Dear Pregnant at Harvard,
I cried when I read your story in The Crimson. I wish I knew your name. I wish I had a way to reach out beyond this letter.
I’m so sorry no one noticed when things were terribly wrong. I wish I could invite you over to listen to your anguish over the breakup that hurts like a divorce and the violence to your body, and your baby. I long to offer the support you so deeply desire. I’d listen to your pain, and then I’d tell you about myself. I’m a horrible person. I know this because I feel the guilt. My conscience won’t let me escape the wrong I’ve done.
It wouldn't do any good for you to tell me otherwise; to say, “No, you’re a good person!” The truth is, I’m not. None of us are. Nothing is strong enough to numb the pain, and no amount of good deeds will ever be enough to rebalance the scales. Hearing the person beside you in a boat that’s about to sink say, “It’s all going to be ok,” isn’t a comfort. But there is hope.
As I’ve begun to understand the depths of my badness, I’ve realized my need for something beyond myself. I think I understand your screaming. It’s the sound of longing. For justice. For healing. For redemption.
The way to find healing isn’t what you think it is. We think if we can just get the boyfriend back, if we can just have friends who care, if we can just erase the memories for whatever we’ve done, things will get better. But I’m guessing you’re starting to doubt any of this would really help.
You say you wanted your boyfriend “to realize that you’d never actually been broken.” You say you “sobbed into his chest and confessed everything,” confessing your guilt and pain. In ourselves, we are broken beyond repair. And confession is powerless to cleanse our conscience if no-one is there to forgive. But there is someone who promised he would forgive us when we turn to him and confess our sins. When he walked the earth, he said, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened down, and I will give you rest.”
Someone hears you screaming. He knows the anguish of your loss, but also the seriousness of what you’ve been through and of what you’ve done. His name is Jesus. He is the One who, though fully God, was born a man. He’s the only one who never sinned — guiltless, yet counted guilty. The Romans nailed him to a cross. They thought they were helping the Jews get rid of a pesky prophet. But it was God’s will to crush him. The ancient book of Isaiah says, “God put him to grief.” Isaiah wrote,
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all (Isa. 53:4-6).
What does his death have to do with your suffering? He went willingly to the cross in order to set you free. He paid the penalty you — and I, and everyone — deserve. Why would he do this? Why? It was for love. He has made a way for you to be made right with God despite all that lies in your past. He hears you screaming, and he is calling you to repent and turn to him. Believe in him, Jesus, the Righteous One. He is the only one who can save you.
This is the confession that will set you free. Jesus will never reject you. He will embrace you and comfort you and never leave you. Jesus is the One who can redeem what looks unredeemable. He is the One who understands your pain. And he is the only One who has the power to forgive you.
I’m praying that God will send someone to comfort you and share the good news that can set you free from the heavy, heavy burden you’re carrying. I’m praying he will give you the faith to believe. And I’m praying we’ll get the chance to talk. I would still love to have this conversation with you.
Editor's Note: ERLC and Focus on the Family are hosting the first ever Evangelicals for Life event next year in Washington DC on January 21-22nd, featuring Russell Moore, Roland Warren, David Platt, Eric Metaxes, Kelly Rosati, Ron Sider and others.