Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When Abuse and Violence Can Be a Beginning

By Charles Moncrief

Gianna Jessen survived a late-term abortion attempt. I'll let her tell her own story.

I would like to tell you a different story, but please watch and listen to Gianna's story on this video first.

Now for a little housekeeping.

If you listened to the video, you heard from Gianna that she was a true victim of domestic violence. There is no reasonable doubt that Gianna was and is a living, breathing human being who survived infanticide at the hands of her biological mother. As a former fetus Gianna is a powerful member of the Pro-Life community.

Gianna is also a Christian, and she uses her experience of suffering as a platform to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So I will stand beside her on both counts. (Did you expect anything different of an Anglican Priest?)

But that is not the story I want to tell here. I want to highlight two things that Gianna did in this video.

First, she forgave her assailants: her biological mother and the abortionist who prides himself on his work. Gianna’s biological mother looked her up and came to visit her, but Gianna had long ago forgiven her.

Second, though Gianna acknowledged her survival, even with lasting effects, she doesn’t define herself as an abortion survivor. Her self image is that of a child of God, fully aware that God has some reason for her to continue on this earth, and she is determined to fulfill that purpose.

These are the reasons I present this video of Gianna. For you. For me. Gianna’s story has something for all of us.

What sort of violence and abuse have you experienced? Whatever you have suffered, and at whose hands you have experienced violence and abuse, you are a survivor.

A big part of Gianna’s recovery was the absolute necessity of forgiving her biological mother. To the best of my knowledge the two are not reconciled. Please don’t mistake forgiveness as requiring re-entry into an abusive relationship. And don’t let anyone mislead you into believing that forgiveness means absolving someone of the civil and criminal consequences of the actions.

Just as Gianna forgave her assailants, you need to forgive your abusers. It is much simpler than it may seem, but absolutely critical to your survival. All you need to do is let go of any hate and resentment toward the other person or persons. When we hold onto those negative feelings, it is the same as eating poison and waiting for the rat to die. When we choose life, we choose life without the encumbrance of hatred and resentment. Please find a way, and again with help and support as necessary, to forgive and move forward with your life. You don’t have to forget, and you can still testify in court as applicable, but please lay down the burden.

And just as Gianna knows that she is a child of God and that her life has a purpose, you can take that same assurance for yourself. Whatever you’ve been through, it need not be an end; just as with Gianna, it can be a beginning. It may not be a starting point, but maybe a reset point in your life. Just as you acknowledge the reality and severity of your own experience, there is the greater reality that you are also a child of God. You also have a purpose, even though you may not know what that purpose is for your life. The possibility ahead is from surviving to thriving, and ultimately to a place where you can share your story and benefit others in their struggles.

Grace and Peace,


  1. Wow! Great Post - Loved it - shared it!

  2. Thank you Charles for this post. This young lady has indeed survived unthinkable odds that were stacked against her. Her survival and her life's message are a great source of encouragement for those of us who have had the privilege of hearing her speak to reach for our full potential and to exercise it through our own gifting.
    I think that the difference in this young woman's life is that she has forgiven those who wished to silence her and then accepted the gift that God sent into the world to save those who will put their trust in Him. For so much more than a "ticket into heaven"...for ABUNDANCE and JOY in this life! Another woman may have chosen drugs, alcohol or sex to fill the void that abuse leaves behind, only to remain a victim.
    Thank you Charles for challenging us to forgive and to move forward with purpose and with freedom from the burden that bitterness and unforgiveness can be to one who carries them. Let's lay down our burdens now and walk forward without the weight...FREE to Enjoy all that lies ahead!


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