Vanessa, a wife and mother of four, seems guarded and nervous as she sits in the driver’s seat, her eyes focused ahead as she merges into traffic. The camera focuses on her Bible in the console, and a book titled Surrender the Secret: Healing the Heartbreak of Abortion. Vanessa explains, “I’m about to go to Jill’s house and … dive into a pretty intense Bible study. I’m excited about it because it’s getting me in the Word, but it’s a very personal thing. Typical Bible studies are … overall God’s Word, but this ... is a Bible study for women who are dealing with post-abortion issues.”
Surrender the Secret is a reality-style series set to launch on KnockTV.com on Jan. 22, the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which forced states to legalize abortion. It follows five post-abortive women over several weeks as they seek to find God’s healing for the guilt and shame that has haunted them for years. The content of their study was created by Pat Layton, a champion of pro-life causes who has worked with Lifeway and Focus on the Family.
Based on the first episode, it’s viewing that draws you in. That’s no surprise with Cecil Stokes, an Emmy award-winning producer, at the helm. As co-producer of October Baby, a recent movie about the survivor of an abortion, Stokes managed over $5 million of box-office receipts, despite a small budget and negative critical reviews.
However, Surrender has at least one major drawback. Unlike most reality shows, these women aren’t shown in the totality of their family and work lives. Instead, they spend most of the show in a semi-circle in someone’s living room, leaving the impression that viewers are watching someone’s Bible study, not a reality show.
That said, it’s exactly the sort of Bible study a lot of Christians—especially those dealing with abortion—will want to watch (and perhaps host themselves). With the damage Roe has done over the past 40 years, even a modest presentation of such raw emotion and healing may have a dramatic impact.