Hope, Forgiveness & Love
Mike and I went to see "Unplanned" today after church. All I knew was that it was about abortions and I had heard it was powerful. I have not been home five minutes and I asked God to help me write what I took away from the movie. As you can imagine, it is a tough movie to see but I am thankful I went. I think to make good decisions we have to be educated. And to truly understand it helped being based on a true story of a girl who came forward with her story. The movie will be with me the rest of my life.
The woman sitting beside me had been crying through out much of the movie. By the end of the movie I was crying and she handed me a tissue. When it was over she came up to me and just hugged me, not letting go, and could not speak. She appeared to be with a group of women but stayed after to talk with me. Her heart was broken and she cried on my shoulder. Years ago she had had two abortions. Back when she had it, she "did not know that it was a baby - they told her it was not. They said it was a "mass.'" She was weighted down with guilt and shame. We talked about forgiveness and she says she knows in her head that she is forgiven but cannot move it the 13 inches to her heart. She also shared how much she loves children and never had any and wondered if she was being punished. I thank God that our paths crossed and she is in my prayers.
By the time I got in the car I was a wreck. Do you know how ,many women are suffering the loss of terminated pregnancies? Do you know how many women carry guilt and shame for many years and sometimes their whole life? Do you know how many women do not know that God will forgive them? This movie showed forgiveness, love and hope!
I am so thankful for "Abby" who the movie was about. She shared her story about being a director at Planned Parenthood and the truth behind the numbers! I am thankful Abby shared her story of having two abortions in her past. Her story is a perfect example of :Romans 8: 28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." God has used her story to show others about His love and forgiveness. God has used her story to show the power of a praying parent and the power of prayer in numbers.
By the end of the movie you realize that a lot of the "Bible thumpers", that hung out around the clinic fence praying, were women who had had abortions themselves. Because of the grief, sorrow, confusion and struggles they went through, after their abortions, they wanted to help others. I was not surprised by this because a woman spoke to a group of women at my friend's church and said that one in every five women on your pew at church has had an abortion. And that was about 25 years ago!! Abortion is the second most common surgical procedure performed in the United States.
This good news is for anyone carrrying guilt and shame. God wants to bring peace, forgiveness, and joy to your life—and He will if you will let Him. Whatever it is that separates you from God, including having had an abortion, can be forgiven. You just have to come to Him in true repentance. Ephesians 1: 7, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace." Romans 3: 25, "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—" 1 John 1: 7, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." And not only does God forgive but He also forgets. Hebrews 8: 12, "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
When you say you cannot forgive yourself you are right. Only Jesus can forgive. All you have to do is accept. And although you feel your sin is huge God says all sin separate us from Him. When you cannot accept Jesus' forgiveness it is as if He did not suffer enough on that cross. He went through a brutal crucifixion for you and I. Jesus died to forgive us for our sin and make a way for us to know God. God sent Jesus so they we might be saved through Him.
Does God judge us while we are on earth for things we have done in the past? God said judgement will come when we stand before his throne when Jesus returns. 2 Timothy 4: 1, "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:..." But if we have been forgiven by God we will not face any punishment for our sin on judgement day.
When thoughts of guilt come to your mind, say out loud to yourself and God, “Thank you, Lord, for your great forgiveness and mercy. Thank you that I can cast all my cares on you because you care about me!" 1 Peter 5: 7, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
What better time than Holy week to let go of your guilt and shame that weighs you down. Jesus will take that from you! If you know someone who is burdened with guilt and shame please share this good news with them.