“Many people have said to me through the years that it’s important that a woman would forgive herself, and to be honest I never really thought that that was going to be important for me.”

Although it’s vital to have God’s forgiveness when a sin such as an abortion has been committed, we also need to forgive ourselves in order to have a healthy relationship with Him and have complete healing.

Otherwise what happens is we convince ourselves that we aren’t worthy of forgiveness and end up alienating ourselves from God and others, as well.

Kim Ketola experienced this herself after asking God for forgiveness for her abortion. She knew that God had forgiven her and was willing to forget her sin, but she never forgave herself and it built up.

“[I was] so busy nurturing my secret, which was a source of shame for me, that I couldn’t get really close to anyone for fear that they would find it out. So I had problems in my relationship with others, and problems in my relationship with God, and I certainly had problems in my relationship with myself.”

The lack of self-forgiveness was having devastating effects on Kim’s life.

“I was very harsh in my judgments and criticisms of myself until I went through a post-abortion Bible study and learned that what I needed to do was take accountability for my part in the decision, and that’s what I have tried to help others do as I’ve had conversations with people through the years and listened to their stories.”

This moment of clarity helped Kim to learn just how to forgive herself.

“God really laid it upon my heart… that if I had spent a lot of time judging myself…maybe it could be possible to forgive myself for those same things.”

By making ourselves accountable for our past choices, we don’t condemn or judge ourselves, but rather we acknowledge that it happened and that our God has forgiven us for these sins and therefore we need to also forgive ourselves.

“…God has shown me in this is that it’s really important to forgive ourselves… what I have told people is that it’s important to accept just how deep your transgression was and own it. You know, don’t try to reject yourself for having done it, don’t try to reject the reality that you took part in something. Own it so that you can repent and so that the Lord can heal you.”

The kind of complete healing that Kim has received is available for all of us so long as we ask God for forgiveness and then take the time and care to forgive ourselves.

Highlight: It’s time to forgive yourself

March for Life

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