After having my abortion, I thought I never would feel the fullness of life again.
I often wondered how my life would unfold in the future. Was it even possible for me to move forward without carrying an ounce of shame? The big dreams I had for my life no longer were a reality, and I set them up on a shelf to be forgotten. I mean, how could any of my dreams ever come to pass when I had taken the life of my own child? In my mind, I was simply undeserving and unsure of the purpose of my very next breath.
In taking my child's life, I, myself, felt like I deserved death.
Little did I know then that God held beautiful plans for my life. He would turn my mess into a miracle. Just like He did with David in the Bible.
David, a chosen King, had a great fall.
In short, the events begin with King David choosing to stay behind in Jerusalem while he sends the rest of the Israelite army to fight other nations and kings. David walks on the palace roof one morning where he sees a beautiful woman bathing on her roof. Immediately drawn to her, David sends his messengers to find out who this woman was. The messengers return and tell David that her name was Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah. (Also one of David’s mighty men) Despite David knowing that she was married, he sent for her and slept with her. Bathsheba later sends word to David that she was pregnant.
Nervous that his sin of adultery would now be found out, King David called for Uriah to come home and spend a night with his wife, Bathsheba, to cover up their sin and Bathsheba's pregnancy. However, Uriah refused to sleep with his wife while his fellow men were off fighting. David’s plot to cover up his sin failed, and he became filled with anger. When Uriah returned to war, King David sent a note to the army commander with instructions to have Uriah put at the frontline and withdraw resulting in his death. Bathsheba mourned her husband and was then brought to King David to be his wife as soon as possible to make it appear that the child was legitimate.
The prophet Nathan visits King David and tells him of the Lord's disapproval and displeasure with David. David did not rationalize his sin or try to make an excuse for himself, and instead, he repents of his sin. (Psalm 51) Nathan tells David that because he despised the commandment of the Lord, the son Bathsheba was expecting would surely die.
David’s sin was private, but God’s discipline and correction were public.
David’s sin would not go unpunished. Even the King of Israel had to submit to God’s discipline.
The Lord put away David’s sin with a promise that he would not die. This was pure evidence of God’s divine grace as David was deserving of the death penalty for adultery and murder. God’s grace was able to circumvent His own plan for punishment.
While God certainly forgives sin, He does not necessarily remove its consequences.
When his son is struck with illness, and although David is aware of the outcome, still, he pleads with God through fasting and prayer. His grief for his son was immediate. And as soon as David hears of his son’s death, instead of anger or outrage, he arises, anoints himself and enters the house of the Lord to worship. There was nothing left for him to do, but to worship the Lord. (Psalm 9) David knew that the child could not return to life, but he knew he would someday join his son in death.
David and Bathsheba would bear another son. His name would be Solomon; meaning “Peaceable” or “Peaceful.” Nathan the prophet was sent again by the Lord to give Solomon the name Jedidiah, meaning “Beloved.” This name was divinely sanctioned as the final symbol of God’s forgiveness in the lives of David and Bathsheba. For Solomon was God’s choice. (2 Samuel 11,12, 1 Kings 1,2. NKJV)
Although many years have passed since having my abortion, healing is ongoing for me.
I have endured the many consequences of my choice. Our free will is a gift, and I believe when we mismanage it, it does not escape God’s notice. His forgiveness does not mean we will not have consequences to our actions because our sins affect others. My sin took the life of my child and her destiny and purpose here on earth. And so I do believe that it is important that our sins be confronted. God hears our prayers and He brings us comfort in the midst of our trials. Even when they are self-inflicted.
I love King David’s response to pray during his grief. He knew his sin caused an enormous mess. But his actions to prayer gives us a remarkable insight to the true meaning of prayer. As long as there is any possibility of God intervening in a new way for us, prayer should continue unabated. If our hope is in God, then there is never the sense that it is too late until it is too late. Should God intervene and find us not still at prayer?
Layer by layer, God has shown me His deep and true love for me.
He has also shown me that He is a God of redemption and restoration. The closer I got to His heart, the more I longed for Him and the more He showed me that His plans are for good and He works through all things. I believe it is when we are willing to work through those things with Him, simply sitting at His feet bringing our very heartaches and surrendering our mess. Those are the very moments where He wipes away our tears and pours out His glory upon us and begins to make us whole again. Moment by moment, pressing into His presence through every hardship with prayer and worship over the years has not only built my faith and hope, but He has restored my soul entirely.
The very dreams I had tucked away on a shelf, started to become a reality again.
God invited me to start dreaming with Him again. I was hesitant at first, but in a way it started to become natural. He worked with me through every detail, met me where I was at and provided everything I needed in the very moments I needed them. He has promoted me spiritually, and in my life, in ways I had never even thought were possible. But His promises are real and true. “God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, and above all, you could ever ask, imagine, or think, according to His power at work in you.”- Ephesians 3:20
David is known as a man after God's heart, and it was not because of his qualifications.
David longed to know God and desired to be holy. It was David’ trust in God, faith, love, humility, integrity, forgiveness and worship that never stopped that empowered him to be successful in his journey to - and as - a King.
We must remember that God does not see man as man sees. He looks at the heart. Just like David, when I felt like I deserved death myself, God turns our mess into a miracle. I believe that God will use our mess and still place us in the seats and positions of kings when we abide by His command and are obedient to His call on our lives.
I felt true redemption enter my life when I became pregnant with my firstborn daughter.
Of course, there were feelings and thoughts that I was not ready, that I would never make a good mother, etc. etc. With those attacks on my mind, I decided to join another post-abortive healing group. And it was through that class where God showed me that my daughter was HIS CHOICE for me. He trusted me to be a Mother.
In that moment of revelation, the deepest corners of my shame were cleared out by the very love of God that I had always said I had believed in.
And when my daughter was finally born and I held her for the very first time, I was flooded with the fullness of life and overwhelming love of the Father for me, and for her.
If you have had an abortion and are struggling to find your way to forgiveness or even find it hard to dream again, I want to encourage you to read through David’s life. Over and over again, you will begin to see God’s redemptive love and power. It is not because God forgot about David’s sin, but it is because of David’s repentance that the Lord was able to bring about newness.
Yes, we may be in the 1 in 3 statistic, but God wants to take your trauma, your grief, your sorrow and bring on your healing that refines and restores your soul entirely.
He wants you to start dreaming big dreams with Him again. He has so much ahead for you as your purpose here is not overlooked. The gold stored in you is evidence of God’s redemptive love and power. Allow His presence to permeate your heart with His deep love for you and moment to moment you will begin to experience restoration to the fullness of life.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16
“You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 139:1-6
~ Stefanie Rodriguez