The Height of Grace in the Depths of Abortion
(This is a transcript of Brooke’s story.)
I told my husband, before he even shared this, that I would share my story 1,000 times over if it meant that one person might reconsider and choose life. Not because I want to remember, because I don’t. There’s this verse that Paul shares, in Colossians, where he talks about considering his suffering joy, for the body. And it’s like this really weird gift that we get as believers. God takes our suffering and He uses that pain to minister to, and to help heal, the wounds and the sufferings of others in the body [of Christ]. And that brings so much joy.
My name is Brooke and, when I was a freshman in college, I had an abortion. I was not walking with the Lord. In fact, I was pretty convinced there was no God and that being pregnant, in the early stages, I was just a host and that what was growing inside of me was a parasite because it couldn’t survive without me. It was my belief that you could have an abortion and never think about it again. I think I continued to tell myself that until I wanted a baby of my own; once I’d fallen in love and wanted to start a family. Fast forward several years and I’m 29/30. I get married. I’m a believer now. We start talking about plans for the future, and I have a desire to have children. I had never had that desire before. I didn’t want kids. I always thought I was going to be a career woman, and, I don’t know… when you fall in love, things change.
I started having these weird daydreams of really violent things—violent daydreams against myself and just visions of really weird things that I couldn’t understand, and they scared me. So, I would dive into the Word and dive into the Word thinking, Okay, if I can just read enough scripture. If I can just focus on His word, then this is going to go away and then I’ll have peace. And it would work for a while. The feelings would go away, and the thoughts would go away; but they would eventually come back, and I would have to fight again. And, I don’t know that I realized it at the time, but now I know…as a believer, that kind of life is not why Christ died. He came to give us peace. And me wrestling with those thoughts, and having those visions, and hitting myself…that is not rest, and that is not peace, and that is a yoke that is very, very heavy. Living like that was just dishonoring to the Lord. He paid for that, and He paid for my freedom, and for my peace. And I was living in torment.
I ended up going to a post-abortion recovery class. It was a class of, I think, eight to ten girls and we all told our story from the minute we woke up, on the morning of our abortion, until the end of that day. We gave kind of a 24-hour account of what that day looked like for us. And I was sitting across the room from a gal who is sharing her story. And while she was sharing, she held up a picture of an aborted baby at the week, like in the week stage, of her abortion. It was so jarring. I think because I was coming to terms with the fact that wow I- I killed someone. Like, I stopped a life. I aborted my baby at 11 weeks, and at that time the baby has developed organs and is developing fingerprints, or has already developed fingerprints, and that blows me away. I don’t know how something can have fingerprints and organs and not be considered a life.
Living like that was just dishonoring to the Lord. He paid for that and He paid for my freedom and for my peace and I was living in torment.
As I listened to her share her 24-hour experience, I had to stop her in the midst of it, and I felt awful for interrupting her, but I just couldn’t look at that picture anymore. I asked her, and I asked our leaders, “Can you please take that picture down? I cannot look at that anymore.” And it was at that moment that I was just overcome with what I had done and overcome with a doubt and a fear that I wouldn’t be forgiven; that I could not receive forgiveness and grace for what I had done. The entire class got up, gathered around me, put their hands on me, and prayed for me. There was this feeling of unity and power so present that it was palpable. I remember my whole body just shaking and tears just pouring down my face, crying and, and really asking for forgiveness in the midst of their prayers. After that, I felt so much peace and I knew that I had been forgiven.
God is so tender, so merciful, so ready to forgive, so ready to meet us with compassion and love and gentleness and forgiveness, that if we had any idea, in the midst of our sin, that He was like that, we’d never run in the opposite direction. We’d always run towards Him. Instead, we choose to believe lie after lie until we get to a place where we can either choose to run towards life or run from it, and in the end, end our lives.
That’s what I was doing.
That class changed my life. And it wasn’t a curriculum that did it. It was the leaders, and the other women, and God’s Word all used together like this trifecta—this trinity of truth and grace– God using His people as vessels and His Word as truth and His Holy Spirit in me and this, this force of forgiveness that just showered me with grace. I can truly say that I am 100 percent free from any guilt, from any fear, from any anxiousness or burden or self-loathing from the abortion. That is all gone and all that’s left is grace.