Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One Story

Before we dig in, I want you to know that I realize that every one of you has her own abortion story, and here's why:
  • You may have had one yourself.
  • You certainly know someone who had one.
  • And if you were born after 1973, you exist in spite of your mother’s legal option to “terminate” her pregnancy.

Some twenty-five years ago, one of my best friends discovered she was pregnant. And she didn’t want to tell her parents. A church-going, straight-A student headed for college, she was the only one of her siblings who seemed to have survived her parents’ messy divorce without turning to drugs and alcohol. She turned instead to a secret life of promiscuity. Sex became her drug of choice and then it backfired, or so she thought, resulting in an unplanned pregnancy. She was not sure which one of her boyfriends was the baby’s father, but she was sure that she could not manage a child. When she confided in me and all my 17 years of knowledge, maturity, and experience (a perfect example of the dangers of peer counseling), I supported her decision to abort. Fearful of disappointing her family and utterly ignorant of the emotional devastation that would erupt in time, abortion seemed like her only option, and at the time, it deceived us both into believing it would be a huge relief. Instead it was a decision that brought with it shame and heartache, and a lifetime of regret. My own part in this has grieved me to the depths of my soul.

Grief for the sinful choices of the past is inescapable. It is a natural result of the acknowledgement of sin. Yet because of God’s grace, Christ followers can experience a different kind of grieving. We do not grieve as those who are condemned—those who have no hope. Far from it! Many years after her abortion, one woman put it this way:

“I do not grieve as one condemned. While I do grieve with empty arms that long to hold that child, I live in the hope of the Gospel. I am forgiven through the work of Christ at Calvary. Therefore, I stand righteous before God, as one who is not only forgiven, but cleansed.”

Tomorrow: But how do I forgive myself?


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