Today’s Truth

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

Psalm 34:5

Friend to Friend

For years my abortion story went untold. It was a secret held tightly by a locked heart – my worst nightmare and darkest memory. Not something I wanted to talk about. Certainly not a story that I thought could be used for good.

Conversationally, it was unapproachable… simply impossible to discuss. On the rare occasion when I allowed my mind to go there, I wished I had a different story: one of life, not death – of joy, not pain. A story of a time when I’d made the best choice, not the worst choice.

But that’s not my story.

And because it’s not, for years I was convinced that my mistakes demanded silence. That because of what I’d done and where I’d been, I was bound to be quiet whenever the sacred topic of life arose. Certainly, I had no right to speak… or so I believed.

Shame buttoned my lips.

Then I came to know a deeper grace. A grace found in the testimony of redemption. God’s grace. A grace that testifies of hope, healing, and restoration. A grace found in the sharing and releasing of my broken heart-places. Amazing grace that boasts in the truth that all things can work together for good to those who love God and who are bound to His will and purpose (Romans 8:28).

By the grace of Jesus Christ, I now understand that – knowing what I know and having been where I’ve been – I am actually uniquely qualified to speak and encourage others toward life… forgiveness… and hope.

A few years ago, the Lord led me to participate in a post-abortive Bible study and a weekend retreat that allowed my heart to experience healing in places that I didn’t even know were wounded. I was given the opportunity to sift through my grief, to name my child, and to honor her tragic, unlived life in a beautiful memorial service. My story is now one of healing – and I will tell it until I take my last breath and meet my precious baby in heaven.

HEALING

For those of you who share my broken story, I encourage you toward this sacred healing – toward deeper grace. Death’s grip is suffocating and scary… but it’s not more powerful than the forgiveness and love found in Jesus. Don’t allow fear and shame to keep you from the restoration that God longs for you to experience. Call your local pregnancy care center and ask about their post-abortive Bible studies and retreats.

COURAGE

For those of you who are pregnant and afraid, I encourage you to choose life. I know the fears you are facing and the doubts that are screaming relentlessly to your heart. Silence them with the hope found in the center of grace. Whatever this looks like for you – whether it’s parenting or adoption – I implore you, from the deepest recesses of my heart, to allow your baby a chance to breathe, love, laugh, and live. It will be one of the best choices you will ever make.

SUPPORT

For those of you who don’t share my story, but who support the efforts of life-affirming ministries on the front lines of this battle, I encourage you toward generous giving. I applaud you for your participation. Because of you, lives are being saved… and diapers are being changed… and dreams are being dreamed… and God is being honored. Because of your support, sacred hearts are beating. Thank you. A thousand times: thank you.

But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20b-21)

Let’s Pray

Dear God, Bind me to Your Word and to Your strength so I will have the courage to obey, to forgive, and to accept forgiveness. May my brokenness be restored for the beauty of Your glory. Please help me to trust your plan and grace.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Okay … take a deep breath with me! Some of you may feel disturbed that a locked door in your heart has been nudged open. I also know that 30-40% of you that are reading this devotion share my experience of abortion. There is healing and forgiveness for you, too. Through the help of my local Pregnancy Care Center, I went through a post-abortive Bible study that helped me to know complete healing. If you have not taken that step toward healing, I encourage you to contact the Abortion Recovery CARE line at 1-866-4-My-Recovery (1-866-469-7326) visit www.AbortionRecovery.org – or call your local Pregnancy Care Center today to sign up for a post-abortive Bible study or retreat.

Is there someone you know who needs to read this message? Forward this email. Post it on your social media sites. Share the hope of healing.

More from the Girlfriends

Welcome to my personal pulse. This type of transparency is always risky. My pulse races each time I expose the broken places of my past and my present – but GOD is always faithful to use it in some beautiful way. Some of you may feel this devotion was written specifically for you. Don’t ignore that. Explore it. Click here to listen to a song that I co-wrote and recorded called Broken into Beautiful, and leave a comment sharing your heart with me. We will pray over each of you!

My full testimony is featured the book, Broken into Beautiful, along with Scriptural truths and stories of how God has brought restoration the hearts of many other women who had painful life wounds. God delights to transform lives … including your own. Experience God’s healing and hope in your life today as you read Broken Into Beautiful! To order the book, go to Amazon or for a signed copy, click here.

9 Responses to “Releasing Secrets, Restoring Hope”

  1. Kay says:

    Thank you for having the courage to post this. Unfortunately, I can relate. At the age of 19 (1st year of college) I made the wrong choice. It didn’t stop there. Two years later, I made another bad choice. This is the same year that I surrendered to Christ. Broken hearted and ashamed, it took years of pleading for forgiveness for not choosing life. I learned that God is faithful and abounding in mercy. While I can’t change what I have done, I can encourage others that God wants us to choose life and thankfully His grace helps us each day to get through. Again, I appreciate your cander! We are real people with dark secrets but thank God through Him there is light!!

    • Gwen Smith Gwen Smith says:

      Kay,

      Thanks for sharing your heart. Yes. We surely are real people… with messy lives… and a GLORIOUS GOD who meets us in the thick of it. I am so grateful that He delights to transform lives.

      In Christ,
      Gwen

  2. Mary says:

    Thank you for today’s devotion. It’s been almost 50 years since I too walked that path. This message brought to my awareness the secret shame that has been hidden within me about this choice. Today, rather than believe in a head knowledge of God’s forgiveness of this sin I can begin to experience His forgiveness and grace for this pain/shame I have kept hidden from myself. Now I can experience the freedom that comes with embracing His grace and forgiveness.

  3. Tami says:

    More than 30 years ago I made that same wrong choice. 16 years later, I lost my son to a tragic car / train wreck (on his 17th birthday) I thought I was being punished for aborting his brother/sister. ( I always felt it was a boy but never knew). I thought I had no other option. I was sure my parents would never accept this child who’s father I could not even name it was a stupid one night stand. A night of shameless drunkenness. I have battled these feelings all these years. The clinic required counseling as they called it but all that involved was asking me does the father know? They never told me how this would haunt me the rest of my life. They never told me what the Bible says about it or even asked me if I believed in God. They never told me that I would always wonder what that baby would grow up to be. That every time I heard a baby cry I would cry too. They just never told me. 11 years later I did have another baby. A little girl who has Down Syndrome. She is 21 years old now but at age 13 I thought God was calling her home too. I still thought I did not deserve to have children. I have since accepted that God has forgiven me and that one day by His grace I will see both of my son’s again. I can’t change my bad decision but I would strongly encourage any woman to seek REAL counseling before making that final step. You can’t go back for a do over.

  4. Nanette says:

    God bless you at a youth group I watched a video of how lives were murdered and the one giving the information was a failed murdered child whom a nurse found in a garbage bin still breathing and she saved him. he went on to tell his story none of us are mistakes our Father in heaven created us for a purpose and though life can be brutal we must spread the news that life is tough but God is good and people think abortion is OK but it is lives brutally slaughtered and i seen how it was done the mom was tortured as well as the child but the mom unconscious so not aware of how her and her child both violently thrashed in convulsions and though satan wants to rob steal and destroy and as we fall we fail Still God allows us to get up wipe the stupid off and go on not by our strength but by His. So arise my sisters in Christ you are loved you are His and WHEN sATaN REMINDS YOU OF THE PAST you TELL HIM YOU ARE FORGIVEN THEN SHOW HIM HIS FUTURE AND GO LIGHT UP YOUR WORLD WITH THE ETERNAL LOVE OF CHRIST WHO HAs FORGIVEN US OF ALL SIN WE REPENT OF HEARTFULLY. Nanette

  5. Joy says:

    Thank you for your courage Gwen! You are a blessing and encouragement to the body of Christ.

  6. Lisamarie says:

    Your story punctured my heart! I only have 2 people left in my life I would like to tell my story to but it seems so hard.I also sense hesitation on their part.I know Christ is the only one that really needs to hear our confession at the same time we never know whose life might be changed by the story of his Grace. I do know the enemy uses shame to keep us from God’s blessing.Thank you for sharing your story.

  7. Jessica says:

    I love The Bible verse. We will be covered with no shame when we seek God. I am very grateful that God used you as a messenger, and turned your story into a beautiful inspiration of Hope, Mercy, and Forgiveness. Even though I do not know what you have gone through, I do know the shame of sin. I do know what it feels like to carry that secret burden in your heart to the point that it wears you down. God has been working on healing my heart, to forgive others and to forgive myself. Please know that speaking out about your story, has a true purpose. Thank you.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8