In April of 1973 I was a senior in high school. Ricky and I were dating, making some poor choices, never considering the consequences of those choices and I found myself pregnant. After a visit to Planned Parenthood it was arranged that I would have an abortion. I skipped school, flew to California, had the abortion, cried all the way back home, walked back into my parent’s house, went back to school the next morning and never told a soul. After the abortion I was forever changed. I was one of the walking wounded. I was walking around with an open wound! It hurt, it became infected, and unbeknownst to me affected me in every area of my life. And it was my secret! I was going to do just about anything to keep it that way! I had to try twice as hard to look happy, successful, and religious because what I felt inside was dirty, shameful, and unlovable. Because it was my secret, the only voice I heard was the voice of the enemy reminding me of what I had done and all of the lies that carried that truth in them.
God doesn’t love you…you killed your baby.
They wouldn’t like you if they knew…you killed your baby.
They wouldn’t care what you think if they knew…you killed your baby.
…any lie that ended with those four fateful words. YOU KILLED YOUR BABY! Because that part of the lie was true! I would hear about God’s forgiveness, about his love, about his abundant life but it was not for me! Those were for the good people.
But how many of you know that God came to “seek and to save those who were lost”, Luke 19:10. That HE is no respecter of persons Acts 10:34 ! Praise the Lord He did not leave me angry, alone, beat-up, hopeless but He pursued me relentlessly! He brought people into my life, He arranged circumstances, He allowed His word to be preached to me with boldness!!! He allowed me to taste and see that He was good! Psalm 34:8.
You know, there is a difference between a wound and a scar. We all know that a wound is painful, requires constant attention, and is not healed. For many years as the Lord brought healing I was better but I realize that I was bandaging my wound. It was still there, it was much better. I actually could hear God’s word and believe most of it and that it was for me but if the right circumstances presented themselves that familiar hurt and shame would present itself.
But God was not finished!! A few years ago I saw that a pregnancy center was opening up in Frisco and for the first time in all those decades since my abortion, the thought of doing something about abortion seemed like a good idea. I went to a luncheon, survived that, and signed up for the training to be a volunteer. As I began the training, that old wound began acting up…it was causing me pain! I went to the director and told her that some things were going on that I was quite frankly was surprised to feel. Praise the Lord …did He have a surprise for me!!! There is a Bible Study called Surrendering the Secret written by Pat Layton and I was able to start it immediately! Through that study the Lord allowed me to clean that wound that had been festering for years. I had some pretty nasty unforgiveness I had been carrying around for years!! Through the study the Lord was able to walk me through a cleansing and healing that I knew was available but couldn’t quite get a hold of. And guess what… God loves me! And He forgives me!!
So back to our wound/ scar discussion…The definition of a wound is an injury, especially one in which the skin or another external surface is torn, pierced, cut, or otherwise broken. The definition of a scar is a mark left on the skin after a surface injury or wound has healed. And you know what? I am grateful for my scar. It is a reminder of the depth of forgiveness that is mine through the saving grace of Jesus Christ! I love the story from Luke 7. One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him and while he was there a very sinful woman heard that Jesus was there and came and washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair and then poured perfume on them. At the outrage of the host to allow this sinful woman to be around him, Jesus reminded Simon that he did not give him anything to wash his feet with yet this woman washed his feet with her tears, that Simon did not kiss him yet this woman had not stopped kissing his feet. He then tells Simon “…her many sins have been forgiven-for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” That is what this scar reminds me of!
Statistics tell us that 1 in 3 women will have an abortion by the time they are 45 yet I sat in church thinking that I was the only one carrying the shame and guilt of abortion. Maybe you have felt that same way. You are not alone! You do not have to live with the wound of abortion. God wants to bring healing, forgiveness, restoration and wholeness!
I’m linking my story today in honor of Angie Smith’s new book Mended:Pieces of a Life Made Whole.