Watch this beautiful Heart testimony.
See how the Lord was able to use our Heart post-abortion group as a way for Malinda to experience true freedom and restoration.
My name is Malinda and this is my story.
I was born out of wedlock to a single mother who already had 4 sons by 4 fathers. My father didn’t live with us. When I was 7 years old, my father died suddenly of an aneurysm. I didn’t properly grieve or get help to deal with this life-altering trauma. There was no positive male role model in our house during my formative years. There wasn’t much mention of God nor was Christianity modeled in the house. However, promiscuity was definitely modeled at home.
My mother had a live-in boyfriend and my older brothers had live-in girlfriends.
When I was a young girl, my mother drank pretty heavily. At age 11, just before I reached puberty, my mother’s boyfriend molested me. I gathered up the courage to tell her about it a few days later, but she chose not to believe me. I guessed it was due to the heavy drinking.
I was allowed to have my first boyfriend at age 14. He was 18. My mother worked late on Saturday nights and allowed my boyfriend to stay late on those nights because she felt like I was safer with him around. Needless to say, later that summer I became pregnant. I ended up having my first abortion at age 15 at the Lovejoy Surgicenter in NW Portland. I was there for most of the day with women that I didn’t know. The procedure itself was very painful.
At age 16, I fell in what I thought was ‘true love’. I became pregnant again, and a single mom at 17. After that I began to lead a promiscuous lifestyle, seeking meaningless and empty sexual relationships with men to replace the lack of security in my life. When my birth control methods failed, I saw abortion as a fail-safe method of avoiding the responsibility of caring for what I felt would be too many children. As such, I had unplanned pregnancies resulting in multiple abortions.
I became an ill-tempered, easily irritated young woman. I didn’t realize it then, but I was unable to nurture or maintain healthy relationships.
In my early 20’s, one of my close friends started inviting me to her church. Initially I turned her down, but she was pretty persistent. I joined the church, accepted Christ a short time later and was even baptized.
I wish I could tell you my life was wonderful from that point forward, but it wasn’t. I would go out dancing at nightclubs on Saturday nights or stay in with a boyfriend, and then serve on the usher board Sunday mornings. I was the epitome of a lukewarm Christian. Despite this, I was still reading and studying the Bible.
During one of my personal study times, I was reading the short but powerful book of Joel. There in Chapter 2, the Lord speaking to Israel through the prophet said,
“I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.” Then in verse 25 I read, “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts have eaten.” That peaked my interest and gave me a little hope.
Later on, I read 2 Timothy Chapter 3. The apostle Paul wrote,
“For men will be lovers of themselves…without self-control …headstrong….lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…having a form of Godliness but denying its power. For of this sort are those who creep into women’s households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins and led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.
That verse hit me right between the eyes and would stay with me for years.
I got married at age 22. Because my spouse earned just over minimum wage, I needed to work outside the home. I found a job at, of all places, Lovejoy Surgicenter assisting doctors perform 1st trimester abortions. The same place where I had my first abortion at age 15. I continued working there while I was pregnant with my second child. Because of my extremely flawed thinking, I thought I was helping provide a much needed service for the women in our area.
16 years and two divorces later, I joined another church near my home. I had become tired of being irritable and just going through the motions in my walk with Christ. I joined a women’s bible study that dealt with the topic of anger. I discovered one of the reasons for my anger was the guilt and shame I was carrying from having multiple abortions.
After I completed that bible study, I was referred to Heart, a biblically based support group for women who have had abortions. The 8-week study helped me to realize that I had never dealt with the traumatic and negative effects that abortion caused in my life. The study facilitators offered gentle but firm confrontation with the truth of God’s word and how He felt about all lives. I learned I was not alone. I learned how to confess, accept God’s forgiveness and be set free from the heavy burden of the guilt, shame, and low self-esteem I had been carrying for so many years.
After studying scripture, I was greatly comforted with the hope that one day I will see my precious babies in heaven. Toward the end of the group, I participated in a very meaningful event. In order to bestow dignity on our unborn children, and bring closure to our grief, each woman in the group was encouraged to choose a name for her baby. I did this for each of my children.
Because of God’s word, His never ending grace and mercy, the Heart Bible study and the group facilitators, I can proclaim that I am a woman who has been set free, no longer burdened, bound, or angry.
God took out my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh. I’ve now been happily married to a wonderful, supportive, and godly man for over 8 years.
Last year, I chose to go through the Heart study a 2nd time to learn how I can help other women deal with the effects of abortion, share my testimony and let women know that they can also be free.
I thank God because He has truly restored me.