“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5
These past weeks have been historically significant regarding pro-life and the national March for Life was last weekend. Spring isn’t quite here in East Tennessee, but with all these happenings, there is a sense of new life emerging. The atmosphere feels like a new day, a revolution of life bursting forth. However, there may be some whose pain has been awakened along with the revolution. I understand your pain and there is hope. Today, I want to share a story of a Spring in my life that was filled with pain and death. The Lord healed me another Spring day, in April 2013 at my Deeper Still Retreat many years later…
The dogwood trees were blooming, shouting new life for all who passed. Squirrels scurried up and down the trees gathering nuts. The white blossoms sprinkled the blanket of emerald grass on the quad of my college campus. Many times I had traveled this path. Many days and hours were spent on this grass studying for a test or reading an assignment.
But this day was different. This day as I walked home from a college class, the warm sun was reflected by the white flowers on the ground almost masking the larger cloud of white up ahead. I drew closer, the blurred image cleared and became a vision forever imprinted in my mind.
This was my first encounter with the crosses after my abortion. As I walked up, I wondered what the crosses represented. A sign was posted…
“Each cross represents the death of 1 million babies aborted.”
Anger rose from the depths of my soul–an anger hidden and buried.
Spring was exploding with life, but all I saw was death.
Beside the white crosses, a sweet young college student stood handing out brochures. This brave young girl was taking a stand for life. But I didn’t see her as brave or sweet. Wounded eyes clouded my vision. A soul filled with brokenness, depression, and void of hope was my processing filter. Those crosses uprooted the wounds of my heart, my abortion-wounded heart.
My thoughts raced, “How dare they put up those crosses! How dare they make a marker for a grave that was never dug! How dare they make this statement proclaiming with abortion there would be one dead, in need of a tombstone, in need of a white cross. Don’t they know! Don’t they know the pain this causes? Don’t they care? They don’t know what I have been through. They don’t understand my pain.”
The anger buried beneath the surface erupted like a carbonated beverage shook too hard and then abruptly opened. All the pain pent up deep inside was unleased on that poor sweet girl. Then I ran back to my college dorm. Crying. Broken. Wounded. Depressed. Hopeless.
This outward manifestation was but a glimpse of the hemorrhaging happening on the inside, a cutting of my own affliction. Those white crosses on a field of green sprinkled with white flowers revealed the anger and pain in me and my need for the Cross of Jesus, the only one who could heal my wounds and free me from the tormenting chains of shame, guilt, and anger.
January 22 was Sanctity of Life Sunday. Perhaps on your path over the last few weeks, you came across white crosses or other symbols of life.
Before I went to my Deeper Still retreat and received a deeper healing, the sight of white crosses made me cringe. However, the white crosses no longer bring me pain. Now all I see is beauty. The white crosses are beautiful, lovely, and honoring.
Above are written some of my thoughts that spring day, “They don’t know what I have been through. They don’t understand my pain.”
When we receive healing, it is then that we can begin to take our eyes off ourselves and our need for healing and begin to see the bigger picture and honor the children lost. It becomes not about our pain any longer, but about a person—a person deserving of honor.
Talking about abortion, the crosses, standing for life and sharing abortion testimonies will bring up pain in the abortion-wounded. What I want others to understand is this tension is not bad. In contrary, this is good. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when sharing about any topic, but perhaps hushing is hindering the Holy Spirit from doing a much needed work in people who need to hear the hard stuff. God uses the hard to stir up a discontentment for the status quo and open eyes to our need for Him to heal. It is easy to ignore the pain when it has been numbed and dormant.
The pain of recovery is temporal. The pain of denial is infinite.
The crosses not only contribute to the revealing of the need for healing but also honor those deserving of honor. The crosses represent a life created in the image of God cut too short. As a church body, we need to acknowledge those most vulnerable. As a society, we need to acknowledge the loss suffered and offer healing. These are not just crosses, they are lives and we honor them.
Father, we praise you and give you thanks for all you are doing in our nation to bring others the truth about life. We thank you for servant leaders who will listen to your voice and stand for life. Your word says, “I bring before you life and death.” The choice you give is simple. From what we say to the actions we choose daily, we choose life or death. I pray we would be a nation and a people that continually chooses life and honors life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.