Redemption – the Bible defines this as being saved from sin. This word appears in many forms in the NIV translation of the Bible 128 times. But, it has almost become a cliché. Even for believers, there is a sense of emptiness in the teachings of what we are truly redeemed from. We cannot truly teach on redemption if we cannot recognize the sin of abortion. We cannot teach redemption if we continue to ignore the suffering of men and women inside our churches and in our communities.
“I felt like God was punishing me,” I said as I sat in my post-abortive recovery group, surrounded by eight other women who all shared this same belief. This is not an unusual thought among women and men with abortion in their stories.
Unclean, unworthy, unloved, unforgiveable – those were just a few of the words that poured out when asked how we felt we were perceived in God’s eyes in the years following our abortions. The words redemption and grace had been covered by the way society had desensitized our minds to abortion.
Oftentimes, after an abortion, there is a struggle accepting God’s forgiveness. Those with regret over their abortion feel as if they are branded with a scarlet letter that is invisible to the rest of the world but defines every sense of who they are now. Others might try to earn forgiveness and grace by working for it. When we acknowledge our abortion for what it is, we can begin to be set free from the guilt that holds us in bondage.
Many post-abortive men and women try to atone for their abortion. This will look like trying to be “super parents”, workaholics, or busy-bodies. However, they are lacking the conception of what redemption and grace actually are. Ephesians tells us that it is by Grace alone that we are saved. Not by our works. The character of God has been distorted in our minds when we think we are unworthy of His love and forgiveness after an abortion. Mercy, compassion, UNCONDITIONAL love, those are the characteristics of our God. Not punishment or abandonment. Accepting redemption starts with knowing you are already redeemed and forgiven – Isaiah 43:25.
Admitting to the guilt you feel after an abortion is terrifying. Stepping out in faith and accepting the truth releases the chains that hold you to your guilt and opens the door for healing and redemption. I know – I’ve been there.
Accept that abortion is part of your past, and once you accept God’s forgiveness in your life, joy will replaces the feelings of guilt. I hope these words from Forgiven and Set Free will find their way into the heart that it needs it most:
“When a woman [or man] moves from guilt to joy, her [his] eyes are off the pain and are seeking the face of the Lord, God’s direction for coping in prayer and in his Word, and God’s plan. She [He] earnestly searches for the direction God wants them to take to turn their “sins of scarlet” into blessings “whiter than snow”, believing God will make all things work together for good – including their abortion”
To those believing that they are unclean because of their abortion: I want you to know that nothing can separate you from God’s forgiveness. I know society has made you feel unworthy of the Cross. BUT GOD, says to you “my child”, “my daughter”, “my son”, “I have given MY son, so that YOUR sins are washed clean. You are MY child and you are forgiven. You are redeemed.”