Turn the pain of your past into the peace of the present - Hidden Treasures and Riches

Turn the pain of your past into the peace of the present


Today, I have a really special guest for you. Our special guest is Dr. Grace English. She’s a board certified internal medicine physician. She’s a speaker, writer and medical missionary. She’s also an advocate for the voice for the life of the unborn and the impact of abortion on the human heart. Dr. Grace is the founder of Christ Centered Abortion Recovery and Education, which is Care, a nonprofit organization that helps women and men find healing and hope from a past abortion. She leads abortion Recco. She’s leads abortion recovery training both locally and internationally, and has spoken at numerous churches and events about the sanctity of the human. Dr. Grace is also co-founder of Batista Health Clinic. She is passionate about helping the poor and the underserved get the medical care that they need. So like I said, you’re in for a special treaty. Grace is married. So her sweetheart, John, and she and her sweetheart and their three adult children live in Texas. She’s walked through some hard stuff, including feeling unloved. 

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And I’m so thankful that you have such passion, not only for the bond, but to use your story to be the stepping stone. And I can wait for you to tell our listeners more, but I would like to start us off. Can you share a fun fact about.

Dr. Grace English: Well, I used to hate flying. Every time I would get on an airplane, I literally would have panic attacks. Four years ago, I had the opportunity to go to Israel with my home church, and God, in that flight home, he totally erased my fear of flying and it, it’s an absolute miracle. I wasn’t even asking for him to do that.

So much happier because I’m happier when we get on. I love to travel countries and learn different cultures and just, there’s so much in this world to be explored. So that is a fun fact. I just wanna encourage your listeners if they do have a fear of flying, that Jesus can take it away from them because it literally was a God miracle that he did that.

Tope: Yes. So you went to Israel and on the way back you totally. Totally had fear of flight, no more fear of flying. The Lord removed it. And I don’t know if it was because the flight was so long,  that, you know, I, my the Lord just took it away and it, it, it was him because there was nothing I literally did on my part to have that happen. He knows, he gives us things that we don’t even know to ask for. Yes, yes. I, I totally can relate. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Yes. Bye. So thank you. I would like for you to share your God’s story and then just as you share it, whether as the Lord leads our conversation, I’ll ask more questions, but just start us off.

Dr. Grace English: Very good. I am Asian. I grew up in an Asian home, and the culture in an Asian home is quite different from American culture. And so in Asian culture, they typically take pride in things like your achievements, what you, you know Have excelled in school and there wasn’t really much emotion, you know, affirmation or verbal affirmation. And so when I was growing up living in this culture, I just always felt like I never was good enough for my parents. You know many years later, I know they loved me deeply and they did their very best for me.  and I loved them, but growing up as a young girl and then as a teenager, I never heard those words. I love you.  And so when I left for college, I decided that I was gonna live my life the way I wanted to. We did not go to church growing up. I believed in a God, but I did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Mm. But when I went off to college, I got involved with my first boyfriend and I found myself pregnant at the age of 18, and I was definitely very scared.

My best friend whom I called immediately after that, I told her what had happened, you know, that I had a positive pregnancy test and the first thing she said to me was, This was in 1985. Well, you’ll just have to have an abortion because, you know, I was a freshman in college and so abortion was legal. And as an 18 year old college student with my whole life ahead of me, I thought this is the best choice that I’m gonna make for myself. So I did have an abortion and I did have an abortion two months later, and tpi, I’m telling you the things that I went through for the next four to five years of my life.

I would’ve never dreamt that I would’ve had to suffer through what I did, and I basically hit rock bottom four to five years later because of that abortion. I had no idea it had such an effect on me. That abortion did leave me to Christ though, because I remember one day just. Crying out to God and I said, Lord, save me. I don’t wanna live anymore. I had such a bad eating disorder. I started having, you know, drinking on the weekends and, you know, experimenting with drugs on the side. It was my life that had just gone out of control. So at the age of 23, I finally hit rock bottom and I cried out to God and I said, save me.

Save me Lord.

And I knew then that. He was the only one that could save me. And so Jesus started to change my life. Toby. It was a gradual sort of progression over the next few months and years. I made it to medical school and God started changing my friendships and I started attending church and I started growing my faith. But that abortion. . I never wanted to think about it again because I told myself, Toby. God forgives me because he forgives Austen’s. Yeah. But that was the extent of my confession and repentance at that time. And so when I met my husband, well, we were dating. . He was the first person outside of anybody except for my best friend that knew about my abortion.

And I remember sitting John down and I told him, you know, I have to tell you what had happened when I was a 18 year old college student. And I thought, Toby, he was gonna just cut off that relationship and said, you know that, you know, it, it was gonna end right there. The, to. He was so gracious and he said, you know, grace, the Lord has forgiven you. I’m gonna forgive you too. And so I, I, I was inside. I was like, whew. Thank you Lord. The hard part is over. You know my husband, I’m okay and he’s okay with it. Wow. Fast forward. We get married a few years later. After that, I still never thought about my abortion. I buried it down deep in my heart because I thought, you know, there’s something good that comes outta thinking about that.

Not until I became a parent. I became a parent and Sarah had Daniel and Toby when I was pregnant with Matthew our third. There was something seriously wrong going on in my.  and because I found myself very, very angry. And I would have these fits of anger with my three-year-old daughter who was absolutely precious and all she wanted to do was to give me hugs, but I had no patience with her.

I didn’t know where these fits of rage and anger were coming from. And so a good friend of mine, she was actually my mentor for many years after. In abortion recovery. Bev knew my secret. She knew that I had had an abortion. God’s divine intervention was, she kept persisting that I actually attend a abortion recovery Bible study.

Jesus showed me how that very pain of my abortion had affected me.

I was like, Bev, I don’t need it. I’m fine. And she was like, no, think I would love for you to come. I mean, Toby, she could see through, she could see through me. Oh, wow. The next few months when I finally agreed to go to that Bible study, which was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life but it’s one of the best things I ever did in my life, is because Jesus showed me how that very pain of my abortion had affected me. It.  as a wife and would affect me as a mother. And he knew that I truly had to surrender and finally confess and, and have true repentance over ending the life of my unborn child, Jonathan.

At the age of 18. And until I was able to do that, he then could start the healing of my broken heart. Wow. And for all the lies topi that I. I believe I couldn’t be a mother that was worthy enough to even have children. Because I had chosen to end the life of my unborn child. Why would God gimme more children? And then, I mean, he showed me all of these lies that I finally was able to let the Holy Spirit show me in his word. Yeah. Through prayer that I no longer was condemned and that Jesus had my baby, and that Jesus won’t heal my heart because he said, grace, I need for you to pour into your children what you haven’t had, and I need for you to raise your children in me and Toby.

I couldn’t do it without him. Yeah. And. Finally then my secret was broken. The power of the secret was broken, and the devil had no hold on me anymore because Jesus had died on the cross for my abortion. That terrible, terrible sin that I committed. The freedom and the healing he has given me since then has been very contagious. 

Christ Centered Abortion Recovery was started because I wanted other women and other men To experience the freedom and the healing that Jesus Christ. He is the only one that can give you that will. Embrace that. Yeah. So this would be a good, a good point.

A good place to go, to kind of summarize for our listeners, and then I would ask you some, some questions. So that back, growing up in that background you said you grew up, you are Asian, and you grew up in that Asian background of accomplishment. I can totally relate with that because Nigerian families are like that too.

You know, we go. You accomplished. You hardly ever hear, I love you. And so you shared how that impacted you and impacted how you lived once you left home and went to college. Whew. Freedom. And so I can do whatever I want. And this led then led to, you know, having unprotected sex and getting pregnant and then having an abortion.

Fast forward, you thought, oh, I dealt with it. You know, somehow in the middle of that process, you found Christ, you dealt, you felt that you dealt with it. You had another boyfriend who’s now your current husband of 26 plus years and he accepted you and both of you say, Hey, God’s forgiven.

Tope: It’s done. Right? Correct. But now you have children and all this stuff bubbles back up. Now what? And so in, in, in, as this, as it bubbles back up, you’ve had to deal with that. And I think what I would like for you to share with our audience, because we can just say you had to deal with that. What did that look like?

What was the deal with that part? What did it look like and what was most helpful for you during that? Tubby, it is very hard to ask somebody to go back and dive into their pain. The reason why that needs to happen is because it, it’s not because God is trying to punish you and remind you of all the bad things.

Dr. Grace English: He wants to show you how that choice, how your decisions or somebody else’s decisions, you know, has affected you and to get real with him. Yes. And. Open your eyes and be honest with yourself and be honest with God, and hopefully the Lord is gonna bring somebody close that you can safely share your secret and your pain with, because it makes it real and the pain is there.

Okay? You can try to bury it and not try to address it. It will bubble up like you are saying. It’ll bubble up in many, many different ways. Situations in your life. But the pain is still there. And oftentimes topi, that pain has turned into rage and anger. And you just don’t know what to make of it.

And so when you start having the, when you start that first step of just getting real with your pain and no longer denying. Existence. That is when Jesus can start showing you just the truth of how that pain has affected you and the truth of what happened. You know so many times we cover it up with shame and we don’t want anybody to know what happened.

And so I definitely am not encouraging your readers to tell the world. Now I tell the world. Jesus is my centerpiece and he’s the centerpiece of my, yeah. But when I was going through my healing, it was difficult. There were so many tears, but then through those tears and through talking about what had happened, the Lord has a way of bringing a lot of comfort to your heart. 

And he tells you, grace, you were not alone. You didn’t know me at the time, but I was with you when that happened. I was with you during your baby’s life. You know, you see God’s hand in that. And I really encourage your readers, I mean your, your listeners 

to know who this Jesus is. Yes. Cause. Honestly is the only one that can save you, and he’s the only one that can heal you. And so if you don’t have a relationship with the Lord, it is time now to take that step. And so, Because Jesus did come to earth in bodily form to die on a cross for our very sins. And he died on the cross, Toby, for my abortion. He knew many, many years later that I would do that as a young foolish girl making poor choices but Jesus, he died on the cross because God. That we couldn’t forgive ourselves of our own sin. He had to pay the atonement for our sins.

But Jesus was raised on the third day topi and he, the God’s word says If you believe in him, you will never perish, but you’ll have eternal life and have forgiveness of your sins. Yes. So, so I want to encourage your listeners that there’s no healing, no matter how much counseling you get in this world, how much medication you get in this world, Jesus is the only one that can co accomplish that healing.

And so, going back to your question, topi, yes. Getting real, getting to the pit of where that is, because you know, . God has a way of restoring those broken, broken places. And he does. He does it in time. And he does it through his word and he does it through just that time you spend with him.

You, you can just sense him. You know, he is there, he wants to help you. He doesn’t wanna be living with this secret for years. I mean, Tubby, my children are my greatest, greatest gift that he’s given me. Apart from salvation, obviously, and from my husband. Yeah. But you know what, you know what it is to be a mother.

Yeah. Like how much you have to pour into your children. And so I honestly don’t think my children would be where they’re at. Unless the Lord had intervened in my life and said, grace, I need for you to go here with me. Yeah. And I need you to sacrifice your pride. I need you to sacrifice that secret.

And I need to get in there.  and God is a gentleman to Hopi, he’s not gonna force himself. We have to be willing to go there with him. Yeah. Yeah. So you, I mean, you share, I mean, you shared so many nuggets just in that, in this, in this segment. So we have to get real. We have to not hide it because it’s in that secret where the enemy comes to shame us and to put us in that pit and say, mm, you’re so unworthy, so unloved and fills our minds with lies.

But God, through Jesus, wants us to get real, to, to come clean and say, Hey, this is me. And what you just share with our listeners is if you don’t know him. Get close. He wants to do that business with you. He wants to heal you completely so you don’t have to carry this lock, this bag of shame on your back all over the place.

Wow. Right. Wow. Right. So do you often, as, as you’ve gone, as you’ve healed and now you are helping other people heal, do you often see people who carry this pain and bury it and how do you. What do you say to encourage them? So, Toby, you know, I’m an internal medicine physician, you know, family.  primary care.

And so I see it all the time, every time I’m at work that people are carrying a load on them and, and it can come out definitely in depression and anxiety and panic symptoms to the point of being suicidal. But so many people have learned to live with their pain because they numb their pain out.

They take, they. Drugs, alcohol, food, whatever it is. They take it because they don’t wanna think about the pain. They may not realize it topi what they’re doing, but I pretty much can kind of sense it. And I don’t have a problem asking my patients if they have had an abortion in their past. 

many times they’ll look at me because I usually can. Spotted because I tell them quickly I’ve been there. I know how you feel.and how you’re acting is how I used to see, oh. But even if I’m not right, and they didn’t have an abortion trauma, there’s some other deep-seated pain that they’ve not dealt with. It could have been like verbal, physical, sexual abuse as a child. It could have been, you know, your father abandoned you. It could be a myriad of things. You know, people hurt people.

We live in a fallen, sinful world. Yeah. And so no matter what their pain and secret origin is. I just tell them, you know, you and I share my story. And I just said, you know, I, I’ve had to come real with this, and that is how the Lord has brought me it. I mean, it wasn’t an overnight process.

It was, you know, day by day, week by week, month by month. And as I continue to grow my faith, God continues to free me from many different areas of my life. And so my abortion testimony is just one little area. He has done so much for the rest of my life. So I would, I would like for you to, to follow, I would like to follow up on that and to say, can you just share that process?

Because as we tell people well get real, get, get, do business with the Lord and get real what does that process look like so that they can, they could have an idea what they’re in for. Yes. So I would first. Be in prayer and ask the Lord to give you the courage to go back there. And I would encourage you.

Someone to journal their feelings and I would encourage them to find a safe person, whether that is a family member, a best friend you can confide in somebody at the church or Sunday school teacher, you know it could be your physician. Could be your counselor. Just somebody who is there to listen.

And you have a safe place where you can finally, Shed the light on the darkness because once the light shines, the darkness doesn’t have a hold on you anymore. And that person is not going to judge you, condemn you. The Lord will show you who’s safe to talk to. Yeah. But once you can get to that point where you can verbally talk about, then that’s when Jesus has a chance to start.

Start walking you down, your healing that you need. For me, topi was going to that abortion recovery Bible study. I sat in a room with four other ladies who had an abortion. But you would think when I walked in that room that I was facing the death penalty because I honestly felt like I was going to burst open and die because I actually told somebody that I had an abortion.

We’re all these women who have had an abortion. We all felt that. But once we were able to say why we were there and what had happened then we started the healing. We then could talk about that time in our life, all the emotions that we went through. All the hurts that we went through because of it.

And so that is taking, that first step is really being vulnerable. To someone else, but really to yourself and to the Lord. Once you start that, then he’ll have it. He’ll have it. That is the hardest part. Yeah, I would, yeah, I, I would agree with you. I would agree with you on that. And so what is the result of re releasing this pain?

So you went to that Bible study, you talked about it, about what happened, and I would imagine that went on for a number. Sessions. I wasn’t just done one time. So, but in the end, what was the result of releasing that pain? So Topi, once you have been able to uncover that pain and it’s out in the open.

And you see. How, what you are responsible for, you know, whether it’s to forgive or whether you need to be forgiven. You see your part in it and you have to take hold of it, take full responsibility for it. And, but once you’re able to release that pain and the Lord and you, CONFESSED and repented.

You know, in my particular circumstance, we had to acknowledge the humanity of our unborn children. And so that was healing in itself when we were finally led, when the Lord said, I have forgiven you. I would like for you to meet you. And we give them a name, we give them, we have a memorial. We have acknowledgement of their life. And so, It. And so it depends on, you know, for abortion recovery, that is how we lead our women to have closure. Yeah. And honestly, whatever pain that somebody may be carrying, once you get that pain out, There’s really not any more power from it.

And there’s a lot of anger and bitterness, and that is revealed, and you start to understand why you may feel those strong emotions but then there’s no need for you to hang onto that anymore. Yeah. In Jesus. I mean, he’s very clear in his words, you know? He does remove our sins as far as the east is from the west.

Yes. And so, and if Jesus, if, if we don’t, for, if we don’t receive his forgiveness, you know, and we don’t forgive ourselves, we’re saying that Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t good enough. You know? Yeah. He’s, no, he’s . He died under cross. He paid it all. He paid everything even before we ever committed it.

It’s paid, yes. Paid in full. Paid in full. Yes. I have no right to continue condemning myself and for, and, and staying in this pitiful pit of. You know, condemnation. When Jesus has already taken that guilt away from me. And so he knew what sin would do to us and he knew he was the only one who could take it away.

And once he takes it away, topi, you’re free. You are free. Yes. So being able to release that pain moves you on to a place where you can actually be whole again. Okay. You are no longer having to hide. You can be real, you can be very you’re so much more sensitive to others who’ve been through it.

I’m just, I mean, Toby, it’s just, it’s the full and abundant life that he promises us. Yes. It. That’s what you get. Yes. I, I totally can, I can relate and I can see that. I can see that in your story.

You know, healing studies with members who live far away but even if it’s not a past abortion and it’s about. Addiction, some trauma that you’ve had in your life that you don’t really know where to start from. There are so many good resources out there now. Celebrate Recovery is wonderful.

And so I don’t know if you know about Celebrate Recovery. You probably do. Yeah. Yes. And so they cover any sort of hurt, hangup habit that you have. And you dive deep into it. Yeah. And, and you walk through that program. But there’s Christian counselors that can help you and we can definitely get you connected.

If you are ready to stop hurting and to start living a life where their past pain no longer defines who they are.

Jesus can turn your pain of the past into the peace of the present, and for you to live a life of purpose. Of purpose. Wow. Well Grace, thank you again for coming on the show today and just sharing your amazing story of redemption with us.

Remember, God has answers no matter what life throws at you, whether you have relationship issues at home, at work, or any other crisis or challenges, God has answers.

You may also Listen to the Podcast Episode: Breaking Free From the Pain of Your Past

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