An Open Letter to Toni Braxton on God’s Love After Abortion

Dear Toni,

Toni Braxton Signs Copies Of Her Book 'Unbreak My Heart: A Memoir'Thank you for being honest and candid in your book Unbreak My Heart.

I especially applaud you for sharing your fear that God punished you for an abortion by afflicting you with lupus and your son with autism. I hope my words may bring you some release from any lingering anxiety related to these fears.

Fear of God’s punishment after abortion is a common problem among women who choose it. We know in our hearts, as you said, we have participated in the taking of a life. Also, you are correct in saying that while you are a mom of two, you know in your heart there is a third child in your family. These are huge steps in your healing journey. I applaud you for breaking your silence to speak the secret, acknowledging your need to repair your relationship with God, and accepting the reality of the existence and intrinsic worth of your missing child.

So many women continue to justify the decision. When you appeared on The View I noticed Whoopi trying to appease your conscience with the excuse, “You weren’t ready [to parent]!” She continues to justify her own abortion past with that line of thinking. But it’s a trap which cannot satisfy the wounded conscience since it denies the worth of the child and places us above God as the One who gives and takes when it comes to life.

The fact that there is spiritual abuse in your past makes your experience that much more poignant. I too was very ignorant of the truth of God’s love toward us when I chose abortion. And financial and social pressures drove the decision in my case too. What I have learned and teach others in the aftermath is that our guilt often stands in as a way to avoid experiencing the grief we feel as mothers of lost children. The grief is so difficult to see because our culture continues to deny the worth of the unborn child. And we may even feel we don’t have a right to grieve what we ourselves destroyed. In our confusion we may come to believe that to grieve (and thus be relieved of the sorrow) might also mean to lose the one connection we feel to our missing child.

These complications all land in the envelope called guilt. And any new grief seems only to serve to compound the issue. Surely it was a moment of grief to hear your child diagnosed with autism—just as any chronic health condition is initially troubling news for any parent.

I hope you can begin to see the pain we experience as parents as grief rather than guilt. Doing so allows us to turn toward God for comfort rather than hide from Him in shame.

As to the guilt, Toni, if you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins then I hope you can accept that your sorrow is ending soon! The punishment that brings us peace with God is upon Christ—not you nor your beautiful autistic son. By the suffering Christ endured we are healed. It is already accomplished. Just believe and you will find your peace.

I am very proud of you for not sugar-coating the truth that stands at the center of so much heartache in your life. I hope that you continue to grow in grace as you experience the truth of God’s love. He’s promised never to leave you nor forsake you. He’s welcomed into His eternal presence the children you and I rejected in this life and He’s always in prayer for us and our living children for our good.

The afflictions we and our children suffer are not God’s punishment but rather a taste of what Christ willingly took on for our sake to make us right forever with the Father of us all. As we share in that suffering we look forward to sharing in His glory. May it be so in your life and in your heart today.

Listening to Abortion – What helps/What hurts

istockphoto @juliefenton

 

I wasn’t trying to probe into anyone’s past or coax out a confession.

In fact, I was so new to this church that I was reluctant to share something so personal. Yet, when I disclosed an abortion in my past, I heard from several other women in our thirty-member Bible study group who had also lost a child to abortion. Perhaps these women were relieved to hear someone, anyone, bring up the subject at church. Maybe I just seem like a safe person since I mentioned having written a book about spiritual recovery after abortion. But each one eagerly shared her secret with me that day.

And each story was as different as the woman who told it.

When Love Sees You

Sometimes it’s hard to picture God’s love for me–for everyone–when I look around and see needs that run so deep.

This video really helps.

I don’t know that the mental image I have of Jesus necessarily matches with the actor cast to play the part here, but I do know that every healing miracle told in the gospels is true. These are historic events we can trace through time.

Jesus was a healer without equal–the one Great Magician Who Turned the Water into Wine (as Van Morrison noted in his song, These are the Days). Jesus was also a Master Storyteller–drawing characters so vivid they seem real to us. His stories sometimes deter us from realizing that the history is not just a story. Jesus gave sight to the blind and he raised people from the dead. See which other historical healings you can detect as you watch.

When Love Sees You by Mac Powell

This depiction of the life and ministry of Jesus reminds me that I can only love because God first loved me. It’s so encouraging for me to know that we just aren’t in a position to see ourselves as God sees us. Often times that means that I am underestimating the  ways that I fall short of God’s ideal. But even after something so harrowing as deep sins like abortion (or the challenge to forgive the ones who sinned against you by causing it), God still sees us as the object of his love.

See the heart

We prayed outside an abortion facility in Atlanta today as a joyful act of obedience to God’s call for Day 38 of the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil. I arrived early and joined three women already in prayer. We stood across the street and faced the facility. It was cold and windy and quiet. The sun had not yet come up. As I faced the building something beautiful caught me eye.

                                                          

Do you see the heart in the trees?

It’s a shaky image, I know, but the sky was still so dark that my little Nikon couldn’t capture the shutter speed of the flash without the blur. 

Our  prayers took us to God’s heart as we offered requests for mercy and for healing to all who have participated and those who will participate in abortion. If that’s you–I really hope and pray you see God’s heart today. Here is what He wants you to know:  “Don’t be afraid for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41: 10 Holy Bible, New Living Translation)

If you are suffering after abortion, even if your faith is shaky, keep looking up. See the truth of love pouring out to you from Jesus Christ today, and see the heart of God.

Encouragement after Abortion Tip #14 Praise God anyway

Abortion overshadows faith.

We may feel we were abandoned by God when he permitted an abortion we did not want. Or we may fear he will not forgive our choice. Few of us easily believe we are in God’s good graces after abortion.

Yet there is always one sure way to get God’s positive attention and for your spiritual healing to begin, and that is to give him praise.

I’m not talking about thanking him–of course we should have grateful hearts for all that he has done and continues to do for us in sharing his assets each day as our blessings. Are you breathing? Thank the Lord! And I’m not talking about flattery. If you tell him he’s wonderful just hoping to appropriate some of those assets, he will see through you before you even begin.

Praise is an affirmation of God’s unique and valuable attributes which eternally exist apart from us.

Praising God affirms his holiness, his glory, his majesty, his faithfulness, his power, his love, his wisdom, and his everlasting unchanging merciful goodness. We can never run out of ways to praise him. The paradox is that praising God revives us when we feel our hearts and spirits have run dry. Take the effort to think about God until you arrive at something to truly feel good about, and share those good feelings with him. Praise changes your outlook in an instant.

The time to praise the Lord is when you feel like it the least. Praise him in the midst of your season of sorrow—for being the God who created times and seasons and who knows the beginning from the end.  Praise him as you look beyond your fear—for being mighty to save and willingly facing a tortured death to rescue us from death. Praise him when you sense how very far you are from him—because he is holy and above all earthly cares.

Praise him.

Praise him now.

Encouragement after abortion Tip #4 Pleasing God

Abortion made me act like Eddie Haskell.

The character on the 60’s sitcom Leave it to Beaver was always overly polite and charming to any parents present. But behind their backs he was a rude schemer who did whatever it took to get his own way and dominate the other kids. Eddie built a reputation as a ‘good kid’ which kept him free to pursue his own agenda.

                                                              
                                                              Click to see an old episode of Eddie in action

I wasn’t as bold as Eddie in the ways I tried to please others and manipulate public opinion, but I did front a certain character which didn’t match up with my inner attitudes. My agenda was to build a reputation in church as a ‘good woman’ which would protect against others knowing that I had chosen abortion as a young woman abandoned by my boyfriend when he learned that I was pregnant.

Pleasing others instead of God is a path of frustration which sets us up to fail. We all long for the actual perfection of being utterly pleasing to God, yet we cannot sanctify ourselves. But we can prepare our hearts for Jesus Christ to perfect us—and we can only do this by faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

The parents didn’t buy it from Eddie, and God can also see through our efforts to make ourselves righteous in our own eyes or in the eyes of others. When we have an appreciation for the true authority of God, we naturally want to stay within His good graces. We understand and value His loving protection and His kind care for us, so we desire to maintain a good relationship by our actions and our attitudes.

When we develop true faith, we are willing to let God change us instead of flattering Him just to please. And as our faith grows, we learn that in Christ, God has made provision for our unfaithfulness. God sees our faith in Jesus Christ as a return of His love, causing Him to be so pleased He sings over us, delights in us, and quiets us in our hearts. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Is there a man in the house?

I haven’t posted for so many weeks because I am getting my book ready for publication. I’ll update that soon, but I do want to share this video of my dear friends and co-laborers in Christ, Brian and Denise Walker, founders of Everlasting Light Ministries .


This is a clip of their participation in the Oakland, CA Walk for Life last month. I praise God for their words, and for their hearts.

Free Resource to Encourage You

I wrote this one-page Bible study, let me know . I answer all emails personally and hold your information in strictest confidence. I also would love your comment if you are healed after abortion. What helps? What hurts? How do you talk to others to help them understand the needs of those who have been spiritually wounded by abortion?

If you’ve found my blog through my work as Kim Jeffries at WCCO and KTIS, I hope that you will also visit my website  and read through the articles posted here. Our work with Tell Them I Love Them and Life Redeemed was completed when I relocated fom Minnesota to Georgia. I’m hoping to announce the publishing of my first book soon.