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Posts Tagged ‘post traumatic stress’

Last year, in Arizona, I was asked by a friend from Canada to have lunch with the daughter of her friend.  My Canadian friend knew about my involvement in Lutherans For Life and Word of Hope.  She knew a little bit of why Titus 2 for Life grew out of my experiences with women grieving after an abortion.  She also knew that her friend’s daughter was interested in starting some sort of caring ministry for women in her area who were affected by their abortions.

So, under a canopy of blue sky, two older and two younger women gathered around an informal table.  We were there to imagine:  What could be done to welcome, encourage, and heal with the amazing love of Jesus?  It was easy to see the passion in Tessie, the woman who desired to begin a post abortion group.  She wore a genuine heart on her sleeve.  But, more than the passion and heart was her conviction and the courage to speak the Truth  For, you see, without the truth, the passion and heart would not bring hope.

I offered my assistance and prayers to Tessie.  We parted ways, but promised to stay in touch by e-mail.  We have.  Tessie is accountable with her “reports” to me and a few trusted others.

In the spring, Tessie started her first group for post abortive women.    By the end of September, she had led three groups.  All of this was done by word of mouth and little posters in area churches.

I asked Tessie about the diversity of the women.  She replied,

“There have been 18 women from the three groups that I’ve led.  They range in ages from 28 to 60+.  The women are mostly Caucasian, with one Hispanic and two African Americans.  Seven are single.  Three are divorced.  Eight are married.  All of the women claim to be Christians.  Three of the women married the father of their aborted child, but one [of those] divorced years later.  Five have had multiple abortions.  Two were late term.”

The eighteen women that Tessie has encircled remind me of the women God has placed in my life.

At last count, 24 of my friends, relatives, or acquaintances have shared their abortion experience with me.  Many of these are women who came up to me after I had finished speaking about Biblical manhood and womanhood.  One woman admitted that was the only reason she could attend the event.  She said, “If you had come to speak about abortion, I wouldn’t have showed up.  But, I was curious about living as a Biblical woman.”  She went on to explain, “When you shared the story of your friend who had an abortion, how did you know?  You were speaking to me.  That was my story.”

Of the 24 women in my “circle” who have suffered an abortion, 18 are Lutheran.  Two are the wives of Lutheran pastors.  At least three have had more than one abortion.

One of the women is someone I’ve known a long time.  We’ve traveled different paths and, because of that, our experiences have resulted in very different consequences.  One day, quite unexpected, she shared a receipt from Planned Parenthood that she keeps in her billfold.  She also shared a cut-out picture of a little girl that, she explained, may have looked like her daughter.  God has done a healing work on this woman.  She will live with the regret the rest of her life but, every morning, she looks in the mirror to see the Robe of Jesus’ Righteousness wrapped securely around her.

Another woman and I nearly lost our friendship after her abortion.  I think it was the first time I realized how divisive the double-edged Sword of God’s Word really is.  She knew she was living on the wrong side of the Sword, but had to defend herself.  In time, that Sword pierced through the denial to change the heart and mind of a beautiful and forgiven woman.  This friend has motivated me to make myself available to women everywhere — through speaking, writing, and the Titus 2 for Life ministry.

To all of these women, God has Words of promise:

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.  I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound . . . to comfort all who mourn . . . to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes.

(Psalm30:5b; 32:3-5; Isaiah 61:1-3)

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