Before I was a Christian, my husband pressured me to have an abortion that I didn't want. I knew it was taking the life of my baby, but my husband's threats to leave me if I went through with the pregnancy, scared me into a decision I immediately came to regret. As I lay in the recovery room following the abortion, I tried to will myself to die. The guilt was so overwhelming, I felt that the only way to pay the price for my baby's life was to die myself.
I spent the next three years constantly thinking about suicide. The only thing that kept me from actually going through with it, was the strong conviction that I would go to Hell for what I had done, and that thought terrified me. My life was a nightmare. I worked at a medical lab that received the "products of conception" from abortions performed at several local hospitals. I couldn't escape the reality of what I had done. I daily saw the mutilated bodies of babies, victims of their mother's choice. It was horrifying!
I searched in the New Age Movement for answers to my grief. They promised peace, joy, and contentment, but they didn't offer the one thing I needed: relief from the guilt I carried so heavily. But I knew that I had crossed a boundary and put myself at odds with the God of the universe, and His wrath was going to descend upon me at my death.
Then one night I had a dream that changed my life. In my dream, I died and found myself standing in a long line of people outside the gates of Heaven. There was a man sitting at a high desk with a book open in front of him. He began to read an alphabetical list of various sins and told everyone who had committed each of these sins, to step out of the line. Since abortion begins with "A", it was the first sin he read. NO! I said. "There's been a mistake! The abortion wasn't my fault....My husband made me do it. It's his fault, not mine! I was in a panic as I pleaded with the attendant nearest me. He calmly looked at me and said, "The abortion was your sin. Your husband had his own role in that event, and he will be held accountable, but the abortion, itself, was yours." I prepared to argue, again, when suddenly I realized that no one had put a gun to my head, bound and gagged me, and literally forced the abortion on me. Although it was under protest, I was the one who ultimately consented to the procedure. I could have said no, and faced the consequences, but I didn't, so the abortion was truly my sin, and not directly my husband's fault. As I acknowledged my guilt, I stepped out of line. I asked the attendant where I needed to go, and he pointed away to the left, and then I noticed for the first time, in the distance, a lake of fire.
I woke up screaming, in a cold sweat. As I lay in bed, shaking from the realization that I truly deserved to spend eternity in the lake of fire, a new resolve came over me. I was no longer afraid to die and face Hell, because I knew for the first time that it was the only place I deserved, so I made up my mind to take my life and willingly accept the punishment I had been shown. But God had other plans.
A few days after the dream, I ended up at a Christian concert(of all things!), and there someone shared with me that I didn't need to take my own life to atone for my baby's death. That two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ bore the punishment I deserved as He died a painful, horrifying death on the cross to pay for my sin. The price had already been paid, would I accept His death on my behalf? I said, "yes" to Jesus at that moment, and was flooded with God's grace and forgiveness. I cried for joy as I received the relief I had been searching for, and discovered the wonder of salvation. I was instantly released from the guilt and pain I had carried for so long. What a Savior!
Anyway, that was over ten years ago, and I am still amazed at that amazing grace that saved a wretch like me. Those who are forgiven much, love much, and all I have to do to renew my love for Christ, is to remember how great a love He has for me, that He gave Himself up willingly for my sin. I would love to reach other women burdened by the guilt of abortion, with the forgiveness they can find at the cross.