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Releasing Secrets, Restoring Hope

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Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.(Psalm 34:5, NIV)

Friend to Friend

For years my abortion story went untold. It was a secret held tightly by a locked heart – my worst nightmare and darkest memory. Not something I wanted to talk about. Certainly not a story that I thought could be used for good.

Conversationally, it was unapproachable… simply impossible to discuss. On the rare occasion when I allowed my mind to go there, I wished I had a different story: one of life, not death – of joy, not pain. A story of a time when I’d made the best choice, not the worst choice.

But that’s not my story.

And because it’s not, for years I was convinced that my mistakes demanded silence. That because of what I’d done and where I’d been, I was bound to be quiet whenever the sacred topic of life arose. Certainly, I had no right to speak… or so I believed. Shame buttoned my lips.

Then I came to know a deeper grace. A grace found in the testimony of redemption. God’s grace. A grace that testifies of hope, healing and restoration. A grace found in the sharing and releasing of my broken heart-places. Amazing grace that boasts in the truth that all things can work together for good to those who love God and who are bound to His will and purpose (Romans 8:28).

By the grace of Jesus Christ, I now understand that – knowing what I know and having been where I’ve been – I am actually uniquely qualified to speak and encourage others toward life… forgiveness… and hope.

A few years ago, the Lord led me to participate in a post-abortive Bible study and a weekend retreat that allowed my heart to experience healing in places that I didn’t even know were wounded. I was given the opportunity to sift through my grief, to name my child, and to honor her tragic, unlived life in a beautiful memorial service. My story is now one of healing – and I will tell it until I take my last breath and meet my precious baby in heaven.

HEALING

For those of you who share my broken story, I encourage you toward this sacred healing – toward deeper grace. Death’s grip is suffocating and scary… but it’s not more powerful than the forgiveness and love found in Jesus. Don’t allow fear and shame to keep you from the restoration that God longs for you to experience. Call your local pregnancy care center and ask about their post-abortive Bible studies and retreats.

COURAGE

For those of you who are pregnant and afraid, I encourage you to choose life. I know the fears you are facing and the doubts that are screaming relentlessly to your heart. Silence them with the hope found in the center of grace. Whatever this looks like for you – whether it’s parenting or adoption – I implore you, from the deepest recesses of my heart, to allow your baby a chance to breathe, love, laugh and live. It will be one of the best choices you will ever make.

SUPPORT

For those of you who don’t share my story, but who support the efforts of life-affirming ministries on the front lines of this battle, I encourage you toward generous giving. I applaud you for your participation. Because of you, lives are being saved… and diapers are being changed… and dreams are being dreamed… and God is being honored. Because of your support, sacred hearts are beating. Thank you. A thousand times: thank you.

But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20b-21)

Let’s Pray

Dear God, with a trembling heart, I approach Your throne of grace today in reverence and humility, fully aware that You are holy and I am not. Speak, Lord. Show me the plans You have for me. Bind me to Your Word and to Your strength so I will have the courage to obey, to forgive and to accept forgiveness. May my brokenness be restored for the beauty of Your glory. Please help me to trust your plan and grace. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Okay … take a deep breath with me! Some of you may feel disturbed that a locked door in your heart has been nudged open. I also know that 30-40% of you that are reading this devotion share my experience of abortion. There is healing and forgiveness for you, too. Through the help of my local Pregnancy Care Center, I went through a post-abortive Bible study that helped me to know complete healing. If you have not taken that step toward healing, I encourage you to contact the Abortion Recovery CARE line at 1-866-4-My-Recovery (1-866-469-7326) visit www.AbortionRecovery.org – or call your local Pregnancy Care Center today to sign up for a post-abortive Bible study or retreat.

Is there someone you know who needs to read this message? Forward this email. Post it on your social media sites. Share the hope of healing.

More from the Girlfriends

Welcome to my personal pulse. This type of transparency is always risky. My pulse races each time I expose the broken places of my past and my present – but GOD is always faithful to use it in some beautiful way. Some of you may feel this devotion was written specifically for you. Don’t ignore that. Explore it. Please come to my Facebook page today to listen to a song that I co-wrote and recorded called Broken into Beautiful, and leave a comment sharing your heart with me. www.facebook.com/GwenSmithMusic. We will pray over each of you!

My full testimony is featured the book, Broken into Beautiful, along with Scriptural truths and stories of how God has brought restoration the hearts of many other women who had painful life wounds. God delights to transform lives … including your own. Experience God’s healing and hope in your life today as you read Broken Into Beautiful! To order the book, go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit my website: www.gwensmith.net.

28 Responses

  1. Kathy Royals says:

    Thanks again for your testimony. I know I shared with you my story when you were in Mobile, AL. I on the other hand gave life to a baby girl at the age of 16. One of the hardest things in my life was giving that baby up for adoption. For years I kept this locked secret close to my heart until I found what true forgiveness meant & God transformed my life 25yrs.later. My story is about forgiving the man who raped me & my daughter locating me in 2009. If you ever are interested in the film that was recorded & is shared at conferences in the U.S. you can go to Spiritus Films and click on The Miracle of Forgiveness Part 1 (me) Part 2 (my beautiful daughter).
    Gwen, thank you so much for what you are doing to turn lives towards the Word of God. You are beautiful and have given inspiration to many women (including me) through your talents. May God continue to bless & protect you & your family.
    Sister In Christ,
    Kathy Royals

  2. Esther says:

    Like you, I share the same story and have been silent for too long now. For so long I have carried this burden, but my God told me that it has been payed for. Jesus payed the prize. I am a new creation, and by His stripes I am healed and I am forgiven. Thank you for being so bold and sharing. God bless you. :)

  3. Linda Scott says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I recently hit a rough patch in life, but through Jesus Christ I know that I am loved, I am chosen, I am a child of God almighty. I have read your wonderful book and it really helped me through this time in my life. I am still a work in progress, but God has healed alot of my broken places, including my heart. I read your alls devotions everyday. You all are such a blessing. Thanks again.

  4. Rae Knight says:

    Thank you Gwen for the love and courage you have shown by standing up to having an abortion. When I was 17 years old, I also had an abortion,now I am 58. I often think what would have become of my baby if only… But,Jesus Christ came into my life and forgave me and healed my heart of not having children. It took many years for me to forgive myself, I am now at peace with myself. Only by the love of God go I. God bless you!!

  5. Kaaren says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I too had an abortion at the age of 16. It was the most horrific experience of my life. I think about “who” my child would be today. However, I try not to think about how i feel about my decision 25 yrs. ago. i regret my choice. I have never thought about seeing my child in heaven until your devotional today. That is heart aching to me! I have never told my husband about my abortion and very few friends have knowledge of my experience. At my church we have Heartline’s Women’s Clinic that ministers to girls and women contemplating abortion. God has tugged at my heart to volunteer, but that would require me to get in touch with own pain. I know I need healing in this area and your devotion today has prompted me to ask God to heal my brokenness. Thank you Gwen!

    • gwen gwen says:

      Oh, Kaaren! Keep moving in that direction, sister. God has a deep healing plan for you! Please swing back around to let me know how the LORD is moving in your life once you have allowed Him to sift through your pain. Big hugs and nudges in Christ,
      Gwen

  6. Tammy says:

    What a blessing to read today. I have struggled with what I did for 30 years.

  7. Tara says:

    I just wanted to thank you for this …. I have never had an abortion…but i, myself was an unplanned birth. I wouldnt be here with out that chioce (not saying my life was easy….I was also adopted too at a late age. I was against adoption for along time thinking i dont want to “put a kid thrugh that system …or what if i mess them up more” But God works on this end too…I too, have adopted, my two wonderful boys, brother by God’s hand, which is stronger then any blood tie. I read this and weep thinking “Thank you God for these womens choices because without them… my boys would not be here” They are the biggest blessing God has given me thus far…. Thank you for your heart and courage to share this and bless soooo many others and the new families that will come out of this.

  8. Silly says:

    Had 3 of them out of sins. It was a shame no doubt but i was young and knew nothing. Abortions was the worst choice made and living with it for the rest of my life. Amazingly, God did not allow that to happen. God forgave my sins, gave me a new life with 3 beautiful children. God did allow sins to roam though in order for us to repent. I love my beautiful God for not forsaken me. Thanks Gwen for giving me the courage to share. Love ya.

  9. antoinette says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. My pregnancy was not planned. I remember there was another young lady in my class who was was pregnant as well. However she had a miscarriage. I remember staring at her in class wishing and wondering why her and not me. I felt so ashamed that as a Christian woman I did not want my baby. I was so unhappy. It took a very long time to see how precious and beautiful my son is. He’s a gift from God. He was unplanned in my book, but I believe God worked everything out and allowed me to look at my blessings and not continue to.live in guilt and depression. I cant imagine life without my son.
    Im thankful for ppl like you who are not afraid to share their stories. Your courage gives me more courage to continue to praise God and share my story as well. The more I talk about the more I release myself from fear. I will not let the enemy write my story! Thank you:-)

  10. Carole says:

    I gave my first daughter up for adoption when I was 19. It was a closely guarded secret for the next 20 years. I now have three beautiful daughters who have married Christian men & have children of their own. I thank God that I was able to share my story with them & that it helped them to make wise choices.

  11. B-More Lady says:

    Thank you for this wonderful devotion. I too had an abortion and for years I felt so ashamed and unworthy, until one day God spoke to my heart and said He had forgiven me a long time ago and puts it as far as the East is from the West, I was the only one still dwelling on it; me and the enemy of course who reminded me every day. BUT I serve a mighty good God and now the guilt has turned to faith, faith in God. As long as my soul is alright with Him, I am free from guilt. ~BE BLESSED~

  12. Rhoda says:

    A close friend had an abotion when we were 19. Her boyfriend and I were the only ones who knew. I tried so hard to dissuade her, and I had a hard time accepting it when she didn’t. I was so sorry that I couldn’t change her mind, and so sorry for the reasons she felt she had to do it. To this day I remember that baby. Thank you all for telling your stories. The part where God forgives, restores and reacreates demonstrates His abiding love, grace and power. God bless you all…

  13. Marie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I had a medical abortion three months ago, my baby was just 4 weeks old. My husband lost his job and I am a teacher. We are living pay check to pay check and already have a child. The sad thing is that working with children is my God given talent and I make a major difference in so many at-risk youths’ lives. It breaks my heart to know that finances and my husband’s opinion clouded my judgement. From the moment my husband scheduled the appointment I sobbed and sobbed. These have been the darkest days of my life. I feel like my soul died that day as well. The first month and a half, I could barely function and was searching for ways to commit suicide so that it would look like an accident to my family. Thankfully, God brought me to a Christian counselor who has made my days more bearable and I am not having suicidal thoughts any more. She keeps reminding me that God knows my heart, but it is still so very hard to accept when I know I will never forgive myself. Your message means so much to me because it gives me hope and makes me realize that I am not completely alone in this journey. Thank you and God bless.

    • gwen gwen says:

      Oh, Marie. I know the pain you are going through and am so sorry. God does have a plan of healing for you and counseling is a great place to start. Another resource I’d advise you to use is http://abortionrecovery.org/.

      Dear LORD, I ask that You would meet Marie with your undeserved, far-reaching mercy and grace. Your faithfulness is beyond our comprehension and Your love exceeds eternally. Please comfort Marie as she grieves and bring beauty from these ashes in a way that brings glory to Your name. Amen.

  14. Dolores says:

    Thanyou for sharing your story. I placed my baby for adoption close to two years ago. I wanted her, but above what I wanted I wanted her to have married parents that loved the Lord…I wanted her to have a dad…still I cry almost every day, there is a longing for her that doesn’t go away…I pray all the time and I am very thank ful for her and her family…I do desire God to use my life and turn this into something good…after she was born I would see this verse everywhere (Romans 8:28) and believe He was personally speaking this to me…

    • gwen gwen says:

      You are so brave, Dolores. I have a very close friend who has been where you are and I’m confident that the LORD will bless your decision and your child. Keep trusting in His faithfulness, because Romans 8:28 surely resounds!

  15. Cathy says:

    Hello,
    Recently, my dear sister, and sister in The Lord sent me your devotion about
    releasing secrets, restoring hope. After reading and praying, the Spirit led me to dig deeper, into the recesses of my own heart and see my need for His healing. Even though I trusted Christ as my Saviour over 26 years ago, the thought came to me, fresh understanding that there is a difference between asking for forgiveness and asking for healing. The sweet Holy Spirit made me understand this truth in a profound way. I got on my knees and asked Jesus to heal me of my brokenness, the loss of two babies to abortion. At the time of the abortions, i was 18 and 19. The Spirit gave me a metaphor I could relate to, like how a cut or burn is not healed all the way if it still hurts when you touch it. Same was true in those areas of my heart. I still hurt when I spoke of those tragic choices I had made. Not healed was very obvious to me.
    The great Physician has now healed my heart from this brokenness. At the time I was praying for this healing, unknown to me was the fact that my sister and a friend of hers were praying for my healing as well at the exact same time. They live 1000 miles away I had no way of knowing they were doing that. Isn’t Gods timiming perfect? Through the introspection, I gained an even better view into other areas of my heart that held brokenness, failures, disappointments, sins that had been forgiven but not healed. It is amazing to me how the Spirit works when our understanding is open and our hearts are open and surrendered.
    As for God, His way is perfect.
    Thank you for your devotion, for being fearless enough to share your story. Bless you and your ministry.

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