Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Family's Passion

My mother was recently invited to speak on my uncle's radio program for the third time. The third time to talk about something that a lot of people feel uncomfortable talking about. To talk about something that a lot of people say is a woman's personal choice. Abortion.

It's a topic that is on my family's hearts and minds a lot. It's part of my history. I did not have an abortion, but my mother had two before she had me. I won't know my two older siblings in this life, but I mourn my mother's heartache more than I mourn my relationship with them. She has gone through years of pain and still continues to heal from her choice. But she has decided to use her pain to help others and I couldn't be more proud. I thought I'd share part of a speech she recently gave at our local pregnancy center's Fall fundraiser.

"I'm Sonja and I'm a volunteer with the pregnancy center. I lead a Bible study called SaveOne that's specifically for anyone with abortion in their past. I have just a few moments to tell you about it, and I'll start with a story.
Joe (not his real name) is a man I've known for over 10 years. We first met here at Immanuel. Joe is an especially kind man who carefully listens for opportunities to share the gospel whenever he can. We've talked about the SaveOne Bible study and he's been extremely supportive. I invited Joe and wife to come to tonight's gala, but they couldn't because of a prior obligation. I sent him a follow up note and I enclosed a couple of my business cards along with these little baby feet hearts that I made for the women in the SaveOne class that just concluded. Shortly after he received my note we happened to meet at a cafe near my office. Joe said he was glad to see me because he intended to write to me, but talking would be easier. Joe didn't look at me when he told me that the image of the tiny feet triggered old memories and emotions. His hands were folded in front of him on the table and he was clearly suppressing tears as he talked about the abortion his girlfriend had in 1975. He said he knew at the time that it was wrong, and for a long while he tried to atone for the abortion by doing various "good works". He never told his parents, and he hasn't discussed it with his living children. Sadly some of his biggest life choices, like marriage, were affected by the abortion. Yes, abortion hurts women, but Joe would tell you that it hurts men too. 1975 is long gone, but Joe's eyes filled with tears only last week.
Some people manage their pain with good works and religion, others numb it with drugs and alcohol or some other addiction, but Jesus invites us to grieve our losses and give our pain to Him. This is what we do in the SaveOne Bible study. We look at the choices we really did make, but we do it in the light of Christ's gospel and we begin to heal.
I wish all of you could see what I see every time I lead the study. I see women who often, at first, would rather be just about anywhere than there the first night. But soon they start to say, "I really like this study and these women and I'm not in a hurry for this class to end!" Everyone in the class has had at least one abortion, but some don't remember how many. We tell our stories to one another and we begin to breathe easier and relax in God's presence and in the company of our fellow sinners saved by grace. You have stories you could tell too. Some of them are more powerful or transforming than others, and they changed the course of your life. A story that includes abortion ends and changes the course of many lives, but I have repeatedly seen God re-write the narrative as we spend 12 weeks together talking about who God is, and why we can trust Him, and why we didn't trust him when we made our abortion decisions. We talk about how abortion impacted our lives emotionally, spiritually and physically, and we identify the areas where we want God's healing. We deal with emotions like guilt, sorrow, shame and depression. We identify people we need to forgive, and we choose to forgive them. We ask God for forgiveness for our abortions, and for all the sins connected with them. We learn to accept His grace and forgiveness as we do battle with Satan's ongoing reminders and accusations by renewing our minds with Christ's gospel. We learn (and I am continuing to learn) to wholeheartedly embrace the reality that God is in total control and is working out all things, including the sin of abortion, for the good of those who love Him. Men and women who are wounded by abortion are often reluctant to share their stories, but an abortion recovery Bible study like SaveOne restores their voice.
Do you remember the Biblical story of the sinful woman who came to Simon the Pharisee's house with an alabaster jar of perfume and gratefully poured it out on Jesus' feetDo you remember that Jesus said that she loved much because she had been forgiven much? There are millions of alabaster jars that have not yet been poured out at Christ's feet because too many men and women wrongfully believe that abortion is the unforgivable sin. They need to hear and believe the words Jesus said to the sinful woman, "Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Millions of men and women can learn to love much because they have been forgiven much, and I am convinced that the telling of their redeemed stories will eventually make abortion unthinkable."

Abortion is a short term "fix" with long term consequences. Adoption is long term. It's the loving option. Loving for not only the child, but also for your family, your future self, and another family waiting to love a child (and in many cases, the birth family as well). Adoption allows you the option to know your child in this life. It allows your child a life. Adoption is love.

Here's a link to my mom's most recent interview on my uncle's show. They cover quite a few topics from abortion, to adoption, and even breast milk donation. It's good stuff!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. I love how she talked about the way God rewrites our narrative. No matter what struggle we've faced, He is so good to redeem us from our past. Thanks for sharing.


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