that?

Nancy Lincoln: Yes, I did. I still believed it was a blob of tissue, but I also believed, in the same moment, that that was under the blood of Christ, and I didn’t need to bring it up. It really didn’t impact me; it didn’t really affect me. There was no reason to bring it up and air it for him. It wasn’t going to benefit anybody. But God began to bring different pro-life scenarios before me.

In the ministry we had New Beginnings. It was for teen un-wed mothers that could come to the ministry. God had me start to spend time with some of those mothers. He started to bring the issue of life before me and the sanctity of human life and the gift that children are. I started to again become in conflict with what I had done, but not knowing how to resolve it, not really wanting to deal with it. I just chose to be silent about it.

We did eventually get married, and then one night I was speaking to one of the counselors who was at the head of New Beginnings. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I think I confessed to her that I had had an abortion and that I hadn’t told my husband.

She prayed with me and encouraged me that if God was bringing it before me, that my husband is Christ in the flesh. He is the mirror of Jesus, and He wants to love you through your husband, and He wants to forgive you through your husband. She helped me to see the hope that could be on the other side of telling my husband the truth—which I did, after three hours of non-stop crying. I finally was able to tell him that I had taken a life; I had had an abortion, and that I deeply regretted it.

He held me. First he said, “Apart from Christ, we are capable of heinous crimes—of any crime—of any sin. We are capable of doing that; of course, I forgive you.” He held me, and I cried. His arms, his embrace, his comfort, and his love was the first time that I felt the unconditional love of a sin in my life that was so devastating to my soul—it was Jesus in the flesh at that moment.

For the first time, I felt hope that it was going to be okay. If he could forgive me, surely everything’s going to be okay. He is my husband, and he’s not going to leave me. I didn’t have to believe all those lies that the enemy was telling me: “Don’t tell him. Don’t tell him. He’ll reject you. He’ll divorce you.”

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: All those things were just completely wiped away. God wants to use the failures of your past—the wrong choices, not as a doorway to defeat but as a pathway through which you can become a blessing and a ministry to others—which is exactly what has happened. Tell us a little bit about how you’ve gotten involved in the Pro-Life movement and in the pregnancy resource centers.

Nancy Lincoln: God sent a dear Christian friend into my life who asked me if I would consider serving in the ministry. I had told her several times, “Oh, I would like to serve in the ministry. I would like to be a volunteer.”

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: What kind of ministry was this?

Nancy Lincoln: It was the Pregnancy Resource Center. I wound up going to her and telling her it’s not the best time for me right now. I’d just had my son, and I wasn’t interested in being the director.

Six months later I felt God put it on my heart to call her back up and to share with her my abortion. I called her back up and told her that I’d had an abortion years before, and so she said, “I really, really want to encourage you to reconsider being the director. I really believe God wants to use you, and He can use you.”

I had the interview for the directorship. I did get the position, and my first job was to go to a post-abortion Bible study. I said, “I don’t need to go the Bible study. I’m fine. That abortion didn’t affect me. That was a long time ago. I’m good. I’m ready to start working.”

Then she said, “Okay. We’d like you to go to the post-abortion Bible study for training.” I said, “Oh, training. I can go for training.” I went for the Bible study with my yellow pad and sat there taking notes as we went around and started sharing our abortion story.

It wasn’t until the third week where they sent us home with a fetal development brochure, and we were to look up the developmental age or stage the baby was at when we’d had the abortion.

I opened up the pamphlet and started looking down. I came across “Day 21,” and it says, “The heart begins to beat.” All of a sudden I was struck, and I thought, “Day 21—that’s only three weeks!” That was the first light shed into my heart that it wasn’t a “blob of tissue.” I remember my heart sinking.Then, I went further down to find out that the “blob of tissue” that they said that I aborted had ten fingers and ten toes and beating heart. I was devastated.

I was devastated beyond words to realize that my choice to have an abortion did not abort a “blob of tissue” but actually stopped the beating heart of my own baby. It was the "best" worst moment of my life. I knew that God was stepping into my prison cell because He wanted me to come out, and He wanted me to be free and that He didn’t want me to be in darkness any longer.

He didn’t want me to be suffering in silence any longer, but that He wanted to take that, and He wanted to heal me from it. As I began the grieving process, the healing began to come—because God created us to grieve when we have a loss. I was able to give the child dignity and give the child a name and be able to acknowledge that there was a person—a gift from God that He had trusted into my care, and I was able to acknowledge that and able to face that.

I was also able to face the sin of abortion. For the first time in my life, I was able to say, “I had an abortion because I wanted to have an abortion, and that abortion ended the life of a human being that God created; that God wove together in my womb; that He had a plan and purpose for.”

I was able to acknowledge that I sinned against God—I sinned against the very gift that He gave me, by destroying its life. I was able to repent without excuses; without blaming the boyfriend; without blaming my parents for not telling me about God; without blaming my friends for taking me to the abortion clinic.

I mean, I just was blaming everybody because I couldn’t take responsibility. But once I took responsibility and I realized that the blood of my own hands and on mine alone, and yes, God had forgiven me from it, but there was more to forgiveness than just saying, “It’s under the blood.”

He wanted me to be released from it. He wanted me to be free from it. He wanted me to be healed from it. Until I did that—until I repented, I was never free. But then once I did repent, once I did acknowledge, almost immediately, Nancy, the healing began. The chains of shame and guilt and fear and regret, and all of those things that kept me a prisoner of abortion were broken.

It happened almost immediately. It was almost like my salvation. It happened so quickly! It was going to work itself out over a period of time as I grieved. The thing that God did for me—that I really didn’t like—that He did for me, while I was going through it, was that my little son was six months old. God gave me a visual of an actual baby, of a life. Six months is my favorite age, when their little thighs are all chubby, and they’re just talking, and they’re so cute, and their personalities are developing.

I was really able to grieve the loss of a child—of what it really is when we have an abortion. That made it so much more heart-wrenching for me, but it made it so much more real for me, at the same time. Almost immediately after (it’s about a ten-week Bible study) God said, “You need to tell your family.” My husband’s family has a business in the community, and so I needed to go to my family and share with them about the abortion out of respect for them.

I needed to tell family members. The reason why was: I was in a public ministry. I was getting interviewed; I was speaking, and I needed to resolve and tell my family what God had done. Really,it was a testimony.

I did that, and then He said, “Nancy, I want you to take the truth of abortion and bring it into the light because it’s hidden in the darkness, and I want women to know that I am their Redeemer, that I am the lover of their souls, and I want to heal them. First, I want to save them. Then, I want to heal them. Then, I want to redeem them, and I want to set them free—that’s what I want you to do. I want them to know that My name is Mercy.”

So I said, “Okay, Lord. Yes, Lord.” What else could I say? “Yes, Lord, I’ll do it. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord. I’ll do it. I’ll do it!”

That has become my life’s work, my mission, my call, my passion—to take the truth not just of abortion, but of life and the preciousness of life, of the gift of sexuality, of the gift of marriage, of the gift of children, the gift of adoption. There are so many that surround the sanctity of human life and are the voice of truth.

The voice of the enemy is so loud in our culture that God wants the voice of truth to become louder. That’s what I’ve been doing in the Center. One of the ways that God has specifically done that was that He shared the Scripture in the Great Commission.

One day I was sitting in the office, and I was thinking, “Jesus said in John 8:32, ‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’” (NKJV). I would sit in my office and think, “If I just would have known the truth, I wouldn’t have gone down those paths. I wouldn’t have gone through all the pain, all the struggle I’ve had to go through if somebody would have told me the truth.”

I’d be sitting in my office, and nobody would be coming in. Nobody would be coming into the Pregnancy Center. I’d be sitting there thinking, “Lord, they’ve got to know the truth! Who’s going to tell them the truth?”

Then I came across the passage of the Great Commission. “Go. Go and tell all the world, and teach them My Word, teach them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you, and I will be with you” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Teach them. They’re not able to obey if they don’t know the truth. Go and share with them. So I started the prevention arm of our ministry that we didn’t have at that point—we didn’t have anybody going into our schools or churches.

I said, “I want to get trained. I want to be equipped. I want God to use me to share the story and to take this message.” I can’t think of a better way to eliminate the need for an abortion than to not need one at all. Instead of looking to government and to policies and our lawmakers, we can look to God’s Word. We can teach it to our young people, to this generation because Jesus said, “If you know the truth, then you will be free.” I wanted to be that person that would share God’s truth with them.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: What are you finding with the young people? Are the greatest areas of blindness and deception where they don’t know the truth?

Nancy Lincoln: It’s actually two-fold. Number one is that they profess with their mouth to know God, but their hearts are far from Him. They have the Christian lingo down very well. They know all the right things to say, but they don’t know the God of Heaven and Earth.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You are talking to some young people in churches?

Nancy Lincoln: Churches and public schools. Obviously, in the public schools it’s a little bit different talk that I do. It’s more character education and healthy choices to have a great future and a great marriage someday—it’s more health-oriented.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: But you’re finding young people in our churches who . . .

Nancy Lincoln: Profess to know God but deny His power. Kind of like my own story.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Where you were at one point.

Nancy Lincoln: Yes. I even understand that. Every time I go in to share with a group of kids, the Lord always says to me, “Share the gospel first. Share the cross. Hold up the cross because they have no righteousness of their own, and apart from Me, they’ll never be able to live a pure life. If you don’t start with the gospel, there’s no reason to really go because you’re just giving them the Law. They can be pure and go to Hell."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The first area of blindness is that they don’t know Christ. Then you said there was a second one.

Nancy Lincoln: The second one is—actually, I’ll just share a story of some young girls I had been speaking to—high-risk teen girls. I had shared the program with them. The program, by the way, is called The Right to Know because they have the right to know the truth. I go in, and I share the truth with them. They were sexually active. Their banners were, “We’re sexually active and proud of it.” I saw myself there. I thought, “These girls are me! This is just how I was.”

I share the truth with them, and God’s Word always captures the heart. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the public school, the Christian school, or the church—God’s Word is timeless whether or not you give a Bible reference at the end.

At the end of the presentation, 90% of them were sexually active, and they made a pledge at the end, “I’m going to stop being sexually active, and I’m going to start over.” I always say, “Go home and tell your parents. They’ll be your cheerleader. They’ll be encouraged that you’re making this pledge.” The girls went home.

A week later I got a call from the leader. They said, “They want to come see you. They really liked you. They want to see where the Center is. They want to get together.” I said, “Great, bring them down!” I got pizza. I showed them a Focus on the Family video on abstinence. As we were sitting around talking, I said, “What happened when you went home? What happened with your parents? Did you tell them?”

I was hoping that the parents would be encouraged, and silence fell over the room. I said, “Well, come on!” One girl began to cry. She said, “My mom laughed at me when I told her that I wanted to save myself for my husband.” I said, “She laughed at you? What do you mean?” She said, “No one’s going to buy a car without driving it first.”

Oh! I was devastated to hear that. I said, “Your mom said that?” Right there in that moment, God showed me that the mom—the mom was hurting. The mom needed healing.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The mom needs the Truth.

Nancy Lincoln: The mom needs restoration. The mom needs Jesus. I thought, “O Lord!” I went around the room, Nancy, and one by one, the stories—like that from the young girls—became very clear that the moms needed the message. The moms and dads were not living in sexual integrity.

The moms and dads were broken emotionally, physically, spiritually, socially, and they were the ones, Nancy, that were stealing the seeds. The seeds of Truth were being stolen by their own mothers and their own fathers—not the culture, not the media.

The media reinforces it, but their own mothers were stealing the seeds. They left that day, and I remember weeping—God breaking my heart. Then I decided, “Okay, I’ve got to do something about this. I’m going to teach the program to the mothers and the fathers before I even talk to the kids. I’m going to give them the same program.”

It’s a great program. It is based on biblical truths. I started a parent workshop called You Make the Difference. I have small children, so I thought, “I’ll just read books. I’ll give statistics. I’ll give research. I’ll just give them the raw facts of what their kids need, and then I’ll be able to minister to them.”

I also shared that I wanted to break the silence because that’s what happened in my own life. I never had someone that told me the truth, so I thought this is an opportunity to break the silence in this generation to reach their parents. That’s what I did. I shared the program with them. I’ve been doing it for seven years. There’s usually one woman that will come up to me afterward and say, “I had an abortion. I’m so thankful that you’re doing this. I’m so thankful that you’re doing this for my daughter.”

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: These are the moms who are now breaking the silence?

Nancy Lincoln: Yes. She said, “Thank you for doing this. Thank you for equipping me. Thank you for bringing it into the open. I want to talk to my kids about these topics, and now I know how to. Thank you for sharing your brokenness and your pain and letting God use that so that our children have a chance.”

Leslie: We’ve been on a journey with Nancy Lincoln over the last three days, learning about the forgiveness and hope God can provide after an abortion. We’ve also been cautioned about the painful, tragic consequences that can come from immoral choices. I hope you’ll take what you’ve heard and pass it on to a younger woman who needs to hear this story.

One way to do that is to order this series on CD. When you order, you’ll get additional minutes of conversation between Nancy Lincoln and Nancy Leigh DeMoss that we didn’t have time to air. Order the CD at ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1-800-569-5959.

On Revive Our Hearts you hear a lot of talk about biblical womanhood. Sometimes, we need to pull back and remember what biblical womanhood is all about. That’s what Nancy Leigh DeMoss will do, starting tomorrow. Get a balanced picture about what the Bible says about men and women. I hope you can be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

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