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11. The Healing Has Begun

The Story Of Your Life
by Matthew West


You have carried the weight of your secret for way too long
Thinking if there is a place called forgiveness you don’t belong
Oh, but freedom can never be found behind those walls
So just let ‘em fall, just let ‘em fall

Oh, the healing has begun
Oh, the healing has begun

How long has it been since you felt anything but shame
Child lift up your eyes cause mercy remembers your name
All those tears you’ve been holding back, let ‘em fall like rain
Cause today is the day, yeah today is the day

Oh, the healing has begun
Oh, the healing has begun
Oh, the healing has begun
Oh, the healing has begun

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Just lift your eyes
And lay it down
What once was lost
Has now been found

There’s a world full of people dying from broken hearts
Holding on to their guilt, thinking they fell too far
So don’t be afraid to show ‘em your beautiful scars
Cause they’re the proof, yeah you’re the proof

Written by Matthew West and Jason Houser © 2010 External Combustion Music / Songs For Delaney / Songs Of Southside Independent Music Publishing, LLC (Admin. by Wixen Music Publishing, LLC) / 33 Psalms (admin. by Amplified Admin (ASCAP) All songs used by permission. All rights reserved.

Behind the Song:
"One of the worst decisions I ever made was 35 years ago at the age of 18, I became pregnant and decided to get an abortion. I was too afraid and ashamed to go to my parents for help so I decided to fix my mistake and terminate the pregnancy. Marriage was not an option because I knew I did not love my boyfriend enough for marriage at that time. I still remember climbing the stairs in the clinic with a group of other young women. One of the women turned to me and told me not to worry and that she was there for the third time. There was a brief private meeting with a female nurse who explained the procedure and asked me why I was getting an abortion. I broke down in tears and told her I did not want to tell my parents, she then handed me a box of kleenex and said "Oh poor thing". I suppose that was her offering of compassion. The procedure was more painful than I expected, but I am sure it was not just a physical pain. I don't believe I understood what really happens in an abortion, I have always been sorry that I did not seek out other options. I am glad there are voices for the unborn child. I have often thought that if a kind compassionate pro life protester had approached me at the entrance of the abortion clinic that day, possibly I would have chosen to give life. I know God has forgiven me and I will meet my child one day in heaven. I made a poor choice in 1975 but I have hope and a strong conviction to lead children to Christ at an early age by working in AWANA's and Vaction Bible School. Mr. West Thank you for being at the E-Women Conference March 13, 2010!

I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Hope Clinic in Nashville for a couple years and I led a Bible study that focused on grace, redemption, and restoration for women who were post-abortive. I think I must have expected the women who showed up on the first night to be strung out or something. But the women who walked through that door were strong and beautiful. They varied in age - even some in their late 50's who had never dealt with the pain and shame of their abortions that had taken place decades ago. They were pastors wives and daughters, women who had grown up in the church, women who were even leaders in their church. I was shocked. When they began to open up about the moment they made their choice some could even recall the color socks that the doctor had on that day or the color of eyes that the nurse had, but one couldn't even remember the season or time of the year when she had her abortion because she had pushed it back so much. Their stories were like reading a novel. We did a 15 week study where they discovered God's grace and love and learned to forgive themselves. Then at the end of the study we went early on a Saturday morning to a graveyard in downtown Nashville where there is a memorial for unborn children. We gathered around and remembered each of their children one by one. They brought flowers, and wrote letters and read them, and just did their best to say goodbye and hand their grief over to God. Some of them knew exactly the name they would have given this child and they would speak it for the first time that day! It was amazing to see the difference in their spirit from the 1st class when they walked in and couldn't even look up when they told us their story to the last day when they showed up all dressed up with flowers and gifts for this baby that they never were able to meet ready to truly hand them over to God. We always searched for songs to play at the memorial service that would give hope to these mothers and nothing ever seemed to fit perfectly. Maybe now you can tell their story ..."

Matthew’s commentary:
A woman from Austin Texas told me about a decision she made in 1975 that has stayed with her ever since. Her story began to unfold of a scared teenage girl who was devastated by the news that she was pregnant. Left with a boyfriend who didn’t love her and no family support to turn to, she chose to have an abortion. I could tell in reading her story that the very details of that day in her life had been relived in her mind over and over again during the past 35 years. But this woman has come to embrace the lifechanging gift of grace that can bring healing to even our most broken places. She now devotes her time to her church helping teach little children about God’s love.

This was just one of many stories from women who unfortunately have made the same choice, and the emotional scars from abortion continue to haunt these women for years. I wanted to write a song that spoke of the healing that can happen to our hearts and lives when we simply turn our eyes in the direction of the Healer. This song is about the freedom that is found when we finally lay down all the weight of our mistakes, our past, and our shame.




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