Eight years ago, my life was turned upside down when I found out I was pregnant. I was naïve and did not want to believe it, despite numerous positive pregnancy tests. After speaking with some of my close friends and some trusted professors, I was led to Planned Parenthood. While there, a nurse explained to me that my only option was abortion because I attend a Christian College, wanted a degree, and played on the basketball team. And so, the appointment was scheduled and I went to Philadelphia to have my abortion.
As I lay in the recovery room, the woman next to me very casually said, “This was my fifth one.” The power of her words hit me like a ton of bricks and I immediately realized the mistake I had made.
The weight of this cowardly decision pressed heavy upon my shoulders. Back in my dorm room, I called out to the Lord. His soft voice whispered, “My child, one step is all you need to take to come back home.” With the support of my church, counseling, and some close friendships, I began my lifelong journey to healing.
You see, not only did my baby die in February 2000; a part of me died that day as well. And what promised to be the best thing for me turned out to be the worst. Abortion did not end my pain, it began it. I struggled for several years, desperately grappling with ideas that God could love me, that He could forgive me, that He would die for me. I went to battle with the Lord many times and lost.
When I finally gave complete control of my life over to the Lord, amazing things began to happen. Overwhelming guilt was replaced with extraordinary peace. Deep shame was replaced with abundant confidence. Extreme worthlessness was replaced with complete trust in God’s promises. Loneliness and abandonment were replaced with acceptance into God’s family as His daughter. Inconceivable hopelessness was replaced with eternal hope. Consuming hatred for my boyfriend, my parents, my friends, God and myself was replaced with an incredible ability to love. Meaningless relationships fell away and were replaced with one lasting relationship. Constant rejection was replaced with repeated perseverance.
Because of my abortion experience and through coming to know my unborn daughter, Grace, I have been able to place all of my baggage at the foot of the cross. In turn, the Lord has given me countless gifts including employment as the executive director of a pregnancy center, numerous occasions to share my story with others, a counseling ministry, and love beyond my own understanding. In Jeremiah 29, the Lord says, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” He continues to say that, “I will bring you back from captivity, from the place from which I carried you into exile.” And He has.
God has given me a second chance at life. The journey to healing will continue throughout my life as I learn more and more about the mercy and forgiveness of Christ. The message is that if you have had an abortion and are wounded, there is healing. There is wholeness. There is forgiveness. And there is hope.