There is a desperate need within the church that is not being met. And that need creates an opportunity for pregnancy help organizations (PHOs) to partner with local churches, offering healing that can have life-changing impact.
Statistics tell us there are many post-abortive women and men sitting in church pews, suffering in silence. Some have buried the pain of a past abortion so deeply that they’ve convinced themselves it isn’t there, until something brings it to the surface.
Some have hardened hearts; they’ve rationalized and justified their “choice” so successfully that they actually believe the enemy’s lies. Some realize the gravity of the pain. They feel the damage, but are too ashamed to reach out for help.
That one described me. I remember the rare occasion when abortion would come up in a sermon. I would determinedly fix my gaze and be completely still, so there would be no perceptible reaction that might broadcast my past to the people around me.
While I was able to openly seek help for depression and an eating disorder, when it came to the abortion, the stain of that sin felt so dark, it was terrifying to bring it into the light. Yes, Jesus paid the price for us to be forgiven and set free, but could I really ever be free of this?
Fortunately God brought a woman into my small group at church who was perfectly prepared to meet my need. She was the executive director of our local pregnancy help center, and they had a post-abortion Bible study starting soon.
I immediately signed up, not sure if I could really be healed, yet knowing I had to at least try. God worked through that study, and that precious group of sisters, to truly change my life. Not only did He want me to be walking in freedom for my own sake, but also to be freed and prepared for ministry, to comfort others out of the comfort I received.
The shame surrounding abortion is a powerful weapon the enemy wields very effectively. If he can’t have our soul, his next best thing is to keep us in bondage, in defeat, not joyful, not able to be the light God calls us to be.
Ironically, it is most difficult for us to confess this particular sin and seek help in the place we should feel most safe: within the church.
Pregnancy help centers with post-abortion recovery programs have a special ability to serve their local congregations, by meeting a need the church simply isn’t equipped to meet. Think about it. If you were to go to your local church leaders and offer this program to their members, it could bring personal breakthroughs, which also benefit the fellowship and the body of Christ.
People set free from the chains of a past abortion are able to experience the Galatians 5:1 life to which God has called us: unburdened and victorious. They are better able to love, better able to serve, better able to live each day.
This is an area of pro-life ministry that everyone should support, regardless of political views. It is about healing deeply wounded hearts. Every church leader should desire this for their congregation. And as PHOs meet that need, they have an opportunity to form partnerships within the faith community that can create lasting bonds.
Offering post-abortion recovery to churches is not an “ask” for support. Nor is it the offering of services that might be viewed by some as controversial. Instead, it is an offer of hope, forgiveness and freedom that PHOs are uniquely qualified to impart.
Through post-abortion recovery initiatives, PHOs are offering to serve congregations in a profound way that has a huge positive ripple effect within families, communities and the entire body of Christ.
And as our organizations build and strengthen relationships with local churches, this in turn has another positive ripple effect for PHOs: more outreach, more service, and more support.