This morning started with a prayer for this day to be God’s day and for me to have his eyes and his heart for the ones I love and the ones I need to love. Before the routine daily things, I was once again reviewing my mental notes trying to put my testimony in written form for the upcoming testimony night at our local EG. After reading Sarah Mae’s bold story of abortion (http://sarahmae.com/abortion/) on her blog for the 15th time and feeling confident to share my story again of GRACE, FORGIVENESS and REDEMPTION it happened… Satan attacked again. I sent our local EG leader the following messages:
“Ok, this is me being totally vulnerable. I have been working through my testimony to share with EG if you still want. I have specifically been thinking about my fear of telling one of my best friends last spring. I have been focusing on her response and how thankful I am for her love. Just this morning I was thinking of asking her to come hear my whole story on testimony night. Within moments of wanting to invite her, she posts on social media that “abortion is murder” and that is “truth”. Knowing that I am forgiven by God doesn’t change the fact that I am judged by humans. The same “church” I couldn’t go to 18 years ago still exists today. Abortion does get easier, but it never goes away.”
Our precious EG leader asked if I could share with my friend how I felt. The truth is I don’t know how receptive she would be. She is “right” and “the truth hurts” are justifications that Satan sells. While I believe my friend’s intentions are in no way intended to be hurtful, the post still makes me cringe. My argument is that the truth should set people free. Truth without relationship/love/compassion is cruelty. It is very hard to cling to FORGIVENESS and REDEMPTION when Satan twists and manipulates people’s convictions to block GRACE.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involved punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18
Sin is Sin. God does not weigh one sin greater than another. He says all have sinned and the wages of sin is death.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Do I live with the reality that I once believed Satan’s lie that no one would know? Yes! Did I believe that it would all be over? Yes! And boy was I wrong!!! It was only a different beginning.
It was the beginning of years of self punishment, guilt, shame and anguish. It was the first step spiraling down to a life out of control, with no self esteem. I was a good girl. I was raised in church. My mom dragged me to church every time the doors were open from the time I was 6 weeks old. I knew better. I will never forget sitting in the pew of that little church, listening to the preacher and knowing that what was going to happen was wrong. I couldn’t tell anyone at church; their judgmental condemnation was very well known. I knew before my abortion that God would forgive me. What I didn’t know is how incredibly hard it would be to accept God’s forgiveness and forgive myself. I had no idea at age 17 that Satan would use this one part of my life to keep me in bondage for years to come. It was ugly.
I choose to EMBRACE GRACE. I cling to the promise that Jesus paid it all. I am not proud of my abortion, I am FORGIVEN. As women, as Christians, as Disciples of Jesus we need to choose our words carefully. We need to be a safe place to be vulnerable. My heart is heavy for women who need to accept God’s forgiveness and learn to forgive themselves. Our churches need to be a sanctuary for the hurting. We need to dazzle people with the LOVE, GRACE, FORGIVENESS and TENDER MERCIES of JESUS. Together we can Embrace Grace and Love.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5.
Jesus loves you, even if you have experienced an abortion. Jesus can and will forgive you. Jesus will help you forgive yourself.
Written by May B.