Pastor Jones was perplexed. For the fourth time this month Cynthia, a 24-year-old single woman, had come to see him, each visit more puzzling than the last.
Cynthia had grown up in his church, where her parents were long-standing members. Cynthia had professed faith at a youth meeting when she was 14 and had been a leader in the youth group before going away to college. Now she was home again, looking for a job.
At her first session with Pastor Jones, Cynthia explained that two years earlier she had started dating a young man. They became serious but fought often and frequently broke up.
"A year ago, I discovered I was pregnant," she finally said. "And against my better judgment, I had an abortion."
Troubled by both the relationship and the abortion, she felt "locked in," unable to extricate herself from either the relationship or her past behavior.
"What can I do?" she wailed. "Where can I go to get away from all of this? What's wrong with me ...1