"I wanted a new heart...a heart that would not cower behind self-made walls of fear, serving a lifetime sentence as both warden and prisoner."  - Shadia Hrichi  (Worthy of Love, Chapter 7, "The Wish")

This article is part of an 8-week series of excerpts taken from my Bible study,

Worthy of Love: A Journey of Hope and Healing After Abortion.

Do you believe you need to forgive yourself for a past abortion? We all have needs, hopes, and dreams, but sometimes it is not until we reach the end of ourselves that we recognize our deepest needs of all. When I saw how hardened my heart had become because of the abortion and many other poor choices I had made, I cried out to God for one wish…I thought I needed His forgiveness but at the same time knew He already had forgiven me. If you had asked me then, I’d have said what I really needed was to forgive myself. Even though I had received God’s forgiveness, I had allowed the deception of self-condemnation into my heart.

Chapter 7: The Wish

A dark image flashed in my mind…the object appeared small, shriveled, and hardened. I instantly knew it was a picture of my heart. As it came further into focus, I saw my heart as an ugly, rotted mass of darkness. My eyes welled with tears as I saw what my heart had truly become. More than anything else, I wanted a new heart—a heart that would not cower behind self-made walls of fear, serving a lifetime sentence as both warden and prisoner—but one that would courageously reach out to love people.

…as tears battered my knuckles, I asked God for my one wish. Lord, I want a new heart. Immediately, a gentle calm washed over my spirit; however, what happened next took me completely by surprise. I had heard of people having visions though I had never experienced anything like this.

I found myself standing in Heaven, surrounded by an unimaginable, glorious light. A perfect peace unlike anything I’ve ever known triggered distant memories of me as a small child listening to my mother tenderly sing a lullaby. Someone appeared in the distance. My pulse quickened. I knew it had to be God…He turned to His side. A young girl was there. Had she been there all along? Too frightened to look directly at her face, I fixed my eyes on her golden-brown hair. Long waves bobbed playfully against the front of her delicate white dress…She turned to face me. I stole a glimpse at the little girl’s face. Wide-eyed with excitement, she nearly danced toward me.

My mind began to race. Is this? I swallowed hard. I couldn’t even say her name. Does she know what I did? I couldn’t bear the thought. Does she forgive me? What will she say?

Panic-stricken yet powerless, I just stood there. The pounding of my heart echoed through the heavens. Before I could piece together the countless reasons this little girl’s presence terrified me, we were standing face-to-face. Beaming with delight, she lifted her arms toward me, sending a tiny wisp of hair fluttering past her radiant smile…

 

I was both desperate to know I was forgiven but terrified to face my past, and yet until I accepted that my child had not rejected me, I would never be free to forgive myself. Praise God for the many ways He communicates the grace of forgiveness to us!

If you believe you cannot forgive yourself for a past abortion or other choice you made, ask God to help you see the Truth: that His power to forgive is greater than our sin.

“For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person…” (1 Corinthians 7:22)

“If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts.” (1 John 3:20)

What one wish do you need from God?

Visit the Worthy of Love page to download a free sample, find an online group, watch the promo video, or find resources (including Leader’s Guide) to start a group. We all know someone who needs hope!

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