A CHANGED HEART

A changed heart led to a changed mind, and ultimately, a changed life.

In 1970 I was an angry feminist. I recall a heated exchange in a college classroom with a man who argued against legalizing abortion. In those days, I prided myself in having a black-belt in verbal Karate. I pulled out all the stops as I passionately peppered my argument with F-bombs and lobbed them straight at him.

Two years later, I experienced a change of heart…and a change of mind. It began with a step of faith. I had screwed up my life with poor choices. I prayed to God to forgive me and asked Jesus to be my Savior. I had an idea that some of my convictions wouldn’t fly with God, so I challenged Him to convince me otherwise.

A short time later, I stopped mid-sentence during a discussion with a friend. I asked myself, “When did I start believing that?” I honestly wasn’t aware of changing my mind on the subject. No one handed me a list of “Do this” or “Think that,” since becoming a Christian. I experienced what 2 Cor. 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Before my change of heart, no argument could have changed my mind about some of the beliefs I clung to. In her book, What Do I Know About My God? Mardi Collier quotes Dr. Amy Nicely: “You do what you do, and you say what you say, because you think what you think.” Mardi’s husband Ken took it a step further; he said, “You do what you do, and you say what you say, because you think what you think; and you think what you think, because you believe what you believe about God, His Word, and yourself.”

It’s great to have God-given convictions, but then what?

In 1981, I found a way to live out my convictions. As a young mom with children ages 1- and 3-years old, I joined with a handful of others to form Pregnancy Services of Houghton County, now, Life Outreach Center (LOC). We offered practical services and compassionate emotional support to women facing crisis pregnancies in our college town. We also reached out to women suffering from post-abortion syndrome (PAS).

For the next 9-years, I volunteered as director, hot-line volunteer, the speaker’s bureau, and volunteer trainer. My passion was fueled by my heart breaking for the things that breaks God’s heart. Also, I had an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 19. I chose adoption, but I understand how panic can cause a woman to opt for what seems an easy way out. In my years as an Addictions Counselor, I helped many women find healing from abortion’s aftermath.

A changed heart led to a changed mind, and ultimately, a changed life.

Today’s thoughts were the result of commemorating Sanctity of Life Sunday and Martin Luther King Day. There is a place for arguing a pro-life stance – and I am truly grateful for those who fight that battle. Martin Luther King rallied the masses to march, but he exhorted them to do it peacefully. When he resorted to words, they were eloquent words of reconciliation, not accusation and retribution.

In these days of bitter political debates, we would do well to heed Martin Luther King’s words: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

I have hung up my black belt in verbal Karate. These days, my desire is that my words and my life demonstrate the light and love of Jesus. He is still in the business of changing hearts and minds. Only He can make a lasting change in a life.

Today’s Challenge: Ask God to show you a way to live out your convictions.Let your words be seasoned with grace, and may you love in spirit and in deed. Let the light and love of Jesus shine through you.

 

5 Comments

  1. Alison
    Jan 23, 2013

    One of your best today Kathy! Always grateful for your transparency! I too feel like a new creation and did it without feeling tied to religious law. Ahh the beauty of grace.

  2. Carol
    Jan 23, 2013

    No words…..just wow……

  3. Jane
    Jan 23, 2013

    Kathy,
    This is so timely in this season of political heat and passionate social issues. I love the MLK quote (tweeting that out!)… it reminds me of what someone told me a long time ago, “You can’t debate someone into the Kingdom. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.”

    As someone who’s been praying for a lost loved one for 15 years, I can totally attest to the futile nature of verbal karate and debates. Love is more powerful than any collection of words! LIVING Jesus speaks volumes. Great post!

  4. tammy tuisku kelley
    Jan 23, 2013

    Amen Kathy! Your story says it all and I too have come from “feminist” to finally learning the truth and God’s grace. What a wonderful life we live today.

  5. Sariah Flynn
    Jan 23, 2013

    Love this!!

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