Priests for Life - Testimonies
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Finding Forgiveness
Susan
 
     
My childhood was spent living on a small farm in Northeast Missouri.  Life was simple then - spending my days outside with the animals and my dad.  Then tragedy struck when I was 9, and my father was killed in a tractor accident.  Life was never simple again after that.  I became the child of a single mother, and times always seemed to be tough.  There was never an abundance of anything after that, especially money.  I began working at the age of 14 and worked hard through school.  I had one goal in mind and that was college.  I worked hard through high school, attended church, and got good grades.  

After high school I went to college and completed my freshman year.  During the summer of my freshman year, finances became a real issue.  I had moved into an apartment with my brother and figured out that I was going to need a full-time job to pay bills.  This forced me to drop out of college, which changed the trajectory of my life. I was far from God and walking a path that led me even further from Him.

I started dating guys that weren’t a good influence and eventually became involved with a man that would lead me down a dark and scary road.    I became pregnant before I realized just how controlling and abusive he was.  Soon after having my daughter, I was forced to choose between life and death when he came to my door with a gun.  Luckily, I had been forewarned and knew not to open the door to him that night.  With the help of the police, I was able to leave that night and never look back.  That night I returned to my hometown and attempted to start over.

My small town wasn’t exactly welcoming when I returned with a child out of wedlock.  For the next several years I hung my head in shame.  I eventually found a job in a nearby town, where I made close friends.  One of these friends introduced me to her uncle.  He was much older than me but seemed interested in me, and we started a relationship.  Again, I didn’t make smart decisions and continued to walk a path that was far from God.  I eventually became pregnant a second time.  I had just started a new job that I very much wanted to keep and also had finally started to regain my reputation in my small town.  These selfish reasons made me feel like I couldn’t have another child.  When I told the father that I was pregnant, he immediately said that we were going to get rid of the baby.  These factors led me down a road of secret pain and agony.  A little over a week after finding out that I was pregnant, I took away the life of my child.  I was totally doped up on Valium as I walked out of the clinic that day.  My mind has tried to block out the events of that day, but I have a vivid memory of the sounds of the vacuum sucking out my baby from the womb.  

For seven years I stayed with the man who got me pregnant.  If you ask me why, I’ll say I don’t really know.  But deep down I think staying with him was me punishing myself.  I knew he was not the man for me.  I knew he was not interested in making a life with me, or me with him.  In fact, I also knew that he wasn’t faithful to me.  I stayed, because I didn’t think I deserved anyone to love me.  The year following my abortion, death was all around me.  I lost three people that I loved dearly – my grandmother, my aunt, and my brother.  I convinced myself that God took them to repay me for the life I took.  I know now that God loved me through it all and only wanted to comfort me.  

Finally, seven years after my abortion, I happened upon a book at the bookstore called The Purpose Driven Life.  Little did I know that this book would change my life. I started reading and seeing a change in myself immediately.  This led me to walk away from the destructive relationship I had been in.  I then started attending church again.  God was truly working in my life and, just a few months later, I met the man that God intended for me all along – the love of my life, my husband of 15 years now.  This godly man led me to a path to forgiveness.  He was the first person who ever told me that the Lord forgave me for my abortion and that I should forgive myself and stop carrying it around with me.  

In 2016, I took a mission trip to Haiti.  It was during this trip that the Lord led me to find my true healing.  Upon my return from Haiti, I contacted a local pregnancy center and began my journey to become a post-abortive recovery leader.  At this point, I had never gone through a healing program.  Thankfully, that was one of the steps in the process to become a leader.  I attended the 10-week SaveOne program, as well as a Project Rachel retreat.  Through these programs I was able to find true forgiveness and a deeper connection to the Lord.  

I regret my abortion and wish I could go back and change the choices I made.  But through God’s leading, I hope to find other women who are suffering from the guilt and shame of abortion and show them the path to forgiveness.  

God Bless
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