Amazing Grace

Submitted Anonymously
My biggest shame and my greatest revelation of God’s grace both swirl around the same thing. At the age of 18, I aborted my child. I knew it was deeply wrong, but I didn’t want to see the disappointment and hurt in others, or feel judgment or condemnation because I was unmarried. I justified that I could do this one act and then move forward, leaving it in the past. Little did I know that that one act would affect every single area of my life for the next 35 years.

Shortly after the abortion, I married the young man who had fathered my baby. We lived a simple, happy life and went on to have more beautiful babies. On the outside, we looked like the normal church-going American family. But inside, we were a couple with dark secrets and shame.

I loathed who I was and what I had done all those years ago. I couldn’t bring myself to talk about it to anyone, and had begged God for His forgiveness time and time again. In my head, I knew He had forgiven me, but somehow I was never able to fully grasp that. Because I had done something so horrendous, it only made sense that I needed to “do” something, to perform, to be perfect, to control.

Fast forward 35 years later, and my husband confessed that he no longer loved me but was in love with another woman. The wall around my heart, built up because I resented his role in the abortion and which showed itself in so many different ways, had driven him away. My sin, added to my husband’s sin, wrecked our home. This picture-perfect life I thought we had was destroyed.

I began meeting with a counselor at this time. She was the first person in 35 years that I talked to about my abortion and shame. The session that stands out to me the most was when my counselor took me back in time to the abortion. The room. The smells. The sounds. The people. The feelings. The emotions.

Then the question: “Where is Jesus at this moment?”

As a young child, I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, and I knew that I took Him wherever I went, even to the abortion clinic. He was there with me, every agonizing moment, as that little one was ripped from my body.

Her next question: “What is He saying to you?”

Romans 8:1 tells us: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I had heard it my whole life, but deep down hadn’t accepted it because of the magnitude of my sin. My Savior had been standing right beside me, loving me, letting me know how He had so amazingly paid the price for my sin. “I paid for this … “

The morning as a young child that I accepted Jesus as my Savior, He knew what I would do. Even though I was guilty of a horrendous sin, I was also absolutely forgiven. Jesus had taken the weight of that sin upon His shoulders, and paid for the guilt and shame Himself. He did that. For me. In that moment, I was freed from the terrible bondage I had been under for the last 35 years. Because of His great forgiveness for me, I could also forgive myself. What He had done was enough.

I also knew that Jesus was holding my baby in his own nail-scarred hands. My child wasn’t alone and unwanted. A child had been entrusted to me and I hadn’t guarded that life as I needed to. I was forgiven and set free, but I also needed to come face to face with what had been done. Even in this, though, there was no condemnation from Jesus because He had taken that on Himself.

My counselor encouraged me to pray and ask God to show me the name He had chosen for our baby and then to talk with my husband, who I was separated from, about what he’d like to name the baby. Both of us, separately and individually, came up with the same name for our child.
Once our baby had a name, we committed him to the Lord. Because he was with Jesus, we knew he perfectly forgave us. We thanked God for loving our child so well, for forgiving us so completely, and knew that someday, we would see our child’s face.

Jesus tore down the walls around my heart with His indescribable love. During my healing, He was so incredibly tender and poured His love out on me through His Word. The Creator of galaxies, the Sovereign King, the great I AM longed for a deep, personal relationship with me – no barriers, no holding on to past sins, no shame.

When He said, “It is finished” on the cross, He was deadly serious. What needed to be done had been done once and for all. His Word says in Romans 6:10, “For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God.” Leaning in to my Savior, wallowing in His Word, celebrating in Who He was and what He had done, learning to take my thoughts captive, giving and receiving forgiveness, dying to self – all lessons that I learned then, and continue to learn as time goes by.

Today, my husband and I are together: our marriage has been healed, our hearts have been mended, and our lives have been restored. We are a walking, breathing picture of God’s redeeming grace. Our biggest sins, our biggest shames God has removed and filled with His own righteousness. It truly is an amazing grace!