The Truth About Forgiveness

The Truth About Forgiveness

By Amy B.

The concept of forgiveness seems so easy, but is it? Forgiving someone who has hurt you or a loved one is in some cases like suiting up for battle.

Biblically, the mention of forgiveness ranges from 119 to 150 times depending on the translation. In comparison to the word condemn which is referred to between 59 and 79 times while the word redeem is mentioned up to 141 times in the ESV.

The act of forgiveness in the bible can be illustrated in two words, The Cross. God came down to Earth in the form of a man - Jesus - to bestow the greatest gift known to man, the gift of forgiveness of our sins. His sacrifice was and is the greatest act of love we will ever know. There on the cross He paid for the sins we confess to Him.

As a Christian on paper it is pretty straight forward, yet so many of us struggle to forgive others let alone ourselves for those things we have done that we wish we could take back. We fantasize about a restart or rewind button were we could change our words, our actions or the decisions we made.

I was 21 years old when my life was forever changed. While so many events led up to this season, the reality of the decision I made at this time in my life has forever shaped my current reality in more ways then I could have ever imagined possible. I was in love, I was sexually active and I became pregnant. A gift straight from God himself, I was pregnant with a baby that He trusted me with. He answered my prayer, the one I prayed since I was a very young child, to become a Mom.

Why now God? I called my boyfriend to tell him the news and within a few minutes my heart was broken and the person I loved clearly didn’t love me or the baby I was carrying. I was very afraid and I was very alone. I told a select few people who were very close to me at this time in my life. And silently I hoped someone, anyone would tell me it was ok and that we - whoever that may be - would figure it out together. I even called my boyfriends Mom also secretly hoping she’d tell me she’d have a talk with her son and we’d get the whole thing sorted out. That never happened and ultimately I decided to have an abortion. I knew this was the wrong thing to do but I also selfishly wasn’t ready to have a baby at that exact moment by myself without any help from the father or anyone for that matter.

Twenty years ago there was not a surplus of resources and/or nonprofit organizations available to help young women with unplanned pregnancy. Yes, Planned Parenthood was around and I did seek a consultation but I wasn't given Godly advice or even accurate information about the child I was carrying. The word “blob” and “tissue” was used instead of fetus or your baby. An ultrasound was administered but they would not let me view the screen. I didn’t know it was possible to hear my baby’s heartbeat at around 7 weeks. The details of the day I aborted my baby are very foggy. Yet the impact of the decision I made and the aftermath is crystal clear.

Instead of stretching up to my Father for forgiveness I reached towards alcohol and ultimately fell into a deadly eating disorder a form of personal punishment that I endured until I admitted myself into an inpatient facility 12 years ago. I also fell into a deep depression and at times prayed God would take my life. Looking back on that prayer I realize I was trying to somehow trade my life for the baby I had aborted.

It wasn’t until I married my Husband and we started trying to get pregnant that I realized how my life and my relationship with God was negatively impacted by this sin. I was carrying a very large cross and I wasn’t willing to give it up because I couldn’t get my arms around Gods grace and forgiveness. To be very honest, I still struggle with this today. Infertility has been a struggle in our marriage and sometimes I wonder if I am being punished for making that decision all those years ago. Logically and deep within my heart I know I am forgiven but it’s still hard to believe sometimes. And to be very transparent I have at times wondered if I forgive myself then somehow I am not honoring the child I aborted.

For over 20 years I have carried the weight of that one decision. At that time in my life I thought it was an easy choice - I’d get it over with then move on with my life. I am here to tell you that this choice has forever changed my life and if I can display my experience for the world to see in an effort to save another sister from making the decision to abort then my work is done and my decision to come forward was not done in vain.

If you or someone you know is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy this blog, this post is specifically for you. My goal for this platform is to reach YOU. To encourage you to seek guidance and counsel, to find a safe place where you can openly talk about your choices because you have them. Reach out to me directly and together we will find a safe place to get you the guidance and counsel you need during this time - free of judgment and pressure.

If you are a mother, a sister, a grandmother or a mentor to a young lady I challenge you to have the hard conversations, to visit a faith based pregnancy medical clinic to learn more about this subject and to assume the worse - that your child, sister, granddaughter or friend may be sexually active and address the “what if’s.” How will you support her? What will you do to come along side her during this time? There are amazing resources available today for both men and women on the subject of unplanned pregnancy.

As someone who has stepped through terminating a pregnancy I can tell you there will be consequences. They may be silent, you may not notice them immediately but in the end you will come back to that day and that decision and wonder what if? Today, I think about that little life and for the first 10 years I tried so hard to push it out of my mind. My journey towards believing that I am truly forgiven for my decision is still ongoing. There are decisions I have made that I discount and pray to God about and then I let them go - exactly as God has designed the act. However, at 42 I still struggle with how elaborate Gods mercy truly is, how His love for me is sufficient and that I AM FORGIVEN!!! Amen

Thankfully I’ve been involved in the wonderful ministry that encourages forgiveness for post abortive parents - both for men and women. I’ve sat among women of all ages - from girls under 18 years old to women in there 60’s - and each of them has held a deep regret and each of us has a present sadness about us.

I’ve also been involved in speaking at high schools sharing my story in an effort to shed light on how just one simple choice can change your life forever. I’ve been among people who never believed in my God and who found the greatest comfort in landing in his merciful arms.

I have been sober for over 8 years but still struggle with my eating disorder. My struggle to conceive has also been an ongoing reality, which I will address in future posts. It took me 2 years to muster up the guts to create this blog specifically for this post. God has placed the importance of sharing my story with the world and my prayer is this…

  • That someone is moved by my transparency and either gives or gets the help they need to address an unplanned pregnancy…

  • That someone may have compassion for those that are post-abortive and currently living in shame with the decision they made…

  • That someone may seek the forgiveness they need if they are post-abortive.

God’s grace is sufficient for you and for me! Bible studies are available to guide you through this journey. If you are attending a church that is condemning you for you’re past sin then you are not in God’s house, find a church home that walks the walk as it is stated in the Bible …

  • “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25 ESV

  • “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 NLT

  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” John 1:9 ESV

  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your plans.” Proverbs 3:5-6

  • “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Ultimately all of us carry some secret, maybe a strong regret, or something we are deeply ashamed of. To evaluate my sin or your sin based on social standards is not what God has called any of us to do. Sin is sin is sin, period! In the end I will stand at those beautiful pearly gates and God and I will recount my life, my choices, my highs and ultimately my lows. But I find rest knowing that He loves me

and He forgives me as far as the east is to the west!

To close this post I offer up the following prayer …

Father God, Thank YOU for Your love, for Your mercy and for Your promise of forgiveness. In You we can rest, in You we can find mercy, in You we can be free. I pray for any person reading this today that they may be moved to extend their arm out to You, that anyone suffering will find comfort in Your presence and complete promise of redemption. Lord, we thank You for those people You have perfectly placed in our lives - those that bring us back to You, and encourage us to fix our eyes on You and You alone. AMEN

**If you or someone you know is currently faced with an unplanned pregnancy please find a local faith-based pregnancy center. Online search for organizations that use the following phrases to be sure you will find Gods grace as you step through this season in your life: non-judgment, options, support, information, etc. And please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at You are NOT alone! –AmyB.**

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