I love how God works.
There have been so many mysterious situations in my life where I can practically see Him pushing up the sleeves of His robe and rubbing His hands in anticipation of the story He’s unfolding through uncanny situations.
Some call these coincidences but I call them “God-instances.”
One such God-instance happened to me on the way home from She Speaks last year.
As I was doing the airplane shuffle of settling into my seat and arranging my bags, a beautiful woman that literally sparkled sat down right next to me.
Though I had not seen her there, I knew she too was going home after She Speaks.
We began to talk and I discovered that I had been correct. I also discovered that she was a fellow writer with a passion for ministering to women. In fact, Pat added that she had written a study for women published by Lifeway.
I was beginning to suspect we might be kindred spirits. Then she said something that revealed how correct I was.
“What’s the topic of your study?” I asked.
“It’s about women finding freedom after choosing to have an abortion through encouraging them to recognize that they’ve been forgiven and don’t need to live in shame,” she answered.
I’m not kidding.
Because if you have read a bit around these parts, then you know that this is also my passion. I have a bit of personal experience in this area and so does Pat.
There was no shortness of words between the two of us from that point on—though I had just met this women, I knew I could tell her anything.
Soon after our return from She Speaks, I received an email from Pat asking if I would be interested in reading her new trade book with an editor’s eye.
Of course, I was happy to do so. So I did.
But something really cool happened as I was helping her—I discovered that she was helping me.
Pat’s message to women who have chosen to have an abortion is one of hope. Love. Compassion. Understanding.
But most of all, it’s written through the eyes of grace and mercy.
A sisterhood is born to those of us who have chosen this path and are passionate about speaking the truth of our experiences. It’s the words of our testimonies that Jesus uses to minister to others.
Yet so often, we who have chosen abortion sit with mouths firmly shut because we’re flat-out just too scared to bring up such a taboo topic.
And yes, I realize this topic has become taboo largely in part from the church as a body.
There’s a faction of very vocal believers who do a really great job of misrepresenting the truth and twisting it around in an attempt to win their case.
They’re the same faction that shame women who have had abortions, who tell those who have been divorced in the past that they can’t serve in church leadership and who try to say that the purple Teletubby was gay.
Enough already on the legalism. Remember how the Pharisees angered Jesus?
And He sought-out the sinners—the tax collectors. The adulteress. The prostitutes.
43% of women of childbearing age have had an abortion. My guess is that many of those 43% are sitting in the pews of our churches.
As Pat so beautifully illustrates, we don’t have to live with the chains of our past choices wrapped tightly around us—so tightly that we can’t even breathe.
Jesus died so we could lay that, yes, even THAT, at the foot of the cross.
He didn’t die for the minor sins. He died for them ALL.
Not to mention that in God’s eyes, there’s no weighing of sins. A sin is a sin is a sin.
If you have had an abortion OR if you are in women’s ministry, I strongly urge you to read Pat’s book. We can’t afford not to.
From the press release for A Surrendered Life:
Layton’s eight, biblically based steps for dealing with emotional, physical and spiritual post-abortion trauma come from personal experience. Since the 1973, Roe vs. Wade decision an estimated 55 million unborn children’s lives have been claimed by abortion . . . one of those unborn children was Pat Layton’s. A 23-year-old, soon-to-be-married single mom found herself pregnant, underwent an abortion, suffered immediate life-threatening physical complications and later life-devastating emotional effects. At age 30, and a new Christian, Layton found help, hope and healing through the Bible, through sharing her secret and finding forgiveness.
The works are timely and vital. Consider the following facts on the wide effects of abortion:
* Since Jan. 22, 1973, and the Roe vs. Wade decision, an estimated 55 million abortions have taken place, now averaging almost 1.5 million abortions a year.
* It’s estimated that 43 percent of women under age 45 in the U.S. have had an abortion.
* 92 percent of woman experience emotional deadening after an abortion.
* 86 percent of women deal with post-abortion rage.
* Over half suffer from nightmares or feel suicidal.
From CrossBooks, a division of LifeWay, A Surrendered Life adds a vivid personal dimension to Layton’s exploration of practical biblical principles dealing with abortion. It forms a companion to her Bible study guide Surrendering the Secret also from LifeWay.