I seriously have been through it all: abortion, miscarriage, infertility, the adoption of a Russian baby and one complete pregnancy that ended with an emergency Caesarean section. I’ve had a hysterectomy. I had an affair, I caused a horrible car accident and was arrested for DUI. I got a divorce and I am married again. All in that order.
I’ve been to many psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and counselors, as well as the usual gynecologists and infertility specialists. I’ve been treated for bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, severe anxiety, severe depression and chronic insomnia. I have abused alcohol and prescription drugs. They never could tell me why I had four miscarriages in a row, though, even after extensive and invasive tests. Not one of these doctors, ever, asked about my abortion, even though I told each one.
At times, I have been suicidal and on the really bad days, I considered not only killing myself, but also taking my two small children with me. To heaven. Where there is peace. Where I could only imagine I’d finally be at rest.
Can all this be blamed on one day of my life, the day I chose to have an abortion? 30 years ago, on a cold, rainy December Tuesday? You can make your own decision, but I truly believe that yes, all of the pain that I have endured comes from that day when I destroyed a life to try to save my own. And isn’t that ironic?
The lies of abortion begin with the one that says “you’ll never have to think about this again.” The truth is that I did think about it: immediately afterward, how I felt lying on the table, silently crying, with no anesthetic because the father and I could not afford the extra money. I thought about it years later, when I miscarried for the first time. And then again, with the second miscarriage, and the third and then the fourth miscarriage. Eventually, not a day went by that I didn’t think of my horrendous sin.
My closest, dearest friend began working with a crisis pregnancy center in Ohio a few years ago, and she knew about my abortion. She had been my best friend, even then. She suggested I talk to Jill, who leads the post-abortion recovery sessions, and learn about what is involved, but I strongly believed that I was alone in my quiet guilt and sorrow, and I was resistant to talking to someone about it. She continued to gently push me in the direction of talking with Jill, but I pushed back, scared to death to share my worst secret, afraid of being criticized or judged. But when Jill reached out to me, and graciously accommodated all that I asked for, I realized maybe it was time to let go of the past.
I met her for the first time on a wintry Saturday morning, and she encouraged me to share a little about myself and my experience. Although I was terrified to talk to her and tell my story, I knew if I was going to tell anyone, it would be her. I trusted her from the start, and after she shared her own story, I realized I had never heard anyone else admit that abortion had affected them. I knew that millions of children had been aborted since 1973, but I swear I lived my life thinking I was the only person who had ever had one. When she handed me the booklet we’d be using for the sessions, I read the title, Surrendering the Secret: Healing the Heartbreak of Abortion. I thought, “Yes. It’s a horrible secret. It’s time to share it. It’s time to heal.” Jill prayed over me, and I could feel peace beginning in my heart.
My first session was a week or so later, and I had read and worked through the first chapter of the book. Jill began with a prayer, and she turned the television on. Beautiful music filled the room, and I saw women on the screen, who were just like me. They were sharing feelings and emotions that were identical to mine. They began telling their stories, and while they were all different, they were all the same. My story was different, but it was the same. We were all keeping a secret, too ashamed, too guilty, and too afraid to tell anyone. For the first time, I knew I was not alone. It would be awhile before I felt hope, but at least I knew I was not alone.
Over the next few months, we watched more video of the women sharing their experiences, we read from the Bible, we prayed, we shared, we cried. I told her how I would hear songs of forgiveness and hope on Sundays, but I didn’t believe they applied to me. I thought my sin was too great to be forgiven. But, I heard over and over through prayer and psalms and Gospel how loved I am and cherished by God, and I began to reject the lies I was told: the lie that I am worthless, the lie that I am not loved, the lie that I could never be forgiven, the lie that I am nothing more than my abortion. I saw how beaten down I had become, I saw how I hated myself, and I saw how it affected my life. I recognized how despair, regret and anger affected my relationships and ruined my first marriage. At church on Sundays during this time, I would listen to the sermon, and every Sunday, it was as if God was speaking to me through those words. Sometime during those snowy, cold Tuesday evenings, as I cried in that room with Jill, and I felt all the emotions I could feel, I also accepted God’s forgiveness. I actively accepted how wrong my abortion was, I loudly said I was sorry and asked for forgiveness, and when God quietly offered it to me, I humbly, gratefully accepted. I healed.
But my parents still did not know about my abortion – I had never told them. God loves me exactly for who I am, but my parents? I truly thought that if they knew my full story, they might not see me as the daughter they thought I was. It took me almost two more years after meeting with Jill to work up the courage, and I repeatedly asked the Holy Spirit for guidance and a “good time” to talk to my mom and dad. That “good time” happened just a few weeks ago, over breakfast and coffee at my home. I told my parents about my abortion and I asked for their forgiveness. I don’t know why I would ever have doubted their love, but like God, they assured me their love hadn’t changed and never would. It’s only because of their love and God’s that I can share this today. It’s only because they know, and it’s no longer a secret, that I am able to write about this and share it publicly.
Early in our work, Jill once told me that abortion was like a scar. When the injury happened, it was painful and it bled. As it healed, if you touched it, it might open and be bloody and painful all over again. But once it was healed, the scar was only a reminder. You could touch it, and know it happened, and remember it all, but it didn’t have to hurt anymore.
She also gave me a photograph of what I now know abortion is: a woman with her face in her hands, on her knees, in front of a child. The woman is clearly weeping, and the child touches the woman’s head. “Peace, Mom. You are forgiven.”
Postscript: I no longer take psychiatric prescription drugs of any kind, and I have not been treated by a therapist or psychiatrist since spring 2014, after I completed STS.
Thank you for the opportunity to share both a written testimonial and a video that were done for the crisis pregnancy center where I completed both the STS journey as well as the STS leader training.
Happy New Year STS Friends,
Every January marks another year of the heartbreak of abortion. January 22, 2016 is the 43rd Anniversary of legalized abortion in America. We have lost close to 60 MILLION innocent lives and left hundreds of thousands of men and women tossed and turned in the wake of the UNPLANNED horror of an abortion choice. I know, I am one of them. Maybe you or someone you love is as well. In fact, I KNOW someone you love is! The statistics range at 43% of ALL WOMEN of childbearing age has made this deadly choice. If you have been praying about leading or spearheading a post abortion recovery group in your church, PRC or community. STS is here to help. Please check out our variety of products on the LIFEWAY website.
Also, STS has an easy to follow downloadable AUDIO training available here on our SHOP.
Lastly, I am available on a few limited occasions to come to your church or pregnancy center to lead a face to face training. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
We are praying with you and for you as you seek God’s plan for your church and community in this critical area of ministry.
In His Grip for Life,
Did We Forget the sales pitch?
“It’s her body.”
“It’s her right to choose.”
“She has control.”
“It’s all about “Reproductive Freedom”
“It’s between a woman and her doctor.”
“Abortion relieves women of stress and responsibility.”
It’s all about “her”, right?
If you asked two men who just completed the Surrendering the Secret Bible study in Massachusetts, they would say “No”.
They would remind us of the truth. There are fathers and extended family members who grieve the loss after an abortion.
A Grandfather paid for his son’s girlfriend’s abortion and his daughter revealed her abortion after 15 years of silence. He came to know The Lord after both abortions and deeply grieves the loss of his two grandchildren. Their memorial service was on Friday, November 20, 2015.
The Lord gave him a name for his daughter’s child. When he shared it with her she revealed she had been given the same name. Only God can bring healing to a family like that!
Both men walked through the study with their member books and the videos. While there are only women in the videos, it was eye opening and helped these men heal. They honored the lives of these precious children in a memorial service.
Many times I have had leaders ask if Surrendering the Secret is appropriate curriculum for men.
With pastoral covering and prayer covering, it is the perfect curriculum for men.
The women in the videos share what isn’t usually shared after an abortion. There’s usually silence, a break up, and distance. The women share their hearts which opens dialogue. There’s a ripple effect.
Will you JOIN US in 2016??
Would you pray that Holy Spirit will draw men to seek healing?
Would you pray for leaders to be raised up to serve them?
Would you share Surrendering the Secret with your pastor/church?
Would you consider partnering with Surrendering the Secret monthly so we can provide resources to facilitate healing? Hearts, lives and families can be changed forever when healing takes place.
SURRENDERING THE SECRET MISSION STATEMENT
Our mission is to overcome the secret heartbreak of abortion by engaging and equipping the church to embrace post abortion healing.
Our Goal– 1,000,000 hearts healed. (1,000 women and men X 1,000 Churches)
Does Anybody Hear Her?
This is the time of year we celebrate our Savior’s birth. The most important unplanned pregnancy since the beginning of time. Mary was a young girl and with great courage. In the midst of an unplanned pregnancy she proclaimed “I am the Lord’s servant.” Luke 1:38 NIV.
The truth is, Christmas holds great joy for us as believers, but there are women all over the world who see the baby in the manger and think of their own child or children, lost to their sin of abortion.
You might think this is an unusual way to open a Christmas letter, but that is the reality of the season for many post-abortive women and men.
I want to thank you for your support in 2015.
Women all over the world are hearing the message of forgiveness, healing, and transformation that God offers through the Surrendering the Secret Bible Study.
Because you did what you did in 2015, we were able to do what we did in 2015:
- We were able to launch our brand new State Ambassador Program to identify and equip leaders who desire to share the ministry of post abortion recovery in their own states, cities and churches.
- Two of our National Leaders traveled to Ireland. These amazing women paid their own way to support and train three growing groups of new leaders on the other side of the world.
- STS was presented at 4 national ministry conferences.
- We were able to produce and release our first ONLINE LEADER TRAINING!
- Pat was able share the ministry of Surrendering the Secret and A Surrendered Life on Life Today and Focus on the Family as well as many other radio, tv and websites.
- Surrendering the Secret was translated into Chinese and has gone with our team 3 times in 2015 to a place where abortion is frequently a requirement.
- A Surrendered Life (the chapter version of STS) was translated into Spanish and will be available on our website in 2016.
- Because of the support of our national leadership team, Cristina was able to share her testimony at her church and lead the study. One woman was healed and now wants to lead and two pastors have asked her to speak at their churches about Surrendering the Secret.
- COUNTLESS men and women have found help on our website, social media and 3,000 trained leaders.
With over 60,000,000 abortions in the US alone, men and women all over the world need the healing Gods’ restoring word provide through Surrendering the Secret. He has transformed thousands of lives through this program. Setting people free to be who they were meant to be.
For those of you who joined this ministry through your financial partnership in 2015, Thank You for helping us get all of that done. We are praying for your continued support in 2016.
If you have never given before, would you help us reach “her”? Simply click on the DONATE NOW button above or mail a check to our national office at:
Surrendering the Secret, Attention Pat Layton
3030 Starkey Blvd
New Port Richey, Fl 34655
We would love to send you one of our custom STS bracelets for any gift over $50.00.
The video link below is to the Casting Crowns song, “Does Anybody Hear Her?” The “scarlet letter” women wear is an “A” for abortion. 33% of women* have had or will have abortions by the time they reach the age of 45.
Our goal this year is to reach more women with the healing message of the Gospel and God’s forgiveness.
How can you help?
*We need your prayer support.
Pray that hurting men and women come to a place where they can’t wait another second to get healed. Pray more women will rise up as leaders. Pray that pastors will speak courageously about abortion.
*We need financial support.
Web site changes and graphics use much of our budget.
Webinars are much needed and live trainings are in demand.
Print materials for our leaders, conferences and travel, marketing and development are all important to this ministry.
Thank you for your prayers for Surrendering the Secret and those we minister to. We are excited about 2016. We look forward to updating you about our progress.
His for ETERNAL Life!
A GUEST POST FROM NATIONAL LEADER SUZANNNE HOWARD
So they will be called the trees of righteousness (strong and magnificent, distinguished for integrity, justice, and right standing with God)
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:3b AMP
I clung to this verse as I walked through my healing. You see, I had an abortion when I was 23 years old. I lived with the guilt and shame for 23 years. I served at church out of my pain and shame trying to make up for what I had done, but I was tired and worn out.
“Strong” was not at all how I felt. “Magnificent” was a far cry from the tired girl I was. “Right standing with God” was what I longed for. I knew that He loved me. Jesus died for me! What was my problem?
“The planting” meant deep, stable roots. I was anything but stable. He wasn’t getting any glory from my story.
As I worked through “Surrendering the Secret” I learned how much He loved me and He knew what a mess I was. I gave breath to the story that I had stuffed. I learned the truth about the child I aborted. Anger was expressed through letters and beating a poor pillow with a baseball bat. Forgiveness came in the exhaustion of letting it all out. I exchanged all the lies and anger for God’s forgiveness. I thought I had to forgive myself, but now I know that we’re not called to forgive ourselves. We’re called to accept God’s. The Cross bears the weight of all the forgiveness I need.
God’s power is made perfect in my weakness. My magnificence comes from His glory in me! I have right standing with God and have since the day of my salvation! My roots run deep in His Word and my relationship with Him. Now I can stand before you and say, “I had an abortion. My daughter’s name is Amanda Grace. I can give honor to her life. God healed me and set me free. No matter what guilt and shame you carry, God can set you free through the Blood of Jesus. To God be the Glory! Great things He has done!”
National Leader Team
Surrendering the Secret
Hey, if you haven’t checked out our NEW ONLINE LEADER TRAINING, NOW is the TIME!
Welcome to the Surrendering the Secret Website, our virtual INTERNATIONAL office.
Our desire is to serve you and give you a sense of community in your ministry or need of post abortion recovery.
We have trained over 3,000 leaders face to face to offer post abortion recovery over the past 5 years and are here to serve you anywhere in the world!
It is important to understand that STS is a volunteer organization and has no paid Staff.
We operate and keep this website going strictly thanks to hose who donate to STS, a 501(c)3 Tax Deductible Ministry.
EVERYTHING we provide is because of your support and through the love and sacrifice of our volunteer team.
HERE IS HOW TO USE OUR WEBSITE:
1-GET HELP NOW— with healing from a past abortion, please click on this link and find the leader nearest you. The NATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM each cover entire territories and if you can’t find help close to you will sometimes offer one on one help. PLEASE REMEMBER, these are VOLUNTEERS. They make every effort to serve those in need but will have to consider their own life demands and time availability. The STATE AMBASSADORS are our first round of State Leaders who will be closer to home but we only have 20 leader at this point.
2-ACTIVE GROUP LEADERS–IF YOU ARE A TRAINED STS LEADER and would like to serve the needs of your area please email us at email@example.com and we will send you an application.
3-PRODUCTS–If you would like to order Surrendering the Secret Products you will find them in our STORE link above. Here is how that works:
Surrendering the Secret Leader Group Leader Materials or Participant Books are published and provided by LIFEWAY. When you go to our STORE and click on an STS Book, you will be linked to Lifeway.
When you click on A Surrendered Life (The Chapter book version of the STS Bible Study–Can be used with ALL STS materials), you will be linked to Amazon.
A Surrendered Life is an excellent tool for MEN, COUPLES, WEEKEND RETREATS as well as those who do not have time for a Bible Study.
4-RESOURCES–-If you are a Leader and would like some additional resources to be used in your groups, click in the RESOURCES link and you will see the items we have available for you FREE USE. Simply download what you need and copy away!
5-TRAINING AND SPEAKERS-We are very excited to offer on site trainings when we have a HOST or Sponsor.
Otherwise, we are thrilled to offer our BRAND NEW ONLINE AUDIO TRAINING.
Author Pat Layton, as well as our National Leadership Team, is available for churches, women’s events and fund raising banquets. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for speaking information.
If you would like to order an STS AUDIO LEADER TRAINING or any other of Pat Layton’s books, simply click that link in the STORE and you will receive the Download Links for the Training or be allowed to order Pat’s other books, Life Unstuck or Born to Bloom.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HOST A TRAINING IN YOUR AREA OR SECURE A SPEAKER PLEASE SEND US AN EMAIL AT email@example.com and we will respond to your request.
Thank you for visiting Surrendering the Secret, we are dedicated to healing the heartbreak of abortion and our desire is to exceed your expectations with our service.
You may leave a comment or email us for additional questions.
Honestly, the same way we have ever responded!
The message of Surrendering the Secret has been the same for over 25 years. Our passion, our mission, our desire is to Heal the Heartbreak of Abortion and to equip men and women to tell their stories from a healed and healthy perspective.
“We overcome the enemy though the blood of Jesus and the Word of our testimony” Revelation 12:11
When the world hears the truth about abortion from the women and men who have endured it’s destruction, they will respond.
TRUTH INSPIRES RESPONSE!
I was re-reading that familiar story of the Samaritan woman found in John 4 this morning and reminded of this miraculous truth. When we are SET FREE, we are contagious!
So–you want to fight Planned Parenthood??
Here is how!
Start a healing ministry THIS WEEK. Include Post Abortion Recovery in your Fall Bible Study List.
2–If you have had a past abortion–get help, get healed and TELL YOUR STORY! Tell your kids so they know the truth. It’s hard but it’s worth it.
Keep praying that the floodgates of those millions of men and women who have bought the lie of abortion will open and they will come to the Body of Christ for truth and healing. That is what we do! That is what God’s Word does! Lets let our light shine before all men!
4–This is a BIG ONE–If you have a leadership role in a woman’s ministry or pregnancy resource center I encourage you to bring your entire team together and ALL GO THROUGH a post abortion recovery Bible Study together.
Those who have experienced abortion right next to those who have not.
Spend 8 weeks hearing from people you know and love who have had a past abortion. See their heartbreak. Share their tears and you will be changed. You will never look upon this bloodshed in the same way. Instead of a criminal you will see a blinded, heartbroken, filled with shame and remorse–man or woman who has experienced sin just like you have. Your heart will change and you will be a different kind of warrior.
The truth is, if Planned Parenthood dissappeared tomorrow, where would men and women faced with an unplanned or unwanted preganancy go for help? They would turn to the church! There are over 2,500 life-affirming pregnancy help centers across our nation, as well as Christian maternity homes and non-profit adoption agencies.
But oh my, how many CHURCHES?
How many Christians who are called, who are assigned to rescue those being led away to slaughter?
There is no need for any woman to feel so alone or hopeless that she chooses to end her child’s life, and damage her own, through abortion and there is no need for any woman or man to feel UNLOVED BY GOD because of the heart wrenching choice to have an abortion.
YOU my friend, can do something about Planned Parenthood as well as every other death by abortion mill in this country.
The question is, will you?
Greetings STS Friends!
We have been THRILLED at the response to our new Online Leadership Training program! It is so exciting to see so many new healing groups preparing and planning for Fall Kick-offs.
Here are a few ideas to get you going:
1–If you haven’t already–purchase our new ONLINE Audio Leadership Training Program. You will not only be equipped and ready for your group, the online version provides a never ending resource for going back and listening to each group by the week for a refresher course and some fresh ideas to get you started.
2–Go to the “Get Help Now” section of our website, identify your National Leader and any State Ambassadors in your area–contact them and ask for support, prayer and ideas of getting your group started and staying vibrant and alive.
3–Go to the “Resources” page of our website and download all the FREE materials we provide for you as a group leader.
Lastly–if you create something new–share it with us and we will share with others, like THIS promotional flyer that was created by a leader in Pennsylvania for promoting her newly starting group.
She has graciously offered to share it with YOU!!
Lets’ hear from you friends, leave a comment below and share your plans for a FALL Surrendering the Secret Group!
Where are you located?
Are you a church or a PRC?
How many STS Groups have you led?
How can we help you?
After all, It’s Time to Heal the Heartbreak of abortion! Don’t you agree?!!
Finally! You have been asking for so long and we have wanted this for so long!
TODAY is the Day!
We have just added a FULLY ONLINE–Downloadable Audio Leader Training to our website/Store.
Here is what all it contains:
The STS Audio Leader Training© is an easy to follow training process designed for individual use with either Surrendering the Secret Bible Study or A Surrendered Life chapter book interchangeably.
Author Pat Layton teaches the training (the exact material used in her face-to face training events) and follows chapter by chapter through each the 8 Healing Steps used in both resources.
This is an excellent training resource for independent post abortion recovery leaders, pregnancy resource center volunteers and staff; church ministry leaders and Christian Counselors and Coaches.
NOTE***An STS Ministry KIT which includes ministry DVD set; 1 Leader Guide and 1 Member Book MUST BE PURCHASED SEPEARTELY. This KIT will be reused over and over with each ministry group or individual.
This training will equip leaders to fully understand the STS healing process and includes tools for engaging the church; reaching women and men who need help and step by step tips on how to get your ministry started.
This training package contains:
- 2 Part Audiotape of Author, Pat Layton (approx 3 hours of audio training) providing a page-by-page walk through the STS Leader book***.
- Course Evaluation and STS State Ambassador Leader Information
- A PDF of the STS Leader Training Slide Presentation as note the Listening Guide
- A time noted listening guide to provide for ease in returning to specific points of the training as needed.
©THE STS AUDIO LEADER TRAINING IS A COPYRIGHTED PRODUCT AND IS FOR INDIVIDUAL USE ONLY! It is not to be duplicated, reproduced or shared without permission of the Author, Pat Layton.
As a CELEBRATION of the wonderful new tool–if you order your training by the last day of June–we will send you Pat’s E-book called 5 Steps to Starting a Ministry From Scratch!! FOR FREE!
I sat there and watched the miracle happen…again. I don’t know why it takes me by surprise every time. You would think that I would know better by now, but I am caught off guard every time. I just don’t expect to see a miracle unfold in front of my face.
The room, where we gathered for a Surrendering the Secret Leader Training, suddenly becomes filled with the Presence of the Holy Spirit. And then the healing begins to happen. This group of women, most of whom only met each other this morning, open up like blossoms as they share their deepest pain in the light of the early afternoon.
And suddenly, all my worries about how well I am teaching and whether or not I am adequately covering the training objectives, pale in comparison to each woman’s story and her heartfelt desire to help other post-abortive women. Our shared experiences and our faith in God combine to form this amazing dynamic that is nothing short of a miracle.
Each Surrendering the Secret Leader Training has its own special character, its own uniqueness. But I have never failed to see the Healing Presence of God enter into the hearts of the women in the room. It was my privilege to witness such a miracle at the Oasis of Medina STS Leader Training in Medina, Ohio on June 6, 2015.
Through this training, over twenty women are now equipped to lead other post-abortive women through the STS healing journey. It seems to me that Surrendering the Secret is a miracle that God has provided for post abortion healing. Through Surrendering the Secret, I received healing from my past abortion. And for me, that is a miracle.
Deb Marshall, National Leader/Trainer, Ohio
Welcome new leaders!!
Plus–how about THESE Upcoming Trainings!! Want to join us? We would LOVE to have you!
We are giving thanks for all god is doing in and through our fabulous STS Team of Leaders and could sure use your Summer Support!
If God is stirring YOUR HEART to help us reach of goal of 1 MILLION Helaed Hearts, please click on the DONATE link above. We would be honored by your support.
In His Grip,