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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Forgiveness after Abortion?

In March 2012, during a monster tornado in Henryville, Indiana, Stephanie Decker's house was hit hard. As the home collapsed around her, she gathered her two children underneath her to protect them from the falling structure and its debris. They all survived, but Stephanie's legs were crushed and she lost them. In her Tedx talk she says some people said she was a super mom but she says she just "did what any other parent would do ... she's a mom who loves her kids." Later, when questioned about the choice she made she said, "I don't even think twice about it. I wouldn't change it for a million bucks." (sosharethis.com)

In 1970, my child was not facing the danger of being crushed by a falling house but was in what should have been the safest place — the warmth of my body, and I did not save him. I choose to not give my child life.

Scripture tells us:

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. - Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

Kathleen Winkler writes in her book When the Crying Stops that, soon after an abortion, a woman could feel relief because the seeming problem has been resolved. However, unresolved feelings she states, "may become haunting, months or even years later."

For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. - Psalm 51:3 (NLT)

The tornado of thoughts flying through my head that influenced my decision included:

  • Ashamed of what people would think or say
  • Disappointing relatives and friends
  • Not ready for the responsibility of mothering

It seemed that all had been resolved with the help of a procedure that took approximately half an hour. No. It was not over. It was just the beginning. Nightmares, sleepless nights, bouts of crying, depression, anger, torment, regret, and guilt. I needed help but learned to live in and with the silent pain. Silently reliving the procedure, crying, broken on the inside. Secret pain, which continued for years.

I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. Psalm 6:6 (NLT)

Afraid of being judged, ashamed of my decision, believing I could heal alone, I shared my pain with no one. However, in 2001, 31 years later, I realized I could no longer continue living with the torment that secretly controlled my life. Hope found in Scripture would be my greatest motivation.

Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don't be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood. Isaiah 54:4 (NLT)

Randy Alcorn, in his book Why Pro-Life, refers to a newspaper editorial comparing abortion to minor surgery such as a root canal or an appendectomy. He goes on to question the presence of support or counseling groups for those who, 20 years later, find themselves uncontrollably distraught, or grieving the anniversary of their appendectomy or root canal?

I have had more than one root canal, do not remember the details, nor required support or counseling for any. However, I have experienced deep and uncontrollable grief when remembering my aborted child. For this, I needed support.

Many churches and counseling services nationwide offer specialized counseling. My quest to heal began through a confidential Abortion Recovery Program offered by Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater. With the combined caring atmosphere and tender mercy of our Heavenly Father, the healing journey for my shattered emotions began.

If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. Psalm 119:92 (NIV)

Memory of my abortion experience and my child lingers. Tragically, that child would have been my only opportunity to mother.

Do I regret aborting my child? Yes.

Do I believe I am forgiven? Yes. My Hero would say, My child, “don’t even think twice about it ...”

“... neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.” John 8:11 (KJV 2000)

Heavenly Father, I am grateful that after abortion, You extended Your loving arms to offer me healing, forgiveness, restoration, and peace, in Jesus name, Amen.

Copyright © 2018 Merle Mills, used with permission.

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