Thursday, September 24, 2015

For All of You Who Need to #ShoutYourAbortion

This week has shaken the media with one of the most audacious and shocking expressions of free speech we have yet seen or heard. Two women started a hashtag movement claiming an attempt to remove the shame and stigma surrounding abortion and provide a forum in which women could share openly about their choice to abort.

Responses to #ShoutYourAbortion have ranged from horror, outrage, and anger, to support, defiance, and even praise of abortion. 

I am not writing today to re-examine the core issues of this controversy. 

Rather, I felt compelled to respond to this sudden movement by taking a closer look at what it might be saying about the human heart.

Despite the span of strong emotions this brings forth, at the heart of all I have read on the latest hashtag trend on Twitter is a deep need we all share, regardless of our stand on the issue. 

Our shared human need is the need to be heard. To be known. To come out of hiding. 


It is a God-created need, pointing even the most vocal activist back to the inescapable fact that she was created by God to be known, not to be hidden away in shame.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” -Genesis 3:8-10

Where are you?

This question is echoing around the halls of many hearts today, hearts made empty by choices devoid of wisdom, hearts made desperate in crushing circumstances, hearts hardened by living for self. But God’s voice still speaks, as He waits. Where are you?

We are exactly where God knows we are. Hiding.

Hiding our hearts, hiding our sin, hiding our shame. 

Never until this present day has there been a culture that has so nearly perfected the art of hiding. 

Hiding behind our Facebook profiles, hiding behind our Spanx, hiding behind our jobs, our church attendance, our relationships, our possessions, our accomplishments. 

Hiding.

We must always ask ourselves when a cultural trend seems to crash upon our shores like a tsunami, what heart need does this reveal? Why this outcry? What is happening in the human heart?

The human heart does not like to hide in fear. It needs to be heard. This need was created by God in each of us, whether we acknowledge His existence or not. And it compels us to come out in the open, even if it is costly. 

In the shadow of every human soul is the forgotten memory that it was made for relationship with God. So onward it charges, reckless and desperate, trying to be heard and seen, not quite remembering who it is longing for. 

But the God who hears us, the God who knows us, the God who sees us, has never forgotten. And He waits for us to come to Him and be restored.

We want to be known. We need to be seen. But our sin makes us afraid. Afraid for our nakedness of soul to be seen and rejected. So we hide.

We were never made for hiding. 

Created by a God who sees us and knows us better than we know ourselves, we were made for relationship. Relationship with God Himself. And relationship requires transparency. The more we hide, the less our quality of relationship to God and to others.

This was reflected in an article written by the woman who started this hashtag. She related how she and her friends never talk about their abortions. They never share that part of themselves. And she did not understand why. 

Given an opportunity like #ShoutYourAbortion many women have joined the heart-cry. “See me.” “Know the real me, no apologies.” “Accept me.” “Take the shame away.”

The tragedy is that shouting to the cyber world that one has had an abortion will not remove the shame, restore the emptiness, justify the unjust action.

Shame cannot be removed by publicity, by confession to others.

Restoration cannot occur by joining the angry crowd.

Justice cannot be accomplished by promoting injustice and calling it right, no matter how many hits it receives on social media.

Healing, restoration, and justice can only be accomplished by the One who gave His life to bring humanity out of hiding, Jesus Christ.

Dear one who must shout your abortion, He will not reject you. There is nothing you have done which can separate you from His great love for you. Even now, he is waiting for you to answer Him. Where are you? 

He already knows where you are. Your secret is not hidden from Him. He is waiting for you to be brave enough to come out from your hidden place and walk with Him in refreshing, liberating, clarifying honesty.

If you must shout, shout to Him. He can handle it. 

If you are broken, angry, bitter, if that is all you have to bring Him, bring it. He desires truth in the inmost parts, and He is waiting to set you free. He will never deny an offering of honesty. Truth, raw honesty, leads to forgiveness, healing, liberty.

Be brave enough to come out of hiding and trust Him with your choices, bad or good. Let Him lead you to a place of new hope and a future. 

Shout your abortion to the One who restores life and heals our souls. The acceptance you are longing for is indeed found in Christ alone.

If this post has resonated with you, join the conversation. If you have come out of hiding and discovered Christ's healing firsthand, your story could encourage and comfort others. Thank you for your bravery.

TWEETABLES

Shout your abortion to the One who died to bring humanity out of hiding. (Click to Tweet)

We were never made for hiding, but for relationship with God and others. (Click to Tweet)

Cultural trends can reveal the deeper needs of the human heart. (Click to Tweet)







6 comments:

  1. Danetta, what a wonderful way to redirect this conversation. You are so right, this movement does reveal a deeper need. Thank you for reminding us that whatever our need, Jesus is there to fill the empty places!

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  2. Thank you, Edie. Our hearts are so hidden even from ourselves. And everyone hides in fear sometime. Maybe understanding this can open the conversation even more.

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  3. Wow, Danetta, what a powerful, beautifully-written message! I can hear your heart through your words...not a heart of hatred and anger, but one of love and acceptance. Your comparison of Adam and Eve hiding from God after their sin was spot-on for how we hide those dark places in our own lives. We were not meant for hiding, but for shouting His love from the rooftops!

    I'm praying for you as you proclaim His love and forgiveness to all who need to hear. Your post reminded me of what God said to Ezekiel: "You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen..." Ez. 2:7a

    Blessings, my new friend!

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    1. Thank you, Vonda, for your encouragement. Writing about such a painful issue can bring more pain if not handled with discernment. We are all hiders, but the beauty is that He loves us no matter what we are hiding. I am so grateful to know this in my life. Not everyone has realized it yet. So glad we have connected here!

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  4. Danetta, this is so true. Just by shouting out "I've had an abortion" does not deal with the justification, guilt, confusion, or callousness that surrounds an abortion. The tiniest bit of guilt can either lead to more justification about the abortion or it can be the starting point of saying "Maybe that wasn't the right thing to do." But the latter is terrifying without hope of true forgiveness. That's what you point to. God will forgive and comfort. When we ask.

    Praying that the women who suffer with guilt will find true peace, love, and forgiveness.

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    1. Yes, Mary, you are right. There is such relief on the other side of coming out of hiding, when we come to Jesus. Thank you for joining the conversation!

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