We might truly fear what others think about us more than we think we care more about what God thinks about us. Also, we are judging ourselves and others when we think we aren’t. Hear me out for a few minutes…
A few years ago I found out I was pregnant. I was heart broken! How can I be heartbroken about a blessing? A beautiful experience having a miracle growing inside me? A sweet soul I get to talk to everyday from the minute her ears developed and she could hear. (I assumed it was a girl 🙂 ) The start of motherhood and bonding with my baby anticipating her kicks in response to my voice.
I was crushed over the decision I had taken and was on my way to fulfilling.
See, I had just hit what felt like rock bottom about 8 months prior, at the same time in a beautiful life altering way. I was in the beginning of my relationship with my Jesus. So, what was the issue then? A former co-worker was helping me out until I got on my feet enough with a job and could afford my own place. I literally would’ve been starting over. I was staying with him and one thing lead to the next one night and I ended up getting pregnant. Tears flooded my eyes. Not only were we not in a relationship but since childhood I’ve always dreamed of being married before having kids. My biggest concern though, was what will people think? I lived on a small island where everyone practically knew each other. I had just gotten out of a 6 year relationship and wondered what would be said about me, what if my ex saw me. I was struggling, or so I thought…
And so I decided to have an abortion 2 weeks after finding out. For the entire 2 weeks I cried! I apologized to my baby over and over. I remember the day of the mini surgery I spoke to a lady who I believe was a counselor at the clinic. I told her my biggest concern was being forgiven by God, or so I thought at the time.
In reality I was more concerned about the criticism I was going to face being a single mom-he didn’t want to be apart of the pregnancy- and the disappointment in myself for not accomplishing my dream the way I wanted to. I wasn’t married and had a baby on the way. I didn’t turn to Jesus and ask him to help me unload the fears I had. I didn’t tell him I was scared and ask him to give me strength to keep my head up and raise my baby in love not guilt or shame. I didn’t think to ask what he thought about my being pregnant and not married. I instead made my decision out of fear and shame and asked him to forgive me.
We don’t live in fear of what God thinks about us or fear his judgement more than how we live in fear of what others think. You’re a pastor, teacher, Christian, or someone well known and your child got in some l trouble, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? What will the church thinks? what will my students, clients, neighbors think should they find out? what is this telling you, love, that you focus more about what others think rather than asking God to help you move on from or forward with whatever you’re facing.
Today, I think back on 5 years ago. Now, 5 years of experiences, understanding and growth, personally and in my walk with Jesus. Abortion wouldn’t have crossed my mind regardless of how many persons I think may gather stones to throw at me, because my eyes are now on Jesus and knowing and growing in him more. My aim is not to sin or fall into temptation but I am not perfect and my imperfections lead me closer to His feet where I am consistently changing and experiencing amazing rest. When I mess us, I run to him especially days I realize I might be hiding.
Love, you might not be pregnant but is facing something embarrassing (or so you think) something that could get you in the spotlight of being judged and criticized, but don’t fear what other people might think or say. Don’t let the way you had it all planned out scare you because you/ things took a left turn. God is still with you, he still approves of you. Run to him, talk to him, invite him where you are and share your fears and concerns with him, you’re not alone therefore don’t make decisions as if you are.
We need to get to a place in our hearts where we learn to really stop judging each other. Not just read about it. What if its not God who is judging us so harshly but it is really us doing it to each other or ourselves? The first commandment is to love God, the second is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves- Matt 22:37-39. Love doesn’t condemn, its not harsh, it doesn’t bring guilt and shame, it doesn’t bring burden. Love HELPS, it accepts, comforts and say ‘okay, how do we move on from here, how do we keep going forward?’ This is how we would want to be treated.
The bible tells us- Romans 14 not to judge what seem right to another person, not to judge someone if they worship on a day totally different from yours or eat some thing you don’t. We are to be understanding and accepting. God will judge and convict us and his convictions leads beautifully to correction. Never once did I feel convicted for being pregnant without being married! I think verse 4 says it beautifully, ” Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.” So you see, God will help to make corrections and he will approve of that person- YOU!
I never thought I’d share my story of having an abortion but it showed me how I feared men and things wont always go the way I plan. Whatever happens, God is my help. I am not ashamed of my past, It actually made me stronger and as I type these words, my heart is filled with excitement sharing my experience with you. I also learned that at times we feel judged maybe not by others but it is really us judging ourselves because of certain expectations we place on ourselves.
Meditation– Matt 22:37-39 & Rom 4