Thursday, February 07, 2008

Loving Women Considering Abortion

The following came in as a response to a couple of the Sanctity of Life posts that I have made of late.

I decided to include it here because fewer people would actually drill down to read it if it was only in the comments section. It is worth hearing and I think it is basically right. I will make some brief comments at the end.

Call me a skeptic, but I don't think this war [Abortion] will be won in the political arena. I think it's dangerous for Christians to pin their hopes on ending abortion politically.

Ultimately, this isn't a political issue. This battle is won or lost every day in the heart of a woman. A woman God made and loves dearly. A woman who is scared, desperate, and wondering if anyone cares -- really cares -- about her. A woman who doesn't want to have an abortion -- I've never met a single woman who really does -- but she feels trapped.

Trapped and alone. As Christians, we need to care for these women. In doing so, we are also caring for the precious lives they carry. And the truth is, we don't know who these women are. It could be our neighbor who has already raised three kids. It could be their teenage daughter. It could be the person sitting next to us in church.

I carry plenty of baggage on this issue -- Christians who were happy to scream in my face that abortion was a sin, but not many who were willing to be my friend (or allow their teenager to be my friend) as I carried a child to term and chose adoption. And even fewer willing to hold my hand while I grieved. And fewer still who don't shift uncomfortably in their chair when I bring it up eighteen years later. :-)

Making our churches a safe community in which to choose life is one place to start. (And I know yours is, so I'm preaching to the choir.)

[Lamma Mamma]

The only push back that I would give is that it is not an either/or. It is a both/and proposition. The war against abortion will not be won by political legislation, or Supreme Court appointments or outlawing abortion clinics. Christians who have relied exclusively on these things to accomplish the will of God have been seduced into a cheap reductionism that has been massively fruitless.

I said some weeks ago that abortion would end today if every woman seeking an abortion knew that there was a loving community that would welcome and care for she and her baby. Lamma Mamma has spoken eloquently to this. So after we have repented of having trusted in illusionary power structures we also need to repent of having failed to love desperately needy girls and women who feel trapped. And then we need to repent of having not prayed enough, not grieved enough, and not worked hard enough to create a climate of hope and redemption in our churches.

And finally, we need to then take action on all fronts, including the political, because, though the war will not be won with Supreme Court decisions, some of the battles in creating a climate for life can. We need to create churches that affirm life, that affirm adoption, that make it easier for parents to adopt, that support young mothers, that train young men in the proper way to relate to young women, and a couple hundred other ways to nurture a culture that is different, radically different from the death nurturing culture that presently exists.


Llama Momma said...

Good comments, Chosen Rebel.

I agree, it's not either / or. But I've met many Christians who make it either / or and choose politics over people.

And others who unintentionally alienate women with comments about how they "can't imagine" how a woman could have an abortion. (Or choose adoption for that matter. As a birthmom, I often get lumped into this same "freakish" category of things people could *never* do.)

Oh, that our faith communities could truly radiate the love and redemption Christ has to offer. Let it begin with me.

Anonymous said...

I would've had 7 children!

My mother made me get the first one before my third month of pregnancy. When I was expecting again, she made me get one when I was near my 5th month. My last pregnancy, I was afraid, very afraid and felt very alone. I didn't think anyone cared. Negative comments were being thrown my way - constantly - no one on my side. The third became another sad memory.

It's a very scary place when you have feelings of defeat and failure - depression can set in. Feeling not forgiven.

I think of them sometimes. Wondering the "What if's" It saddens me. It was very hard for me to believe and understand that the Lord forgave me - that's still strange for me to understand that but I know He does. Sometimes much guilt tries to overtake me - I go to the Lord and pray hard!

We need to be there with open arms for the ones who are afraid and feel alone. To let them know that they ARE loved and NOT alone! I wish I had someone there to talk to and to cry on their shoulder. That would have made such a difference. I pray for those women, especially the younger ones who feel alone and afraid.

The Lord did use me one time to speak to a young women. She came to me because she was afraid to go to her parents. She was ashamed that she was pregnant before she got married. I let her know how much I loved her - how much God loves her. We talked for hours and she decided to keep the baby. She came to me with tears and shame and left with a smile and encouraged.

Abortion clinics will not stop being built. Abortion issues will not stop being brought up. Picket signs will not stop "walking" around. We can fight that over and over but I'm afraid that's a losing battle. But what we can do is BE THERE for the women who need an ear and shoulder - and PRAY!

If I only had that . . .

ChosenRebel said...

Lamma Mamma and Anon., thanks for you comments. For any of my brothers and sisters who knew your plight and weren't there for you, I grieve with you over their failure. Let's work together in our respective church families to ensure that such atmosphere doesn't occur again.

Laura said...

Lamma Mamma thank you for your heart felt comments. You are so right that there are many women "out there" and even sitting in the pews who have a secret that they are afraid to share.

Anonymous, I grieve deeply with you and your 7 babies. I pray that you find healing, freedom, forgiveness and peace. Abortion affects every woman who has one. These effects manifest themselves in different ways and levels; psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally and physically. When you allow yourself to grieve the abortion losses in a healthy way you will be able to unburden yourself.

28 years later I went through a post-abortion Bible Study and found my way through the shame, sorrow and guilt to forgiving myself. I grieved for my baby and have peace. Now when I remember my baby it is with joy because I envision him walking with Jesus and take comfort that he did not have to experience this fallen world we live.

Isaiah 43:18 (msg) Forget about what's happened. Don't keep going over old history.

Anonymous said...

I would have had 7 children - it's the 3 that are my heartfelt memories. I thank God for the 4 I have! I have accepted Jesus years ago and I know that He has forgiven me . . . I am the one who is hard on myself.

I don't readily bring up my past unless someone asks. Who's going to ask? People tend to shy away from that subject or tear down the women who go in to have an abortion instead of simply loving them and extending their hand with warmth and understanding. The "act" is horrific but the woman's heart cries.

A post abortion Bible study, that would be something I'd be interested in. Maybe I can bring it up in the church I attend.

ChosenRebel said...

I hope you will and I hope that the church you attend gives you a marvelous surprise of open arms and loving compassion.

If not, write us and we will try to find a church for you, wherever you live, that will give you the support you need.

Anonymous said...

It was the guilt of a cold-hearted and callously self-centered abortion in my college years that put the spotlight on my desperate need for forgiveness some 20 years later. I didn't know there could be forgiveness until I heard someone share the Gospel. Even after accepting Christ I still wasn't too sure that God could really forgive such a thing. After going thru Biblical counseling at CPC I now understand that God, through Jesus, has truly forgiven me. That knowledge has given me a peace that surpasses all understanding and for that I am so grateful. Last week I had the opportunity to comfort and console a women who recently had an abortion. I hope to take her through the Biblical counseling that was shared with me. I sign this anonymously only because I have yet to share this part of my life with my children.

clc said...

i am in awe of your stories and transparency. llama mamma, thank you for beginning to open the door that leads to freedom, confession and forgiveness.

i had a powerful experience when i had to get a DNC after hemmorrhaging from a miscarriage. the room was so sterile and i was so sad, so, so, sad. and i felt the lord's presence in that moment, and He said that He was there. and He was not only there for me but He was there for every scared young girl who laid on that same table for very different reasons. and i realized in that moment that God was wanting his heart and forgiveness extended to all, no exceptions.

i would love to hear a sermon on that. i don't think people in church are short on understanding that abortion is the taking of a life, i think they're short on knowing that even in that moment, there can be a redemption of a life.

Lord, let our ministries, words and actions extend as far as your arms.

C said...

I will now put me down as "C"
The first two responses are from me. The third response is from another anonymous. I didn't want you to think that was me as well. I just needed to clear that.

Llama Momma said...

C -- Check the phone book for a crisis pregnancy center / pregnancy resource center in your community. Often these are listed in the yellow pages under "abortion alternatives."

Many, if not all, of these centers provide biblical post-abortion counseling and bible studies, and even if they don't, you will find a caring person on the other end of the phone that will want to help you.

Feel free to email me at: llamamomma45 at yahoo dot com. It would be a privilege to help you find the resources you need to experience the healing and forgiveness that Christ extends to us all, regardless of our past.

Praying for you this afternoon...