I recently had the opportunity to see the movie “Unplanned.” I had no idea that as many as one in three women have had an abortion, and 70% of women having abortions claim some Christian affiliation. Then I had the delight of interviewing Jessica DeYoung, on my radio program, “Your Hope-Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson.” If you missed our conversation, you can listen to it here: Hope for Post-Abortion Syndrome. As a continuation of our discussion, I asked Jessica to share 5 things you should know if you are healing after abortion.
Her thoughts are applicable to each of us, whether we’ve had an abortion, know someone who had an abortion, or not.
5 Things You Should Know If You Are Healing After Abortion
by Jessica DeYoung
When you’re healing after abortion, remember:
1. You are redeemed! (by the blood of the Lamb)
I remember at the beginning of my healing journey, never feeling like I could move forward after such a sin. I had been raised in church my whole life, but it wasn’t until after my abortion that I truly understood redemption. I had to continue to remind myself that I am not defined by what I had done, but what was done for me.
Paul’s writing in Psalm 103 tells us all about God’s compassion for us (v.13). We may hold on to our hurt, our despair, our frustrations and we may cling to our past failures, but GOD offers us “steadfast love” (v. 11). He “redeems your life from the pit” (v4). And then over in Ephesians 1, it tells us that “He [Jesus] chose us” (v.4), “we have redemption in Him through His blood, and the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”(v.7) (emphasis mine)!
2. You are forgiven! (by grace)
I slowly began to get back to who I was years before the abortion, as I started attending church, getting in the Word and actually talking to God again. I remember one evening in my bedroom, I was asking the Lord to forgive me, once again, and very audibly I heard the Lord tell me, “My precious daughter, what are you talking about? I have already forgiven you!” That’s when I fully realized that Christ had already forgiven me.
Psalm 103:12 tells us that once our Heavenly Father forgives us for sin, He pushes it as far as the east is from the west. That doesn’t mean that our sin does not come with consequences even after Christ forgives us, but God is not the one bringing it back up to you. Satan is! I genuinely believe that to live in that forgiveness is to trust that the Lord has forgiven you fully. We do not have to power to save ourselves, and we certainly do not have the power to forgive ourselves.
Satan is a liar and a thief, sent to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). He wants nothing more than to keep you away from Christ, doubting yourself, bound by your sin, and wallowing in darkness. My dear friend, can I tell you something that took me way too long to figure out? Christ is LIGHT! Where there is Light, there is no darkness! (John 12:46)! When you bring the Almighty Father into your situation, Satan cannot prevail!
3. You are free! (and free indeed)
Once I accepted Christ’s forgiveness, I was able to tell others what God had brought me through and the grace that was so overwhelming and prevalent in my life! I shone so much of His Light on my dark past without shame because God is good! He does not want us to live in fear.
Jesus told us, “it is finished” in John 19:30. We have to nail our sin to the cross and leave it there. Romans 8:1 tells us that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! That’s good news! We are free!
4. You are loved! (with an everlasting love)
The first person I ever told about my abortion was my boyfriend who is now my husband. His response to my seemingly huge flaw was covered in such grace and love. It was a beautiful reminder of how Christ loves us!
You are loved by a great big God! Romans 5:8 says that “God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” That means that even in our sin and shame, God sent His Son to die on a cross to wash away our every sin.
There is nothing you can do, will do, or have done that can every change Christ’s love for you.
5. You are welcome! (in His arms)
I challenge you, dear friend, that if you are lost and looking for God, know that He is looking for you too! He wants you to welcome Him in so that He can do a work inside of you (Ephesians 3:20)! He wants you to come home, no matter the damage you think you have made, His loving arms are still open and ready to embrace you, to forgive you of your sins and start fresh. His mercies are new every morning!
I am praying for you today that you will remember your story. Your life has purpose and meaning. It is not worthless, YOU are not useless. You were meant for something!
This healing journey may be arduous, but God’s grace will shine down on you through it all. I tell you all of this as a reminder that God is faithful, His love is steadfast, and no matter what you’ve done, no matter what your story is, Jesus is in the forgiving business and wants to hear from you. Will you talk to Him today?
Founder of Grace Unworthy Ministries
Jessica DeYoung is unapologetically in love with Jesus. She founded the ministry Grace Unworthy with the mission to encourage, challenge, and guide Christian women to a better understanding of Christ’s unfailing love and grace.
She hosts twice-weekly live broadcasts on Facebook where she teaches what God’s Word says about each of us while incorporating her own witty humor and stories about her own life struggles. She has published articles in magazines and written as a guest on blogs. She is currently working on publishing a series of devotionals as well as a book full of women’s stories of God’s grace! Jessica’s passion is bringing women to the Word of God and encouraging them to strengthen their relationship with Him through life’s trials. She is real and raw and isn’t afraid to speak the truth in love.
I also asked Jessica if there were any particular resources that she thought would be particularly helpful for post-abortive women. She suggested an incredible healing study called “Surrendering the Secret –Healing the Heartbreak of Abortion” by Pat Layton. It is a Biblical based study that uses the lens of Christ to start the healing process.