Priests for Life - Testimonies
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Stop Hiding
Cheryl
 
     
It wasn't until I was older that I realized the impact that having an abortion had on me throughout my life. I had, for so long, dismissed the feelings and nature of my actions, chalking it up to difficult learning experiences and "normal" behavior, but it was so much more than that.  It wasn't until just a few months ago that I came to terms with the consequences of my actions, the years of promiscuity, drug abuse, and looking for love that helped to numb the feelings that were suppressed inside of me.

I had my first abortion at the age of 18 - I was already a mother. I couldn't come to terms with telling my parents and the thought of raising another child. I treated abortion like birth control. No one told me any differently - not even the woman in the clinic that I spoke to prior to my surgery. I was just a number and so was the child inside of me. There was no love and compassion. I remember feeling so much shame as I lined up for my DNC behind the girls that would go before me and watching those that had already made that horrible decision walk out of the clinic with their heads held down in shame, like mine.

It wasn't long after my abortion that my drug abuse began. That was the only thing that would dull the feelings that I couldn't understand or come to terms with. Alongside the drugs came promiscuity, more abortions, and years of instability and illness that I could not pinpoint.  Thank goodness we have a redeeming God and one that forgives us regardless of the severity of our sins.

It wasn't until I began working for a crisis pregnancy center that I shared my abortion story. I had come full circle. I was helping young women that were going through the same exact things that I had experienced 25 years earlier. And it wasn't until I attended a CareNet conference in Washington DC that God revealed to me that I hadn't just had one abortion, but several. They were memories that I had suppressed for years.

I remember the shame that came over me. All of those aborted creations that were my fault, and were something that I never brought up, had suppressed, and chosen not to talk about.  Through that process, however, God brought me a huge amount of relief and joy in knowing that I was forgiven and that I needed to stop hiding in shame and to be transparent - sharing my story with others. I've turned my grief into hope. Hope for others that will come after me - and that's why I will BE SILENT NO MORE.
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