Are You Called to Share the Secret?
One of the goals of Ramah International is to help post-abortive individuals find God’s healing so they will be empowered to share their secret of abortion with others – particularly, the abortion-minded. The biblical basis for this goal is outlined in Revelations 12:11, They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
Silent No More
When I first started sharing about my abortion, it resulted in great pain and embarrassment to my parents. That intense pressure only drew me closer to God to determine if sharing this testimony was His real Will for my life.
With a series of confirmations, I continued to speak in spite of the fact that it was wounding my parents. God’s voice in my heart said that the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few (my parents). Thankfully, He took care of my parents during that difficult period, providing comfort and support and eventually brought healing to our family.
Many express this calling to share their abortion stories as a desire to break free from their self-imposed prison of secrecy and become “silent no more.” This phrase originated with a book by that title. I read this book when I entered the pro-life arena in 1991 upon my employment at Focus on the Family. The post-abortive stories allowed me to understand that my pain was typical and that many of my apprehensions in life could be related to my abortion choice.
To be silent no more at a public level is a very difficult calling that requires spiritual depth. It is fraught with pain. The only consolation in this pain is that God has a bigger picture and is using my testimony for His glory. In order to touch hearts at this level, I needed to be experiencing in helping the hearts of those that came forward and transition them into local abortion recovery efforts.
Leaders of many “awareness campaign” efforts are well-intentioned but typically uninvolved with direct abortion recovery work. Their primary focus is to end abortion at a political level, not help the post-abortive find God’s healing. As a result, many awareness groups are also unqualified to verify each speaking candidate’s healing and spiritual maturity before utilizing them at a public level.
This is the main reason Ramah International does not support any current awareness campaigns, particularly if their goal is to make a political impact using the voices of women who have chosen abortion. Too many women have been wounded at a deeper level by sharing before God’s preparation and calling had been fully realized. A post-abortive person who accepts the invitation to be “silent no more” must consider many things in preparation for a public testimony.
Completing an Abortion Recovery Program
Without God’s healing and empowerment, post-abortive voices fall flat and other emotions, such as anger, can take center stage. My heart breaks when I hear of post-abortive individuals shouting their testimonies and displaying great anger against those who support abortion rights.
Their intense pain is evident and the public spectacle they present is not a productive means to turning hearts against abortion. This is the reason for using extreme caution before enlisting post-abortive speakers. You can hurt them or propel them backward in God’s healing process.
It is imperative that this “secret” first be shared with friends and family before it goes public. From my desk at Ramah International I’ve taken many calls from family members agonizing over discovering this truth from outside sources versus the person themselves. One never knows who is listening to a presentation and the consequences that can result.
One woman who completed an abortion recovery class accepted the request to share at her pregnancy center’s banquet. She never anticipated the judgment that could result from members of the audience. One listener knew the presenter because their children were friends. The presenter had not told her 7 year old daughter about her abortion believing she was “too young” to understand her story.
After the banquet, the judgmental listener went home and told her child that she could no longer play with the presenter’s child. When the child asked why, the woman replied, “Because she killed her first-born child and I don’t trust her anymore.”
Imagine the horror of the presenter’s 7 year old hearing from her friend that she cannot play with her anymore because her mother killed her brother or sister? This is a true story. I have countless other similar tales that show that without full disclosure, the public abortion testimony can further wound family members.
Be cautious if you WANT to share
Over the years I’ve worked with literally thousands of post-abortive individuals and know that many can initially be dysfunctional, depending upon where they are in God’s healing process. I know that I was during those years.
I am always amazed to hear that some post-abortive individuals are actually seeking out the public platform and feel great delight in being “silent no more.” From a detailed discussion, I often discover that these individuals are hopeful that sharing will free them of their pain.
Sadly, sharing about this secret is not that simple. Healing is often a process and comes over time versus all at once (i.e., as a result of sharing publicly).
Determining Your Motivation
God’s empowerment is the most critical element in sharing. There is nothing really to personally gain in sharing and everything to lose. God has given me the motivation of educating the world as to why many women choose abortion and outline the hope of healing to the listening few who are post-abortive. He always helps me in these tasks.
Please understand that some women should not share because of incorrect motivations. Many share as a form of penitence — a way to atone for what they have done or to earn God’s forgiveness. Some enjoy public attention in any format! A few are sharing with vengeful hearts, intent on publicly discrediting those who participated in their abortion choice.
As we discussed above, some want the pain to go away and think that a public platform may be the means to that end. When they leave the podium these individuals often do not experience the desired relief from pain and, unless they are supported emotionally by a compassionate mentor, can fall into deeper despair as a result of sharing.
Ministry Training Required
Detailed training in abortion-vulnerable ministry and abortion recovery must be completed to equip each testifier to minister to those who may respond to their abortion testimony. My favorite time after sharing is meeting the few people that come to say, “You just shared my story.”
If the testifier is not trained in both post-abortion and abortion-vulnerable ministry outreach, she may be unable to extend the same comfort to those that God uses her to reach. If a person comes forward saying that she is contemplating an abortion, the testifier must be able to provide deeper insight into abortion complications at a personal level immediately.
General pregnancy center training should also be part of their background before sharing publicly. There are several important questions that need to be asked by individuals who are considering public speaking:
* Is it God who is calling you to speak?
* Are you seeking attention or reward?
* Have you shared this story with family/friends first?
* Do you think that sharing can cleanse you of sin?
* Can you speak without being overwhelmed with emotion?
* Does your spouse/children support your sharing?
* Do you enjoy public attention?
* Will you focus your message on God?
* Are you trained to assist those who may respond?
Abortion Recovery Programs
While Ramah does not recommend post-abortive women to current post-abortion “awareness” groups that have a political agenda, we do support the work of pregnancy centers and a few select organizations that are laboring diligently to empower individuals who have received God’s calling to responsibly share their abortion testimony. Through Christ-centered abortion recovery outreach programs, many individuals are embracing this healing and being mentored to make a difference in the lives of others considering this choice or who are struggling with their own abortion experience.
For the select few individuals who truly have God’s call upon their hearts to share this story at a public level, being mentored by the staff of local pregnancy centers is essential. Many are victoriously “silent no more” at various levels: state capitols, pregnancy center banquets, church programs, abstinence education efforts and many other arenas. The emotional support provided by abortion recovery leaders further enhances the fruit of these testimonies. These humble, prepared hearts are indeed making a true difference in turning the hearts of our world against the evil of abortion.
God has given me a protective heart when it comes to the post-abortive. I’ve always been grieved to discover pro-life individuals/groups who use the post-abortive person to advance their own passion to end abortion. Being “silent no more” before God’s healing and without His empowerment can be disastrous, further wounding the post-abortive individual.
If unequipped to address immediate physical, psychological and emotional needs in the midst of an “awareness campaign”, facilitators may leave attendees feeling more confused and helpless. Ill-equipped event coordinators can damage the mission to reach those wounded by abortion with the hope of God’s healing touch. Calamity often results with the post-abortive being the largest victim.
A Rare Calling
Being “silent no more” at a public level is a calling that requires a great deal of spiritual depth. I always begin each talk with a prayer, asking God to use me as His vessel. I take comfort in the words of II Peter 1:21 . . . prophecy never had its origins in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. With God’s spirit being the central part of my testimony, His power is enhanced in every listening heart.
The presence of the Holy Spirit also comforts me as I testify. Each time I break the silence about my abortion I am personally overwhelmed with the memory of allowing an abortionist to take the life of my child. Most audiences listen in a shocked and stunned silence. God uses me to open many hearts to the truth about the horrors of the abortion procedure. Philippians 4:13 reminds me that despite my apprehensions, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.