Thirty-one years ago I made a decision that changed my life.
I was sixteen years old when I chose to have an abortion. And while some of the details of that day have faded over time, a deep sense of regret remains unchanged.
I have no memory of the actual date, I can’t even tell you the season, but I can tell you that in the days, months and years to follow, shame was a constant companion — a haunting reminder of my painful past.
On the outside I was able to hide my brokenness but to hear the word abortion spoken was like pouring salt on a wound, tormenting me as I plummeted ever deeper into the blackness of my iniquity. I was certain that my sin was unforgivable and that God would punish me for what I had done. I was well aware of my offense and willing to accept what I rightly deserved.
Those secret things that I held ever so tightly had an even greater hold over me and kept me far from God. The fear of if anyone knew the truth was an ever present reminder to remain silent but the real truth was, the One who truly mattered already knew…
Can anyone hide from me in a secret place?
Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?”
says the Lord. – Jeremiah 23:24 (NLT)
For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. – Jeremiah 16:17 (ESV)
I was hiding from the very one who not only knew my past but the only one who had the power to change it. God’s grace was there all along, available to me despite the wickedness of my choices. There was nowhere I could run, nowhere I could hide. His grace found me.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
The very thing that kept me for so long from God’s grace was the very reason that Jesus gave up His life. Jesus took upon Himself the punishment that I deserved, forgiving my sin, changing my past and making me new.
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. – Romans 5:6
Maybe your life has been scarred by abortion too and maybe you’ve lived with shame and guilt, believing as I did, that your sin was too great to be forgiven. If that’s you, I pray these words will give you hope, that you will allow Jesus to shine His light in those dark places and that you will receive God’s unending grace.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. – Romans 5:1-2
Lanette Haskins is a Jesus follower, wife, mom, and grammy living in West Michigan. She works as an assistant publicist for Baker Publishing Group, is a writer and blogger and has been a leader in women’s ministry. You can connect with Lanette at www.yourgracefoundme.com, on Twitter https://twitter.com/LanetteHaskins or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lanette.haskins