I knew from the beginning what story I wanted to tell. All fiction is rooted in some truth. The story I wanted to share was part of my own testimony, part of the testimony of someone I love, but mostly parts of many stories I have known and heard. (For more on my personal Testimony, click: HERE.)
When I came to Christ, I came broken, destroyed even. Abortion had left a huge scar on my heart and my soul. In reality, God was gracious to me. I suffered that pain for only a few years, compared to women who God later brought into my life who suffered much longer, decades even, I was extremely fortunate. But God did not grant me that grace without a purpose.
For many years I had an online ministry to other women who suffered from post-abortion syndrome. It is like a form of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and it is much more common than one might think, or want to acknowledge. I was fortunate to be placed in the lives of hundreds of women through the anonymity of the internet in the early 90s. I had a ministry called Saving Grace Ministries, and we ran a group called PAWSE - Post Abortion Women, Support & Encouragement. Through this group God helped me to help dozens of women reach out for help in their own churches and communities. I had a front line view of the devastation abortion causes among women, and had the privilege of helping them find healing and wholeness in Christ the way I did, through other supportive women, and most of all through Christ's love and His Word.
In the late 90s I had the privilege to serve in a national ministry called Healing Hearts and was trained to lead a Bible study very much like the one I went through that led me to a recommitted life to Christ, and the healing and wholeness that can only be found in Him. I had the privilege also of facilitating one session of that study, and helping 5 other women find healing in Christ.
I knew the truth, and I did what I could to make an impact for Christ and help women find hope and redemption the way I had. But in 2001 I both adopted and gave birth to a baby in the same year. Two babies born (not quite) ten months apart had a huge impact on my world. The fact that my son's adoption was a nightmare did not help matters at all. For the next three and a half years till we finalized his adoption, it was all I could to to be a wife and mom and juggle life at home. I'm not making excuses, life is seasonal, and God is gracious, but in the process of working on this novel, I have realized how much I have forgotten.
In the 90s when I came to Christ, taking a stand against abortion was fashionable. The fact is, the last 10 or more years in the church, that's no longer the case. Abortion is the issue Christians may vote against, or even make a moral statement against, but fewer and fewer are actually doing anything to take a stand against. The frightening thing about that is that statistically, nothing has changed, the abortion situation is getting no better. The fact is, statistically speaking, in the ten minutes it takes you to read this blog, 23 babies will have been aborted, that's if you imagine abortion happening every minute of every day of the year. Over 2 unborn babies a minute, and not only is their life destroyed, the life of their mother is impacted as well.
As research I watched a 9 week ultrasound on YouTube. That's how far along I was when I had my abortion. Go to YouTube for yourself and see, watch a video from any first trimester ultrasound. These babies are aborted in droves. For every 3 children born in the US, 1 is aborted. As a mother of 3 living children, the irony of that is not lost on me.
The Lord has convicted me greatly these past few months, and especially the past few weeks as I have been writing my novel, that as Christians, we cannot turn a blind eye to the devastation of abortion. The fact is that statistically the percentages are exactly the same both in and out of the church. We need to take a stand for the unborn, but we also need to reach out to the hurting women who are siting in the pews of our churches feeling shame and fearing judgment. And I will tell you, it is not that the church is bringing the shame on women. As a woman who has had an abortion, I can tell you in all honesty, God has created in us an awareness of how unnatural it is to destroy life. Shame comes from the act, not its observation. But it is not God's will that these women continue in pain and shame, it is His will to bring the freedom and wholeness that can only be found in Christ.
Please take a moment to watch this video: