In late August 2018, I was honored and privileged to be a part of the “Grace Without Borders” Women’s Ministries conference in Oklahoma City at the Heartland Retreat Center. I went as part of a ministry team representing Royal Home Ministries (a division of Falcon Children’s Home and Family Services) from Falcon, North Carolina. You can read all about RHM, their history, goals, career planning, counseling services, and so many other available programs by visiting their website [falconchildrenshome.com] and clicking on Royal Home. Very simply put, RHM is a haven for young women and girls, ages 13 to 21, who have chosen life over abortion for their babies. It is RHM’s commitment to serve these precious young ladies during their time of crisis. The maternity, mothers, and babies programs offer new beginnings and new hope for both mother and child.
Although I’m not on staff at RHM, I do serve on the Advisory Council and have been doing ministry on their behalf for more than 20 years. Whenever I have the opportunity, I love to share the unique blessing that is the Royal Home. While at the women’s conference, I was given the chance to do that, and I humbly obliged. However, along with the story of RHM, there is another story — It’s my story, and the story of so many other women, young and old alike, that I’ve encountered through the years in this ministry.
Imagine a young girl, who did not have a life-affirming Royal Home to run to. Instead, she went to a place that offered a different kind of help, the abortion clinic. Too many women, including myself, have fallen prey to the lies of the abortion industry. The clinic counselors cover up the truth of the procedure. They try to hide the negative effects it can, and will, have on the very ones they claim to care about and want to help. The abortion clinic is nothing more than a death trap. Death to your baby and to you. I walked in one person and hobbled out as someone completely different.
Society is made to believe that abortion is a solution, when in fact, it’s the beginning of the greatest emotional, mental, and spiritual suffering that you’ll ever encounter. Once the realization of your action settles in, the anguish you will experience is unimaginable. There are also physical issues that can remain long after the procedure. They will constantly remind you of the choice you made, while you, once again, search for helpful solutions. Let me be perfectly clear and say, that many girls and young women are pushed into this situation, but are then left to deal with the aftermath alone, many times with no one to even talk to or confide in.
For myself, the emotional and mental despair came quickly, as I tried desperately to hide this from my parents, and the folks at the church where we pastored. Surprised? Maybe I should have opened with that. I am the daughter and granddaughter of Pentecostal Holiness ministers. I grew up in the church and have been immersed in it all my life. The young man who got me pregnant was the son of a PH minister as well.
Let this be a teachable moment for church leaders, senior and youth pastors, teachers, women’s ministries, girls’ ministries directors, and every other facet of the church organization and body. Abortion-minded girls and post-abortive women are in our churches, sitting on our pews, and suffering in silence. There is no age or denomination discrimination when it comes to abortion. Just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t touched the life of an individual very close to you. The fact is, you are not aware of their silent struggle— the all-encompassing grief, anguish, despair, heartache, hopelessness, fear, guilt, shame, self-loathing and suicidal thoughts (just to mention a few)— they bear alone. To tell anyone is to open themselves up to possible condemnation, judgmental attitudes, and gossip from the very ones who should be lifting them up through prayer and encouragement. What they need is to be shown the very compassion, mercy, grace, and love that Christ has shown each one of us who belong to Him.
In our human thought process, we have trouble remembering that in God’s eyes, there are no degrees of sin. According to His word (Romans 8:10,23), “There is none righteous, no, not one…” and “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Simply stated, we are all on the “level playing field” of life. Although they may be of different sizes and shapes, some light and some heavy, we all have a burden of baggage. If we’re honest with ourselves, we carried it with us far too long, until we found the strength to carry it one final time to the cross, to the feet of Jesus and left the burden there. I was finally able to do that after many years.
The painful knowledge of my choice held me captive and almost destroyed me. Satan wanted me gone, but God had a different plan. His plan and promise (Jeremiah 29:11), “For I know the plans I have for you declare the Lord…” has sustained me and kept me in this ministry for more than 20 years. It was His plan for my healing and restoration that enables me to speak about the very thing that almost brought about my destruction. This ministry is God’s lifeline to me and to others through my story.
The post-abortive individuals need to hear from the pulpit that there is forgiveness, restoration, and healing at the feet of Jesus. They need to feel safe enough to fall on their faces and weep before an Almighty God on the altars of our churches, or some other secure place until they find peace and deliverance from the hurt of their past.
I’ve been told by many women, “You just stood there and told my story, and I’ve never told anyone,” or “No one talks about this in church. We hear about sexual abuse, adultery, and other sins, but we never hear about this.” This breaks my heart more than I can put in words. I beg you church, start a dialogue from your pulpits, and let these precious souls know that there is hope, healing, restoration, and freedom through the blood of Jesus. Speak truth into their lives, so John 8:32 can become their reality.
“AND YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE.” To God be the glory, for great things he has done! Amen!!