Christy Cimino Story- "There isn't a single part of my story that God hasn't redeemed."
Do you ever feel like God is punishing you for mistakes that you made so long ago? In 2004, my husband and I started trying to have a baby, but it wasn’t happening. If you’ve been through this process you know that each month that passes and you get your menstrual cycle you are totally bummed out. After two years of faithfully trying to get pregnant, lots of tears, my marriage was barely hanging on because I was completely depressed. My husband felt like I was using him for intimacy and he felt helpless knowing he couldn’t fix my sadness. We decided we needed to make a decision to either pursue infertility options or adoption. We had no money and knew if we tried infertility treatments they may or may not result in a baby and the money we spent would be gone. With adoption, we would eventually have a baby with the same pot of money.
We decided to pursue the adoption process. My heart felt shattered, I continued to fear I would never get to be a mom. I felt alone and I prayed, begging God to knit a baby in my womb the same way He did for Hannah in 1 Samuel. He did not answer this prayer. God was silent. I was reminded of this particular scripture Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the broken hearted, he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.” After reading this verse I realized that God wept with me. He also used the scripture about Jesus praying in the garden in Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” God revealed to me that even Jesus’ prayer was not answered and his suffering was much greater than mine.
At this time, as I was looking baby books at the stages of child development in the womb. It brought to the front of my mind part of the consequences of the lifestyle I used to live. When I was 17 I became pregnant. One of my biggest regrets in my life is how I dealt with the pregnancy, I chose to have an abortion.
As I struggled with infertility, I began to feel like maybe the reason I was not able to get pregnant was because God was punishing me. I ended up meeting someone who invited me to attend a study called Forgiven and Set Free, for women who’ve had abortions. I will never forget driving home from the first night of this class. I was angry that this was true of me, that I had to face this fear and shame right in the face of other women and to myself. I was already feeling broken, and going through this felt like taking a hammer to my heart that was already shattered. On my drive home I cried out to the Lord asking him why he was making me go through this now when I was already barely holding it together.
His words to me were “This shame you have been carrying around with you, does not belong to you, when I died on the cross I took all of your sin and all of your shame. When you hang on to it, you are denying me. This is a piece of your heart that you haven’t given to me and I want your whole heart”.
This is one of the tenderest moments I’ve ever had with God and it gave me a deeper understanding of the depth of God’s love for me and how he truly takes all of our sin, our shame and our past. There isn’t a single part of my story that he hasn’t redeemed.
When I think about how God has made me new and has transformed my life, this is a season I will never forget. God was my courage and he gave me a new understanding of his comfort and presence. I had a new dependency on the power of his Word and a new acceptance of the depth and power of the forgiveness that is offered to us through the cross.
This season was the culmination of a healing journey he had me on. My husband and I went on to adopt two beautiful, healthy newborn babies.
God has redeemed every part of my story to reveal more of himself to me and has used my life experiences to give glory to his name. He has shown me how to grow in having compassion towards others and has taught me lessons about security, forgiveness, shame, healing, hope and purpose. May God use my story of shame to illuminate his gentle grace, unconditional love and faithful presence in our lives today.