Is there something you feel shame about in your life? Do you think maybe God won’t forgive you? Maybe you just can’t forgive yourself?
Stephanie shares on this episode how God forgives her, removes her shame, and gives her the desire of her heart.
Warning: This Episode is about abortion and sexual sins. It may not be suited for young children.
Here is the link for the Abortion Retreat MInistry called, Deeper Still
Would you like prayer? Reach out, I’d be honored to pray for you!
Here are a few books to check out:
Toby: Welcome back to Renewed and Redeemed, where we share stories of how God has renewed and redeemed everyday people’s lives. This is episode 21.
Today, you’ll hear how God tore down walls built around Stephanie’s heart, healed her and blessed her with her heart’s desires.
We hope this episode blesses you.
Crystal: Welcome back to Renewed and Redeemed. For today’s special guest, we have Stephanie.
Stephanie was born a Jew and she gave her life to Jesus as a young adult. She’s a standup comedian, a hairdresser, artist, mother and most of all, a lover of Jesus. Welcome Stephanie.
Stephanie: Oh, hi. How are you, Crystal?
Crystal: Good. So excited to hear your story today. To get started, if you could just give us like a brief overview of really what led up to this moment that you saw God restore this situation in your life.
Stephanie: Yeah. Absolutely. So, like you said, I was born a Jew in New York. Kind of traumatic childhood, a lot of emotional, physical, and even sexual attacks on me. Which left me with a lot of confusion as well. When I was 12 years old, my dad died of a massive heart attack instantly.
And my parents had been separated at that point.
My mother moved to upstate New York with my other four brothers and sisters. And I continued to stay with my dad up until his death. And then I had to go move with my mother, which I didn’t want to do because we didn’t get along. We always butted heads, but you have to make the best of the worst situations.
My father’s death was really traumatic to me. Because it was so sudden. I never got a chance to say goodbye. It was just so a lot emotionally going on with me. And my mother lived in a small community in upstate New York. In fact, the school that I went to as a central school. What was first, kindergarten to 12th grade and there were 56 people in my graduating class.
So that should let you know what a small town it was. Anyway, I was, you know, looking for love in all the wrong places. And at the age of 17, I was hanging out with my girlfriends. At this little bar with a live band and got involved with one of the band members. A couple of weeks, months later, things strange, started feeling. My body, I didn’t know what was going on. Only to discover that I was pregnant, which freaked me out because I was only 17.
Stephanie: And when to my parents and I actually, I went to a friend. And they went to their parents. And their parent contacted my parents. And my parents said, what do you want to do? And I said, well, I’m, I don’t know. I’m not ready to be a mother. I’m too young. And they said not a problem. We got the name of this place called Planned Parenthood. And we’ll take you and we’ll see what they said. And the woman at Planned Parenthood, she was so sweet and so kind said, listen, honey. It’s okay. We’ll take care of it. We’ll put you in the hospital. We’ll put you to sleep.
You’ll wake up and it will all be gone, disappear just like that. And I went Okay.
Stephanie: Okay. And I went. But afterwards when it was over, I remember thinking. Hmm. That was my baby. And I remember the following year, right around that time. I thought my baby would be one years old right now.
Stephanie: Sure, I’ve thought my baby would be two years older than him. And that left my thought process. And then a few years after that, I got involved with another man who was much older than me. He was actually 20 years older than me.
Crystal: Oh, wow.
Stephanie: Yeah. Again, I figured out later on in life looking for that. Father figure.
But I got pregnant, and I was so happy. Cause I knew he would be happy that I was pregnant. We would have a baby together. Cause he said he loved me, and we were going to get married and But when push came to shove, that was not the case. And you spoke. I do love you. And I want to have a baby with you, but this is just not the right time with my business and everything else going on. I later discovered he was actually married. In another town.
Let’s just go ahead and erase this little mistake. Because they didn’t even call it abortion back then. I don’t know what they called it, but anyway took me to a clinic. enough. Number two baby aborted. And I felt after this one that my heart. Was getting colder.
Stephanie: I mean numb. And sure enough, a year later, still at the same guy. Pregnant again. And I used control by the way. I’m sure the viewers are thinking, have you ever heard of birth control? Yes.
And then, so, and then it was the same story. It was the same story as the first. So now number three, abortion happened.
Every time I see a child or seeing a baby. It just, it bothered me. I wasn’t even counting the years anymore. For whatever reason. I always counted the first one.
So now we’re up to three abortions. And I leave him.
Believe it or not, I get pregnant again. But at this time, I don’t even care. It’s just, let’s just get it over and done with, just give me $200 so I can end this.
Um, Yeah. So, the enemy was definitely trying to destroy me and trying to destroy any life that came through me. Especially because I have a prophetic gift, they always want to shut up the prophetic.
Stephanie: So, I moved to Florida. And I already felt bad about myself. I was 23 years old and I’m thinking. Well, you know what? I didn’t call it murder because of my mind. I still didn’t murder my children.
Because the lie that Planned Parenthood told me and continued to tell me, was this wasn’t a baby. This was just tissue. So, it was okay. Nothing had formed. There was no child. So, I moved to Florida. I meet a guy we’re dating for a while. And sure enough, I get pregnant. I mean, I’m must of been the most fertile person ever.
This guy happened to be from the middle east, and he said, no, no, no, let’s have the baby. You come with me to the middle east and there was something inside him. I said, no,
no, no. This is not going to happen. So, I went and had another abortion. And at this point, the abortions didn’t even affect me. It was just a matter of inconvenience.
Stephanie: I’m 23 years old and I get saved and I discovered Jesus.
And all the pain and all the wounds and all the hardness of the heart now is disappearing. He’s healing me, He’s walking me through things. But even my salvation, wasn’t a straight like I accepted Jesus and then I lived forever, happily ever after with the Lord. That was not my case.
Stephanie: And all-around town. And I would just go through, like, I would be in the church that I went to our church that was kind of religious. So, there was no joy in my life going to this church. In fact, it was more conviction because. It was about what I did.
Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t do. Sleep around. So, if any of those things entered my life, it would be automatic conviction. And then I would backslide because I would feel so guilty. That I couldn’t live up to the standards that they set for me.
I didn’t. We knew Jesus, but I recognized. Later on. I really didn’t have a relationship with them. And then the father was so kind to me, he said, listen, He says, I didn’t ask you to do any, I didn’t ask you to put you on the cigarettes to stop cursing, to stop sleeping around. He said, what I asked you for was your heart.
Because once I have your heart, all those other things will automatically come out of your life.
Crystal: Amen. Yes.
Stephanie: It’s a process. It was a process. I had built up such a wall. In my life. And I wouldn’t let anyone in. And I’m still protected the lies of the past. I would share with people that I had one abortion, because one abortion is acceptable because it’s a mistake.
Stephanie: Two abortions, three abortions, four abortions, five abortions is not a mistake. And so, I have to live with that condemnation.
For all times I have to live with it.
And then so now. Christian. And I’m in and out of the church. It depends on the flavor of the month. Sexual sin always caused me to backslide as long as everything else was, are taken, but the minute sexual sin. Just like Adam and Eve. I would hide from Lord.
I was dating this guy and we decided to move in together and we were living together or six months in and I get pregnant.
And I’m like, I’m having this baby, I’m having this baby. And he’s like, oh no, I am not ready for a child. You can’t do this. If you want to have this baby, you need to leave this house and go. And I’m like, okay. And I moved out, because I’m determined. I’m going to have this baby now.
And. He just kept calling me and saying, listen, don’t do this to us. then they love you, but I’m not ready to be a father. I can’t handle that. You’re putting too much pressure on me. I’m like, I’m not putting any pressure on you. So, I’m thinking I’m going to keep this baby. Well, I have another friend.
He keeps calling me and saying, listen, If you have this baby by yourself. You’re going to be the worst mother ever, because you’re going to put this. Daycare, you’re going to have to work. You’re going to be a horrible mother. And it was like the enemy was coming at me
from all sides. And. And I said, you know, okay, fine. I’m just in the once again end the life of the child. This time when I went to the abortion clinic, I cried the whole time because I didn’t want to do it. I cried. The next day, the boyfriend calls me up and he says, you know what? I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve been thinking about, and you know what, let’s go have this baby.
Crystal: Oh, my goodness.
Stephanie: What was the worse?
Stephanie: You know, and I said, it’s too late. And I, once again became a very numb person. This time. I knew it was wrong. This time I knew it was murder. This time. I knew what God said about it. And that hurt me more than anything else going against.
And again, I believe it was just the enemy trying to destroy my life. Anyway, fast forward a couple years, I meet a guy. We get married. Yeah. Finally married.
You know, my sexual sins are not sins anymore because I’m legally married.
Stephanie: I get pregnant.
Yeah, like in the first year and a half. And
we’re just like happy and now I’m, I can’t wait to be a mother and I’m so happy. That I’m pregnant. I’m going to have a baby. And I go to the doctors, and they said, you know, you’re 35 years old and we want to do amniocentesis to make sure there’s nothing wrong with the baby. And I said, well, it doesn’t matter if there is.
Because I’m keeping it. So. I don’t need to do the test.
And so, I go into the office a couple more visits and they said, listen, this is the last week that we can do testing on the baby. And your insurance will cover it. And all I wanted to know is the sex of the baby. And I said, well, will it tell me the sex of the baby? And they’re like, yeah, absolutely. I’m like, okay, let’s do it.
So, two weeks later, I get a call from the doctor’s office, and they said we would like Stephanie, we would like you and your husband to come into our office and I’m like, Just to tell me the sex of the baby. Just tell me over the phone. No, come into the office please. And I was like, okay, something’s wrong.
So, my husband and I, we go to the doctor’s office. They tell us that there’s a genetic disorder. There’s an extra chromosome in one of the pairs of chromosomes. And this particular panel. chromosomes would I mean, they, they sent us to a genealogist and there was just everything that could be wrong with the baby could be wrong with this
Stephanie: And they said, listen, your insurance will cover. The DNC. Cause now we’re medical terms now we’re not abortion.
We’ll cover the DNC and I’m like, well, I need to think about this. And I go home. I talked to my friends and they’re like, listen, no, one’s going to judge you. Everyone understands. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Because the. Prognosis was I have an a 50, 50 chance of delivering a live baby and a 10% chance that the baby would live to be a year old.
And there would be extreme cost involved if the baby did live.
And anyway, I went home, and I went to bed that night. I said, Lord, I need to hear for new, what should I do? And three times the Lord woke me up and said, let nature take its course. And you woke up the next day. And I said, I’m not doing anything. And immediately at that moment, joy flooded my soul.
Filled my soul. And then the Lord spoke to me, and he said, name your baby was a boy. Name your baby. And I named him. His name was Tyler. Aaron. And I spoke to them, and the doctors were like, well, since you’re not gonna. Abort the pregnancy. Can we use you to study? You know, Pregnancy I’m like, yeah, sure. So, I would go in like every week and they would take tests. And all this stuff. And they said the baby’s really small, and he has a heart defect. I said that’s okay because if God wants to heal him. I’m going to give Him that opportunity to heal him. And if God. Take him. He’ll be healed anyway.
Either way. Situation, but I’m not going to terminate this pregnancy. And in my seventh month my water broke. It was New Year’s Eve. I knew that wasn’t good. Cause he was so tiny. And I went to the hospital, and they said, listen, we’re not going to do any heroics to save him. Because we know the situation with him. We’re going to give you whatever you want to make you comfortable.
And then when you deliver them, we’re just going to put him in your arms until he dies. And I’m like, oh, what, what. What? No. No, we’re not going to do that.
How cold-hearted are you people? But after 23 hours of labor, I finally delivered my baby, and he was stillborn. So. He already had taken them, which I was so grateful. And Anyway, that was hard because the enemy used that and said, yeah, God took your baby because of all the babies you killed.
That was a. sacrifice baby. I’m like, no. You know, I, at first, I accepted that and then I said, no, That’s not how God operates. He doesn’t make you pay like that. He’s good. And He’s merciful and He’s kind, He’s forgiving. And He wouldn’t do them. Lord, I trusted you with this. So, I’m just going to trust you with this. And I thought, okay, so it’s not in the cards for me to have children.
And I’m okay with that. I’ll join the youth group and I’ll be a cheerleader for the youth and be moms to teens and kids that don’t have mom figures. And I’ll work it out that way. So that was January 1st. That March, I was listening to the radio Christian radio. We heard this revival going on.
And I went up there and people were laughing all over the place, falling on the ground.
Having joy. And I’m thinking to myself, I don’t know if this is God, but I need this. But I didn’t want to laugh in the flash. I didn’t want anything to be about me. I wanted God to really touch me and change me. So, I went to these meetings and Every day, but I didn’t laugh. I just sat there. Stone cold.
face and just listen. And I said, God, you have to touch me. And finally, after a couple of weeks, He did, he touched me. And I just laughed and joy-filled me. And during that period, He just began to heal everything in me.
it was about maybe three or four months later. That again, I’m in the meeting. And he was asking people to come down for prayer. If you had physical, a physical ailment, That you believe that God wanted to touch them. And I went down except that I wasn’t sick. There was nothing wrong with me.
But I went.
You know, just praying for people. He stopped in front of me, and he said, lady, what do you want from God? And out of my mouth comes a baby and he looked at me. He said, well, tell God what you want. And I say, God, I want a little girl, blonde hair, blue eyes. long legs and two months later I got pregnant.
And seven. Seven months later, eight months later, I delivered this precious baby girl. And I was so happy. I finally had my baby. She was everything I asked for. She was blonde hair, blue eyes. She was tall.
But there was still the issue of these abortions that I had that was never dealt with. Because I hid it because I was so ashamed of it. And a friend of mine invited me to a woman’s meeting. I went a couple of times, and these women were so caring and loving. And the Lord says, tell them. And I said what He said, tell them, I said, tell them.
Everything. And He’s like, yeah. So, I went up and I told them, I said, listen, I have a confession to me. I’ve had six abortions. And they immediately wrapped their arms around me and held me close and cried with me. And the shame. Shackles. Completely off.
Stephanie: truth will set you free. In me. The truth in hiding it totally set me free.
But they were still healing to be done.
Crystal: Yeah. It shows the power of the verse, confess your sins, one to another. That’s because of the shame comes off.
Stephanie: Absolutely. And that’s exactly immediately everything fell. I was able to cry about these children for the first time in my life, where I was not able to do that before, I just suppressed it. I just suppressed my emotions and just put them in a little box. And hid them. And little by little, the Lord dealt with me, and He had me share that testimony with other women and women would come up to me and say, you don’t know how much hearing that from you set me free. Now I can confess it and get healed from the Lord. There’s so much shame attached with abortion, especially in the Christian community.
They don’t know how to handle that. And you don’t know, and back then they did not know how to deal with that. So, it was just like any other sexual sins. No one talked about it. No one talked about pornography. No one talked about. Being sexually molested, no one talked about those things back then. So little by little, the Lord began healing me.
It was just as recent as last year. In October. I got a call from a good friend of mine. And she said, Stephanie, there’s this retreat going on? And it’s for women that have had abortions for healing. And I think you should go. And I’m like really. I said this, this is like 40 years ago.
Okay. And she didn’t know I had six abortions. And she says, well, you’ve had had an abortion. Have you? And I said, yeah, I’ve had six. She goes, oh no, you’re going, you’re going.
She said, let me find out if they have a bed available for you. And the woman called me up who headed it up and she said, no, we’re all full, but we’ll put you on the list for the next one. I’m like, okay. Not a problem. But then she called back. She said, listen, we prayed about it. And the Lord said, you’re supposed to come to this one. And I said, okay, great.
Stephanie: And I went, and it was a group of 10 other women that also had abortions anywhere from one abortion. To me. I have the most six abortions.
There were people that had 2, 3, 4, but they had carried this their whole lives and they really needed to get completely healed and set free. It was a three-day retreat, and it was great. They. They tapped on everything. But on the second day we went to lunch. And we came back and there was a big table, and it was covered.
And it was full of Teddy bears. Dressed up like little babies. They have the little diapers on little bows or little boys and girls. You can tell. And they said, okay, what we want you to do now is we want you to come up to the table. And pick up a baby, pick up a bear, pick up one bear that represents.
Your abortion. And then we placed. Rocking chairs outside. Go take your baby bear. Sit in the rocking chair and talk to your bear. Like you’re talking to you, baby. Well, as soon as I realized I had to go pick up six bears, I broke down. I just broke down. And I never cried. Babies. I never cried and mourned the loss of these babies. And I finally got my babies. Actually I. Baskets. To put on.
And went outside, but that again was so freeing. That I was able to speak to them. And then the Lord told me to name them. That my babies. Are in heaven. They know me. They love me. They don’t hold it against me. They don’t hate me. They forgive me. They want to be named.
They want to have name. And I went home, and the Lord said, I don’t even know. Who was what, who was a boy who was a girl? And He said, pick out a name for each. And, you know, I took a piece of paper, and the Lord actually gave me the dates of the abortions. He gave me the year. And then He even reminded me of the father’s name.
So, if I wanted to, if it was a boy and I wanted to name it after the father, I could.
Because the father is still the father regardless.
Stephanie: I went through, and He gave me the name. I did a boy’s name and a girl’s name. And then I looked at all the bears and I said, okay, look. And He showed me each one of them.
And their names. And I put these, I got these little beaded bracelets and put it on. And So, it was really redeeming and freeing and healing to finally let that all go. They even had the last day of the retreat. They had a Memorial service for the babies because who has a funeral for an aborted baby.
Stephanie: Memorial for an aborted baby, nobody, but guess what? They’re still babies.
Stephanie: And God has them waiting for us when we go to heaven, our babies are waiting for us with open arms. Just waiting to be with their mama and their daddies. And it’s so beautiful. And that alone. Brings so much healing to me. That alone. So much joy knowing that number one. God forgives me.
Number two, my children are with Him and have Him. And number three. That they’re waiting for me, and they love me unconditionally. They don’t even know what happened to them. They don’t know how they got there. Because God’s forgiveness erases all of that.
Crystal: Wow. That’s powerful.
Stephanie: They don’t even know how they got to heaven. So, there’s nothing for them to be upset about. Yeah, that is. And, and for women out there that are listening, that went through this, just know your children love you that they’re waiting for you, and they can’t wait to see you and be united together.
And if you’re out there listening and you’ve had abortions and you’re dealing with the guilt, know, that God forgives, you. Give it up to Him. Name your baby. Give your baby a name. They want to be named. Know that you’re forgiven, and you’re washed clean. And there’s no guilt or condemnation. He wants to heal you and make you whole again
Crystal: Will you close us out in prayer and pray for anybody that is dealing with that.
Stephanie: Absolutely. So, Father, I just come as a representation of just one of your daughters. who made mistakes, who aborted babies who killed their children? I ask that any single person, women listen and, or any man. not just a woman thing. It’s for men too, because they are a part of it and their fathers. And they have same burdens and heartaches as the women do that, they carry with them that they were part of that process. Father, I ask that you touch them. They would forgive themselves knowing that you forgave them Father God. And that you would give them a glimpse of their babies, you would show them their babies that you would them the comfort that they need, that you would give them the healing that they need. Father God.
That their children love them so much can’t wait to see them. And Lord, I just thank you for this. In Jesus’ precious name.
Thank you so much.
Today, you heard the story of how God redeemed Stephanie from many hurts and shame.
He surrounded her with people to help and love her and gave her the boldness and passion to do the same for others. Her story is a great reminder of God’s forgiveness and love. He wants to redeem all of us. He wants to remove your shame and restore your life. If you are struggling with shame or from having an abortion, call out to God. He will hear your cry and answer. you.
You can also reach out to me, and I’d be happy to pray with you. There also will be a link to a few books and the retreat ministry that Stephanie discussed in this episode. You are not alone. God sees you. And He loves you.