*If you missed the beginning of this 3-part series, please click here.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”
In my life, Satan’s roars have always been in the form of a whisper in my ear...“God’s promises are not for you.” “If anyone knew…” “You’re not good enough.” While Satan has never devoured me physically I have allowed him to devour my hope, joy and confidence in the woman God says I am...
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:4-8
This tells me that even before God spoke the world into existence, He knew me, knew every single mess I would ever make, and it still gave Him great pleasure to make a way for a relationship with me. Now, that is something that restores my hope, joy, and confidence.
This sort of brings this story full-circle. At the beginning I described what this story is not. Here is what it is and why I felt God called me to share it…
God has been good to me. He has blessed me and manifested himself in so many ways in my life. He has taken my brokenness and made me whole again. I know the pain of living in isolation, condemnation, and self-doubt. He has a divine plan of ministry for each one of us. He knows the pain of this world. He doesn’t heal our wounds just for our benefit but so we can minister to others. His word tells us that clearly…
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4
If you’re reading this and you are a post-abortive woman, feeling like you’re all alone, let me help you out with that. Based on statistics from the US Census Bureau in 2008 – the most recent numbers available - there were 1,211,500 abortions in the US, 33,140 of which were in my state of North Carolina. Abortion providers are self reporting so it’s reasonable to assume this number is higher. Very seldom does a woman experience an abortion alone. There is almost always a mom, dad, husband, boyfriend, friend, or sister along as well, which at least doubles the number of people affected. If you want to bring in abortion doctors, nurses, the folks at the front desk, the bio-hazard drivers, etc. that number easily triples. That’s a lot of walking wounded people. To break that into a digestible bite, in North Carolina that’s 17.5 abortions for every 1000 pregnancies in 2008. Based on information from National Right to Life numbers there have been 54,599,615 abortions in the US since 1973. For more detail, the US Center for Disease Control has a comprehensive report of pretty much anything you’d want to know.
The tricky part of this type of ministry is the fear that too much grace to the sinner negates the severity of the sin. I don’t see any examples of that in scripture. (Rom. 8:1) We must continue to fight for the life of the unborn. God is the creator of life and, as believers, we must hold to that truth. But abortion is a complicated multi-layered cancer within our culture. The devastation it leaves in its wake has an enormous ripple effect that permeates our families and our society on every level of race, socio-economic position, religion, level of education. We’re all affected by abortion whether we realize it or not just by the sheer number of post-abortive people in our midst. Where do you think all those people are? We’re everywhere. Abortion not only robs the physical lives of our next generation, but also robs the spirit of those who perpetrate and participate in abortions. The church will never be able to have a significant effect on reducing or overturning our abortion laws without recognizing the problem extends beyond the walls of the abortion clinic. To do that, the church must become the lighthouse of healing and truth as opposed to a place of even more shame to pile on. An unbelieving world does not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to discern the difference between condemnation and conviction, and without Godly conviction there can be no restoration.
I’m learning that ministry is messy. You have to let people get in your business, and you have to get right back into their business. It is raw and uncomfortable. But if we really want to make a difference, it is completely necessary.
If you’ve been affected by an abortion in any capacity, there is so much help available. I’ve listed information below for two ministries that I’ve been involved in that will walk you through God’s word for restoration and redemption.
God’s word is true! Cling to what Jesus tells us in John 10:9-11…
“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
He doesn’t say if only the “good” people enter but “if anyone”. He reminds us of Satan’s goal for us. His promise of not just a good life, but an abundant one! Abundance is defined as: a copious supply; great amount, bountiful, overflowing. Reading this verse now on this side of the cross, we know that Jesus knew what it would cost Him to fulfill this promise to us.
Sweet friend, know that just because you have an abortion in your past God still has a plan for you. Don’t be deceived into thinking you have no value in whatever path God calls you to. Cling to His promises.
In His love & grace.
For more information on Post-Abortion Recovery contact:
Sandy Day at Caleb Ministries
Charlotte Pregnancy Resource Center
**Each of these organizations have been contacted about these series of posts and are ready to help.
**You can contact Whitney directly by emailing her at FullOfGrace@att.net
Whitney Burrows is a North Florida girl raised on the banks of her beloved Suwannee River & Gulf Coast. After 12 years in the world of banking, she moved into full-time-homemaker mode as mom to James and Pearce, and wife to Burges. The last 18 years have been a fun flurry of sports, meal prep, scraped knees, room/team mom, chauffeuring, and volunteering. Whitney lives for all things family, friends, southern, and outdoors. She has been extremely blessed by God’s grace and loves encouraging women to embrace the abundant life promised to us by our Savior. She believes life becomes a wonderful (but not always easy) adventure when we stop running from the Lord, listen to His voice, and trust in His call on our lives.