Updated: Nov 25, 2018
The most common question I am asked after I speak, is "Tammi HOW DID YOU FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR HAVING SO MANY ABORTIONS?" I think you'd agree that this is a normal theme in our culture today. Self-Forgiveness!
The thing that is most said about me is, "Maybe God can forgive her, but I doubt she could ever or how could she ever forgive herself?"
To Forgive Oneself in my limited education is an oxymoron! To believe I can pardon myself for bad choices, harm done, mistakes made, etc is confounding to me. It never worked for me. I never understood what it meant to forgive myself?
How does a murderer convicted of murder and serving a life sentence forgive himself? Isn't in the context of legal matters the right of the jury to convict or the Governor or President to extend a pardon? Even then its not true forgiveness just reduction of the charge or execution of the penalty for that crime. When a prisoner is pardoned, the offense remains on their record. This isn't forgiveness. This is worldly mercy.
In the banking and lending culture, forgiveness of a loan or a debt does mean erasing of or writing off of the owed debt, but even that in most cases still doesn't mean it is scratched from the record. You may not have to pay it, but it remains on your credit score for 4-7 years and you have to tell the IRS and any lending institution you apply to about it. What a garbled understanding we have of forgiveness.
So, this theme as we understand it in our current culture is not consistent with scripture. God's word tells us HE WILL FORGIVE US and WE MUST FORGIVE OTHERS. His word also tells us in Hebrews 8:12 that he will remember our sins no more. In Psalms 103:12, he says he will remove our sins as far as the east is from the west. And the references go on and on. I see no mention of forgiving myself, ever!
While there are requirements like, confession, repentance, forgiving others, etc, this is the only place I know of where the sin actually disappears in the eyes of God, because of what Jesus did on the cross, in the grave and at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. Even when God's word says he'll remember no more, He's not even saying He'll forget. He won't. He sent Christ to the cross for these things. Why would He forget them, and if He did, there would be a chance of "remembering".......
So how does someone who has committed murder through the abortion procedure forgive herself? Well, I, You, She.... doesn't! I dare say its impossible. I've tried by acting like my sin and its consequences didn't happen... that didn't work anymore than an alcoholic who has destroyed the hearts of his wife and children can act like nothing ever happened once he gets sober. I can't omit this from my story because its in the east or west somewhere, then I wouldn't be giving glory to God for all He's done. But what I can do is accept that Christ's work was finished, complete, and more than enough that I don't have to self-abuse or self-destruct. I can live in fullness. I can live hidden in Christ. I can be raised from the dead as scripture states, but I can't forget and I cannot forgive myself.
So, you see the whole rationale of forgiving myself is just plain Balderdash and I don't mean the game!! It is by receiving the forgiveness of God and living a life that turns away from those sins that we are able to walk in freedom, healing and even joy. Until I understood this I was bound to alcohol, pornography, sexual immorality, power, anger, material possessions, and I was suicidal. I had done all the world said to do, keep quiet it's nobody's business, go to counseling, get on anti-depressants, and none of it worked. It just kept my wounds open and bleeding out, with no hope of healing!
What some may think as self-forgiveness is really the act of walking in the identity given to a person once they believe in Jesus and has eternal life. John 3:16/Acts 3:19. Once I became a Child of God, it was essential for me to view and conduct myself as scripture tells me too. But even that I cannot do without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. When I dig deep into this idea of self-forgiveness, I think what is actually being said is "How can you ever have peace knowing what you did?"
That also isn't self-conjured, its through the receiving of forgiveness and learning about WHO I AM IN CHRIST and what Christ's sacrifice on the cross meant, that I am able to walk, think, feel and believe anew. I can be and am at PEACE. Romans 5:1 & 15:13. I have the peace that surpasses ALL understanding, including my own.
While I have times of grieving and sadness over the loss of my children I aborted, most of the time it is joy over the promise of my reuniting with them in Heaven and a tenacity to share my story with others. I can stand in front of an abortion clinic and pray earnestly for the women walking in, I can have my story shared online and be told to go die, or I can stand on a stage and speak unapologetically about what My Savior has saved, delivered and healed me from, and I can also speak my babies names. While I'll never be able to forgive myself, I can accept the sacrifice of the unblemished lamb who was slain for all of my sins and who decided to do so before the foundations of the earth. I can know with certainty that he will use all of the evil that was in my life, for the Good of others, His Glory and the purpose he has for me.
I think I'll rely on My Father in Heaven's forgiveness. It's working!