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Forgiven and Set Free!

by Kathy Williams
GivingTuesday

When I first called Hope Pregnancy Center in 2014, I was broken and felt completely hopeless. My daughter told me of an abortion recovery program offered at Hope called Forgiven and Set Free. She thought it might help me.  I wanted to ignore her suggestion, but I desperately needed help to find the forgiveness Jesus offered. I didn’t know what to do. I was hopeless.

Let me back-up several decades. Just a few years after I asked Jesus to save me, I had an abortion. I made the decision to abort my first child instead of facing my parents with the truth of my actions. Did I fully realize what I was doing? No. Did I pray about my decision? No. Did I have anyone or anyplace I could go to for help? I didn’t think so. I took the “easy way out.” And it did seem easy. Until later, after I married and I got happily pregnant with my next child.

Being pregnant was when I began to understand what I had done. How could I have had an abortion? How could I do something like that and be a Christian? Would God forgive me? How could He forgive me? Maybe God would punish me by taking my baby.

Through the years and a second pregnancy, I took myself to the altar many, many times to ask for God’s forgiveness, but the guilt and the shame always returned. I thought, maybe I am not saved, and back to the altar I’d go. I would give up for a while, refusing to even think about my salvation because I believed God couldn’t love me. Then a sermon or a verse would tell of God’s love and His good promises and I would try again. Maybe I can be good enough. Maybe I can deny myself friends or nice things. Maybe I can punish myself and God will feel sorry for me. However, nothing worked! I felt good for a couple of weeks or so, then something would happen in my life and the cycle would begin again. Shame! Guilt! Self-loathing! No hope of salvation! No hope at all!

I finally called Hope Pregnancy Center, but I was scared to death! I had never spoken openly about “the abortion” to anyone. However, the young lady on the phone said, “Honey, I know exactly what you are going through. I’ve been right where you are and it will be alright.” And it was.

Forgiven and Set Free taught me about the true character of our amazing God and helped me face the truth of my actions in His sight. This Bible study helped me accept what I had done, and helped me forgive others who contributed to my decision. I am so thankful for the facilitator and women that walked through the study with me and helped me openly acknowledge my first child. Forgiven and Set Free helped me face my Savior, trusting in His faithfulness and taught me how to openly repent of my sins – not just the sin of abortion, but also the sins that lead up to the abortion. It taught me through the truth of God’s Word, how to fully receive HIS beautiful gift of forgiveness.  I now have hope because I am saved and have been truly set free!

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

By the end of my class, I understood fully why I had struggled against God for 43 years; I was only focused on what I had done instead of what Jesus had done for me. When I could truly accept the truth and received God’s gift of forgiveness my heart soared with joy. My heart then turned to other women who have not found forgiveness in Christ.  It became my desire to be a part of the Abortion Recovery Ministry at Hope. In 2015, He blessed me with the opportunity to facilitate the Forgiven and Set Free Bible studies at Hope Pregnancy Center North and I have witnessed miracles there. The classes have been small, only 2 or 3 in each group, but God’s healing has been huge! One beautiful women accepted Christ as her Savior during the class. Three others have gone on to share their stories publicly after years of secrecy.  All of these beautiful ladies have received God’s healing and have great joy in their hearts as they serve Christ. These ladies and their stories have become a part of my heart.

Thank you for listening to my story, caring about women like me and for giving us hope.

This #GivingTuesday, you can help speak life into women just like Kathy. By choosing to give, you are continuing the ministry of Hope Pregnancy Center. Together, we can make a positive impact on the lives of families. For more information about #GivingTuesday, please visit www.obhc.org/GT.