This post was approved by J.
“Can I come to one meeting, then not come to the next if it gets too hard then show up at a later meeting?”
J. didn’t think she could handle the emotional journey she was signing up for in the Forgiven and Set Free bible study. The above was one of her questions as we communicated by phone prior to our first group meeting. The fear in her voice was palatable. During J’s initial group session, she shed many tears as she shared some of her story with us.
For several weeks I would reach out to her in between our sessions. She had a lot of questions about the things she was feeling or the thoughts mulling about in her head so, we would spend time chatting and sorting through them. While the details of her story are unique to her, the feelings she was processing through are universal to nearly all women who struggle with a past abortion experience. Fear, shame, guilt, anxiety, thinking she is all alone, thinking something is wrong with her because she can’t get past how she feels, engaging in negative self-talk, and thinking she must remain silent because others will reject her. These are all common and normal emotions and thoughts for a woman with an abortion in her past.
After week four I was pretty confidant all the participants would finish the study. Little did I know the warfare and breakthrough on the horizon for J. She came to group for week five with a story to tell. I cannot do her experience justice, but I will give it a go since it’s important for you to know how powerful your prayers were which covered her.
J. had been talking with a close friend about the group and sharing some of what was she was learning about God, herself, and her abortion. Her friend was misinterpreting J’s information as something that was negative for J. As any good friend would do, she encouraged her to leave the group. Quit! J. considered her point of view and prayed. J. was angry, hurt, confused, depressed and anxious about what to do. Then God showed up. He met her in her confused state, settled her heart with understanding that she was going through this study to be free of the many years of shame that cloaked her, grow in her relationship with the Lord, and give her child some dignity.
It's important to understand, at this point in the study, she had not made a connection with her child. Yet, she clasped a hold of what God was showing her, drew off His strength with renewed enthusiasm and hope.