On a cold, rainy Saturday morning in December, a small group of women sat in the first couple of rows of a Northern New Jersey church for a memorial service dedicated to the children they had lost to abortion. They worshipped, mourned, and wept. And they received the grace of God.

The service, led by Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center, was the culmination of the post-abortion Bible study Forgiven and Set Free.

New Jersey Pregnancy Center Holds Sacred Post-Abortion Memorial Service

“We have come this morning to identify and dignify these precious babies,” said Angie, one of the leaders of the service. “Women who experience any pregnancy loss need a time and place to grieve. This memorial will help bring closure to the healing process. For a number of weeks, you have been working through the grief stages. Now you will experience relief and the blessings of comfort as you grieve…”

“For we are persuaded that nothing, not even abortion, can separate you from the love of Jesus Christ.”

The women were given white roses to represent their unborn children. During the service, the women came forward and placed the roses in a basket to symbolize releasing their children to Jesus.

Each woman was later given a red rose as a symbol of “God’s eternal love for you.”

Rev. Tom Berninger spoke of that love and the grace and forgiveness of God.

“I have witnessed an act of courage today,” he said. “I commend you for taking this step in faith.”

Berninger, senior pastor of Abundant Life Church in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, entitled his message, “God is Greater Than…”

“There are certain things in life that we can take care of, but every once in a while, there are burdens that we can’t move. Thank God we have a Heavenly Father who watches over us and comes to our aid when we encounter things that are greater than us. The Bible says that God is a very present help in time of need (Ps. 46:1).

The pastor commended the women for taking ownership of the burdens they have carried””some for several decades””and giving them over to God.

“We often spend a lifetime running away from ownership of things that have gone wrong. We bury them, deny them, hide them. Yet, they still haunt us. What you did here today was courageous,” he told the women.

Releasing the burden to the Lord would impact their soul, he said, enabling them to more fully experience the abundant life promised in scripture.

The message concluded with three points: God is greater than your sin; God is greater than self-condemnation; and God is greater than doubt.

Rev. Berninger shared Romans 5:20, “”¦where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

“When we deal with something as sensitive as abortion, we sometimes think, ‘what I did was too terrible and beyond God’s grace.’ I want to encourage you to receive God’s grace”¦God’s grace is greater than your sin.”

In response to the self-condemnation of abortion, Rev. Berninger shared 1 John 3:20, “For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”

“Sometimes, when we go through struggles, when we deal with things, our heart refuses to forgive. But God is greater than our heart. Whatever is in your heart, God’s is greater.”

God’s grace is also greater than our unbelief, according to 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, he remains faithful””for he cannot deny himself.”

“God is greater than your doubt. You may let go, but God won’t let go of you,” Rev. Berninger said.

“The Bible says that God holds you in the palm of His hand. He holds you there and he is not letting you go.”

The memorial service concluded with a scripture reading of Psalm 56:8 (“you put my tears in a bottle”). Each woman received a glass tear jar.

“God has collected every tear you have ever shed for these children,” Alicia said. “There is not a drop of water that has fallen from your eye that God has not seen.”