For years there have been groups of people standing with signs exercising their freedom to be seen and sometimes heard. One of these groups is the pro-life movement. Many hours are spent showing their support of life and the preciousness of life in the womb.
Years ago my shoes walked on the other side of the fence. I remember a muggy Saturday morning in July pulling into a Planned Parenthood parking lot. There were several people with signs standing just off the property. I remember feeling so embarrassed and ashamed. I believed they represented the church and were not there to help me, but to tell me what a bad person I was. I believed they represented people who would have judged me and talked behind my back about my out-of-wedlock pregnancy. It never entered my mind that their hearts ached knowing that I was being deceived into believing abortion was my only option. I quickly hurried into the building and found comfort in the words of those who were not concerned about my well being, but rather planned to help me take the life of my first child, then profit financially.
I have stood along a busy road across from a clinic holding a sign to bring an end to Planned Parenthood and I saw my past pain and confusion reflected in many faces that day. I saw a women look down immediately instead of facing the words on signs that reminded her of a day she wished she could forget about. She was again overcome with shame and hurt. How do I know? I was once in her shoes. I saw men gesture inappropriately out of hurt and anger. This is a reminder to them and the woman they have tried to protect from the memories of what happened. How do I know? I sat next to someone in those shoes. And, of course, there were those who passed by who are deceived about Planned Parenthood’s agenda and believe the lie that they actually care about women. And, we had many who and gave a thumbs-up, honk, wave or actually put their hands out the window and clapped. And these are the shoes I am able to walk in today, thanks to my Jesus.
My heart still breaks for those who drove by that day along with hundreds of thousands of men and women who have never been blessed with the hope that Jesus saves and there is forgiveness and healing. Without His hope, forgiveness, and healing, it’s an incredibly heavy, dark, lonesome place to experience. If only they would choose to experience the salvation, love and freedom available to them through Jesus.
Sometimes our words and actions can unintentionally bring pain because, unfortunately, people don’t know our hearts. I ask you; how does our message become twisted? Why don’t they hear our hearts? Why do they feel judgment and condemnation from us instead of hearts longing to extend hope, redemption, restoration and, above all, love? That is my question for you to ponder.
Today, I am amazed with the goodness of God and His grace. He has set me free from not only the sin of my past, but also shame, guilt, anger and so many other harmful emotions because I finally opened myself up to the truth and His healing love. My prayer for those who see the signs and struggle is that their eyes would be open to the truth that we are standing there because we know abortion not only ends a life which is full of potential, but it greatly damages the potential in the life that is left without help to navigate the murky waters that follow abortion. I want those survivors of abortion to know there is hope and help waiting for them along with a different pair of shoes and an amazing journey to wear them on.