In 1986, my world came crashing down when the nurse told me, “Congratulations, you’re pregnant.” Words that were intended to bring happiness and joy brought fear and devastation. As an engaged, Christian couple, Tim and I were so afraid of what people would think of us and of losing my full ride basketball scholarship. Driven by fear, we chose to have an abortion. As far as we know, there was no pregnancy center or other help available.
In the waiting room, I sat in silence, praying that God would some day forgive me and that would Debbie forgive me as well. I remember feeling broken and useless. I remember praying for the doctor to be kind to Debbie. I desperately prayed over and over again, Father, please don’t let her be hurt anymore. I have brought her too much pain already.
Immediately after the abortion, I felt relieved that no one would know that we had sex before marriage. Believing the lie that everything would be ok, we buried our secret.
We married the next year, but miscarried our next baby. The joys of motherhood were shattered as the guilt and shame came rushing to the surface. The overwhelming accusations--"This is the punishment you deserve" tormented my mind. Believing these lies, the weight of our decision became heavier and heavier.
A key foundational element of our marriage - trust - had been shattered, and so our relationship began to deteriorate. God blessed us with three children, but the baggage of guilt and shame was a wedge in our relationship. Divorce was not an option, so Tim and I merely co-existed in the same household. We attended church every Sunday, looking like we had it all together. In reality, we were suffering, barely hanging on to our marriage
In 1997, God transformed my life through the death of a close friend. Through this loss, Debbie and I both began to desperately seek God. Our healing began and we grew closer together. In His abundant grace, God blessed us with two more beautiful children.
As we actively pursued God, I felt like there was a wall in my spirit, separating me from Him. When I asked Jesus what the wall was, He gently answered, “You need to forgive yourself for the abortion.” At that moment, I forgave myself, and the wall came tumbling down!
Not long after, I attended a weekend women’s retreat, and God met me there in a truly powerful way. As the leaders were praying over me, I began to weep. It was as if 15 years of poison that had been bottled up inside was pouring out of me. I immediately wanted to share about the abortion and what God had just done. He completely took away all guilt, shame, and heaviness…bringing healing, forgiveness, and freedom! The devil no longer had a hold on me…I was FREE!
As I sought the Lord regarding His plan for my healed life, He showed me a sea of women. He spoke very clearly, “All of these women are hurting from the pain of abortion, and I want to use you to help them find healing.”
Three years later, God called us to start a pregnancy center, Lifetime Pregnancy Help Center, focusing on reaching women who are facing an unintended pregnancy and helping those who have already had an abortion find healing and freedom.
Last year, God released me from the every day responsibilities as Executive Director. We believe God made it clear that, as a couple, we are to serve in full time abortion recovery ministry. Our desire is to be witnesses of the devastation of abortion, and how God transformed and healed us individually, and our marriage. We have been called to help women and men heal after abortion.
Debbie and Tim:
Because Jesus is King, we are silent no more!