We had our fifth ladies conference here at Woodland Christian Church last week. It was wonderful. The theme was "Finding Hope". I loved every minute of it. But there was one part in particular that was so very special to me. My friend shared "a testimony of hope". She shared how she had abortions and how God has brought hope into her life since then. I asked her permission to share parts of it! I pray it blesses, educates you and humbles you as it did me!
"Abortion has affected me in many ways. I'll start with how it has affected my relationship with God since that relationship has a ripple effect into every aspect of my life.
I have never felt fully forgiven by God, which ultimately has kept me a good arms length away from Him. I constantly asked for forgiveness and was continually repenting. I would talk about being forgiven because I believed what the bible has to say about His forgiveness grace and mercy. Yet I continued to feel like I was not fully embraced. Not intimately nestled under His wing as I know other Christians are.
If that's how I felt with my Lord and Savior, the most loving and gracious Being, you can see how that would pour over into every single relationship I have. Some of you may relate, some of you don't and some of you seasoned Christians know that the the problem lies with me and not Christ.
What changed? How was I able to allow God to fully embrace me as His forgiven, clean precious daughter? Well it's been a process and some of it is very fresh.
I remember the moment the scales fell from my eyes and I was clearly able to see that abortion was sin...murder to be exact. I read the Bible and went to church so I fully understood that I was forgiven yet it didn't set me free. I was constantly reminded of how much worse I was than all the ladies around me at Sunday school, Bible study, church, or even just hanging out.
Sometimes I would get mad (silently). Most of the time I just felt dumb. The best way form to explain it would be for you to imagine yourself sitting in a bible study (or at any event really) and you have chocolate pudding literally all over your face. You're trying to hang with the gals and be as normal as possible. Smiling, talking...yet you know you have pudding all over your face and that's all anyone can think about as we just muscle through our time together.
That picture I just drew for you is just one ugly side effect sin can have on our lives. Me feeling that way has absolutely nothing to do with the ladies I'm hanging out with and has everything to do with me and my sin. Abortion goes deep. It has lasting and deep consequences. How could I ever be that close to anyone with chocolate pudding all over my face? right?!
My 17 year old daughter and I were on a walk one afternoon something struck me HARD that she said to me. It prompted this conversation. She was talking about her struggles and pains that she's endured and mentioned how much she always wished for an older brother that could have watched out for her or had an older sisters shoulder to cry on. She even went on to say that she didn't feel like she should have been the oldest but has embraced it and tried her hardest to be the older sibling she never had.
My heart caved into my chest at that moment. I fought back tears and told her she wasn't the oldest. She did have an older brother and older sister. She looked at me with absolute shock. I had to confess that in my selfishness I took that away from her. I not only robbed her of the role God created for her as a little sister, I robbed her siblings of life. I went into great detail about how much abortion changes God's intended plans for generations. I explained that regardless of the circumstances, abortion is always a product of pure selfishness. Little did I know, that conversation would save my grandsons life 4 months later. All the glory to God!!
All sins are not the same according to God's written word. The impact of them, the influence of them and the consequences are not the same. I'm not going to spend too much time on this because pastor Scott has broken this down really well in his sermon on abortion. You can listen to it on the woodland Christian church website. I really encourage all you ladies take a listen!
Some of the highlighted scriptures are:
Those scriptures were key in my healing process. No one wants to tell a hurting woman searching for relief from her own sin that her sin is worse than others, but the reality is my sin is much worse than others. I needed to acknowledge that so that I could fully embrace God's grace when He told me yes, your sin is worse but you are EQUALLY FORGIVEN!
That's when It broke.
The crippling grip keeping me distant from God. I am equally forgiven. I am equally clean. I am equally precious. I wouldn't know this kind of grace and forgiveness if I wasn't going to church, willing to listen to God's word and accept the hard truth about myself and my sin.
His word has brought me true healing. True hope and real peace even though I don't deserve it.
1 John 2:2 says "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins."
Atoning means to make up, as for errors or deficiencies. Obsolete. To become reconciled.
Romans 8:6 says "the mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the spirit is LIFE and PEACE."
I'm finally experiencing life, peace and healing that other women are searching for but keep missing because they believe the ear tickling lies of the world. These lies come wrapped in all shapes and sizes. Do not be fooled. Sadly some women are actually "shouting their abortions". It's a sight where you publicly and proudly shout out your abortion. This is a desperate attempt to feel justified in their sin. You get one or the other, self-righteous justification or humbly accepting a beautiful gift of gracious forgiveness that sets you free. I've been given such hope not just through my repentance but accepting His forgiveness.
If I could give a struggling woman one piece of advice it would be to make Christian friends. The advice and prayer a Christian friend gives is priceless. Even though our past and our sins may be very different, we have something wonderful in common, we are equally forgiven sinners! We are equally loved by our creator.
I'll end with some unsolicited advice to Christian women who may not know they are speaking to a woman that has had an abortion.
Continue to speak out against abortion. Don't be shy about it. Its very important to stand firm in voicing what an atrocious and heinous crime abortion is. Talk about the biblical view of children. Talk about what a gift and blessing they are. Realize that abortion is a very spiritually evil act and please understand that an argument with a pro choice woman is one of spiritual nature not common sense that can't be hashed out with lots of words but rather prayer.
When you are talking about sin or making a point or comparison don't ever compare what they've done to murder. You don't know how many times I've heard the comment "Well it's not like you've committed murder" in a discussion about sin. And sadly yes I have and many others have as well. All that does is make us feel that much more unforgivable. That much farther away from God than others. So undeserving of His grace. And believe me, even as of right now I feel very unworthy of sharing any of this. Its such a battle to even speak about this. I'm only sharing this out of obedience to Christ and to bring hope and peace to others."