"Forgiveness for Having an Abortion"
Bob Bodenhamer, D.Min.
A Case Study
I last saw her four years
ago. At that time I had assisted her in overcoming guilt for
leaving her husband and child several years ago. Due to some childhood frames,
she had sabotaged her marriage looking to fill up that “something is
missing” inside her. After years
of searching she discovered that the source for filling up the “something
missing” was not in the world but in the Lord. The last I heard from her, she
had moved to the West Coast attending acupuncture school and working as an RN
with senior citizens.
She recently called and said
that she was back in the area and it was time for her to come back in.
Upon arrival we greeted each other and she gave me the following outcomes
for the session:
1. I constantly have a tape running (moving her hand around and around on the lower left side of her head) that says, “There is never enough money.” She learned this from her dad.
2. My grandmother said to me, “You will always have a weight problem.” She made that a part of her.
3. Dad taught me, “If you are going to do anything, do it right or don’t do it at all.” “I translated that as meaning I am to be perfect and if I can’t do it perfectly, I want do it.”
Mother taught me, “If it were not for the last moment, I would never
get anything done.” “This
has caused me a lot of stress always waiting until the last moment.
Sally (anonymous), “As
important as all those may be, that isn’t the real reason I came to see you.
I had a dream two days ago. After locking myself out of my home yesterday
for 6 hours and deciding I needed to come to see you for the above reasons, I
went to church that night. At church they talked about dreams. I can to realize
what the dream I had the day before meant. I dreamed of my former husband. He was in church with a
beautiful young woman. The woman was not his wife. The woman then left the
church and I saw her going up a hill pushing a baby carriage. On the front of
the baby carriage was a heavy gold crest which I interpreted to mean ‘worth a
Sobbing heavily, Sally
continued, “The young beautiful woman with my husband was my daughter.
Two months after abortion was legalized, I had an abortion. In the baby
carriage with the gold crest was my grandchild that is never going to be. THE
GOLD CREST ON THE BABY CARRIAGE MEANT LIFE IS PRECIOUS.”
Sally now says, “No longer
do I go into a rest home and look at these poor souls and think that their life
is not worth anything and that they would be better off dead. I have come to
realize that all life in all forms are precious and it is not for me to judge
what is good or bad or right or wrong. Life is precious.”
Bob, “Was Robert (her first
husband, anonymous) the father of the baby?”
Sally, “Yes. We both agreed
to have the abortion. Bob, in all these years I did not have a clue that I was
carrying this. I had buried it so deep. This happened almost 30 years ago.”
(Sally did have a dream about 5 years ago. She saw this same young lady.
She recognized her as her daughter then but she was not as clear as the
recent one. In that dream 5 years
ago she was dancing with my ex husband, her dad, at her wedding.
But, then, it didn’t bother her very much. There was a little tiny
conscious twinge there. That was all. There was no sense of loss or grief.)
Bob, “Yes, abortion is not
as simple as Planned Parenthood would lead us to believe. I just had a memory
from a former client who had a few years earlier had an abortion.
When we accessed the memory of her abortion, she became ill. She ran out
on the deck and vomited over the railing.”
Sally, “I stopped at
Bojangles on the way over here and threw up I was so sick about this.”
Sally, “Because of this, I
know there is a God. For years I wondered did God create man or did man create
God. Last night in a vision Christ came as a Light.
It was very real. If it hadn’t been for that I don’t know what I
would have done because I couldn’t have lived with the guilt.
I had always considered myself a good, caring and loving person who could
never intentionally hurt another soul. And, to think I killed my child, I could
have never lived with that. But I
never felt worthy of Him.”
Bob, “Great Sally. Where do
you see the light of the Lord? Where is it located?”
Sally, gesturing with her
hands, “It is up here and all around” (moving her hands around the upper
area in front of her head).
I then began to proceed to
get the structure of the image of her child. Usually in working with ladies who
are grieving over a previous abortion, the aborted child is an image of a small
baby. And, as a major part of the therapy, I will have them give the baby to
Jesus (see article “How to Take a Bitter Root to
Jesus.”), But with Sally, the image
was of a grown woman, the beautiful young woman in church with her husband in
the dream. She had the image in
front of her and very close to her face.
Bob, “Did you give your
daughter a name?”
Sally, “No, I hadn’t but
the name Deanna just came to me.
I knew that in order to
assist Sally, I would need to really explain to her the marvelous grace of God
in Jesus Christ and to lead her to understand the hope we have in the Lord.
Bob, “Sally, do you
remember the story in II Samuel 12:15-23 where following the affair with
Bathsheba King David and Bathsheba had a child and that later the child died?”
Bob, “Well, while the child
was sick and near death David prayed and fasted to God that the child would
live. After the child died, David stopped fasting and started eating. This
confused his servants and they asked David about his stopping the fasting after
the death of his child while before the child’s death David was grieving and
fasting. David replied in verse 23, “But now that he is dead, why
should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not
return to me.”
“I remember years ago sitting
in Systematic Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. John
Eddins made a statement that I have never forgotten. His statement was in
reference to the difficult question of small children dying.
Dr. Eddins, said, ‘I was walking through a cemetery one day reading
epitaphs on tombstones. That is a sobering thing that I recommend you theology
students do. And, I came upon a tombstone of a small child. Inscribed on the
tombstone were these words: ‘Crowned Without Conflict.’ I have never forgotten that Sally.”
Well, Sally liked that
statement. She liked it a lot. As we say in this business, “that one went
Bob, “Sally, you will see
your daughter again. I believe with
all my heart your daughter is with the Lord, crowned without the conflicts of
this life like you have experienced.”
Sally, in a low voice kept
repeating, “Crowned without conflict, crowned without conflict.”
I then led Sally to give her
daughter to Jesus. Bob, “Sally, keeping your head still, do not move your
head, and with your eyes, move your daughter up and into the presence of the
light of the Lord.”
Sally moved her daughter up
into the internal representation she had of Jesus as light. Doing this activated
the highest resource Sally had, the “light of Christ.” You don’t get any
higher than that. That brought a sense of relief on Sally’s face but I knew we
were not finished for she said earlier, “I am not worthy of the love of
Bob, “Sally, I would like to
explain something to you from the Bible. Way back in the Old Testament when the
tabernacle and later the Temple were established along with the priesthood and
sacrificial system, God led Moses to arrange the tabernacle. It was divided into
three sections. In the back of the Temple was the Holy of Holies. Inside the
Holy of Holies was a chest like fixture called the Ark of the Covenant. Over the
Ark were carved angelic beings called Seraphims. Inside that Ark of the Covenant
were the Ten Commandments carved on tablets of stone.
Those are the Ten Commandments that you and I brake all the time.
“Now get this picture, (as I
drew a diagram on a piece of paper) once a year the High Priest would slaughter
the sacrificial Lamb. It was totally innocent. It was just a lamb. The High
Priest would slaughter it and go sprinkle the blood of the innocent lamb on top
of the Ark of the Covenant. In so
doing, this symbolized the ‘covering’ or ‘atoning’ which means ‘to
cover’ of our sins with the innocent blood of the lamb. Symbolically, when
Holy God looked down out of heaven onto the Ark of the Covenant containing the
Ten Commandments that the people had broken that year, God did not see the
broken Ten Commandments, the sinful people, God saw the ‘innocent’ blood of
“Now, Sally, as a minister, I
do not have to offer a sacrificial lamb for the sins of my people. I just preach
Jesus. Hebrews 10 teaches us that
Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross was ‘once for all.’
We don’t have to offer any more sacrifices.
“And, Sally, here is God’s message for you. By being a
believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting Him as your Lord and Savior,
your sin of abortion and all sins you have committed are totally covered by the
innocent blood of the ‘Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John
1:29). When God looks down, He
doesn’t see you the sinner, He sees you clothed in the righteousness of Christ
perfected in Jesus. You are totally
accepted in Him, not by your goodness but because He loves you unconditionally
as shown by his death on the Cross.
“And, Sally, believe you me, having
experienced the ‘Amazing Grace’ of God in His
total forgiveness of you for having an abortion, you will have many
opportunities in the future to tell others about His love.”
Bob, “Paul says in 2
Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the
old has gone, the new has come!” The word ‘new creation’ comes from the
Greek ktisisi, which means creation. So, God has made you all over again.
Also, the verb “has gone” is the Greek aorist tense which means that
it not only is in the past but it has no relevance whatsoever to the present or
the future. In God’s sight it is as if you never sinned.”
Sally, “That is great. Write
that down for me. (I spoke with
Sally one week after the session. She said that 2 Corinthians 5:17 and the
explanation really helped her. She has carried the note around with her and made
reference to it several times.)
Bob, “That is the “good
news” of the Gospel.”
Sally, “It is such a
shame that my child had to give her life so that I could come to know God.”
Bob, “Look up a and ask
Deanna what she thinks about that.”
And immediately after looking
up and seeing Deanna with Jesus, Sally said, “Deanna just said ‘crowned
Bob, “And, what do you think
Sally, “She got the best end
of the deal.”
Sally, “I am OK, now.”
Sally went on to explain more
about what happened between her and her first husband Robert.
She said she left Robert because of the “emptiness” inside her.” I
asked her the emptiness was still there and she congruently said no.
Bob, “Sally, what about that
frame your dad gave you about there never being enough money?”
Sally, “I didn’t think mom
and dad wanted me.”
Bob, “And, Sally, what
happens when your bring the thought of the ‘amazing grace of God’ to bear on
the thought that mom and dad didn’t want you.”
Immediately, Sally replied,
“I am God’s beloved! That shot that to hell.”
Bob, “What about the thought
that you would always have a weight problem? What would you have to give up in
order to do away with that belief?”
Sally, “I would have to quit
hiding behind my weight and get on with life.”
Bob, “What does that mean to
Sally, “I am a bad person.”
Bob, “And what happens when
you bring the belief that you are ‘God’s beloved’ to bear on the thought
that you are a bad person?”
Sally, laughingly said, “That
shot that all to hell!”
asked Sally how she saw herself in the not to distant future. She said she saw
herself in a size 8. At that moment
and unconscious part, an inner voice, came up and said to Sally, “I am afraid
I will do stupid things like I use to do in getting involved with the wrong men
if I am a size 8.”
“Now, Sally, knowing what you now know, having lived all these years since you
use to do bad things as a size 8 and knowing that you are unconditionally loved
by God and you have His Spirit inside you to direct your life, do you need that
fear in order to keep you from doing bad things?”
“No, I don’t need that anymore and it is gone.”
future paced Sally having her imagine herself going out in the future with the
new learnings she now has being the Beloved of God.
We learned that the weight was a way for her to punish herself for doing
bad things. And, a lot of the
eating had to do with an unconscious attempt to fill up the “emptiness”
“OK, Sally, as you think about the ‘emptiness’ you had, how do you
experience that now?”
“I am the beloved of God surrounded by light.”
I then drew on my notes and showed to Sally linguistically what had happened.
Sally went on to explain how she thought it would take more than one session to deal with this problem but she was confident that after this two-hour session she was OK and would not need any more therapy. I assured her that I was here for her should she need me. However, I was well pleased with the remarkable way she allowed the Lord to bring deep healing to her.
"I am God's Beloved"
Meta-Level Resource State
Wait until the last minute.
Guilt from “I am a bad person”
The name "Sally" is anonymous. However if you would like to speak with
Sally, contact me at
or call me at 704-864-3585. She has volunteered to speak with anyone who would
like to speak personally with her about her experience. I will give you her real
name and how you can contact her in Charlotte, NC.
©2000 Bobby G. Bodenhamer, D. Min. All rights reserved.