Redemptive Grace Revolution
A Hand Extended
For many post-abortive women, those who have experienced an abortion, life has become a struggle to bear up under a burden of grief, despair, and condemnation. Honoring the sanctity of life provides the catalyst for hope, forgiveness, and freedom. The vast majority of women are unaware of precisely what they are doing when they choose to undergo an abortion. They are utterly unaware that their child has fingers, toes, a heartbeat, and brain waves. They quite literally “do not know what they do.” For the post-abortive woman, honoring the sanctity of life does not revile, accuse, or vilify her. Honoring the sanctity of life invites her to acknowledge the truth: that her life is intrinsically valuable, that her child, too, was intrinsically valuable, and though she has done what cannot be undone, a Savior awaits offering forgiveness, hope, and joy inexpressible.
In addressing this issue, in sharing this truth, we are a hand extended, inviting woman after woman – and man after man – perhaps for the first time, to walk in the redemptive grace that is theirs. We must have the courage to invite them into the light. We must have the courage to invite them out of the shadows. The Mafgia is a ministry dedicated to such a purpose.
Out of the Darkness, Into the Light
We, as individuals and as a church, must come to the realization that despite everything we have done, His forgiveness is sufficient for us. For some women who have experienced an abortion, while they have heard that forgiveness is available, they don’t believe that forgiveness is available for them. They believe that pit is too deep, that sin too great. Our desire is to help that person understand, His grace is available for you, it is sufficient for you, and in His Name, by His blood, you are set free.
Certainly, we should not promote the idea that abortion is a good thing. Not at all. Abortion grieves the Father’s heart. It takes the life of an innocent human being. And yet, yet, that is not the end of the story. The story of the cross is the story of redemption! The one who struggles with pride, the one who indulges in anger, the one who secretly covets, and the one who stood aside while his daughter or wife or girlfriend endured the abortion alone, each one of us is just as guilty as the woman who engaged in the act. We are all equal at the foot of the cross! All our righteousness is as filthy rags. And yet, yet, when we have committed our lives to Him, when YAHWEH looks on us, He sees His Son’s righteousness, His Son’s perfection. As I heard one speaker say it, “we don’t need an excuse, we need an exchange,” (1) and that is the reality we must bring to our women – and men -on this issue.
This exchange, and the glorious healing it brings, begins in calling abortion by its rightful name, in acknowledging the wrong. Scripture tells us, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses them will obtain mercy,” (Proverbs 28:13), and “[i]f we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). Excusing sin does not spare a person his or her guilt; it robs them of the healing that could be theirs. In refusing to lead women to the Light on the abortion issue, whether by our silence (refusing to speak about it), or by our indifference, (“Abortion is merely a matter of personal preference; handle it, and go away”), we have hindered – and continue to hinder – countless women in their desperate quest for redemption. There is no forgiveness necessary, much less available, for something that is not sin. How long will we trade truth for a lie, pushing the post-abortive woman aside to suffer alone, languishing in bondage and guilt, condemnation and shame, despair and depression? Healing, both for our women and our Church, will begin with acknowledging the wrong.
Moreover, for those women who are keenly aware of their sin, who have lived for years under the agonizing weight of shame, what is our silence really telling them? Many a post-abortive woman has heard that grace is available for the thief, for the one who covets, even for the adulterer and the murderer, but for the post-abortive woman? No. For the post-abortive woman we have an entirely different message: Silence. Cold, hard, unforgiving silence. We have yet to tell her the redemptive-grace truth. We have yet to tell her that she too can be forgiven. We have yet to tell her that she too can be set free.
(1) Josh Brahm
Through us, the LORD is extending this hand, His hand, to all women, especially the post-abortive woman. The question that face us is, are we willing to be conduits of His grace? YAHWEH is offering us His hand. He is offering us the privilege of being instruments of His redemptive forgiveness. Will we embrace our calling to the vessel through which the captive is set free? Will we embrace our duty and boldly proclaim that our women can be, and have been, wonderfully, gloriously redeemed?
Redeemed. Our answer must be a resounding, yes. We must have the courage to tell her that she too can be set free. No more condemnation. No more shame. No more despair. Free.
So, when the enemy of her soul sits at her shoulder, reviling and accusing, mocking and berating,
“You are such a failure. Such a disappointment. A pathetic excuse for what you should be. Here you are, asking to be forgiven again. His grace is available? Not for someone like you. Do you honestly think the LORD can love you? Do you really think He wants to? How can you believe the LORD could ever forgive you? Don’t you understand what you are? How far you’ve fallen? Run back to Him? He can’t stand the sight of you. And your family, your friends? If they knew the real you, they would despise the very sound of your name…”
When he piles her failures on top of her and attempts to drown her in the rising waves, when the fear rises and the storm rages, and all she can hear are his words of condemnation thundering in her ears, she can turn to him and boldly say, “I am redeemed!” Redeemed!
We are not redeemed because we’ve never sinned. We are not redeemed because we’ve done nothing wrong. We are not redeemed because we are always obedient. We are redeemed because we are covered by the blood; and all we need to know in this life is the answer to that question: have I been redeemed? As a believer in the Son of God Almighty, as one who has accepted His free gift of forgiveness, praise the LORD, yes, we have been set free!
Are we to live a life of obedience? Absolutely. Are we to walk according to the truth and the light we’ve been given? Undeniably. However, are we called to live a life of shame, condemnation, and despair? A thousand times, no. We are called to live a life of hope, redemption, and victory. Hallelujah.
Giving it a name
As the truth of this redemption is spoken, as our stories and testimonies are shared, as the reality of redemption is experienced, healing – glorious, rich, unconquerable healing – will come. There is something incredibly cathartic and liberating in acknowledging the loss, in giving voice to the heartbreak. In shutting away the past, we not only deny the death, we refuse to acknowledge the life that was. The past will not be denied. It will hound us until it is acknowledged, embraced, and surrendered to a God Who alone can make us clean. Our women have kept this pain buried for so long, muffling cries of agony that are bursting to be set free.
In giving voice to the past, we declare that it mattered, that the child mattered, that we matter. In giving voice to this past, we acknowledge the tragedy of the loss. In giving voice to this past, we honor the life that was. We give it a name. I heard recently, “When we cannot name something, we are haunted by shadows…” Satan has haunted many a woman with shadows of the past, whispered accusations, veils of condemnation. We must have the courage to bring our women into the light. We must have the courage to draw them out of the shadows.
All things work together for good
Recently, I’ve found myself wrestling with mistakes I had made. The consequences had manifested themselves in painful ways, and I felt keenly aware of my failure. Falling and fumbling. Again. Do you know what YAHWEH shared with me? He took me to Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to them that love YAHWEH, to them who are the called according to His purpose,” and then, to verse 29, “For whom He foreknew, He predestined to conform to the image of His Son…” All things work together for good, for my good. All things.
This “all” isn’t just sugar and sweetness, (“All the nice things you’ve done will work together for good), and, it isn’t only comfort and encouragement, to help me see purpose in those things that are done to me. No, there is no qualifier. All things work together for good. All things. All things, Father? My faults and fumblings, my mistakes, my past? All things… together for good… to them that love GOD, to them who are called according to His purpose. “I am sovereign, Antionette. There is a reason I promise to restore what the locusts have eaten. There is a reason I promise to give beauty for ashes. I am sovereign over it all, and I have used, am using and will use it all, all, to conform you to the image of My Son.”
Before time began, YAHWEH, our glorious, sovereign LORD, intended to conform us to the image of His Son; and He is using all things, our victories and obedience, as well as our failures and our past, to transform us into a thing truly magnificent to behold. Wondrous love! Redemptive grace.