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A Different Road

July 2001
By: Laura Baker
People often choose the wrong road and
end up where they'd rather not be. When that
happens, it's time to choose .

Ten years ago the Lord stirred within my heart a desire to help hurting, wounded women. I had done some one-on-one counseling for several years but felt God burdening me to do more and to do it in a more structured setting. I prayed for God to show me how to accomplish this.

The answer to this prayer ultimately led me to a training class for women involved in ministry with a crisis pregnancy center in my city. The center's ministry included a Bible study for those who had experienced or were experiencing post-abortion trauma. I was impressed with the results of their ministry and felt God would have me to be involved in the Bible study as a training ground for His next step for me.
Autobiography in
Five Short Chapters

I
I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am helpless,
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

II
I walk down the same street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

III
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in... it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

V
I walk down another street.

I was privileged to work with this post-abortion Bible study for one year. I saw firsthand the beautiful work of healing accomplished through the power and truth of the Word of God. Women who had lived with guilt, shame, and sadness were shown the path to freedom and forgiveness. This experience helped me take the next step, which was to begin writing material to be used, not just for post-abortion trauma, but for the multitude of hurts each of us experiences in the course of living our lives. God called me, a non-writer, to write. God's ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

The year of writing resulted in a ministry called PRASSO, which in the Greek means to repeatedly, continually, and habitually practice. The goal of PRASSO is to teach men and women to practice God's Word in their daily lives repeatedly, continually, and habitually. PRASSO is a discipleship program aimed at helping hurting, wounded men and women. God has allowed this program to minister to about a thousand men and women over the past eight years. Two twelve-week classes are taught during the year. PRASSO is beginning to reach out to other ministries and churches. The program is available to anyone desiring to minister to the multitudes of hurting people.

With this introduction, I would like to offer a series of articles that will give practical advice supported with Biblical truths to those who have been called by the Lord to minister to those needy, pain-ridden girls and women hurt by abortion, abuse, abandonment, rejection, and a lack of love. When hurting people seek help, the first thing they need is hope. Hope is lost when the circumstances of life seem overwhelming and there seems to be no way out. When life seems hopeless, it feels as though God is beyond reach. In Isaiah 43:1 God tells us, "I have redeemed you. I know your name. You are mine." Sharing this verse with your client provides an opportunity for you to find out whether or not she knows the Savior Who redeems the lost and hopeless. To know Him is to know real hope.

Whether she knows Christ or not, she will receive your help only if she sees your love for her, despite her lifestyle or her sin. We are told in I Corinthians 13:7 that "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." We must show compassion. True compassion allows us to be deeply moved by the pain and suffering of another to the point that we are willing and compelled to get involved. We must love the person unconditionally -- without regard for her lifestyle. Through compassionately loving the individual, we are able to build a relationship that will enable and allow us to confront her with her wrong choices that led to sin.

We have a choice -- to walk down a different street or fall into the same hole over and over! Walking down a different street means we quit blaming our home, our parents, our friends, and even the one who hurt us, and we choose to take responsibility. Walking down a different street means we acknowledge our defense mechanisms, such as anger, bitterness, looking to others to meet our needs, drugs, alcohol, unforgiveness, and other sinful habits that bring about more wrong choices. Walking down a different street means meeting life on God's terms, not on our terms. Walking down a different street means we must admit we have a problem and God has the only right answer. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man [woman], but the end is death." Destruction is the result of not listening to God.

God uses three things to get our attention: (1) the velvet glove of His Word; (2) counselors; (3) the circumstances of life. God desires that we love His Son and that we read and obey His Word. If we make a choice to go our own way, God may graciously bring a friend, a counselor, or some other messenger such as a radio broadcast to try to get our attention because He loves us. However, if we still will not listen, God will endeavor to use the circumstances of life, an unwanted pregnancy, rejection, a broken marriage, bankruptcy, or some other hurtful situation to try to get our attention. Why? Because of His great love for us. I John 4:10 says, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the substitute for our sins."

As we reach out to help the woman who has sought our help, we cannot use a "Band-Aid method" that brings only temporary relief. We must pray that God will allow us to boldly, yet compassionately, show her that her true need is not for a solution to the problem that brought her. Her true need is to have Jesus Christ as the Lord and Master of her life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura Baker is president of PRASSO Ministries and can be reached by calling 864-244-2994 or writing 2718-B Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC 29615.

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