Monday, November 3, 2008

Back to My Story - Part 1 (Road to the Cross - Pt 4)

The day of the first Bible study for women who had abortions was coming. It was only a couple of weeks from the day I first met Marion at my first visit to the Cornerstone.

We were going to be meeting on Friday nights upstairs at the church when it was still over on Red Gum. I was haunted by Marion's exhortation that it would be in my best interest to tell Neal the truth. I was tortured inside, it was consuming my thoughts. I was so certain he would never forgive me for what I had done, that he might even leave me. He was OK with my new interest in church but had no interest in coming along. He knew I was going to start going to a "woman's study" on Friday nights for a season, but he didn't know the connection of all the women that would attend.

It was the Monday before the first meeting and we were in bed watching TV. We were watching Melrose Place, of all things. I know I'm dating myself - it was 1992. The story that night was about one of the female characters being pregnant and planning on having an abortion. My heart was pounding so hard in my chest I was sure Neal could hear it. I was nearly overcome. I could feel this pressure building inside, now was the time to tell him the truth. I was so terrified.

Finally I got out from under the covers and climbed up on his chest. I literally straddled across his arms and torso figuring that way he'd at least have to hear me out, he couldn't walk away without hearing me out.

Honestly it's been 16 years, and the exact words I spoke escape me now, but I remember telling him I had lied to him, and I needed to confess it. I know he was shocked by what the lie was, and how long I had held it, but what I remember so clearly was Neal taking me in his arms and telling me he loved me and he understood and that he forgave me. I remember him holding me and telling me that although he was sad that I hadn't trusted him more, that he still loved me and he was not going to leave me. My husband expressed a glimpse into God's love and forgiveness that night like I hadn't truly experienced before. The relief was overwhelming.

Years later after I had been a Christian for a while and God had completely healed me from the emotional scars of my abortion, I remember talking to another male Christian friend online. I was surprised because he had never heard my testimony. As we were sharing I told him the story of having aborted my unborn baby and having lied to Neal. I remember how it felt like he'd punched me in the gut when he said how lucky I was Neal forgave me because I didn't deserve it. It was a hard blow. As a Christian he somehow my sin as an unbeliever as unworthy of grace. That happens a lot in the church.

It wasn't a cakewalk for Neal and I after that night. He did have anger and hurt that came to the surface. But he started with the choice to forgive me and we worked from there. It was hard because I had a lot to work through, and he had anger at both me and my parents. And I was entering a place where I had to forgive my mom and dad, and Neal didn't understand the truth of grace completely at that point. He wasn't a Christian, and I was just a brand new baby.

There is a poem I wrote to Neal during this difficult struggle that I think tells well the story of those days. To read it, click here.

To be continued...

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