Priests for Life - Testimonies
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Not Unforgiveable
Lori
 
     
Never had I ever thought I would be sitting in an abortion clinic, but there I was.  It was 1978, and I was 18 years old.  I had been convinced this was what needed to be done but I was filled with dread.  I didn’t want to do it…I was supposed to be getting married!  But, by now, it was too late.  I believed it was the only option I had.  There had been no protesters outside, no one trying to talk me out of it…not even one person.  I stole a glance around the room and noticed all the other girls about my age… keeping to themselves, avoiding eye contact.  All too soon my name was called and I was taken back.  Miraculously, I was put under general anesthesia and so have no memories of the actual procedure…many women are not so fortunate.   I awoke to a sense of sorrow, emptiness, and regret.   In the recovery room, separated only by curtains from the other girls who had just had abortions, the only sound I heard was that of someone crying softly.

After I got home, it was never discussed again.  It was as though it had never happened.  I had killed my child, but there was no grieving.  Life just went on as usual.  And so from that day on, I learned to stuff down the emotions and not deal with them.  

Six weeks later, I married the father of the baby and within seven months, we were pregnant again.  I was ecstatic because I had secretly feared I would not be able to have children after the abortion.  Little did I know, I had already begun to struggle with post-abortion stress.  Though I didn’t have some of the more common post-abortive issues (alcohol and/or drug abuse, promiscuity, etc.), I suffered for years from depression, anger, marital and relationship problems all while living in a constant state of fear.  The fear that God would somehow ‘get me back’ for what I had done.  Growing up, I had believed in God but knew nothing about having a relationship with Him. The only concept of Him I had was that of an angry, condemning ‘judge’ just waiting to catch me and punish me for the mistakes I’d made.  I believed it was just a matter of time before He would punish me for the abortion.  

We had a beautiful, healthy baby girl and I was afraid to leave her alone for fear God would take her.  I checked her constantly while she slept.  But she continued to be healthy and 2 years later we had another child, a son and 2 years after that, another son.  I was an extremely overprotective parent.  I lived with a constant sense that something would happen to them and that I deserved it.  I spent many years trying to ‘do enough’ and ‘be good enough’ so that God wouldn’t punish my children for my mistake.  Eventually, that led to a time of soul searching during which I began listening to Christian radio and reading Christian books.   I finally gave my life to Christ at age 34.  People had spoken of God’s forgiveness, and I wanted that!  But though I believed intellectually He had forgiven me, emotionally I couldn’t accept it.   I had committed ‘the unforgiveable sin’ and, though I called myself a Christian, I had a secret I couldn’t share with anyone and spent the next several years not living the life of freedom in Christ He had intended.  I was still holding on to the shackles of shame and guilt.  I was still a slave to my past.  

In 2009, acting on a seed God had planted many years earlier, I applied to volunteer at A Hope Center, an area crisis pregnancy center.  The staff realized I was post-abortive and let me know I would have to go through a post-abortion recovery group before I could volunteer.  I hadn’t thought I needed any healing at that point, but agreed to do it to comply with their policy.  I will be forever grateful to the compassionate leaders and staff who took me and four other women through Forgiven & Set Free, one of the hardest things we’d ever done.  Painful as it was, the study group was the first time I had shared about the entire experience in 35 years and the chains literally began to fall away.  We peeled back layer after layer of the pain and hurt we’d kept hidden and finally were allowed to grieve the loss of our babies.  We also learned once and for all that abortion is NOT the unforgivable sin.  God is merciful and will forgive us, even of abortion, if we just ask.

Before going through the Bible study, I said nothing publicly against abortion.  I believed it was an atrocity, but, like most post-abortive women, I didn’t feel I had the right to speak against it.  I didn’t feel as though I belonged in either camp.  I felt betrayed by those who said abortion was the only option, and judged by those who stood for life.  And so I stayed silent.  But now, God has given me a passion to speak out against it and to reach out to other women who have experienced abortion, helping them get into programs where they too can experience God’s Grace.   I praise God that the pro-life movement now realizes that we have to work together and has begun to reach out to women and men hurt by abortion.  As a result, we are witnessing a virtual ‘sunami’ of post abortive women and men coming forth, all victims of the lies.  As a good friend put it – ‘it’s as though God is raising up a Gideon’s army’.   I believe He is doing exactly that – raising up an army of women and men passionate about reaching out to those who have been wounded by abortion.  Passionate about educating people with the truth about abortion so that it becomes an unthinkable option.  Passionate …about being Silent No More.

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