Due to client advocates’ vacations at The Community Pregnancy Center, the counseling rooms were supposed to be closed this Thursday. Only two staff members were even in the office. We were supposed to be open for scheduling alone, yet a distinct voice inside refused to quiet. I had to counsel on Thursday. Literal stacks of papers scattered atop my desk, but somehow, that was irrelevant. It was as if someone needed Thursday. Maybe God was setting aside that specific, closed time for a specific, closed person.
Thursday morning, she sat in our waiting room alone. Her "General Information" seemed to reveal a positive environment for a baby. The client marked that she was twenty-five years old. She was a Christian. She was married and absolutely against abortion. She must have come to the pregnancy center, because she only needed a Proof of Pregnancy for her Medicaid Application. This wasn’t an unplanned pregnancy. This didn’t seem to be a crisis. And yes, this pregnancy wasn’t a crisis.
“I’ve had 4 abortions.”
The first when she was 16.
The second when she was 19.
The third when she was 22.
The fourth when she was 24.
When she was just 16 years old, she discovered her first positive pregnancy test. Surely not. Surely it was a mistake. Surely this wasn’t right. She denied the reality for weeks, dreading the response. Not only did this pollute her own plans for her life, but this also affected her family. This affected her mom. The very thought sent her into a panic. Finally, she gained the courage to confess the fact. Her mother immediately drove her to an abortion-operating clinic and bought an abortion for her 16 year old daughter, who by this time was ten weeks pregnant.
The others followed a similar pattern. Her mom bought the second abortion for her when she was 19, beginning her college career. She paid for the third and the fourth herself, barely able to pay the $600 base fee for each one. Each abortion scarred her body, and each abortion shattered her heart. She knew she was far along. She knew that baby already had a heartbeat, already had arms and legs.
Just before her fourth abortion, she wanted to back out. The weight of her past abortions fell unbearably onto every part of soul. She couldn’t do this one more time. She couldn’t do that to another baby. She couldn’t endure the physical pain or the tormenting guilt for yet another abortion. She told the doctor that she changed her mind, but it was too late. The second a client signs her name onto that last waiver at these clinics, she is bound to an abortion. The doctor already administered the first dose into her body, killing the developing baby.
Walking out of the abortion clinic that fourth time, she decided to never walk into their doors again. Last year, her and her husband welcomed a son. Thursday, she sat before me desperately hoping for another positive test.
When she finished her story, I took a deep breath and reminded this haunted Christian whose she is. I shared the only Hope able to withstand such fortified, unmoved guilt, the only One able to wholly forgive. That’s why she’s been searching. That’s what she was so desperately hoping for. It was never about a test. It was never about another baby.
God opened the counseling room Thursday to assure His daughter that she is forgiven.
Nothing-no thought, no word, no action-on this fallen earth could ever reach beyond the righteous blood of the Son of God. Nothing-not one, two, three, four, or fifteen abortions-could ever be unredeemable. This ashamed woman is loved, wanted, pursued every day of her life, and even more—she is forgiven by the King of Kings. Her entire countenance changed. The Lord God filled the room, and seemed to relax this pleading woman into His peace. We prayed together, accepting every wave of grace.
She left joyful. She left free.
She left finally forgiven.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”