Within today’s hand-clasped circles of Christianity, folks have drenched social media platforms with details of “doctor” Gosnell and his hell-tainted abortion clinic atrocities. Indeed, the light of truth needs to be shined into dark places; but during this righteous outcry, we must remember that among us, even in our God-knit groups, are some of the very girls/women who once set their babies into God’s hands by way of an abortion. And since their numbers are estimated at one in three, I reckon each of you knows someone who has contributed to the results of such statistics.
If you didn’t know an abortion-getter before reading this today… you do now.
At fourteen, I was confused, alone, and I believed that the devil-breathed lie was my only option.
[Please fast-forward through high school, college, marriage, some law school & other stuff – about 16 years in all.]
Not long after I turned 30-years-old, I met and surrendered my life to the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Creator of the universe. Many a Sunday I sat on a church pew and bumped elbows with my new friends and family in Christ. I estimate that during three years I listened to about 150 sermons; and three times I cried and died on the inside as I sat through the well-meaning Sanctity of Life programs. Condescending tones of voice, shaking of wise heads, wagging righteous fingers, and all manner of good and godly in which “abortion” was spoken of inside of church walls, forced me throw secret shovelfuls of dirty dirt on the pain of my past. I crammed it deep down into the unmentionable regions of my soul. I thought it was my only option.
You need to realize that as a young Believer, I did not know that that ugly, horrific piece of my past could be and/or should be handed over to Jesus.
Someone just like me, has likely clasped hands with you, bowed their head, and prayed in righteous circles of Christianity today. I reckon they blinked back hot tears and nearly gagged on the godly outcry as voices rose heavenward.
About three years into my Christian walk, I praise God that I heard a teaching about freedom and healing through forgiveness.
Finally someone tore back the curtain just enough for me to see that this Jesus was not only capable, but quite available, and even willing, to set free a sinner such as me.
Even so, I knew I could not travel this road alone as I sought Christ’s mercy; so, with humility and shame to the utmost, I shared my past, my guilt, and my secret with a couple of women. These ladies immediately came alongside me with gentle hands, tender hearts, and Truth-edged tongues. They led me to the very feet of Jesus. Once there, I literally laid flat at the base of the cross as He poured redeeming water over hell’s sin-flames. God drenched the devil’s fiery lies and set me free. What I had done may have been unfathomable to most, but it was forgivable by the Jesus of my salvation.
God doesn’t pick and choose the forgive-ability of sins; He doesn’t weigh them on a scale and set the ugly, heavy ones aside.
But now, several years after my freedom, as the abortion clinic horror reports are brought to light and brothers and sisters in Christ rightfully rally against the diabolical deeds of this “doctor,” the statistics are still the same and one in three women are harshly reminded of their collective pasts.
Some will pray it off and read Truth to dispel serpent-tongued lies; but, others, like me, will stand in the shower and weep so that their husbands and children don’t see or hear their guilt, pain, and shame seep out of new wounds and slip down the drain.
Next to you on the church pew, down the street in your neighborhood, and in the café booth across from you, are the very one in three girls and women. They are your sisters, your aunts, your mothers, your daughters, your nieces, your wives, your cousins, and your friends. They are me.
Indeed, it is good and godly to stand for what is right and righteous in God’s sight, but please remember that during:
times like this –
it’s easy for forgiveness
to be forgotten.
times like this –
it’s easy for the devil to twist,
distort, lie and deceive.
times like this –
is when all the women among you,
need to be reminded of God’s love.
times like this –
is when already-forgiven women
need to be gently reminded
of His forever forgive-ability of all sins.
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36)
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:7-12)
Amen, amen, amen!!!! So grateful for you, Darlene. You are dearly loved forever and always!!! Louis and I are reading through I Samuel, and whenever we are reading in the OT, I am reminded of how my sins would have been dealt with before Grace. I’m ever so grateful that you and I were born after the birth of our Redeemer Savior. xox
Miss Patricia –
Thank you for this comment. I’m bawling.
I didn’t realize how nervous, scared, &/or self-judgmental I was about the posting of this piece until I read your sister words in Christ. I am forgiven. I am grateful beyond measure. My heart bleeds for those who aren’t being reminded of this Truth.
Also, here is a link to a site that I used to lead re: healing hearts and minds of those who’ve sought/gained forgiveness and those in the process of attaining it. (In all of our relocation saga moves over the last few years, I’ve misplaced the password, but I’m hoping to find it in one of the remaining boxes. Because now, more than ever, this Truth needs to be shared. http://healingheartsrenewingminds.blogspot.com/2010/01/do-it-now-if-for-me.html
Darlene, this is a good reminder. Thank you for being so vulnerable–it is needed.
Our church has supported Healing Hearts Ministries for years and I’m thankful their stance has been grace and forgiveness to women who have had abortions (many of them in my church.)
I’ve been thinking lately about how it’s never to late to grieve for anything. Thank God for ministries like these. http://www.healinghearts.org/index.php.
Ma’am, I’m sure your church has blessed women in ways you’ll never know. Thank you for understanding grace is given by God, but lived out by His people.
My oh my…powerful, life giving thank you.
As always, thank you, sir Doug, for your heart and Truth.
heart pounding, eyes pouring … so far I’ve sat at this screen for abut 20 minutes wiping tears, trying to say the right words… but you’ve already said them… Oh, Darlene… my warrior friend … courage, bravery, truth. I know the strength and power you display in writing this comes only from the strength and power of the One who freely GIVES forever forgive-ability. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so. Amen.
Agh, miss Patricia, you’re making me cry.
I just want others to know, to really know, that there are women in their midst who need to feel like they are not carrying an UNforgivable sin.
(and thank you to the moon and back)
The Power of the Cross… close eyes and listen (I don’t care for cheesy pic videos)
Thank you, miss Pat-Butterfly. I had not yet heard this song.
You, my dear, are the awesome sauce. Your loving Father only knows who needs to read these life-giving words today. Thank you for being obedient to his call and telling your story. I’m sure doing so cost you many tears.
But you know he counts every one, keeps them all in a bottle. Because he loves his dear daughter so.
Feels weird, being all mushy with you in a comment box. But my usual flippant comments just won’t do here. Not today.
Miss Nancy –
I am sitting here weeping with you precious friend. This is such powerful truth – such a healing message of grace and forgiveness; such a reminder that there are no degrees of sin in the eyes of the Father. We are all sinners saved by miraculous grace. Your words will bring hope to so many hearts. Love you dearly.
Miss Linda –
In, through, and for Him…
Eyes filled with tears. Heart filled with love. May we hear your words and not ignore them. May we not be stone throwers, but stone droppers, for none of us are without sin, none of us without the need of redeemer. Grace and peace to you dear sister.
Miss Stephani –
Thank you, ma’am, for your kind words. Stone droppers, indeed.
You’ve saved women’s hearts–and I imagine some lives, too, from despair, here, today. God bless you for your courage.
Miss Sheila –
Thank you for this encouragement… we know God’s the One doing the saving, while the rest of us just point to Him.
Ah, Darlene. Such courage to share this shimmering post. Thank you. I have walked this road with a few women over the years, most of whom would say pretty much what you’ve said here. And even a few, who in the midst of their pain and their cries for forgiveness would still say, ‘but this awful, dark choice saved my life.’
Fourteen years old. That just breaks my heart. I cannot imagine the fear and shame. Thank you for the reminder that amidst the rhetoric we sometimes so casually throw out into the world, there are real people with real pain and terrible choices in their past. And that not one of those choices — NOT ONE — is beyond the power of our God to forgive. May God use this writing to bring healing and hope to some of those 1-in-3; may they know that the gift of forgiveness is free and available and life-changing.
Miss Diana –
Thank you for your kind words and for walking the road with others.
Love you, girl.
Right back at ya, sister Monica.
I have a son who is fourteen year old–my baby. That’s what he is, Darlene. Just a babe. It breaks my heart to think of a sweet child–my friend–feeling like there are no options. Know this, dear one: YOU ARE LOVED. But you do, don’t you? This is what your post is about, how you discovered this and have come to embrace it. I’m so grateful to you for opening your heart to help others who may not have found this place of grace. You are a gift.
Yes ma’am – I know that I am loved! What else could I be as a princess daughter of the king of Kings?! I am worthy of Him and all that He offers — love, mercy, grace, strength, freedom, & salvation. AND I want others to experience this too.
You and I, miss Laura, we’ve each been through a lot as kids, and that’s why we try so hard to set ours on His path and point them to God, isn’t it? We fill them with the love and grace that we needed all along.
Thank you for your vulnerability, Darlene.
And you are exactly right.
I remember preaching on ‘Sanctity of Human Life Sunday’ one year and chose to be intentional about offering love instead of condemnation to women who had gone down the road named ‘abortion.’
Imagine my surprise when some folks were upset that I had encouraged an offering of grace to the wounded and broken instead a heaping of sin and guilt and shame onto the act of abortion
May God continue to hold you close and may you continue to be healed through the touch of the Greater Healer – the One who knows you best and loves you most.
Oh, sir Dave, thank you for sharing the greatest (which is love) with the wounded women in your midst. People may know about the end result, but oftentimes have no earthly idea how the girl/woman got there… the fear, the lies, the coercion, the being forced into it against their will, etc.
I am healed and I am free. Praise God for that Truth.
I’ve always liked you, but for this post I truly admire you. Someone needed to toss it out there and say. Someone needed to address the women in the story which continues to circle and haunt.
Thank you, brave girl.
Thank you for the encouraging words. Even though being the “someone” is hard, God’s love is way bigger… and better.
Amen. I have always realized that I do not know what sort of decision I might have made…. “IF”. I certainly wasn’t traveling a “holy” path…only God prevented a pregnancy. So there is no condemnation in my heart…I want to be a part of the equation that adds up to healing. Thanks for this piece.
Thank you, miss Lorretta, and may God bless you as you come alongside and share Truth with those in pain.