While the impact of the overturning of Roe V Wade continues to stir up the waters of heartache in the hearts of so many, we anticipate that the need for a ministry like this one will continue to grow exponentially. We need healed and set free women to step out and lead others in their communities to freedom, which prompted today’s blog post. I want to share these 3 keys with you and hope to encourage some of you to take that leap of faith!
Key #1 – YOUR healing comes first
We have many women who attend our trainings that have never experienced the healing journey for themselves. Don’t get me wrong…you are ALWAYS welcome to attend our trainings wherever you find yourself on the road to healing! But it is SO important that you work through the process before leading others. One of the greatest gifts you can give to the women you lead is the wisdom and experience you gain from working through your own healing. The abortion wound is like an iceberg…have you seen the diagram before? It shows a small portion of the iceberg sitting on top of the water, but underneath lies a massive formation not visible to the naked eye. That unseen, icy giant is what is being chipped away at during the healing process of Surrendering the Secret. As a leader, in order for other women to be vulnerable, you need to be vulnerable. In order for other women to commit to the study, you need to commit. In order for other women to trust the process, you need to trust. And most importantly beloved…the same way that the Father’s heart is moved for the women in your community that have been hurt by a past abortion…is the same way His heart is moved for YOU. He wants to set YOU free too! You do not need to earn your healing through works. His love and redemption have been made free to you. Allow Him to bind up your wounds first.
“If she has experienced an abortion in her past, the leader must be confident of her own healing and able to testify to the power of Gods work in her life through the Surrendering the Secret group. She must not be one of the group members who needs healing. As a leader, we often find that God is continually healing our own past, but we must be able to remove ourselves somewhat from the group healing process to truly help others.” Pat Layton, Surrendering the Secret Leader Guide
Key #2 – Stop putting so much pressure on yourself
Leading women through abortion healing is an incredible calling. A calling that can also be incredibly intimidating. We want to make sure these women walk away in freedom. But what if we don’t say the right things, or pray the right prayers, or have the right answers? What if they give up and walk away or neglect the homework? Oh friend…have I been there!! But if I have learned anything about leading these groups, it is that I do not need to rely on my own strengths or abilities for the healing to come. If the participants will make the commitment, set aside quiet time each day to sit at the feet of Jesus, and follow through with the work in their Bible Study books, He will do all of the heavy lifting for them. He will take their hands and lead them to freedom. (and just in case you are wondering…YES He can and does still heal women in a virtual setting!) If we want to live as surrendered women, then that means we do not strive to force a desired result, but rather trust God with the outcome. We definitely have responsibilities in leadership, but healing these broken hearts is not one of them.
“Remember your place. You are not the Savior, you are the servant. Follow the journey and let Him handle the results. God will use Surrendering the Secret for His purposes. It works. Do not try and force the steps or the progress of the women on your journey. Just offer the plan.” Pat Layton, Surrendering the Secret Leader Guide
Key #3 – Find support through community
In key #2, we mentioned abortion healing being an intimidating calling…it can also be a lonely calling. I personally think that finding a community to offer advice and encouragement is pivotal in successful leadership. You are going to have questions, you are going to feel unsure, you are going to need a shoulder to lean on. You are going to want to hear that you are not alone in your leadership experiences. I also want to stress the importance of a co-leader here. You will be dealing with profound brokenness hiding within the dark pasts of the women in your groups. You will want the regular support of a trusted sister to rely on, to pray with, to hold one another accountable, to balance personality types, strengths and weaknesses, (I am an introverted, type-A, task oriented person…my co-leader is the opposite and it has helped so much in our group settings!) not to mention practical things like sharing your group expenses and prep work.
“Women will come to you broken and shattered. Many have held onto this secret for many years. Some will come with their husbands or parents not knowing about their abortion. Many come with other critical issues or crises. Abortion healing is an intense process that often involves many areas of ministry needs, such as, drug abuse, divorce, child abuse, and sexual immorality.” Pat Layton, Surrendering the Secret Leader Guide
Surrendering the Secret, has just the community for you! We offer a FREE and private network to anyone leading STS groups where you will find support, encouragement, and MORE! If you’d like to join us there, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward you the invite link!
I want to leave you with this beautiful nugget of truth I picked up while listening to a podcast a few weeks ago –
“I’ve heard over and over again that people feel they can’t do “ministry” because they don’t have credentials. Today, I want to share something with you that I’ve been sharing with so many here: Your experiences in life are your ministry credentials. Your pain is part of your credentials. Your lessons learned are your credentials. You have gifts, talents, and experiences that qualify you to minister to the heart of others. The world needs your story. You don’t need to write a book or stand on a stage to communicate it. You simply need to be willing to share what you’ve walked through with someone sitting across the table from you having a cup of coffee together. The most powerful way to open the door to minister to others is to let someone know they’re not alone. “Me too!” qualifies you to be used by God. Those are the credentials that mean the most in this world. Authenticity goes a long way.”
I’d also like to share this free download for anyone still in the dreaming and planning stage of their leadership journey – please feel free to email me with any questions. Ministry_Starter_Guide_2021 Be sure to click on the Shop tab of our website where you will find all of our healing resources, including the STS Leader Guide, training videos, and info about our upcoming Zoom training class.
Be encouraged and be blessed!
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5