Every year July 3rd finds me digging through my closet to retrieve what I cannot parade without. Over the years, my husband and children have watched me re-tape, re-write and re-decorate the sign I hold high at the start of every patriotic procession. The motive and message, though, is always the same. To intentionally bring honor to those who have done a hard thing. The words, “We Remember You”, never fail to catch the gaze of veteran soldiers as they pass. Often there is a smile, a nod, and a ‘thumbs up’ in my direction. In the loud clapping and crowd of faces, a meaningful connection happens. It is because my words communicate that without knowing, I know. There’s been hardship, and, it matters.
Relative to abortion, there’s a deep need for that connection and for knowing without knowing. Those who have experienced the hardship of abortion don’t get a parade, but they do often feel lonely and like they’re marching through a crowd of faces looking for a sign. Abortion is a life decision that has unconfessed and hurting men and women attached to it. They are young and older, married and unmarried, outside and inside our church communities. They carry deep and secret emotional pain, often for years, and they silently sit in the tension between loud opposing voices of political debate.
Studies show that 70 percent of the women choosing abortion believe it is morally wrong. This fact alone tells us that women are choosing abortion not because they think it is the right thing to do, but because they think, due to whatever pressures they are facing, that it is the only thing they can do.
If we truly desire to be pro-abundant life people, then we must begin by replacing judgmentalism with generosity. We must be people who can listen to the words "I've had an abortion" and react, not with horror, but with compassion. And, we must both create and ‘be’ the atmosphere of grace that invites those words to be spoken. As the church, we get to always and everywhere offer hope and grace to those soldiering through hardship. Intentionally bringing compassion to those who have done a hard thing. “We remember you.”
"Remember this, you are mine; I have formed you, and you will not be forgotten by Me.” Isaiah 44:21
‘Learning how to forgive myself was the most difficult part. Believing that I was still lovable was nothing short of miraculous. I can now look at myself without seeing a lonely, selfish, desperate young woman. I’m so grateful someone was there to help pick up the pieces of my broken life and help me move on.’ -Carol
I WANT TO