April is National Abortion Recovery Awareness Month. There have been over 57 million abortions in this country since 1973. Add the fathers, parents, siblings, and children to post-abortive women, almost half of the population in any community are affected. In fact, the American Association of Christian Counselors estimates between 7-9 individuals are deeply impacted from each and every abortion that occurs.
Those who work in Post-Abortion Recovery Ministries hear the same thing repeated time and again: “I can’t forgive myself,” “God could never forgive me for what I’ve done.” But the truth is, He already has. That’s the truth we impart to participants in a Bible study specifically designed to help heal the wounds abortion has created. That’s the truth we as a ministry are trying to spread to break through the silence and shame surrounding a past abortion so that anyone can experience the kind of love Jesus has for us.
I remember my own healing retreat, where I said …
Could You possibly forgive me, Lord?
If You could forgive others for their sins, could You forgive me too?
If You can still love them, despite their pasts, can You love me too?
I don’t understand how you can love like you do.
I walked into that retreat a broken, hopeless woman, filled with anger. But I walked out without guilt, with hope and assurance that I was forgiven and had been set free of all my years of heartache. I was a prisoner set free. I had been a prisoner to the secret I held onto for so long.
It doesn’t matter what our bad choices are; God wants us to accept his gift of forgiveness. But there is an enemy who doesn’t want us to know the truth or hear the truth, to prevent us from living as a testament of God’s grace and power over sin.
My “one word” I dreaded to hear most was abortion. Your “one word” could be something entirely different. But whatever the “word” is, God can free you from whatever bondage is holding you back. I pray that you find that freedom leading to His peace and forgiveness.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1