Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)
TITLE: The Forgiveness Factor
By Bonnie Shea
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She was saving children’s lives. Through her clinic, women were shown the truth, counseled in their decisions, presented the Gospel message of the saving love of Jesus Christ, and given tools and information for coping with their decisions. Happy tears came to my eyes, and I praised God!
Next, the host asked how it all started- she paused, and then she shared how her ministry had been born out of deep pain and loss. Years before, when she was very young, she had an abortion herself. She said at the time she didn’t recognize it to be a child. She had been taught in Health class that it was not a person yet, just a blob of tissue- yet in the back of her mind something told her this was wrong. Nonetheless, she proceeded with the abortion thinking no one but she and the boy would ever know. She thought she would avoid the pain of shame, and that time would heal all.
Years passed, and she accepted Christ as her Savior. She believed the Gospel message with all her heart, but the past suddenly washed over her- she had murdered her own child. This weighed heavily on her heart, and she couldn’t let it go. Could this really be forgiven?
She saw a pastor for counsel, and he explained how God was the only one who could and would forgive her. In talking to him, she acknowledged the unsurpassed greatness and sovereignty of God. She acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God, who came, lived a sinless life, and died the death of the cross to pay the debt for all sin, for all time, for all who believe. She said the pastor pressed on until she finally sobbed out loud, “THE PROBLEM IS I KILLED MY CHILD!!”
To this, the pastor replied, “I know, my dear- but so did God. No one can understand your pain better than Him, for He willingly and knowingly gave His Son- He planned His death; and remember, He did it for you- so you could be forgiven. I believe you are punishing yourself, which means you are not giving this sin over to God. In a way you are saying He is not a great enough God, and that Jesus’ blood was not sufficient to wash you clean.”
I had to pull over. I started sobbing, my heart felt like it was breaking. This woman had told my story, too. I had an abortion when I was young, and accepted Christ years later. Anytime someone brought up abortion, I cringed inside and felt like a hypocrite. I, too, had not nailed this sin to the cross. I, too, was showing doubt towards God.
The pastor’s words rang in my head, ‘I was punishing myself.’ I was angry at myself, punishing myself, and not allowing Him to be God and do what He had painstakingly committed to do since the Fall, what He had accomplished on the cross- redeem me as a believer.
I sobbed, and prayed aloud, “Oh, dear Father- please forgive me for holding back; for not trusting You completely to forgive all my sins. Please, Lord- help me to let go; help me to learn to forgive myself. I don’t want to ever hold anything back from you- please heal me Lord! In Jesus precious name I pray. Amen.” I sobbed for awhile longer, and then I started feeling a peace. It was His peace- He had heard me, and was already answering my prayer. With each breath I took in, I felt more and more at peace. In my heart, I knew it was going to be okay- He had taught me, and I had listened. He really does keep His eye on the sparrow!
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