Some of you may have read about my abortion story a few months ago as I shared some of the details of my past. Today I’d like to take you a little deeper into the story in hopes that you may be encouraged to share your story too. Although it may be difficult to talk about — especially for an abortion-wounded heart — once uncovered and brought into the light, it will be covered by God’s grace.
If we allow our secrets to remain hidden in the depths of darkness we will never find freedom and we will never lead anyone else to the light.
I’m choosing to share more of my story so that you might see how much God is in every detail of our lives, how much He loves us and just how far He will go to save us.
I was young and naïve and had romantic ideas of starting a new life with a family of my own — those thoughts were shattered at the suggestion of abortion. It wasn’t something that had ever entered my mind but I suddenly felt alone and convinced that it was my only option.
The details of the first day at the clinic aren’t completely clear but I remember feeling that there was no turning back. I had done too much prior to the truth being revealed. I was too scared to come forward earlier — to suggest to anyone what I already knew — so I hid my pregnancy. I had gone about my life as if nothing had changed. I acted as if I were just like every other teenager, except that I wasn’t, and a simple procedure to have my wisdom teeth removed would (so I was told) become a valid reason to have an abortion. It had been right there in black and white on the required paperwork — “Are you pregnant?” — but I wasn’t brave enough to speak up. After discovering that I had allowed myself to be put under anesthesia, I was encouraged by those at the clinic to terminate the pregnancy regardless of the fact that I was beyond the first trimester.
This would be a two day procedure. On the first day they inserted something into my cervix that would begin dilation. I was then sent home.
I laid there silent in the darkness for hours hoping to conceal the physical and emotional pain that I felt. Pain was the only thing that could penetrate the blackness of my room and my soul. Later I would discover that in some ways the pain was a good sign, it meant that I was still able to feel, that I hadn’t allowed myself to be completely numb and void of all emotion.
As we arrived at the clinic on the second day, the pain had increased but the worst was yet to come. The nurse had prepared me for the doctor to begin and I suddenly became very much aware of how very cold it was in that sterile room. My heart wanted to beat out of my chest, and my voice wanted to cry out — my soul was being ripped from my body along with my baby — it was almost more than I could bear and I knew that my life would never be the same.
I left empty. Empty of life. Void of hope. What had I done??
How could God ever forgive me? How could I ever forgive myself?
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.
My life would go on as I tried to pretend that nothing happened, stuffing all the painful memories down deep where I didn’t have to feel. It was a secret that would be manifested in the choices that I continued to make — one bad choice after another.
If I ever questioned what value I had there was no longer any doubt in my mind. I felt worthless; my life had no value, no beauty and certainly no hope. That’s how I lived for so long, believing the lies of the enemy who delighted in my shame and constantly reminded me to keep my secret hidden.
But the truth was, no matter how much the enemy tormented me, God pursued me. He knew everything that I had done and He still loved me. NOTHING I could ever do would ever separate me from His love. Even though I felt that my sin was too detestable to be forgiven I was reminded that what Jesus did on the cross was enough. He paid the penalty for my sin, there was nothing more that He needed to do and all I had to do was accept His gift.
If you have suffered with the shame and guilt of abortion, I want you to know that your sins were forgiven when Jesus chose the cross. He took upon Himself your iniquity and washed you with His righteousness. You don’t have to keep hidden what Jesus wants to bring into His marvelous light.
God still has a plan for your life and it is for your good, to give you hope and a future.
He loves you and will never stop pursuing you.
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
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