This morning, sitting inside a coffee shop, my eyes were intently focused as I tried taking in every piece of bleeding emotion dripping from the story that was unfolding directly across the table. I tried to take it all in, the woman sitting barely three feet away vulnerably exposing me to everything that has broken her the most in this life. She transparently pulled back the curtain covering her past, revealing how she, as a believer, had an abortion in her 20’s. Tears welled up in my eyes.
“I wasn’t living in my identity. I didn’t know what my identity was.”
It was affecting her relationships, her marriage, her parenting.
She was a believer sitting in the church pew, but the enemy had convinced her that what she had done was too bad, too dirty, too wrong. That Jesus dying on the cross simply wasn’t enough to cover the weight she carried and therefore her identity was rooted in the choice she made, not in the action Jesus took to pay for that choice. She couldn’t live fully because she hadn’t embraced the reality of forgiveness that would ultimately set her free.
While she may have believed Jesus was enough in her head, the enemy had robbed her of experiencing that truth in her heart. It wasn’t until someone in her church offered a post-abortion recovery group that she realized her desperate need to embrace healing.
This conversation was a reminder for me of the power of Jesus and the importance of addressing post-abortive moms – especially around Mother’s Day. According to Christianity Today, for every 5 women that have an abortion, 1 claims to be a Bible-believing Christian. Working for a CPC (Crisis Pregnancy Center), these statistics seem generous.
Because of my job, I have the privilege of working with many pastors and ministry leaders. What I have found is that leaders tend to shy away from the topic of abortion in fear of offending those who have had an experience with it. The problem is, remaining silent is not the answer. Avoiding the weight that post-abortive moms and dads carry does not remove the weight, just like pretending you don’t have a disease won’t cure you. Instead, they continue to carry it, shackled by the chains Jesus died to break. And the fact that we let them keep walking around in bondage without saying anything for fear of offending them, that’s on us.
Church, we have a serious responsibility to talk about abortion. Not only for the reasons you would naturally think – the women who currently need help during their pregnancy, but also because of those who need help since terminating their pregnancy.
And to every woman who had the option to choose life but didn’t, you are not your choice. There is forgiveness. There is healing. There is redemption. He makes all things new and creates beauty out of ashes. (Is. 43:19, Is. 61)
This woman is one of many who have taught me the importance of talking about hard things and how the grace of Jesus is more than enough when we are brave in addressing and confessing sin. I am honored to know each and every one of them.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;