"Forgiveness for Having an Abortion"

Bob Bodenhamer, D.Min.

Grace Amazing
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.”

4.                  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 king’s ransom’.”

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?” 

Sally, “Yes.” 

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 in.”

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 Jesus.”

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 the lamb.

“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 without conflict!’” 

Bob, “And, what do you think of that?”

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 you?”

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!”

I 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.”

Bob, “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?”

Sally, “No, I don’t need that anymore and it is gone.”

I 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” inside her.   

Bob, “OK, Sally, as you think about the ‘emptiness’ you had, how do you experience that now?”

Sally, “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
"brought to bear" on
the problem states resulting in totally
reframing the problem states.

Never
enough
money

You will
always have a weight problem.

Need
for perfectionism

Wait until the last minute.

Guilt from “I am a bad person” belief.

Problem States

Note: The name "Sally" is anonymous. However if you would like to speak with Sally, contact me at bobbybodenhamer@yahoo.com 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.