On Friday, I'm planning to go into Washington, DC for the March for Life 2019.
I'm marching because I regret my abortions.
The first when I was just 17 years old, alone, afraid and ashamed.
The second when I was 22 years old, selfish, prideful and stubborn.
My story is an ugly, complicated mess.
I'm not proud of who I was, where I've been, or what I did.
But I'm here today ONLY because of the absolute undeserved and unmerited grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
He alone turned my mess into a masterpiece of redemption.
Ephesians 2:10 says "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
I regret my abortions, but I don't regret the road that Jesus allowed me to travel afterwards.
A road that led me to his grace and love.
Because of Jesus, I am made new.
Because he's forgiven me, he no longer sees who I was and what I did - he only sees me through eyes of love.
Some of you may wonder why I am so open about the truly horrific choices I made all those years ago.
The answer is simple: It freed me.
The answer is simple: It freed me.
For years I'd walked around in fear - fear that someone, anyone would discover my secrets.
And that when they did, I knew I'd be rejected.
I was such a good, fake Christian.
I was at church 3 times a week.
I sang in the choir.
I even worked in the church office.
But one night, the truth caught up to me when God whispered in my ear - 'Stop running. Stop hiding. Come to me. All will be well, just give it all to me.'
It was a voice I couldn't ignore any longer and when I asked him to forgive me and change me and free me -
In an instant.
I was breathing in the clean, fresh air of grace for the first time ever, and I knew I was different.
When you've been so radically forgiven by the God of the universe, you can't help but tell others about it.
And through the years of sharing my story, I've discovered something -
there are so many more of you out there - Just. Like. Me.
You've come to me with whispered thank you's, saying 'Me too.'
You've asked me to pray for you - for courage to come out into the light of freedom.
You've sent me cards and letters, sharing your story, baring your soul to me - because you know that I'll never reject you or condemn you.
We are kindred, you and I.
And I'm here to tell you that you, sweet sister, are not alone in your fear and shame.
You are not alone in your story, in your past or your present.
The enemy wants you to believe you're alone because he knows that when you come into the light of forgiveness and truth - you are freed from his lies that isolate you and hold you captive.
Romans 8:1 says this, "So now there is NO CONDEMNATION for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has FREED you from the power of sin that leads to death."
Trusting Jesus can break every chain that holds you down and can allow you to live in freedom from your past. Sweet friend, I regret my abortions and there will always be a hurt place in my heart for those innocent lives I so callously disregarded. But the enemy cannot use those choices as a weapon against me anymore because of Jesus. Jesus has taken my broken mess of a life and is using my story to help others just like me - just like you - to find freedom and forgiveness at his feet.
Romans 8:28 says this, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose."
God has an amazing purpose and plan for you - believe it.
I never thought he could use someone like me - the worst of the worst. A nothing. A cold-hearted, selfish nobody. If Jesus could change me, could give me a life of light and freedom and forgiveness, then he most assuredly can change you too and give you the same and more.
Romans 5:1-2 says this, "Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of UNDESERVED PRIVILEGE where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory."
We can never deserve the privilege of Jesus' love for us, but we have it if we want it.
I'll be praying for you.
For courage, for peace, for freedom.
And I'll be marching on Friday for those who cannot.