Taking Back Time

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

{Israeli Countryside and the Sea of Galilee}
I have realized since being back from my trip that this time off from being online has been good for me.  I'd like to share a few pictures with you from my trip and also to let you know that I will be extending my blogging break to April 1st.  This is due in part to the personal nature of my trip.  Since returning home from Israel I have had many things to do, many thoughts to process through, and a new direction in my life to contemplate.  I hope you can bear with me.  This has taken me a little longer to write than I thought.
{Garden of Life Dedication at Latrun}
This part of the story I am going to share with you is very personal to me and is the reason why I went to Israel.  I did not go to Israel this time for pleasure or vacation. I went to Israel for the L'Chaim International Pro-Life Conference and Prayer tour with Be'ad Chaim (Pro-Life Israel) and also to join up with another ministry, Abundant Life (Chaim Beshefa).
{Planting a cypress tree in honor of my unborn child}
Each day, 3,300 women wake up in America believing abortion is the only realistic solution to an unplanned pregnancy. In this tragic decision, not only is a human life snuffed out, but a woman’s life is changed forever.   My life was changed forever when I made this life altering decision at the age of 19.  Something that I thought would be over quickly and forgotten about so that I could get on with my life ended up being a secret that held me captive in guilt, regret and shame for many years.  This journey that took me to Israel a couple of weeks ago started for me last year in March of 2009 when I joined an 8 week post-abortion bible study and recovery program at CareNet.  It was during this study that I finally surrendered the secret that had held me captive for many years, and although I can never bring back my unborn child, this study allowed me to finally grieve for him, honor him and deal with all the anger, pain, guilt and shame surrounding my abortion decision.
{flowers blooming everywhere}
The bible says that "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)  I wrote this poem during my healing process.  It is a letter from God to a woman who carries the scarlet letter of abortion 

Do you know you're a word from Heaven
For my word resides with you, and you have the power you see,
To fend off the thief, the liar, your evil enemy
There is a secret that you hold but it is not your burden to carry,
So don't lose heart my daughter and keep listening for me,
for through this healing journey, I will set you free.
I was there in your sorrow,
I felt your pain,
I am here to wipe your tears and make you whole again.
Not one is forgotten my beloved daughter,
not you nor the babe.
The child who was in your womb is now in my care,
and when the time is right I will take you there.
Do you know you're a word from Heaven
You are my beloved, my daughter, forgiven and set free!
{Me with my friends who joined me on this trip on the Sea of Galilee}
My journey did not end there.  After taking the 8 week program I signed up for extra training at CareNet and have led two of these post-abortive recovery studies so far.  If you need healing from the heartbreak of abortion there is a website you can go to http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/ or if you just need someone to talk to here is my personal e-mail if you'd like to send me a note. 
Israel was abundant with birds when we were there. I think this is where they fly south for the winter. It's a bird sanctuary.  Birds represent freedom for me.  I loved listening to all their whistles, coos and caws. 
Below are a few of the places that we went to on the prayer tour.  I have so many pictures it was hard to decide what to post here.  Israel is filled with many uncovered biblical archeological sites.
{Caesarea Philippi - Temple of Pan}
{South Wall at the Temple Mount}
This is the South Wall area at the Temple Mount.  The first few steps that I am sitting on are the original steps to the Temple.  This is the only place where it is said that Jesus probably did walk when going to the temple for the feasts such as Passover.  That city above is the City of David.
{Hinnom Valley}
A beautiful place now, but at one time it was the place where the followers of Baal sacrificed their children by fire to the god of Molech.  The Valley of Honnom is also the traditional location of the Potter's Field bought by priests after Judas' suicide with the "blood money" with which Judas was paid for betraying Jesus. 
{Arab market on the streets of Jerusalem}

{Apartment Building in Jerusalem}

{In Front of the Knesset - Governement}

{Yad Vashem - Holcaust Memorial and Museum}

{Jerusalem as seen from Yad Vashem}

{On the Streets of Old Jaffa}

{Where we stayed in Old Jaffa at Beit Imanuel}

{Old Jaffa is a little run down in quite a few places}
Our last 4 days were spent in Tel Aviv and Old Jaffa, where we stayed and where we connected with the ministry, Abundant Life
Our last night was spent at Christ's Church in Jerusalem where had a wonderful dinner in the courtyard.  Thank you for taking the time to read through my very long post here.  I hope to get around to visit you in the next few days and I'll see you back here on April 1st.