“A person plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Sue McCoy’s journey began by being adopted into a Baptist Minister’s family. Sue traveled a road riddled with rules – always obey authority, excel at everything you do, do not cry, do not feel, or ever display anger or sadness, never argue or disagree, and never tell anyone you’re adopted.
The atmosphere of her upbringing was strictly controlled – every minute of her day was scheduled. Her quiet time was to be documented and shown to her mom weekly and scripture was expected to be memorized before playtime ensued. That time of her life was characterized by the acquired Biblical knowledge being simply that – head knowledge that never permeated her heart.
The path of Sue’s childhood wasn't merely following the rules laid before her by her parents, but also to follow rules as a victim. Sexual abuse from a close family friend became the method with which Satan sought to steal, kill, and destroy her, but through God's strength she would not be overcome.
“Satan wants us to define our lives by tragedy or trauma, but this was merely one sentence in my life story, not the whole story,” Sue said.
Survival became being compliant on the outside with rebellion lurking close behind. “I soon found myself in a place of people pleasing and using humor to diffuse situations." Sue admitted, “I just wanted to have fun.”
Her attitude led to an unexpected pregnancy while attending a Christian college. In an effort to avoid disgracing her parents, she chose to have an abortion.
“One weekend I was at an abortion clinic and the next I was playing piano on stage in front of a church,” she said.
No one knew about her choice except for the father, who she is getting ready to celebrate 32 years of marriage with.
“I thought I could put this incident behind me and never look back, but I learned the consequences of sin live long after the act itself, but God had a plan to redeem my life,” she said.
After she and her husband were married, they had their first child Tyler. Tyler was born weighing 2 pounds, 9 ounces and was not expected to live. Tyler's father became a believer in Christ through this experience of relying on God alone to save his life. Looking back, God miraculously saved both their lives. A year later their first daughter Jenna was born six weeks premature and once again had to stay in the hospital; it became clear that Sue had to rely on God alone. It was after giving birth to her first two children that she realized what she had done by having an abortion.
“The guilt was overwhelming, the self-loathing over my choice, and the inability to take it back and start over, was unshakable," she said.
After giving birth to their third child, Jessica, God orchestrated events that led Sue to a post-abortion Bible study.
“It was in this small group that I began the process of healing and being brought back to the Lord,” Sue said. “I learned that we serve a God of mercy and forgiveness; He not only wanted to forgive me, He wanted to restore me.”
Sue began volunteering at the same pregnancy center where she was helped and eventually became the director of a pregnancy center, daily meeting with women who were contemplating abortion.
As time went on, Sue realized the question needed to become not, “What have I done?” but “What can He do”?
Sue's journey eventually included reconnecting with her birth mother and consequently being rejected by her adoptive mother, but finally seeing each of them pass from this life to eternity as believers.
"It's amazing to me how God can use all our life journey - the good, the bad, and the ugly to bring us closer to Him and to encourage others along in their faith journey."
She smiles sweetly as she finishes sharing her story and says softly, “There’s a C.S. Lewis quote I love; he says, ‘God whispers in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.’”
God has been faithful and unwavering in Sue’s story, assuring her that if she listens to His message that she will never be condemned for her sins – she has already been passed from death to life.
One could consider her pained heart roused over this unbelievably good news.
Author: Stephani Duff