Abortion, Female, 22, College
“If these people only knew, they wouldn’t accept you…”
I was raised in a Christian home with loving parents, but I somehow got lost along the way. Things began to unravel for me spiritually when I was 11 and my family relocated to Tennessee. My life became more about fitting in than standing firm in my beliefs even though the foundation was there.
In high school and college, I lived a selfish life and a life very far from God. I kept up a good appearance. I had a full tuition scholarship and made the Dean’s List every semester. I was doing everything to keep my parents proud, but I was living a very dishonest life. I was a partier, a drinker, and a careless person.
At 22, months away from my college graduation and about three months into a serious relationship, I became pregnant. At the time, I was working as an unpaid intern and my boyfriend had another year of school left. I knew my parents would be devastated, and I could not face them. I knew I didn’t have the means to support a child. I was scared no one would hire me. I just wanted it to go away, so I made the decision to have an abortion. I was very ashamed about it. In fact, my boyfriend was the only person who knew what was going on. I didn’t seek counsel or share it with anyone.
When I went to Planned Parenthood, I told them I had taken a drug store test and had a positive result. They next words out of the staffer’s mouth was, “Would you like to schedule an abortion?” Yes, that is what I was there to do, but I was still taken aback. There were no other options explained. There was no counseling. She scheduled me for that Friday.
After the abortion, my world grew pretty dark. My relationship with my boyfriend became very volatile. There was constant fighting, and I projected the weight of what I had done on him because he was the only who knew my secret. Not surprisingly, that relationship ended less than a year after the abortion.
Afterwards, I faced the darkest time in my life. I took a job in Chicago, about 500 miles away from the mess my life had become. There was isolation. There was depression. I became a compulsive eater and gained about 30 pounds over a couple months. I would drive around a lot at night and remember having thoughts like what if I just drive across the median into a wall. It was scary. I remember one time when I was traveling for work, and I was in this really awful hotel. I couldn’t sleep, and I just broke down. God had stripped away everything, and I had nowhere else to go. I cried out to him that I needed him. I needed his help. And I surrendered my life to him.
After that night, God slowly started healing my life. I joined a small group, and for the first time, I started pursuing a real relationship with Jesus. After some time, I started dating a wonderful man and about a year later we were engaged then married. We relocated to Minnesota for a job and began attending a church down the street from us. We became worshipers and were on fire to go to church every week which was a drastic change for me. We lead community groups, started serving, and we were baptized together shortly after we found out we were pregnant with our first child. For the first time in my life, I was all in. I had decided to follow Jesus, accept him as my Savior, and I was ready to share it with the world.
I wish I could say I felt totally set free from my sin, but the enemy had a very strong foothold in my life with my abortion. Every time I stepped out in faith when God was calling me to do something, I would hear the enemy say things like, “If these people only knew, they wouldn’t accept you. You can never be a real christian with this horrible thing you have done. How can God really love you?”
I would be in situations where the topic of abortion would come up or I would see it on tv, a movie, or the news, and I would just shut down. I would become paralyzed by guilt and shame, and I thought this is my punishment for what I did. It is never going to change.
About a year after my son was born, I was attending a Christian women’s conference of about 5,000 people with some of my close friends from church. At one point, an organization came out to speak about the work they were doing for women who have unplanned pregnancies and adoption. Then, they started talking about how they also provide post abortive counseling. I had never heard of such a thing. And as they prayed over the group, they said 1 in 4 women have had an abortion in their lifetime and to just imagine how many women in that very room were suffering from the decision to abort a child. They asked for God to bring healing to those hurting women, and I just broke down. And I thought, God this is for me. He wanted me healed.
That fall, I entered a post abortive community group where I was able to truly face what I had done eight years ago when I decided to abort my child. It was an emotional ten weeks. For the first time I faced my sin head on, and I confessed my sin to God. No excuses, no justification. I said, “God, I killed my child, a child that you had a plan and purpose for, and I am so sorry. Please forgive me of my sin.” And He did.
God revealed to me in Psalm 51:4 that it was against him, and him only, that I had sinned. Psalm 103:12 told me that as far as the east is from the west so had he removed my sin from me. Isaiah 43:25 reminded me that He would never think on it again. That was almost too incredible for me to believe, but He even went a step further. He revealed an image of my child, my son, Jeremiah, healed and whole in His arms. Free from pain and suffering. God’s grace and mercy is truly more than I can explain in words, but it is real. It is powerful. And it is for everyone. There is nothing that you have done that can separate you from God’s love.
The foothold the enemy had in my life from this sin was crushed beyond recognition. And at that time, God gave me a promise that he would use my story for his glory in His time. Since that moment my prayer has been, Holy Spirit prompt me when you want me to share and protect me when I step out in faith to obey you. And He has.
Recently, I was able to tell my parents about my abortion after 13 long years. They received it with such grace and mercy for me. It was the last piece in a large, challenging puzzle. Today, I can share my story with anyone, and God is using it to reach other young girls experiencing an unplanned pregnancy as I serve as a leader for Embrace Grace, a support group for girls with crisis pregnancies in my church.
I praise God for his faithfulness. And if I can help just one post abortive woman or save one baby or help just one woman bring a child into this world she thought she couldn’t by showing them the love of Jesus, it is worth sharing my story.