This blog is the second half of a two-part series. To read the first half of this article, click here.
Walking free is something that we all desire to do. No one wants to walk around burdened by their sin, or their regret and shame. I did that for years. In my previous post I mentioned having gone through an abortion. Even after giving my life to the Lord, the decision to not keep my baby weighed me down daily. I did not know how to forgive myself for that decision, and I lived in heaviness because of it. I am sure some women have a difficult time relating to this part of my story. Although our stories may be different, I encourage you to hear this take away: If something is holding you back, weighing you down, keeping you in hiding, pursue health, healing and freedom. For the woman who is reading this and has a similar story, who feels regret and shame because of their decision: There is a better way. You do not need to walk in fear, regret, and shame. The Lord calls us to so much more than that!
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us,” – Hebrews 12:1 (CSB)
Seeking freedom and healing is a race. It is something to run toward, to fight for — so fight, ladies!
For years I thought I just needed to truly accept God’s forgiveness, but it always seemed to resurface and weigh me down. Some things take more than just hearing the gospel to receive His forgiveness. If you need counseling or a healing Bible study or an accountability group in order to walk rightly and freely with God, I am going to tell you THAT IS OK. Sometimes seeking the help you need is “laying aside every hinderance.” There is no shame in that. That is what I needed.
Women who have been through something similar to this often don’t know how to begin their healing process. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of “spaces” to work through this. If your church doesn’t have a space for women to process and heal from trauma, I encourage you to figure out how to facilitate and welcome that space. It is not only needed, it is necessary. Statistics show that nearly 1 in 4 women will have an abortion in the United States by age 45 (Guttmacher Institute). These women are in our churches. Guaranteed. Many of them, I am sure, feel the same way that I did. Afraid, ashamed, weighed down. With no safe space to talk about what I went through. Similarly, there are many other traumas that weigh down women and keep them from walking freely. They need a safe space in our churches as well.
My healing truly began, when I joined a Bible study at the Crisis Pregnancy Center with other women that had been through the same trauma as mine. In this study the knowledge of God’s forgiveness went from my head to my heart. There were women in there that had been carrying this burden for 30+ years and were just now starting to begin healing from the trauma of having given up their baby’s life. That is an extremely long time to be carrying such heavy chains around. I carried mine with me for 10 years, and that was far too long. If you take anything from this blog post, hear this: Do it now. Seek the help, face the fear. Pursue health. Chase healing. Shed that weight off, come out of hiding. Facing it and walking in freedom with the Lord is His desire for us!
“For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1 (CSB)
Walking free is what we are called to do. Often our adversary, the devil, will try to re-enslave us to our sin. He will tell us lies, try to get us to believe we aren’t actually forgiven, that we aren’t worthy, have nothing to offer, that people will judge us, and the list goes on. But that is NOT the truth. The truth is we have been given a free gift of salvation, grace, mercy, and freedom!