When the Lord first gave me the concept for this book, He placed in my mind the title, Forgiven: Healing the Wounds of Abortion with Christ. Let’s take a moment to explore that word “wounds.” When I think of a wound, I think of something physical. The word actually conjures up a vision of a man in battle and him being hurt badly. Or a puppy whose leg was hurt by another animal. Or falling off a bike and scraping a knee. My immediate association is not with abortion. Particularly, because I was of the mindset, like many, that abortion was a medical procedure, like getting your tonsils taken out. And, I do not think of medical procedures causing wounds. In fact, I see them as a means to cure people.
So that idea that abortions create wounds was foreign to me. Nevertheless, let’s explore the word “wound” to see why it does apply to abortion and to understand that we do need to attend to this wound for it to be repaired. Probing the Wounds What is a wound? According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary (2017) a “wound” is:
a. an injury to the body (as from violence, accident, or surgery) that typically involves laceration or breaking of a membrane (as the skin) and usually damage to underlying tissues.
b. a cut or breach in a plant usually due to an external agent.
c. a mental or emotional hurt or blow. something resembling a wound in appearance or effect; especially a rift in or blow to a political body or social group.
From its definition, we can surmise that a wound can be physical, emotional/ mental, or symbolic. The wounds of abortion comprise all three—a physical wound, an emotional wound, and a symbolic wound. The Physical First, an abortion manifests itself as a true physical wound—a true “laceration or breaking of a membrane” and “damage to underlying tissues.” For the procedure to be “completed,” that is necessarily what occurs.
One Saturday, a couple of weeks ago, I went over to my pastor’s house for a discussion group. In the discussion, the topic of abortion came up. Our pastor told us that he had talked to people who were formerly involved in the abortion industry, and they told him that when women endured abortions, typically they screamed during the process. Women physically opened their mouths and let out screams.
Thus, an abortion is a physical pulling out. It is a violent, physical injury to the body. When our pastor shared that information, my mind instantly returned to my time on the table, the long scream that I released, and the crying, hurt, and pain. Yes, it was certainly a physically wounding act. The Emotional At the time of the abortion, women endure literal physical wounds.
Over time, those physical wounds may heal; however, what remains in some women is an enduring mental/ emotional wound. Abortions create mental/ emotional blows that damage women’s hearts and souls. Some know this well. The emotional hurt is tangible.
A woman confessed that one of her friends had had an abortion 40 years earlier, and the guilt still crippled the friend even though she was a follower of Jesus Christ. Depression engulfed the woman, and she felt her subsequent inability to conceive when she did want a child was her punishment for the abortion.
Other women have shared that after the abortion, their lives followed a path of drugs and alcohol to numb the shame, the pain, and the guilt. Others walk the path of promiscuity—which they may have already been on—but the abortion causes them to seek out sexual intimacy even more often to soothe themselves. Others deny the emotional wound from their abortion, the emotional and mental wound that festers in them for years upon years.
I was one of those. But just because I said it did not bother me did not mean that the poison was not infecting my body, my pursuit of a purpose in life, or my family. For instance, I realized that stuffing the emotions around the abortions extended into other areas of my life where I simply had cut off emotions. The poison showed up as perpetual anger, sometimes rage. I did not realize that there was a range of negative emotions due to those buried abortions that I drew upon when seemingly unrelated challenges arose. Anger seemed to be the only response available to me. Having abortions played a role in me developing this very one-dimensional emotional response.
I had very deep feelings about the abortions that I had buried inside myself, and those feelings had to go somewhere, whether I wanted to acknowledge them or not. The Symbolic And, thirdly, abortion results in a symbolic wound. The Bible says that we, humans, are image bearers of God—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1: 27). From this, we can easily extrapolate that when a baby is aborted, the abortion that literally kills the baby equates to a symbolic killing of the image of God.
To repeat: when a woman gets an abortion, she’s choosing to undergo a process that kills the image of God—symbolically—through the literally killing of the baby. I know this is a serious claim. For someone already feeling guilty about her abortion, I am sure that you are saying, “How is this going to make me feel less guilt? You just said that I killed God’s image.” Yes, I did, but bear with me. This is about exposing truth for the purpose of healing, not condemnation or destruction.
Trust me—but more importantly—trust God. God has carried me through this healing process and carefully led me through its unfolding, and now He wants me to share it with you. In reading this book and undergoing the process I’m laying out, you will find your path to restoration. So, again, trust God. Fixing Your Eyes on Jesus Abortion causes wounds—wounds that need to be administered to. The process by which these wounds will be mended may be, most likely, painful because you have to face something that you did not want to confront. I know that I sure did not.
This healing process reminds me of the Scripture where Christ suffered knowing that He would rejoice in our salvation. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
—Hebrews 12: 2 While Jesus endured excruciating physical suffering on the cross, all the while He had awareness and faith that the reward (the joy set before Him) that would result from His suffering would be so much greater than the suffering itself.
The same holds true for the repairing of our wounds. What we have avoided for so long—the shame, the guilt, revisiting the physical pain—will be unearthed, and it is not easy to face. Anger and sadness flooded me at times, I wanted to eat to stuff down the feelings that were coming up, and I wanted to quit the process. I wanted to quit writing this book. Nonetheless, what I held onto, and I encourage you to hold onto, is the “joy set before” you.
That is, the reward of being set free from the bondage of holding this secret. God brought this hurt to the light because it needed to be dealt with; He will be alongside you through the process; and we can fix our eyes on Jesus Christ as we go through it.
The Greek word for “fix “in this Scripture is aphorao, which means to turn your eyes away from other things and fix (direct your attention, mind) unwaveringly toward Jesus Christ. Prayer, worship, and reading the Bible is how I stayed fixed on Christ throughout this journey.