Free to Set Free
Pastor’s wives aren’t supposed to have a story. At least that’s what I thought. Even though I read countless stories in the Bible of how God used imperfect people, I really doubted if He could really use me and my story. It’s not one I’d ever heard from a Christian woman and certainly not a pastor’s wife. I didn’t want this story to be mine, but it was. It is.
I grew up in a Christian home. I had a mom and dad who made sure we were at church every time the doors were open. They put me in close proximity to Jesus as much as they could. At the age of 13, while at youth camp, I felt the call of God on my life to go into ministry. I was tender to the things of God and truly desired to live for him. As I got into high school I had the tug of war most Christian kids have between being cool and following Jesus. I tried my best to do both.
My junior year in high school I began dating a guy who wasn’t a believer, but I thought I could save him. I found myself compromising so many things that I held important. The spring semester of my senior year, as graduation was knocking on the door, I knew I had to make a choice – follow God’s path or continue to follow my own. I applied to Bible college and knew the next step would be to end this relationship, but that was a tough one. In April of my senior year, I knew that something with my body wasn’t right. I had thoughts that I could be pregnant, but I kept telling myself that pregnancy doesn’t happen to girls like me. Everyone thought I was this perfect Christian girl and here I was beginning to take some steps of obedience back on to the path that God wanted for me.
I took a pregnancy test.
It came back – positive.
Was this real? Was this really happening to me?
Then fear took over every fiber of my being. This would mess up all my plans. What would people think? I hadn’t seen the church treat unwed mothers very gracefully. They wouldn’t let me into Bible college pregnant. I had to maintain the picture perfect life. I was convinced my only choice was to hide it. No one could know. It would be as if it never happened.
At the age of 17, I decided to have an abortion. I made a promise to God that if He would keep me from feeling the weight and pain of what I had just done, then I would give everything to Him. That summer I broke off the relationship and that fall I went off to Bible college as if nothing ever happened. The past was behind me. I was going along just fine until I started feeling the heavy weight of shame. The enemy would speak things like “If they only knew what you’ve done they would kick you out of school”, “you don’t belong here” and so many other thoughts. I began to battle depression.
I sought out help online and came across a Bible study for post-abortive women. I couldn’t believe there was such a thing, but I ordered it and hid it in my dresser drawer in my dorm – only pulling it out when my roommate wasn’t there. I began to heal, but I knew I needed to share it with at least one person. That person was my new friend, Casey Boyd (you know her as Casey Graves). She cried with me and showed me grace – she responded to me how I know Jesus would have.
As I began on this path of healing and freedom, shame began to lose its nasty grip. God then began to speak to me that He wanted me to begin to share my story publicly. Isaiah 61 began to burn within me. I was absolutely terrified, but knew that if sharing my story would keep one girl from choosing the same path that I did – if one life was saved – it would be worth it. I also knew that hearing my story could bring hope and healing to other post-abortive women.
I’ve truly been amazed at how God has used something so awful to bring healing to so many.
Over the past 19 years I’ve shared my story numerous times. Sometimes to rooms of hundreds of women, but most of the time it has been one-on-one as the Holy Spirit prompts. I’ve truly been amazed at how God has used something so awful to bring healing to so many. I truly understand the redemptive work of the cross. I have a deep, deep love for Jesus. His grace amazes me. Freedom is my life message and I know without a doubt I am free to set free.
"Free to Set Free" is ENTRY FOUR in our Share Your Story series throughout the month of March. Need to catch up on the series? Begin with ENTRY ONE!
Kim Masengale has been married for 17 years to Mel and the couple has two amazing daughters, Abbie (14) and Emma (11). They've been in full time ministry for 17 years and have done everything from youth ministry to now lead pastors. These Texas/Oklahoma natives now call Indiana, Pennsylvania their home where they pastor Summit Church. Kim serves as the Women's Pastor & Small Groups Director. She loves coffee (a lot), enjoys working out ("when I actually do it"), watching Gilmore Girls re-runs, and spending time with friends and family.