The March for Life was last Friday and, if I didn’t have to work, I would have been there. Washington D.C. is only 45 minutes from my home and it’s an easy trip. I’ve always wanted to attend, but haven’t made it there for a variety of reasons. Maybe next year.
Last week I wrote a post in response to the women’s march that occurred on the Saturday after the inauguration. I was heartbroken after watching it unfold both on TV and on social media. I know that many of us were troubled by the message that day and I wanted to write a simple piece on our true, God-given, feminine identity.
As for The March for Life, you might be surprised to know that I felt heartache over it as well. My feelings had nothing to do with the peaceful and prayerful march, the wonderful speakers or the message of the day. All of it was uplifting and inspiring. God truly is answering our prayers for the unborn.
Even so, as I watched the march unfold, my heart was broken for many of you – my dear sisters who have had an abortion.
From Sanctity of Life Sunday to the march on Friday, we were reminded that since Rowe vs. Wade became law, 58 million babies have been aborted in this country.
What if one of those dear souls was your child?
I say this because, even though the cause is important and we as Christians must stand to speak out for the unborn, it doesn’t mean that the message wasn’t painful for you.
All of this, though well intended, can pick open a wound.
And so I prayed and asked God to remind you of His great love for you. And even though I have not had an unexpected pregnancy, we really are no different from one another.
In the time and place I grew up in, coming home pregnant was completely unacceptable. Fear was put into us, that we would shame our entire family. We were told we would be forever ruined.
I remember one girl in my high school who was quietly sent away to have her baby and give it up for adoption – but every other girl I knew in high school and in college who became pregnant, chose to have an abortion.
They almost universally made this decision based on the belief that they could not go home and tell their parents such news. They believed it was better to just make it go away.
And make it go away, they did. The problem is, it never really goes away.
When I look back on my younger years I am convinced that, even though I was a Christian and understood abortion is a sin, I feared shame, being ‘ruined’ and disappointing my family more than I feared God.
My faith was simply not strong enough to trust Him with a situation like an out of wedlock pregnancy.
Although I will never know for sure, it is quite possible, had I been in the same frightening place, I would have chosen abortion too – even though I was a Christian and even though I knew it was a sin.
In those years of my life, I didn’t have the faith and trust that I have now. The truth is, God never asks us to do anything He doesn’t give us the power to do. He would have given it to me, but I didn’t know it then.
And so, I can’t pass judgment on any of you who have made the choice to abort her baby. I feel so fiercely protective of your broken hearts that my heart breaks for you, too.
I am no different from you. I just never had to make that choice.
The story of my growing up years may be different than yours. Women deal with unplanned pregnancies in different ways and for different reasons.
But no matter how you came to your decision, know this – if abortion is part of your story, you are not ruined.
If you have asked Him for forgiveness, He has forgiven you. He sees you, understands your broken heart, and He will take away your shame.
My sister, you are not ruined — you are redeemed.
And today, maybe, just maybe, you need a reminder that your child is in His care and you are too.
I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. — 2 Kings 20:5
32 thoughts on “If The March For Life Was Painful”
Beautifully written, Laura. Although I’ve never experienced an abortion, I feel it should be the parents of the unborn child’s decision and, unfortunately, usually falls on the woman. BUT, I truly feel that if we can get this country back to God, there will not be a need for abortions. Yes, I have been a “Pollyanna”, but I can hope can’t I?
Thank you so much Nancy. As you know, I have had a few “Pollyanna” years myself. It’s so much better to be awake and aware! 🙂 Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment. I am thankful for you! xo
Thanks for sharing this important truth! I hadn’t thought about how difficult the march would have been for women who have had abortions. You are correct! God has forgiveness for all of us, regardless of the specific sins.
Shannon – I have loved on so many, many sisters who have been in pain during this time each year. For some reason this year, in particular, I was aware of how many may be hurting. We can miss it. Thanks for commenting here today. I appreciate you. xo
Laura, you write so eloquently and with the deep compassion and empathy Christ would display. Thank you
Thank you Jenni – I appreciate you and your encouragement. God is good. xo
Laura, I am blown away from your blog post. Word are inadequate to express the deep appreciation I have for your words today. I am one of those women who made the choice to abort her baby. I was in my early 30’s and not a Jesus follower. I lived in and of the world without a thought to the consequences of my actions. My abortion set off a series of events that eventually led me to the Cross. My rebirth was around the same time my baby would have been born. I will NEVER forget that moment of accepting Jesus into my heart with almost the sudden revelation by the Holy Spirit about the abortion. The blinders taken off. I felt like the wind was knocked out of me and I wept for hours over all the things that Jesus was revealing. It was an exhaustingly glorious time! And the joy that came in those early morning hours is indescribable to those who don’t believe. However, it took a couple of years of walking with Jesus and studying His Word for me to accept and understand His forgiveness for the abortion. I also did some counseling sessions which helped, too. It was in the psychologist’s office where it was suggested I give the baby a sex and a name to help with the grieving process. Her name is Anna Marie.
Very early in my Christian walk, I shared about my abortion in a Women’s Bible Study and was severely judged for it by one woman. Needless to say, for a long time, I rarely shared my story, even though it is very much a part of my testimony. The fear of being judged again was too much. However, over the course of the years, I have shared it with more and more people in intimate settings but felt I couldn’t be “public” with it till my children knew. I finally told my daughter, Sarah, 2 years ago when she was 18. After the events of yesterday, I informed Eli (17), my son. Neither child judged me; in fact, they had much compassion for me.
In church yesterday, I was 2 rows behind a woman who was wearing a tee shirt that had these words on the back, “ABORTION-stops a heart, breaks a heart”. After this woman spoke about the march, a pro-life video was played. I began to weep. By the end of the service, I was a wreck. I KNOW Jesus has forgiven me. Without a shadow of a doubt. But it doesn’t stop the grief. The loss. The regret. The what-ifs. Do I wallow in it every day? No, but yesterday an emotionally exhausting and weepy day.
Yes, the March for Life season is difficult for those of us who have had an abortion. But I rejoice in how many more people are speaking out against abortion and speaking for the unborn. May my voice join the crowd. Again, thank you for acknowledging, recognizing, and praying for us.
In His Glorious Love,
Oh Karen –God is SO GOOD. I read your comment while here at work and the tears fell. Had to go find a private space to read it all. Thank you for sharing your story here today – it is so brave of you. Your story will help others. I can only imagine what you must have been feeling in church yesterday. I am beyond grateful to God that He prompted me to write this yesterday afternoon. Consider this as a gift from your redeemer. When I pushed “publish” for the post this morning, I asked God that He would touch the women who need to be reminded. I asked Him that no one would be hurt even more by my words. Thank you so much for sharing this here with all of us. xo
Laura – So beautifully, tenderly written!
Ladies – There is help for anyone that is struggling with a past abortion. Many pregnancy resource centers have programs to help. Pure Grace 101 is a program based in Franklin County, PA. Contact them for a confidential conversation: http://www.puregrace101.org They may even be able to direct you to a similar program near you.
Thank you Mandy – and THANK YOU for sharing the resource for post-abortive healing. CareNet offers a program as well. I believe it is called “Forgiven and Set Free”. These services are for women who have recently had an abortion OR if it happened decades ago. Another resource is “Surrender the Secret”. There is always hope for healing. <3
What heartfelt and compassionate response to those who may have had wounds reopened with the message of the march. God does see and forgive and He will draw near and comfort those who have regrets. There is no situation so awful that He can’t bring beauty from. Thank you for encouraging all of us to be sensitive to those who may have made a choice they deeply regret. Let us be compassionate and extend Christ’s love…not judgment.
Thanks so much Bev. I appreciate your kind encouragement. xo
Such a beautiful and compassionate post. So glad I clicked over from #RaRaLink up this morning! Blessings to you as you encourage and comfort women with your words!
Liz – thanks so much to stopping by and leaving a comment. I truly appreciate your kind words.
Thank you for writing this loving and compassionate post, which I can see is already helping others. Blessings!
Thank you, Barbie. xo
“When I look back on my younger years I am convinced that, even though I was a Christian and understood abortion is a sin, I feared shame, being ‘ruined’ and disappointing my family more than I feared God.My faith was simply not strong enough to trust Him with a situation like an out of wedlock pregnancy.” It was as if you knew my 18 year self and exactly how she felt and thought. Praise God, in the 38 years since, he has not only forgiven and healed, but redeemed and restored. I am able to speak to others from the prospective of someone who has experienced all the emotions of an abortion and counsel them. Visiting you from the GSD linkup – thanks so much for your thoughtful post.
God bless you, Toni. THANK YOU for commenting here and sharing your heart. You ARE redeemed , restored and repaired — He is so good. Grateful for what He has done in your life. xoxo
Thank you, Laura, for this comforting message. Whether it’s abortion or something else grievous, guilt can eat someone up and keep happiness at bay. Thanks for sharing once again.
You are so right Edith. True words. Thank you for coming by again. God Bless you. xo
I have been wanting to write a similar post because I feel the same sadness. You did this beautifully. Thanks for this.
Lauren – if you do write the post, please email it to me. I would love to read it and share it. This message cannot be communicated enough. Thank you for your kind words. Many blessings. xo
A close friend of mine in college had an abortion but didn’t tell any of us for a year. It has been 15 or 16 years now, but I wonder how she feels. She never married or had any other children. I can’t imagine how I would feel! So heartbreaking!
Sarah – you can rest assured that she is in quite a bit of emotional pain. One day, maybe God will use you to bring His grace and love to her. xo
Such a wonderful message of love and acceptance.
Thank you so much. xo
Beautiful post friend. Love your heart! (Stopping over as DoAhead Woman from #livefree.) Praying you have a wonderful day!
Thanks for stopping by, Cindy and thanks also for your kind words. xo
What a gracious post, Laura. He can redeem those moments while holding those precious ones in His arms. He’s capable of both. What a good God He is. ((blessings))
He is a very good God, Brenda! Where would we be without His forgiveness and restoration? xo
I so appreciate your willingness to reach out and love on people this way. The Bible tells us to turn away from Sin not from people and sometimes we forget that. We associate the person with the sin, which is so easy to do. We forget the heart behind the hurt, which takes so much intentional work. But I wonder if we are choosing intentional grace if we would begin to be the wound menders…the ones who pick a path back to grace for the broken and lead them and ourselves right into the embrace of love.
Thanks for sharing this @ the #GraceMoments Link Up.Beautiful.
Thanks so much, Dawn. You have wise words. xo