My husband and I are high school sweethearts and have been together for about 20 years now but there was a period in our young lives when we were apart for a few years and during that time, while I was dating someone else, I became pregnant at the age of 19. I decided that the only way to handle the situation was to have an abortion, so that is what I did. After it was over, I went back to the same exact life I had been living and 8 months later, I became pregnant again. I used the same reasoning, listened to the same lies and decided to have a second abortion.
Even though, at that time, I believed there was nothing wrong with having an abortion, my heart knew something quite different. In order to continue living my life, I had to ignore what was going on in my heart. I told myself that no one would ever know. I would never speak about what I had done and would never think about it. It was as though I placed the reality of my abortions in a big iron trunk, closed the lid, locked and buried it.
Six years had passed, and in that time, I had reunited with my high school sweetheart, moved to a new state, received salvation in Christ, found a church home, and gotten married. I had indeed, successfully suppressed all memories of my abortions. Life was “good”.
Shortly after, I started working with a Christian counselor on some inner healing work regarding fear. I went in for a session one day, expecting to discuss my struggles with anxiety, but with one question from her…” Have you ever had an abortion?” … the big iron trunk, that I hoped I would never have to acknowledge, had suddenly came up out of the depths. The lock had broken off and the lid flung wide open. She knew my secret. Fear gripped me. I felt exposed, embarrassed, ashamed. I had no desire whatsoever to look into that gaping trunk, but with prompting from my counselor and the strength of the Holy Spirit I leaned over and peered down into the darkness. What I saw inside was the full measure of my sin. If I had not already been sitting down, I would have fallen down. I lurched forward as heaving, desperate cries escaped. I thought the weight that I felt in that moment might destroy me.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Confronting my sin face to face, seeing the lives of my children, feeling the crushing weight, I realized that I was in desperate need of grace. So, I boldly went before the throne of Jesus, confessed my sin and repented. He met me with compassion and gave me the most incredible gift I have ever been given. Not a gift that I deserved, but one He freely gave to me anyway.
His righteousness for my sin. The Great Exchange.
As I left the counselor’s office that day, the big iron trunk did not come with me.
This is the truth of who Jesus Christ is.
This is the depth of His merciful kindness and grace and love.
This is the power of the Cross.
I had received and accepted the forgiveness Jesus offered to me but still held onto the belief that no one could ever know about my abortions. I still had a secret. I was still controlled by shame. So, the Lord in His goodness, pursued my heart once again and in January 2019 led me to a bible study called “Surrendering the Secret”. It is a study focusing on healing the trauma and heartbreak of abortion and finding freedom from the shame. During one of the sessions, I was asked to sit quietly and ask Jesus what His thoughts were about me regarding my past abortions. As I sat, I had a vision of myself on the abortion table. Jesus came over to me, put His arms around me and gently lifted me off the table. When He set me down, I was wearing a white dress...and then He danced with me. This was such a personal and precious gift of freedom and healing to my heart. It is also a gift that I am called to share, because this is the heart of Jesus for every woman caught in abortion.