God is Not Punishing You For Your Past Sins

God Is Not Punishing You - article by Tricia Goyer

God is Not Punishing You For Your Past Sins

The other day I was mindlessly scrolling my Facebook feed when a headline caught my eye: “Toni Braxton Once Believed God Gave Her Son Autism Because Of Her Past Abortion.” My heart clenched as I read that—not only because of Toni’s pain and shame, but because of my own.

As a fifteen-year-old young woman I found myself pregnant.


Overwhelmed with despair and seeking advice, I went to a Planned Parenthood clinic. The “counselor” looked across the table and focused on my eyes. “You’re young. You have your whole life ahead of you. An abortion is the best choice.”

“But . . . what about the baby?” I’d asked.

“It’s not a baby,” she told me. “Right now it’s just a few cells. The doctor’s just scraping them out.”

I bought into her lie and I scheduled an abortion, even though deep down I knew it was a baby. I knew if I didn’t intervene I’d be holding a child in my arms in seven months. And that scared me, too.

Later, I was horrified to find out that not only did those “few cells” have a beating heart, but little arms and legs and lips and tiny ears. Knowing that, the shame pressed down even more and I walked through life feeling numb, unable to face the truth of my decision.

Then I found myself pregnant again at age seventeen.


This time I was determined to carry my child. (I found out later that many young women who’ve had an abortion have another baby within a few years. It’s an “atonement child” of sorts.)

It was during this second pregnancy that I turned my life over to God. I prayed, “God, if you can do anything with my life, please do.” God has done amazing things. He gave me a beautiful son, and later brought me a wonderful Christian husband. Everything was going well in my life, but I still was ashamed of my past. Few people knew about my abortion, and I was sure they’d hate me if they found out.

A few years after John and I were married, I found out I was pregnant. I was so excited to have a baby with my husband. Finally, I’m doing things right. Yet a couple of months later I woke up in a pool of blood, and I knew two things:

First, I’d lost my baby.

And second, God was punishing me for my abortion.


Looking back, my heart aches for the young me, a woman who still didn’t understand God’s complete forgiveness. I saw God as a stern judge who was weighing all my deeds and found me wanting… (The remainder of this post is on ForTheFamily.org – click here to read the rest.)

 Further Resources

Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice by Kristen Jane Anderson and Tricia GoyerThe One Year Book of Amish Peace: Hearing God's Voice in the Simple Things by Tricia GoyerLife, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After A Fatal Choice by Kristen Jane Anderson and Tricia Goyer – For anyone struggling to find the strength to go on, the message of this heart-wrenching yet hope-building book is a clear and extraordinary reminder that even when we give up on life, God doesn’t give up on us.

The One Year Book of Amish Peace: Hearing God’s Voice in the Simple Things by Tricia Goyer – In our instantly connected world, it’s surprisingly easy to lose our connection to God. This devotional taps Amish wisdom in order to help us draw closer to God and hear his voice.


The Kissing Bridge by Tricia GoyerI have a few books on sale right now! Now through August 18, 250+ books included are available in the Buy 1, Get a 2nd at 50% Off deal, including my book The Kissing Bridge!

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  1. Jennifer says:

    This was inspiring and wonderful and what I needed to read. I can’t relate specifically but it’s a shame that I’ve carried the past two years. Thank you for hating your story. God bless!

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