Sadness.  Grief.  Loss.  Emptiness.  Brokenhearted. These words can be associated with a lot of different events.  But not very many people associate them with the word “abortion”.

But I do.  You see, I work directly with women who have experienced the heartbreak of abortion.  Initially after abortion, a young woman may feel relief.  It may be much later before she feels any emotion about her decision.  But then it comes – guilt, shame, sadness.  Emptiness.  She may feel grief, but then doesn’t think she can grieve, because she’s the one who made this choice, isn’t she?

The enemy likes to mess with everyone, and women who have had an abortion are no exception.  He starts spinning the lies when a young woman finds out she is pregnant. Lies like – “You’re too young to have a baby”; “You can’t have a baby and finish school”; “How will you raise a baby alone?” “What will your family think?”, and so on and so on and so on.

After a young woman has bought into the first lie, there are more to come.  Lies like – “No one will love you if they know what you’ve done”; “God won’t forgive you for having an abortion”; “You’re better off keeping this secret and forgetting about it.”; “It would be bad if so-and-so found out about it.”

The young woman hears these lies day in and day out, and soon begins to believe them.  But there is truth she needs to hear and receive.  Truth that “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).  The truth that God can turn wailing into dancing; remove sackcloth and clothe them with joy, and that their heart may sing and not be silent (Psalm 30:11-12). The truth that “(But) God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Surrendering the Secret allows God’s truth to be proclaimed to these brokenhearted women!  I’ve been a leader of the Surrendering the Secret Bible study at Valley going on four years now.  The title explains it perfectly – it’s about surrendering the secret of abortion to God, and letting Him heal you and restore your joy!  I’ve seen God turn wailing into dancing!  I’ve seen Him remove sackcloth and joy restored!  I’ve seen hearts sing!  God is so good – His mercies never end!  It’s been a privilege to be a part of the healing, restorative journeys that these brave women are taking.

A new session of Surrendering the Secret is starting soon.  If you have abortion in your past (or know someone who does), we’d love to have you join the class.  There is no cost to participants, and everything is confidential (the only person who knows you’ve signed up is me, and we don’t provide a list to the church office). 

I could give you lots of reasons to sign up for the class.  But I’ll just leave you with the words of a young woman (used with permission) from our first class- back in 2013:

“This course will take you on a journey that you maybe feel you could avoid or never needed to take. it requires courage, it will change you forever, but God loves you so deeply and he has so much in store for you and amazing grace and PEACE to offer you as a reward!”

Brenda Knollenberg has been a member of Valley Church since she and her family moved from Illinois to the Des Moines area in 2006.  She has a heart for women with unplanned pregnancy and has been involved in pregnancy center ministry for almost 17 years, currently serving as the Executive Director at Agape Pregnancy Center in Des Moines,  She is also one of the co-leaders of Surrendering the Secret, the post-abortion Bible study offered to women at Valley. A new class of Surrendering the Secret begins this Spring, contact Brenda at or call her at 515-344-0682 if you would like to find out more.  All contacts are confidential.