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Overcoming the Shame of Abortion

I once struggled with vast amounts of shame in regard to my past abortions. Yes, that’s right I said abortions…plural. I do not speak about this because I’m proud rather it’s just the opposite. Knowing three of my children are not here on this earth breaks my heart. They will never get to grow up, do amazing things, or experience all the wonder of this world. I will not meet their friends, their spouses, or their children (my grandchildren). When I consider all that is missing in my life because I chose abortion 30 plus years ago, it makes me very sad. Along with sadness, shame attempts to creep in and take hold of me but I know how to combat shame where once it overpowered me. I know how to keep it from clutching its boney claws into my heart. I am able to keep shame in its place because I know truth. The Truth!

Shame is a bully. If I didn’t know Jesus, shame would’ve consumed me long ago. Even after knowing Jesus, shame had a strong and deep hold on me. Shame is from the pit of hell and so is abortion for that matter.  It took me years to identify I was still carrying around shame from my abortions. Shame subtly whispers half-truths into your mind and ‘little’ lies stay under the radar of truth. To be perfectly honest, shame stayed under the radar in my life because of two things, 1) I didn’t know Jesus and His word and 2) I wasn’t sharing my story.

I read the bible a lot. I served in church and outside of church. I was in bible studies and prayer groups, but I didn’t allow the word to be applied to my life or sink deep into my heart. I didn’t take my thoughts captive unto the obedience of Christ. More precisely, I didn’t cast down arguments (those in my head) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled (2 Cor. 10:5-6).

The number one thing that will squash shame is taking your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. What exactly does that mean and how does that look in a person’s life? It took me years to really ask myself this question. As I said, I read the bible, but I didn’t pause long enough to really meditate and ask questions; specifically ask God questions about His word.

So, to be able to take your thoughts captive you must know which other thoughts might replace those that are now captive. You could think ‘pie in the sky’ thoughts like, “I’m so beautiful”, or “you’ve got this girl”, or “girl power” or whatever other flakey, meaningless phrase is being doled out. Those phrases have no power. If you want real power GET IN THE WORD OF GOD! The more you read, the more you know truth; the more truth you ingest, the more you become transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2). The more these truths renew you, the more you become like Christ and the better able you become in wielding the spiritual weapons Christ offers you (see Eph 6). Now, this is all well and good unless you are like me. My thoughts overwhelm me to the point of depression and toxic thinking and all of that pours out onto others around me. It’s brutal and vicious. God doesn’t expect us to do life on our own. In fact, He knows we can ONLY live a victorious life WITH Him. So, He wrote His word for us to read and learn and grow and be transformed. He also is near to us.

Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:7-8a

Call on Him and He will answer you, He will help you take your thoughts captive. In those moments of nasty, debilitating thinking pull out your phone, open your bible app and read a psalm and pray it over yourself. It pleases God to hear His word being spoken with a genuine heart.

The second thing that will help overcome shame is sharing your story. Terrifying I know. I’ve been through all the battles of not wanting to share my story. As I mentioned, I am not proud of my abortions but when I share with someone about the great things God has done in my life it gives them courage to talk about their stories.  The more your story is shared the less emotional pain abortion will have on you. You will never forget your baby or what you did but you will forget the emotions and feeling abortion brings and shame will lose its slimy grip on you.

Where do you begin? Get a bible or your bible app and begin to read a little every day. Every day is the key. It doesn’t have to be a lot. It can be a chapter or a few verses and begin wherever you wish.  God’s word is alive and active and will cut to the heart (in a good way) to cleanse you and clear out all the junk a past abortion has brought.

Then sign up for an abortion healing group. These recovery groups are a safe place to share your story, learn about other’s stories, and grow in your understanding of who God is.

Christ died in your place to satisfy the debt of your sin. Three days later He rose to life! That is the life He desires you live, and He wants you to be free to shout His story from the mountaintops. As you read and as you share you will discover that your story is actually His story, and His story is really yours. Freedom waits!

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