Christ Makes Our Joy Complete

“I felt so far away from the Lord when I went through with the abortion. I knew the Lord was sovereign and could have helped me care for and support the baby, but I did not choose to trust Him.” – Amanda Hassfurther

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:9-13

“Regret – although I’m forgiven and free because of God’s grace, rarely does a day go by that I don’t feel regretful about what I’ve done,” said Amanda Hassfurther. “I often think about those who told me it was a private matter between my doctor and me – that every woman has the right to choose. Is it right to support someone, even if the decision they are making will bring pain and heartache for years to come? Because that is exactly what abortion did to me – it’s a destructive, painful choice. Choosing abortion or encouraging anyone to do so is not loving at all.

“God’s love is something I’ve always known about since I was a little girl growing up in East Texas. I understood that Jesus loved me and died on the cross for my sins, but I took part in church activities really to please others. I had a performance-based view of the Lord – wrongly thinking that if I made good choices I’d be accepted by Him.

“My faith and family relationships became strained when I began running away from the Lord during my senior year of high school and continued to do so when I went to college at Texas A&M. After I graduated, I moved to Dallas and got a job in sales. I was knee-deep in materialism and selfishness, finding my identity in partying and what men thought of me. I lived in Uptown, had brand name outfits, and my friends and I went out a lot. I thought that was glamorous, but the fun wore off after a while. Soon, I was wondering why I was doing what I was doing. Every weekend was repetitive, and there was no happiness in it at all. There was no fulfillment in drinking and partying – it felt like I was wasting my life.

“My return to the Lord began when I started going to The Porch, a ministry for young adults in their 20s and 30s at Watermark. I became part of a community group, started reading my Bible, and changed some of my unhealthy choices. It started to look like I was on the right track, but some of my actions were more about performance than obedience. Even in community, I wanted friends to like me rather than love me enough to tell me the truth.

“My old patterns in my dating relationships had not changed, and in early 2014, I found out that I was pregnant. I wanted to keep the baby, but I was scared about finances, family relationships, and other things. I was encouraged to get an abortion, and when I visited a clinic, they gave me very little time to decide. I felt so far away from the Lord when I went through with the abortion. I knew the Lord was sovereign and could have helped me care for and support the baby, but I did not choose to trust Him.

“Several months afterward, I felt the Lord pulling at my heart. Some girls on staff at Watermark reached out to me, and I told them about the abortion. Talking about it helped me see just how broken I felt. I knew the only thing I needed was a fully devoted relationship with the Lord, because nothing else I tried had ever satisfied. Although I’d always known that Christ died on the cross for my sin, I had not placed trust and submitted my life to the Lord until then.

“After that, I took part in Equipped Disciple at Watermark and in Someone Cares, a post-abortion recovery ministry. Being around other women who had experienced the painful aftermath of an abortion and found forgiveness in Christ was a transformative experience for me. I embraced the healing and forgiveness available to me through the free gift of grace through Jesus Christ. As I spent time in His Word and with God’s people, I also learned what it meant to abide with Him. God continued to change my heart, helping me see that I need Him every moment of my day.

“I began a leadership role with Someone Cares, and had the opportunity to walk through the process of healing and recovery with other ladies who had experienced an abortion. Abortion recovery actually has less to do with the abortion than it does with learning who you are in Christ. It has been a privilege to disciple women who have had an abortion and tell them, because of Christ, that they are forgiven and free.

“God has redeemed me since I had my abortion and has given me many opportunities to share my testimony and offer hope to other women. I regularly tell women that when I lived for the things of the world, life was exhausting; nothing ever satisfied. Today, because of Christ, life is so much more fulfilling. God’s Word makes it clear that only Christ makes our joy complete.”

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