Testimony from Pregnancy Help Clinic Benefit Dinner.
I want to thank Joan for asking me to speak tonight. I wish I had known about a place like Pregnancy Helpline when I was a teenager because I believe if I had I would be telling a different story today. This is a difficult story for me to share and since I am telling it for the first time this evening I would like to dedicate it to my mom, Betty Regan, I believe her prayers are the reason I have been given the grace to live in the Truth and the Truth has set me free.
When I was fourteen I was raped and I told someone about it. They said to me “You should not have let that happen, now you are a whore”, so at fourteen that is what I believed about myself even though it wasn’t true. I didn’t want it to be true either. Being the ninth of eleven kids in an Irish catholic family it wasn’t something I dreamed of being when I was young. So I developed what I call a false sense of morality that says it’s okay to have sex as long as you’re in a “relationship”.
So I got a boyfriend and by the time I was sixteen we were pregnant. He pressured me to have an abortion. I was sick, confused, scared and saw it as a problem that needed to be solved.
He took me to an abortion clinic. When we got there I was shaking. I remember a lady coming into the waiting room and taking me into another room. She said to me “here take this drug it will calm you down”, it was valium. Then she said, “don’t worry about it honey it’s not a baby it’s just a clump of cells”. Then she took me into another room where I remember paper sheets and a paper gown and then the abortionist came in and he put on a rubber glove and did something. I remember there where paper thin walls in this clinic and when he got done he walked out the door and I heard it slam and the glove snap off his hand and him laugh out loud saying “ that’s the way I like to get them”. After that I went completely numb, except I could feel the tears rolling down the side of my face soaking the paper sheet I was lying on.
I‘ll never forget going back to school after that. I was standing in the hallway and this kid comes up to me and he looked me in the eyes and he said, “Eileen what’s wrong?” I quickly answered “Nothing, Why?” Immediately this denial had come over me. He said, “I don’t know, you look different”. I Was Different!
This was the beginning of the downward spiral in my life where I began to drink and use drugs and to keep myself numb. I stayed in the same “relationship” and by the time I was eighteen we were pregnant again and there was another abortion. The relationship deteriorated and died and then there was another “relationship”. This time we talked about getting married and by the time I was twenty there was another abortion. About six months later the father of that baby hung himself from a swing set in a local schoolyard in the suburb of Detroit that I grew up in. Then there was another “relationship”.
If I were to describe my soul the way it must have looked to God at that time in my life I would have to say it was “Total Moral Decay” much like the culture I allowed myself to be sucked into. Then when I was twenty three what I thought was the worst thing that had ever happened in my life happened. My mom was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. I’ll never forget being at my mom’s funeral and the incense rising above the casket, it’s a symbol of our prayer rising up to God, but I really saw it as my mom’s soul going with God. My mom was a faithful woman and I just knew where she was going, and that I wanted to go where she was going someday, I wanted to see her again.
A month after my mom’s funeral I found out I was pregnant. I had this overwhelming sense that my mom now being with God knew everything I had ever done and there was no way that I could ever have another abortion, thank God, because my mom would know. Over time I realized it was God that knew everything I had ever done and it was Him I didn’t want to offend anymore especially by another abortion.
I had my daughter and a few years later I got married. The day before our wedding I went to confession, the priest said “Jesus Loves You” but to be honest I wasn’t convinced. I remember having this idea that this is good now we are married and we can have a good life together, it was what I had always wanted. Now I can just pretend that none of the past ever happened and move forward from here and just pretend.
Well it didn’t work out very well because I began to struggle with depression and anger. I was struggling in my friendships; I was struggling with intimacy. I realized I needed help so I went into therapy.
I remember at that time I used to take great consolation in knowing that there where these older women at church that would pray for me. They reminded me of my mom and I would ask them to pray for me. I asked my friend’s mom to pray for me and she did. She had a devotion to Fr. Solanus Casey, a Capuchin priest in Detroit who died two years before I was born, but she knew him when she was a young girl. She went down to the brothers at St Bonaventure’s in Detroit and enrolled me in the Seraphic mass association. She gave me a mass card with some holy oil on cotton ball in a baggy and I began to bless myself with it saying one Hail Mary every morning. Then things began to change in my life. One of the things that changed is that I began to make new friends and a new friend came into my life and her name was Grace.
The first time I went to her house she had a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Fatima in her living room it was carved by a man, a very talented artist, that talked to Lucia about what Our Lady Looked like. I was immediately drawn to the statue and said “where did you get that statue?” She said “there is a nun at our parish named Sister Helen Therese, the RCIA director, she uses this statue to teach about the Blessed Mother, but it is a travelling statue and you can have her in your home. Sister Helen has a healing ministry too and she will pray over you if you want”. I remember thinking, “healing hmm, I’m in therapy, I wonder if I could use some of that healing.”
I met with Sister Helen and she prayed over me. She told me something about myself that she could never have known about me. That terrified me. Because abortion affects women on a lot of different levels and one of the ways that it had affected me is that I was afraid of Jesus. It was okay to go to church but He was somewhere far off in some far away heaven and I was down here. I went back though and she prayed with me again. This time she said, “Eileen I don’t know what it is but Jesus is telling me that there is something you need to tell me, is there something you need to tell me Eileen?” I broke down and told her about the abortions.
She said, “Okay, I understand, first I want you to pray about this, ask Jesus what your children’s names are, then I want you to have a mass said for each one” then she gave me a book and told me she wanted me to work through this book, journal and come back in a week and we will pray for the healing.
I did everything she said, I prayed and I felt the Lord tell me that I had a little girl and I named her Autumn and that I had two little boys and their names are Kenneth and Daniel and I had a holy mass said for each of them and then I began to read this book and this book was telling me the Truth that these where my children and that there was no way that I was ever going to be able to deny them, that they were going to be a part of me for all Eternity and that I needed to embrace them. It gave me the permission that I needed to grieve. I went into what I can only describe as pillow soaking, gut wrenching grief.
I will never forget the day my husband came home from work early and found me on the floor in the basement in a fetal position in a pool of tears, because I had been facing myself and the reality of what I had done to my children, and he picked me up off the floor and said, “Honey What is Wrong?” And I was finally able to tell my husband about the abortions. He said to me “it’s going to be okay, I still Love you”.
I went back for the healing and this time when sister Helen prayed over me I saw myself sitting on Jesus’ lap and I had my head pressed to His chest and I could hear His Sacred Heart beating. Then I saw the blessed Mother and she came and brought to me each one of my children and I got to hold them and tell them I Love them and how sorry I was and ask them to forgive me. Then I gave each one back to the Blessed Mother and she took them and she promised they would be with her and Jesus in heaven for all Eternity. Then Jesus and Mary both embraced me and I heard Jesus say these words to me, “I STILL LOVE YOU”.
A couple more things then I’ll close with a blessing received last summer. Feel called to share my story because if there is Hope for me, and there is, there is Hope for everyone in Jesus Christ, and if there is anything I’ve come to know about my good friend Jesus it’s that He is a God of restoration and He wants to restore His people and that is exactly what he has done for me: restored me to new life in him and that is very Good!
I’ve been freer to share my story and some have said to me “that’s your story, that’s your circumstance, but I chose my abortion freely, I wasn’t pressured”. I took this to prayer and sensed the Lord saying, “There are a million reasons men and women are having abortions but I HAVE ENOUGH MERCY FOR ALL OF THEM. THERE IS ONLY ONE REQUIREMENT AND THAT’S REPENTANCE”.
A word to the young people that I know are here tonight, first try not to do anything you are afraid to tell your mom about. I didn’t tell my mom I was pregnant because I was afraid to disappoint her. I had failed so miserably at upholding the Christian values she tried to instill in me. But I wish I would have gone to her. If you feel you can’t go to your parents then go to someone who is prolife and talk about your situation, like the good people here at Pregnancy Helpline.
With that I want to thank all of you for being here to support the important ministry this pregnancy center is doing. Without your help and support they would not be able to do this work. They are able to offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. There are dedicated volunteers, abstinence education to the schools and community, the mentoring program and the earn while you learn program that offers pregnant moms an opportunity to earn baby bucks, by learning needed parenting skills, in which they can purchase things from the loan closet. There is even a men’s mentoring program .
Just this past summer, I was able to be reunited to the Father of my two oldest unborn children after more than thirty years. I told him about my healing and that I hoped that for him as well. He thanked me and said to me “you really don’t know how much this is going to help me in understanding the direction my life has gone in” Then he said to me, “Those were the only two kids I ever had”. Then he said, “We never talked about it”.
I believe we all need to talk about it maybe not publicly the way I am today but one to another as the Holy Spirit prompts so that others can hear those words from Jesus in and through us, “I STILL LOVE YOU”.