“The man outside the abortion clinic called me a murderer,” a post-abortive woman shared with me. “He said that I would rot in Hell, Sydna. The blood of my little baby is on my hands. How can God ever forgive me?”
Bloodguilt results after murder or bloodshed. In abortion, the term fits.
When a woman exits an abortion clinic, one is dead and the other is often wounded. This mother also assumes a new title from society if they discover her abortion sin – murderer.
Post-abortive hearts often arrive at a false belief that in ending their tiny child’s life, they have committed an unforgivable sin. Many then pursue other self-destructive behaviors, falsely believing they somehow deserve the worst treatment due to making this horrendous choice.
When we confess our sin of abortion, many don’t realize that it isn’t in God’s character to hold our sins against us. He wants to forgive and heal our hearts and cleanse us from our iniquity. He can heal even the bloodguilt that marks an abortion experience.
Before we were born, God knew every sin we would commit. This truth is revealed in Psalm 139:15-16, My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
As I exited the abortion clinic where my child had died, I distinctly remember realizing I had just committed the worst sin possible. The voice of the accuser – Satan – amplified that mindset.
In that angry and hopeless mode, I pursued other sinful behaviors which drew me farther away from God’s loving voice. It would take seven years for God to pull away the clouds of sin that blinded me to His grace and mercy. That understanding arrived when I first stared into the eyes of my next-born child.
My healing experience included a direction from God to forgive everyone who impacted my child’s death. One by one, I worked through the anger and grief as God helped me pardon each involved player. I was finally able to release them to God’s divine judgment. The peace that resulted in my heart was phenomenal.
The next step in my healing was asking God for other names that I needed to forgive. When I heard a name in my heart, I balked. It made no sense that God would want me to forgive another murderer.
A year and a half before my abortion recovery class, my friend and neighbor was brutally murdered by a woman who was having an affair with her husband. It was Dianne Hood’s death that began my grieving process for my lost child.
When I heard the name of Dianne’s murderer in my heart – Jennifer Reali – I thought, ““She murdered a mother of three. She doesn’t deserve forgiveness.”
Instantly another message flew into my brain – “And you allowed your firstborn to die in an abortion clinic. Tell me how you are any different from Jennifer Reali?”
I knew that thought had not come from my own brain because I clearly would never have considered that perspective. Undeniable Godly conviction washed over my soul.
When God puts a task in your heart, it’s best to surrender or He’ll keep you up at night. After a long battle with sleeplessness, I hung my head and reached out to this murderer in prison.
I wrote Jennifer Reali a letter and asked her to forgive me for hating her. When I put the letter in the mailbox, I lost 40 emotional pounds. I expected nothing more from the correspondence but that initial peace.
I was shocked when Jennifer Reali wrote back. Her first sentence was, “Please forgive me for murdering your friend…”
My heart leaped when I read that sentence. I got down on my knees and cried. My bitterness shattered into a million pieces. Joy returned to my heart in that instant. I realized God had pushed me to forgive Jennifer for my sake, not hers!
I never realized what a gift it could be to my heart to receive this apology from such a notorious inmate residing in a state penitentiary. Jennifer accepted Jesus into her heart at the time of her arrest in September of 1990. Her apology sparked a pen pal friendship where she would bless me on many difficult ministry days with tangible encouraging letters.
Soon I discovered that before she had murdered my friend, Jennifer had chosen abortion twice. During our first physical meeting, she said, “I believe at least 80% of the women in this prison have chosen abortion. No one is ministering to our hearts. While we have many other sins that define our incarceration, no one in prison ever talks about their past abortion, even if they are convicted of murder like me.”
We then reviewed the journey of three murderers from the Bible – Moses, David and Paul. Jennifer ministered to my heart about the forgiveness God had given her for the bloodguilt of taking Dianne’s life. With God’s help, she helped me release the bloodguilt from my heart at a much deeper level.
If God can take the murderous actions of three men that He clearly loved and used after they sinned, my bloodguilt of abortion could also be turned for His good. These biblical stories remind us that the fellowship of healed murderers can result in God’s love flowing down into our World in a unique and powerful way!
Even in taking an innocent life, when we truly repent and ask God for forgiveness, it has been granted! This is outlined in Colossians 2: 13-14: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
Receiving the truth of God’s forgiveness into our heart after abortion can be challenging in a world where divisive abortion politics are discussed daily in media outlets. We need to re-adjust our thoughts by embracing the truth of God’s divine redemption daily.
Reading God’s word daily is essential in this process. An abortion recovery class can help you draw closer to God’s love and amazing forgiveness. Other emotions are also addressed like denial, grief, forgiveness, mourning and memorializing. Working through the healing process is the best way to free us to experience God’s blessed exoneration.
The photo above was taken of Jennifer and I this past summer when we finally met outside prison walls after 27 years of friendship. She’s been paroled and is now ministering to other prisoners who transfer back into our society.
I’m grateful that God never wastes even our sinful past. The murderer named Paul outlines this truth perfectly in I Timothy 1:15-17, Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
If you know someone who has experienced abortion, offer your heart by compassionately speaking to them about God’s grace and mercy after any sin. Have your local pregnancy center information available so you can refer to their abortion recovery program!
On this Easter week, realize Jesus died for ALL our sins… even abortion.