I had an abortion.
And it was a secret I was going to take to the grave.
My decision to abort was made in a moment of fear and panic and it left me destroyed for years by the horror and shame of the choice I made.
In silence, I carried a heavy burden of heartache.
In private, I struggled with intense guilt, shame, and depression.
I never talked about my abortion to anyone. Ever.
I suffered from symptoms of post-abortion grief and trauma.
I was depressed, anxious, self-destructive, angry, full of regret and always ashamed.
And I believed that I deserved all of the terrible consequences of my decision.
There wasn’t a single day that went by that I didn’t think about it. It was always there, always weighing on me. My choice haunted and negatively affected every single aspect of my life.
When I made the decision to abort, I turned my back on God, believing that I could never be forgiven for what I had done. Sure, other people could be forgiven for their sins, but not me. I had done the unthinkable. I killed my own baby. I selfishly took the “easy way out.”
It turned out that the simple solution to my problem turned into a living nightmare.
There wasn’t a single day that went by that I didn’t beg God for forgiveness. I remember sitting in church and even trying to “get right with God.” But the truth was… I felt like a complete fraud and never FELT forgiven.
Little did I know, however, that everything was about to change for me on one unsuspecting Sunday.
During this time, I was attending a church in Dallas, Texas. One particular Sunday morning there was an announcement that stood out to me on the big screen in front of the entire congregation. Among other announcements advertising various Bible studies the church offered, the slide that hit me like a wrecking ball was one for a post-abortion recovery group. Yeah, a post-abortion recovery group! I could not believe it! A church actually acknowledged that there could be women attending their church who previously had an abortion. Not only did they acknowledge it, there was actually a group for it!
Despite my initial enthusiasm and shock, I was very reluctant to make that first call. I knew I needed to go though. And so I did. I am still not sure how I mustered the courage to show up, but I did it. I nervously went to the first meeting.
At first, I thought the facilitators were completely crazy. They spoke of healing and restoration. They spoke of complete forgiveness and freedom from their abortions. I have to admit that I desperately wanted the peace they had, but didn’t think it was possible for me. My heart was too wounded and so hard.
But something was happening to me. Each time I showed up to the group, God would reveal Himself to me. Each week He began to pick up the pieces of my broken heart and make it whole again. I left the group, no longer defined by my abortion, but DEFINED by who I am in Christ- loved, forgiven, whole, and healed. What Christ did on the cross was truly enough to cover my sins, EVEN my abortion sin.
I love this truth from God’s word, “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. I can make you white as wool.”
That very truth became evident in my restored relationship with God and then in every aspect of my life. Only by the grace of God, I am whole and healed from my brokenness. And I cannot begin to explain all of the ways that accepting His forgiveness has liberated me.
God’s forgiveness is a beautiful gift. And it is a gift to ALL of His children – no matter the sin. We have all fallen short of God’s glory no matter how great the sin. Whether it is the sin of abortion or any other sin, we all need God’s forgiveness and the freedom from our sin that is only found in Jesus Christ. You may be reading this thinking, “Ok, God can forgive abortion, but he surely won’t forgive me for (fill in the blank).” That is simply not true. There is no sin that cannot be forgiven. Restoration and healing is what God wants for every single man and woman.
After my healing, I knew that God was calling me to minister to women, like me, who had an abortion. I knew that God wanted me to be public about my abortion and to proclaim His love, forgiveness, and freedom. God has given me complete freedom to speak on this issue through my own personal testimony and through His word, because there are still so many women bound up by the secrecy and shame of their abortions. God has used my story and testimony to free so many women from their own guilt and shame and to bring them into His loving grace that He so desires for them.
Finding this peace through a post-abortion recovery group is a life changing experience. As a facilitator I love seeing how God heals, and restores, and forgives. The compassion He pours out is so humbling. It is so incredible to see the transformation of broken women at the start of each study and how beautiful and redeemed they are at the end. That is why I am so passionate about post-abortion ministry and care.
It still seems surreal that I have been able to publically share the secrets of my past, but I thank God daily for the opportunity.
Sarah Lowry Dismore is the wife to Craig and mother to their three awesome kids. She is a photographer, singer, and most importantly a follower of Jesus, flawed but forgiven. You can find out more about her and her post-abortion ministry at her website Someone Cares Ministry (http://someonecaresministries.com).