Brokenness to Healing
In orphan care, we are ultimately in the business of restoring families. Sometimes families are restored through adoption, and sometimes families are restored through reunification. Other times, families are restored long before a child is ever in harm’s way. We call that going up stream. The further upstream we intervene, the more positive the outcome. If we know children are entering the system at the hands of addiction, homelessness, and imprisonment, then we know where to start. To go up stream even further asks the question, “What is a risk-factor for addiction, homelessness, and imprisonment? Sheila Harper would suggest abortion-wounds.
Sheila is the Founder and President of SaveOne, an international outreach ministry for men, women, and families suffering in silence after an abortion. She has a master’s degree in counseling and has authored 10 books, but perhaps her most powerful influence are the words of her own testimony. Through the lens of her story, she has a unique call for us as the Church to get involved in abortion-recovery ministries as a means to prevent family disruption.
“No little girl ever dreams of one day growing up and having an abortion. As women, as men, as mothers and fathers, we were never created to choose between life or death for our children. God instilled in us at creation a desire to provide for and protect our children. When we turn against our God-given nature, we open a door to dysfunction and death. This is why the aftermath of an abortion is so much more cruel and cuts deeper than other sinful choices.
I know this cruelty firsthand because I chose abortion on March 29, 1985. At 19-years-old, that moment became the most regrettable mistake of my entire life. Little did I know this one choice would change the entire trajectory of my life. Shortly after the abortion I started using drugs, alcohol, and shopping to numb my conscience. During the following seven years I attempted suicide and became obsessed with wanting to die. I’ve written the whole story in my book Survivor, which is available at saveone.org.
For seven years I lived in a state of chaos trying to get past the grief, sorrow, and shame of March 29. I finally found my way to a Bible study for people who were suffering after abortion, and it was an incredible journey for me. The weekly meetings helped me open myself and allow Jesus to heal me from the inside out. Everything about my heart, soul, and mind changed. Afterward, I was so grateful for the pregnancy center that offered me help, that I wanted to give back to them. I started volunteering at the center, and soon began teaching that same Bible study. I had found my calling in abortion recovery.
Today I stand before you amazed at what God has done. In 2000, I founded SaveOne, an abortion recovery ministry. We now have over 300 chapters (churches or pregnancy centers teaching our studies) in 25 countries around the world. God has continued to use SaveOne to heal the abortion-wounded, bringing back the sanctity and dignity of LIFE.
1 out of every 3 women have chosen abortion, 1 out of every 3 men have lost a child to abortion, and every family represented has been affected by abortion in some way. Let that sink in for a minute. 1 Corinthians 12:26 says of the Church body, “If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.” As a church, you can be the hero of someone’s story by coming alongside them in their brokenness and pain. And you can show them the path to healing through Jesus Christ.
The pain that follows an abortion can lead to violent anger, pornography addiction, drug and alcohol addiction, depression, family dysfunction, and imprisonment. And we know that these things far too often lead to children being orphaned or entering the foster care system. By going up stream to help those who are abortion wounded, we can in turn make a difference in the orphan crisis.
Revelation 12:11 says we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony! Our healing results in ending abortion in families. Our healing results in being more powerful than the enemy. Our healing results in the Church being the hero of the story because you offered a place for someone like my 19-year-old self to come and lay down a burden too big for one person to bear. Our healing results in families being put back together and children being cared for by their parents. When we do this, we see families restored and lives changed for eternity. It’s a beautiful process!
The Church is the answer to this problem, not politics, not fighting, not opinions. We need Truth, we need Jesus, we need healing in our country and around our world if we are to see abortion end.
To find help after abortion or to start a SaveOne chapter at your church, email email@example.com or visit saveone.org.”
Sheila L. Harper
Founder and President, SaveOne
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