Forgiven and Free
Losing a child through abortion is complicated. There’s pain and grief, but how do women reach out for help when it was their choice, often done in secret, and when they’re told abortion’s no big deal?
For months after my abortion, my eyes grew blurry with tears every time I saw a child. I couldn’t talk to anyone about the sadness. My body naturally prepared to provide sustenance to a baby, but my arms were empty. I couldn’t talk to anyone about the emptiness. Not if I wanted to keep my secret.
A day came (a year later, I’m not sure) when the tears flowed, and I cried out to God to forgive me. And then I hardened my heart and tried to forget.
At nineteen, new to giving my life to Christ and walking with Him, my pastor gave a message on abortion. My memories are fuzzy except for one image: Crumpling to the ground, buckling under the weight of truth, and weeping uncontrollably. I thought the anguish would never subside. Grief and shame poured from me, symbolized by the dark stain of tears on the church carpet. I was free, I thought, and determined from that day forward to pursue a ministry helping other young women make a different choice than the one I had made.
I took this path, unaware of the remaining heart work ahead.
At twenty-one, I was pregnant again under completely different circumstances. If you had asked me about my abortion, I would have told you it was the worst decision I had ever made, but God had forgiven me and healed my heart. However, when I went for my first prenatal visit, my heart raced and sweat pooled under my arms as soon as I sat on the table with the crinkly paper, and when asked about number of pregnancies, I swallowed the lump in my throat and lied. I said it was my first.
Then, one morning further along in my pregnancy, I woke up to use the bathroom and saw a toilet full of blood. As I sat on the couch waiting for a ride to the hospital, I wrung my hands and knew God was punishing me. Why would He allow me to have a child when I killed the first one He gave me?
On April 11, 1994, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy, and as my son grew and developed, God reminded me of my earlier thoughts. If I truly believed God had forgiven me for aborting my first child, why did I assume He was punishing me?
Because I didn’t accept God’s forgiveness. I continued to view the sin I committed as unforgivable, denying Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Basically, I said, “Jesus, You may have died on the cross for our sins, but mine is untouchable. Your blood was not enough to cover my sin.”
Whether or not I realized it, my shame was a form of pride and bondage, keeping my eyes focused on my sin rather than focused on the price Jesus paid for my sin.
To live forgiven and free, I accept two truths: I shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17), and my soul still weeps, but innocent blood was shed for me (Ephesians 1:7).
We may not share the same experience or circumstance, but maybe you’re struggling to live free and forgiven. If you believe Christ died for you and took on the penalty for your sin, you have every assurance His blood is enough. There's nothing it won't cover. You can live FORGIVEN and FREE.
And if you and I share the same story, now you know you’re not alone. As I wrote my novel, I may not have understood what God was doing through me, but I knew it wasn’t for me alone. It’s for you, too. I may not know your name, but God knows, and He sees, and He’s waiting for you to drop whatever you’re holding so your hands are free to accept His gift of grace.