Own Your Whole Life: Living into Your Own Unique Puzzle

triciainblue         GOD WANTS TO DRAW YOU FORWARD                TO NEW POSSIBILITIES




                             AND COURAGE.

                    SALLY CLARKSON


Hearing the beautiful, varied and inspiring stories of my sweet friends encourages me so much to keep believing in God for my own story. I am also reminded again and again, how different a puzzle each of us holds in our hands to live out, by faith, for His glory. My Precious friend, Tricia Goyer, is so bold in her faith, generous in her ministry, encouraging in friendship. I hope her story encourages many of you wherever you find yourself to Own Your Whole Life.

I entered into motherhood with a lot of shame, pain, and regret. I was seventeen years old when I had my son Cory. I'd gotten pregnant during my senior year in high school. And before that I had an abortion at 15.

Shame, pain and regret is a heavy thing to carry around, even as your body is expanding with a growing child within. There's a battle inside to give your child the love he deserves, while at the same time seeing the stares and overhearing the whispered words of those who are greatly aware of your “mistake.”



Tricia at 17 with her precious new baby, Cory. Aren't they precious?!

 I became a Christian during my pregnancy, and I had my son one month before my eighteenth birthday in June of 1989, but that didn't stop me in feeling as if I had to prove myself to the world. As a young mom I felt I needed to prove that I hadn't messed my life up completely, and that I could raise my child well. That's a lot of pressure to put on a young woman … and her child.

I got married to a wonderful Christian man when Cory was little, and we had two more children, but I couldn't get past the fact that I'd ended the life of a baby. I regretted that decision every day of my life. I also never felt like a “good mom” because I'd started so young.

Then, in 1996 I attended a Bible Study, using the book Forgiven and Set Free. The book is for women who've had abortions. For the first time I truly felt God's forgiveness, and I forgave myself. The cloak of shame I'd been lugging around my shoulders was replaced with a cloak of light, truth and joy.

I started leading post-abortion Bible Studies, and before long my pastor approached and asked me to help start a crisis pregnancy center. I didn't feel I had the time, talent, or ability. I was a homeschooling mom of three school-age kids, and I'd just started to get articles published in magazines, yet after praying God made it very clear that he was calling me to this. I needed to be there to help give truth and hope to young women facing a crisis pregnancy. I needed to provide the help that I never received.

The pregnancy center started strong, and God blessed our efforts, but guilt continued to plague me—only this time it was a different type of guilt. You see, because I was serving at the center, I often took my young kids will me. At ages 10, 7 and 5-years-old, they were there as we remodeled an old Victorian house into our offices. They helped babysit during Teen mom support groups. I felt guilty because I didn't have time to take them to the park or to make homemade play dough. I felt guilty because they had to serve.

It was only years later—as my children grew—that I realized their service had been important training in godliness. They learned to care for people different than them. They'd learned compassion and care. They'd experienced first hand how God's forgiveness could transform lives. They became first row spectators on what it looked like to serve God and others. And as they grew they began serving in their own ways—in children's ministry, in our church, and within our family. My daughter even became a missionary, traveling to the other side of the world to share Christ with those who need truth and hope. She's now engaged to a Czech man plans to serve in the Czech Republic for all of her life.

What God showed me through this journey of service is that His transformation and redemption in me wasn't just about me. It was about those I served, and about my children becoming part of that service.

I thought I was ruining my children's life by trailing them along with me. Instead, I was modeling how to serve God with our whole hearts. It's one of the best lessons that I taught during my homeschooling years—and I didn't even know it.

My sweet friend Sally Clarkson wrote a wonderful book can Own Your Life, and it explores how God can use you. It explains what a life lived well really looks like. (I love that book!) And if you have a story similar to me, I want to encourage you to Own Your {Whole} Life. Don't carry around pain, shame and regret like I did for so many years. Don't let the lies of the enemy make you feel that you have to “prove yourself” as a good mom. Also know that if God calls you to serve those who are facing the same pain and shame, then He has a purpose for your children, too. Your service is a model for them. And in ways that you might not see for many years, your service and passion will become theirs. They will be trained on what loving God and loving others looks like, and God will be able to use that in their future in more ways than you can imagine. Take my word on that.

I love Tricia's newest book, just for young single moms. Buy HERE