Shocked? Before you react, read on.
I was raised in a conservative Christian home and have loved Jesus since I was very small. My mom was passionate about educating me about the “sin of premarital sex” and how “abortion was murder.” And it worked…for a while. As a teen , I was legitimately terrified to have sex. I was convinced that not only would I be immediately struck down by lightning straight from the hand of God, but that my mother’s sixth sense would inform her and she would also kill me. A double murder, and I would go straight to hell.
Fast forward to age 25.
I was in a committed relationship heading towards marriage and I found myself pregnant. I was using ZERO form of birth control but still totally shocked by this discovery. Duh, sex works! Naive and in my invincible 20’s, I couldn’t believe what was happening to me.
You would think that based on my love of Jesus, my conservative Christian upbringing, and the fact that I was in a marriage bound relationship, I would have just told my family and given my mother what she always wanted…a grand-baby.
NOPE. I. WAS. TERRIFIED.
Growing up in my home, there was a lot of unintentional projected shame and villanization toward, not only premarital sex, but unwed mothers. I was convinced I would be disowned.
Pause. I have to tell you that that is not the truth. My mother and family would not have reacted this way…but in my fear and unwillingness to see my mother as a compassionate human being (which she was), it was easier for me to keep the truth hidden deep beneath fear.
I reached out to a close friend who I knew had had multiple abortions. Next to my boyfriend, she was the only one I told. In fact, I took the pregnancy test at her house. According to her, the experience was easy, cheap, and not really a big deal. In the fog of fear and selfishness, that seemed like the best way to handle it because “the problem” just needed to go away.
My boyfriend agreed.
I rationalized it in many ways:
- It’s so early, it’s not really even a thing yet.
- My Insurance will pay for it so it’s virtually free.
- We’re going to get married and have kids someday so that’ll make up for it.
- I have friends who’ve done it and they’re fine! How bad can it be?
- God will forgive me.
My friend was right. It was quick, easy, virtually painless, and only $250 (which my boyfriend paid for). I was in and out within an hour and we were back at his place to binge watch movies for the day. No one knew, and I was going to keep it that way.
A year later, the day my mom died, one of the first thoughts I had was,
“Well, she knows now.”
The torture of keeping my secret from her was gone. I found some solace in the idea that the grand-baby my mother so desperately wanted was waiting for her in heaven. Strange that I couldn’t acknowledge I was pregnant with an actual baby, but I could imagine that her grandchild was in heaven. It was easier to hold onto the good rather than acknowledge the bad.
Eventually, all my rationale stopped working. My marriage didn’t last long, I never had children of my own, and the pain of my secret was beginning to surface.
I understood that technically I was forgiven. I had repented countless times and had faith in the grace of God to cover my sins. However, I hadn’t released the shame and pain that was associated with having had an abortion. It was just easier to pretend that it didn’t exist, so I never told anyone, and I NEVER used the A-word.
Over the next few years, I embarked on a healing journey to address other pain in my life. I gained freedom from the pain of my divorce and the death of my mother, and I began to understand my worth and value as a daughter of the King. My life was changing dramatically for the better, and all the while, the Lord kept gently extending the invitation to actually “deal with the abortion.”
I became a pastor and was heavily involved in a prayer and healing ministry. I saw the Lord do amazing things to free people from bondage and decided it was time for me to be free. I gathered some trusted friends to walk me through an emotional healing session. I had been apart of many of them and, for the most part, I knew what to expect. The person being prayed for asks the Holy Spirit to highlight a memory that the Lord would like to heal. It is never intended to cause more harm or re-traumatize, but only to reveal God’s goodness and love in a painful moment. The results are powerful.
As we began, I was a nervous. I had convinced myself that while I was forgiven, what I did was just about the worst thing one could do, surely there was no way that the Lord could actually show up during that.
With a deep breath, I asked the Lord to take me to a moment before, during or after my abortion. I expected to see a picture of me sitting in the waiting room, or in the car on the way home. Nope. Immediately, I saw myself smack dab in the middle of the procedure, in the chair, the Dr. doing his thing. And, here’s where it gets crazy, JESUS WAS THERE! He revealed that He was standing right next to me, holding my hand! But it doesn’t stop there, He brought my mother with him. They were both standing next to me, holding my hand during the procedure.
Now you may be wondering, “What in the world is she talking about!? How is that possible?” The truth is that God is outside of our timeline and it’s totally possible for Him to take us back in our mind to see the spiritual reality of any situation. In my case, the physical reality was that my mother was alive when I had the abortion with no idea about what was happening. But, God in all his grace and mercy brought her with Him to show me how loved I really am.
Every chain shattered in that moment.
The two people who love me the most in all the universe, were loving me right where I was. They weren’t cheering me on, or celebrating what was happening, but they were there with love and compassion. Not one twinge of shame, anger, or condemnation, just love.
That’s how good God is.
Everything changes when King Jesus shows up. Shame is eclipsed when the glory of God shines. There is no room for condemnation when the loving eyes and arms of Jesus are wrapped around you.
I am not proud of my decision and I do not celebrate my choice. I do, however, celebrate the healing and love that is available for all people because of the total and complete forgiveness of Jesus Christ. The truth is that when we are forgiven, it’s not done with a cold shoulder. We are forgiven, loved, hugged, blessed and restored to an intimate and loving relationship with our good Father in heaven.
I have no shame about having had an abortion because Jesus took it all away. And He can do the same for you.
1 out of 3 women have had abortions. If this is you, you do not need to live in shame and hiding. You can be free. Healing and freedom are for you. I am committed to walking with women everywhere through this healing so that you too can celebrate God’s goodness, mercy, and great love.
Live freely and full of joy because of His glory that eclipses all shame.
I am here for you,