Struggling With Shame and Guilt After Girlfriend's Abortion
Hunter dated a girl he deeply cared for. When they were both 15 years old, she got pregnant, but ended up having an abortion at the insistence of her mother. Hunter supported the abortion at first, but then didn’t want to continue through with it, but it happened, nonetheless. Currently Hunter is still carrying around the guilt and shame of that abortion.
I Tried Everything to Stop It
Hunter felt he was manipulated and pressured by a so-called friend to support his girlfriend getting an abortion, but when it came time to follow through with it, his heart broke. He says, “I realized, that’s my DNA.” But his girlfriend’s mom and Hunter’s mom had already made the grave decision. They picked his girlfriend up from school one day and said, “Let’s go do it now.” So, she went and took the abortion pill. He says, “My baby was 6 weeks and 2 days old when it was cold blood murdered. I tried everything to stop it. To this day she’s still upset about it too.” They aren’t dating anymore, but Hunter continues to carry the shame of the abortion with him.
Peer to Peer: I Feel so Much Shame, What Do I Do?
Hunter is carrying a lot of shame, but he doesn’t have to keep feeling this way and carrying around this burden. With God’s help, he can confess his mistake and accept God’s forgiveness. We had some amazing women call in to share hope with Hunter. Some of them had similar heartbreak and shame, but with God’s help, were able to release their shame to the Lord and be set free. We first heard from Tanya, who has had 2 abortions.
I’ve had 2 Abortions, Jesus Has Washed the Shame from Me – Tanya
Tanya – “I took part in aborting 2 of my children. I was a teenager as well, a little older, 19 and the next one was when I was in my twenties. It spiraled my life down for 10 years, so I don’t want that to happen to you. I got on drugs, and I was promiscuous. Don’t let this take you down that path. What I did to get healing is I read the scriptures. Everyone was telling me that I needed to forgive myself, but I never found that scripture in the Bible. I’ve never read where it says we have to forgive ourselves. I’ve only read that we have to accept the forgiveness of our Creator, our Father. When I confessed out of my mouth, my part in the abortion, Jesus Christ washed that shame from me. I may not ever forgive myself for it, Hunter. It doesn’t matter if you forgive yourself or if the whole world comes against you. The only that matter is Jesus Christ and His forgiveness for you. It trumps everything else.
When I was going through my healing process, Jesus came really close to my heart and He soaked my heart quite often, like He never has before. One of the things He told me was He, Himself was a crisis pregnancy, and that’s something we don’t really hear very often. So, I had to check in the scriptures again to make sure I wasn’t making this up in my own mind. The scholars say that Mary was about 15 years old, about your age when this happened. She had no money. She had no husband. Being pregnant with Jesus, with no husband in her culture was a crime. If that’s not a crisis, then I don’t know what is. He chose to come into this world in a crisis pregnancy to a teenage mom. Why did He do that? Because He wants to show us, He knows where we come from. He understands Hunter. I wish I could wrap my arms around you and tell you it’s going to be okay. You have a long journey, but as long you have your eyes on your Father and your Creator, the father of light. He doesn’t give anything bad. All the good gifts come from him. You can trust Him, and He will forgive you.
We All Mess Up, But God is Gracious to Cleanse Us - Andrea
Andrea – “The first thing that pops into my head is, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
I lost a baby. I didn’t lose him to abortion, but I know what that pain is. The other Bible verse I want to share is, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
We all screw up. We all make mistakes, but God is more than gracious to wash us of our sin when we do mess up. So, don’t let the devil tell you otherwise. When you confess your sins, God cleanses you immediately.”
I was Driven to Get an Abortion Because of Fear – Mary
Mary – “I’m old enough to be your grandma. I had an abortion a long time ago. I was driven to get an abortion because of fear. I was so afraid of what my parents would think. And that I wouldn’t be able to go to school. All of these things consumed me, but in the Bible, it says God did not give us a spirit of fear but of love. God Hunter, God loves you. It took me so long to accept that fact. I knew how He felt about me, but I couldn’t accept it because I was so filled with shame. I was so ashamed of myself and what I had done. I didn’t know how I would ever get out of it, even though I knew God. I didn’t know how deep His love was for me, until finally years and years later.
You have to accept the fact that you did something wrong, and it hurt you. And you need to ask forgiveness from the Father. As soon as He forgives you, He forgets. That’s how quickly it happens. You don’t have to carry the shame with you for a long time. You made a mistake and you have a father who understands and who forgives you and loves you deeply.”
You Have to Forgive Yourself, and Everyone Involved – Bria
Bria – “A few years ago I was at a party after a friend of mine had overdosed. At that party I made some poor choices and got taken advantage of. Fast forward 5 weeks later and I found out I was pregnant with this guy’s child. It took me a while to make the decision, but I decided I was going to keep the baby. Fast forward 2 weeks later from that, it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy.
The way to get through it is to surround yourself with a good church family and read up about forgiveness. You’ve got to forgive yourself. You have to forgive those who offended you. You have to forgive the mother. You have to forgive the ex-girlfriend. And you have to forgive yourself for even initially going along with it. Babies always have a place in heaven, so you’ll always be a father.
I had an Abortion and Carried Shame with Me for a Long Time - Charlene
Charlene – “Hi Hunter, I’m 47 years old, and when I was 17, I also had an abortion. I carried that shame for quite a while, and married an atheist, thinking that I really needed to try and have another baby. Ended up with 2 beautiful sons, however when I was 29, they both drowned. Now, I’m 47 and I have an 11-year-old. I carried shame with me for a very long time. I went towards drugs to try to hide that shame. It’s just not worth it to carry such a heavy load, when God is so loving and willing and accepting to take it. I’m thankful for all of my trials today. I’m so grateful, so unbelievably grateful to feel God’s love and forgiveness and know that it’s real. In Psalm 71:1 it says, "In you, Oh Lord, do i confidently put my trust. Let me never put to shame or confusion."
This has Really Helped Me! - Hunter
Hunter – “I thank those 5 women for saying such amazing things. I thank each and every one of you. May God bless you. That really helped me a lot. I actually teared up a little listening to some of their stories.”
Did Today’s Episode Get You Thinking?
One thing I heard from Tanya, Mary, and Charlene is how long they carried with them the shame and emotional pain from the abortions. If the enemy can get us tied up in our own emotional pain, then we are not able to live a life of freedom which God has enabled for us to do. The enemy would love for us to beat ourselves up, turn to false feel-goods, and never let go of the shame, but God has another plan. His plan for us to be set free from what holds us back. For Hunter, that means being set free from the bondage of shame.
And Bria was so right on when she talked about how Hunter needs to forgive himself and forgive all those who were involved in the abortion. And as Tanya pointed out, she was set free after confessing her sin and asking God for forgiveness. Hunter, confess your sin, ask for forgiveness, and then accept God’s love and forgiveness for you.
How do you think Hunter should get through this?
Have you had an abortion or been a part of a decision of someone else’s abortion? Or have you carried shame about something else around for years? If you’d be willing to share your story and what you’ve learned along the journey, we’d love to hear from you.
Please share in the comments below!
More Help and Resources:
Blog: Faith and Forgiveness, Does God Forgive Everything?
Blog: 5 Ways to Forgive Yourself After a Failure
Blog: 6 Ways to Silence Shame
Blog: Accepting the Love of God
Free eBook: Understanding Forgiveness
Bible Verses on Forgiveness
Video: How Do I Forgive Myself?
Need to talk to someone? Chat with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine.
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