June 2, 2023
A Deeper Grace
But where sin increased, grace increased all the more (Romans 5:20b NIV).
Friend to Friend
For years my abortion story went untold. It was a secret held tightly by a locked heart – my worst nightmare and darkest memory. Not something I wanted to talk about. Certainly not a story that I thought could be used for good.
Conversationally, it was unapproachable… simply impossible to discuss. On the rare occasion when I allowed my mind to go there, I wished I had a different story: one of life, not death – of joy, not pain. A story of a time when I’d made the best choice, not the worst choice.
But that’s not my story.
And because it’s not, for years I was convinced that my mistakes demanded silence. That because of what I’d done and where I’d been, I was bound to be quiet whenever the sacred topic of life arose. Certainly, I had no right to speak… or so I believed.
Shame buttoned my lips.
Then I came to know a deeper grace. A grace found in the testimony of redemption. God’s grace. A grace that testifies of hope, healing, and restoration. A grace found in the sharing and releasing of my broken heart-places. Amazing grace that boasts in the truth that all things can work together for good to those who love God and who are bound to His will and purpose (Romans 8:28).
By the grace of Jesus Christ, I now understand that – knowing what I know and having been where I’ve been – I am actually uniquely qualified to speak and encourage others toward life… forgiveness… and hope.
A few years ago, the Lord led me to participate in a post-abortive Bible study and a weekend retreat that allowed my heart to experience healing in places that I didn’t even know were wounded. I was given the opportunity to sift through my grief, to name my child, and to honor her tragic, unlived life in a beautiful memorial service. My story is now one of healing – and I will tell it until I take my last breath and meet my precious baby in heaven.
For those of you who share my broken story, I encourage you toward this sacred healing – toward deeper grace. Death’s grip is suffocating and scary… but it’s not more powerful than the forgiveness and love found in Jesus. Don’t allow fear and shame to keep you from the restoration Jesus died for you to experience. Call your local pregnancy care center and ask about their post-abortive Bible studies and retreats.
For those of you who are pregnant and afraid, I encourage you to choose life. I know the fears you are facing and the doubts that are screaming relentlessly to your heart. Silence them with the hope found in the center of grace. Whatever this looks like for you – whether it’s parenting or adoption – I implore you, from the deepest recesses of my heart, to allow your baby a chance to breathe, love, laugh and live. It will be one of the best choices you will ever make.
For those of you who don’t share my story, but who support the efforts of life-affirming ministries on the front lines of this battle, I encourage you toward generous giving. I applaud you for your participation. Because of you, lives are being saved… and diapers are being changed… and dreams are being dreamed… and God is being honored. Because of your support, sacred hearts are beating. Thank you. A thousand times: thank you.
“But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:20b-21).
Dear Lord, I approach Your throne of grace today in reverence and humility, with a trembling heart, fully aware that You are holy, and I am not. Speak, Lord. Show me the plans You have for me. Bind me to Your Word and to Your strength so I will have the courage to obey, to forgive, and to accept forgiveness. May my brokenness be restored for the beauty of Your glory. Please help me to trust your plan and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Let's Keep in Touch
June 30, 2023, Girlfriends in God is coming to a close. Thank you for linking arms with us in ministry for the past 17 years. We still want to share life with you! Click here to continue receiving devotions from Sharon Jaynes on Tuesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Mary Southerland on Wednesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Gwen Smith on Thursdays.
Now It’s Your Turn
Okay … take a deep breath with me! Some of you may feel disturbed that a locked door in your heart has been nudged open. I also know that 30-40% of you that are reading this devotion share my experience of abortion. There is healing and forgiveness for you, too. Through the help of my local Pregnancy Care Center, I went through a post-abortive Bible study that helped me to know complete healing. If you have not taken that step toward healing, I encourage you to visit https://surrenderingthesecret.com/ – or call your local Pregnancy Care Center today to sign up for a post-abortive Bible study or retreat.
More From the Girlfriends
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© 2023 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.