In the pro-life movement there are opposing opinions whether someone who hasn't had an abortion should be allowed to be a bible study leader in an abortion recovery group.
The thought behind this is a person who has not experienced abortion cannot possibly minister to someone who has because they don't know or understand what it was like then or now.
It is true. If you haven't had an abortion it is impossible to understand the mindset of a woman as she was making that decision or if that decision was made for her. Afterwards, she is plagued with a different set of emotions that a person who hasn't had an abortion cannot understand.
However, how many people who minister in jail ministry have been in jail? How many who minister to addicts have been addicts? There are some who share jail and addition, but it isn't uncommon for a grey-hair older woman to visit a jail every week to share the love of Christ with the inmates. She cannot relate to them but she can relate the love of Jesus to them. She has her own story. She needed redemption too and that is sharable to anyone regardless of their commonalities.
How can the church minister to the church if they cannot or told to stay out of a certain area of healing? Abortion is a grievous sin, to be sure. But to the Lord, so is lying, hating, fornication, gossip, etc. He went to the cross for all of it. Abortion creates division just by the mere mention of the word, let's not continue to bring that divide into the church by restricting someone from entering into healing with another because they don't share the same experience.
If the church is to heal we need to be able to trust one another, be open with one another, be transparent with one another, and to speak truth and life into one another's lives.
That is what we aim to do at An Even Place. We want the church to be a safe place for all people to be. We want the church to use her gifts, operate in the Spirit, and live a full and abundant life. That cannot happen if the body is shrouded in secrecy and division.
There are two ways we are bridging that divide and fostering openness and healing at An Even Place. We offer opportunities for those who haven't had an abortion to be a co-leader in our healing groups or we invite them to be dedicated prayer partners for the participants in the groups. The participants are being blessed over and above what we imagined by the interaction with these women.
The co-leaders connect with the participants with her own story. She has dealt with shame, anger, forgiveness issues, denial and she needed Jesus the same as a women participating in the group. Admittedly, participants are a little cautious when they first meet these co-leaders but by the 2nd session these ladies are one of them. They are sisters in Christ who share struggles, encourage one another, and build one another up. By the end of the group the participants feel the love of the church on a new level. Christ is glorified in this.
The dedicated prayer partners know very little about the ladies they pray for. They write them cards and letters, which I preview to make sure there isn't anything offense in them, and I send them by mail. The participants don't have any information on their prayer partners except what is shared with them and their name, as they sign the letter. Some prayer partners send prayers by text that I will forward on. At the end of the group, after both parties give me permission, I connect the two. It is really a sweet thing. One participant emailed her prayer partner this message: (shared with permission by both parties)
Thank you for your dear notes of encouragement. Aside from the pure power of love from a stranger and the living Word, the fact that you could extend yourself like that to what most people find uncomfortable, it had a value distinct from our peer support.
In our review session, we unanimously were touched by the contribution during sessions by the one person who was not post abortive. She represented to us all we wish the Church to be. We received love and wisdom through her active listening, her compassion, her connection with us through a personal life testimony. It had nothing to do with abortion but everything to do with being broken and restored. She was able to establish an important connection through her humility. Her insights were spot on impactful, painting a picture of a God who sees us differently than how we have been seeing ourselves.
Our (post abortive) peers were essential to corroborating the reality of our starting points and what happened inside. The Church was represented by this very busy mom with all kinds of life complications, and there was you pulling for us as well. The Church confirms Christ’s Word and His love through a redeemed human expression. Its His design, that persons can find healing through His truth and love poured into the saints.
It is no secret that we the Church have a long way to go. If post abortive Christians cannot receive acknowledgment from their own Body, how discouraging is that for the unsaved? I am so excited about servants like yourself, who are willing to purposefully reach out and take the Love of Christ to this huge and underserved population. It takes great love to serve a population that is hard to understand. It takes the Holy Spirit. It is life changing. I want you to know how special you are.
My broader vision is that in response to this love, many will be telling their stories and blowing up the myth that abortion is good for women. The other myth is that the Church/teaching of Christ does not care for women (insert eye roll from Mary Magdalen). I hear people say my case is rare, that is the current propaganda, their only card.
Caring for women injured by abortion can be more effective than trying to battle media bias and legislation. You cannot unhear or alter a multitude of non-digitized human voices. Let the opposition live in the airwaves. We live and move in community, and that is reality.
Thank you, thank you. Your prayers enabled me to complete this work. Thank you for showing me that healing love. Your work is noted.
Can you see the impact a NON post-abortive woman can have in the healing of a woman who has abortion in her past?
Bring in the church!
There are many in the body of Christ who want to put their arms around those wounded by abortion but don't know who they are or where to find them. It's what An Even Place will continue to do to bring health to the body of Christ.