I shared my abortion story awhile back. Please check out my Abortion Recovery section to read the posts related. That day doesn’t haunt me in the same way anymore because God has turned one of the most horrible acts into an opportunity to bring healing to hurting hearts. And I’m incredibly grateful.
Today, I want to share about four stunning times God had me share my story, though I was incredibly unwilling, so women could find peace.
I want to tell you these little snippets because I want you to know that if you are willing to obey the Spirit, He could very well shock you and shake a heart in a way that will leave them confident God was involved. I want you to pray about sharing your journey of healing, whatever it may be.
I had my abortion at the age of nineteen. I was incredibly young. I found healing two years later (most women suffer in their shame much, much longer).
My abortion recovery was tied to my salvation and so it took me awhile to realize that my quick healing was unusual. It didn’t take me long to see that God had plans for that timeline.
These next stories may sound made up. They aren’t, though. If I hadn’t experienced them myself, I would doubt them, so I don’t blame you. Yet, I state with all my heart that each one happened as I tell it. Actually, they are even more amazing, if I told you the other person’s side, but those are not my stories to tell.
Each time, I found myself weeping afterwards, so incredibly moved and humbled that God would choose to use me for His glory.
May He do the same again today.
One night, I walked in the dark from my late class at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to find a note on my windshield. Almost immediately after my recovery, I bought a bumper sticker that said “Abortion stops a beating heart.” Since that fact was so hidden from me before my abortion, I wanted it in plain view for others.
The note said “I love your bumper sticker” and had a woman’s name and phone number. I thought it was pretty unusual for someone to leave their name and number just for something like that, but I called anyway. The woman reaffirmed what she said and I shared my purpose for it.
We didn’t talk long, but the entire time she talked, I felt the Holy Spirit pressing on my spirit: tell her your story. She kept talking. I kept feeling the incredible urgency to share, but refused. We hung up. The pressing really became more of a pushing.
A strong pushing.
Minutes later, I called her back. I had no peace and the thought that I was supposed to tell her my story was so strong that I couldn’t resist without feeling like I was being disobedient. So, I apologized for calling her back.
“I know this is going to sound crazy, but I think I am supposed to tell you this. The real reason I have that bumper sticker. See… a little over two years ago…”
I told her everything. The abortion. The relationship addiction. The dying inside for an unknown feeling. They weeping in church. The fetal development models. The night on the floor in my apartment. The Bible study.
All of it. Quickly, because I was seriously embarrassed to be talking about this without her invitation to do so.
After I stopped talking, I fully expected her to say, “Well, um. Ok. Thanks for sharing.”
Instead, I heard weeping.
She just cried and cried. I just sat there with a very awkward silence for a bit. Then, I said, “I guess my story resonates with you? How can I help?” We talked for a bit more after that and she hung up with the phone number for the Women in Ramah contact.
One day after going through lesson plans as a student teacher in Texas, I listened to a full fledged teacher talk about her day. We were alone in a classroom. That “pushing” came back that I was to tell her my story. I could have died.
I was a student teacher, only twenty-two years old. This woman was married, with children, and “much older” than me.
It was comedic, actually. She was talking and talking, all the while I was arguing with God. He would press, “Tell her.” I would say, “No way.”
He would press, “Tell her.” I would say, “No way.” You get the picture. Back and forth.
Finally, I said, “Umm… I know this sounds crazy, but if you have a few minutes, I believe I need to tell you something.”
I shared my story, mortified the entire time.
Her face was stoic until the very end, then she started bawling.
Tears were streaming down her face even faster than the mascara rolled after them. I remember handing her tissues while I picked my jaw up from the floor.
Then she told her story. It was heartbreaking. Heart.breaking. Seriously.
I won’t share her abortion story, but know that she was/is a Christian and had been bearing her shame for decades.
She wouldn’t join a group so I gave her my copy of Women in Ramah. I pray she found forgiveness and healing.
One evening after a full day of teaching my first year as a married woman, I was visiting with a new friend at her house. That familiar “pushing” showed up as well as that familiar dread.
“Surely, LORD, not with this woman. I just met her and we will be seeing each other often. Oh, please, not really!!”
Again, there was no denying that I could either be obedient and share my story, or walk away with my pride intact, but in disobedience.
“I know this sounds crazy, but I believe I am supposed to tell you this….”
Again, I found myself consoling a woman whose grief from her abortion was shoved way down and who believed forgiveness was impossible. A woman who attended church regularly.
One afternoon while chatting on my sofa with a young mom from a community Bible study, that stinkin’ pushing came back. I had invited this sweet girl over because she didn’t have many Christian friends and we had just started talking. I was aghast that He wanted me to share again.
You would think that I would have had confidence in these situations because every time He pressed on my spirit to share, He had a hurting woman before me. Nope. Not confident at all.
Far from it, actually.
So… the sweet woman talked and I argued with God.
Guess who lost?
“I know this sounds crazy, but I believe I am supposed to tell you this…”
Not only did she start weeping and share her story (which makes me cry even now, fifteen years later), but as the tears streamed down her precious face, she said the words that stick with me to this day:
“Can God really forgive me? Even for this?”
Yes, He can and He wants to. Today.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
I was honored to have her in my Women in Ramah group. It was a privilege to watch her accept the forgiveness and Peace that Passes All Understanding. It was a blessing to see her countenance change.
Is God pushing you?
There are women carrying unbelievable shame and guilt from abortion. They sit next to you at church. They serve along side you in ministry. They sing praise to God in the pew next to you.
They also weep and grieve and beat themselves up. At church. In ministry. In the pew next to you.
Pray for them. Pray that God brings them the truth of forgiveness once a person is in Christ. Pray that they read in Scripture that every single sin is forgiven. Pray that they walk in Truth.
Nothing accept denying Christ is unforgivable.
How grateful am I that God made that real in my life? Pretty stinkin’ grateful.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
How humbled was/am I that God made that real in my life too? Pretty stinkin’ humbled.
Does He have a story for you to share? Pray and ask Him.
And don’t be surprised if you get a push. Or four.