For another woman’s story of abortion and healing, listen to or read Jennifer Smith’s story all this week on Revive Our Hearts as we prepare for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.
I sat motionless as I stared at the pregnancy test indicator. My chest began to ache and I felt as though I could hardly breathe. No! This can’t be! Please, God, no!
I can remember the day like it was yesterday. This wasn’t supposed to happen to “good girls” like me. I was a single, seventeen-year-old girl who had grown up in the church, the daughter of a bi-vocational pastor.
Monstrous feelings of confusion, shame, desperation, sorrow, and fear overwhelmed me. My parents were highly respected in the church and community as God-fearing people, and I felt as though I had no one to talk to, no place of comfort for my aching soul. Even though I grew up in the church, I did not have an intimate relationship with the Lord. I knew of Him, but I didn’t know Him. Regretfully, I made the decision that desolate night to abort my child.
It didn’t take long before I spiraled down into a pit of despair. The valley of self-condemnation, guilt, self-loathing, and shame was incredibly vast and deep. I felt there was no way I could ever be pure again, and I tried everything I could think of to fill the chasm in my soul. Nothing seemed to heal or satisfy. The truth is, having an abortion was like having a limb amputated. While my body healed physically, I was never the same.
Seven years later, I met my husband. I did not share with him all I’d stuffed deep down in my soul: What if I was not able to conceive and bear children? Would I have physical complications from the abortion? How will I answer the questions on the medical forms that ask, “How many pregnancies have you had?” Do I even tell the doctor?
Within two years of marriage, the Lord gave us two beautiful daughters. After our second daughter was born, the Lord put His finger on the fact that I had not been completely H.O.T. (honest, open, and transparent) with my husband. I needed to share with Him about the abortion. In brokenness and humility, I shared with him all that had taken place, and asked his forgiveness for not sharing with him sooner. He graciously forgave me, and the healing in my heart began! God’s Word is true:
“Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
The truth of Jesus is the way to freedom, and God showed me that I had to move. I had to confess and agree with Him about my sin. Then, God began to move in a powerful way. He began to heal me, filling me with His peace and unexplainable joy. The verses I had learned as a child on forgiveness were now life-giving to me:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
“For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13, 14).
Out of God’s truth flowed hope, help, and healing. The Lord met with me in a sweet way, and showed me that I cannot forgive myself. Only He could bring life out of the ashes and restore my broken soul.
Years later, my husband suggested I use all the Lord had been teaching me to comfort other post-abortive women. I contacted our local pregnancy care center and was soon volunteering as a counselor. Since then, the Lord has used my story to help other women experience freedom from the guilt and shame of abortion.
What about you? Is God calling you to move? Is there something or someone He’s asking you to reach out to? Are you a post-abortive woman who has chosen to remain silent in order to guard your reputation? Don’t stay shackled to fear.
Perhaps the Lord will use you to minister to a single mom who’s feeling alone. Maybe He’ll call you to serve in an abstinence program, or use you to create awareness about the preciousness of life. Is there a woman in your church who is post-abortive that you can reach out to and pray for? Perhaps you can help financially support your local pregnancy care center. What if God wants you involved in a support group for post-abortive men and women?
As we approach Sanctity of Life Sunday on January 22, would you be willing to be challenged and stretched in unfamiliar territory for God’s glory?