Because of the number of reported abortions, chances are there are people you encounter every day who have had an abortion or have been affected in some sort of way. Our prayer is that they would know they are not alone – know they are not beyond hope, and embrace healing at a heart level and come to know the loving kindness of a forgiving God.
I grew up with my mom, dad, and three older siblings. My family didn’t attend church. I had heard about God and believed in Him but didn’t know what it meant to have a personal relationship with Him. During my high school years while trying to find my “niche,” I started hanging out with a questionable group of kids I met at the local skating rink.
I quickly realized that if I wanted to fit in with them, I would be expected to go to parties, smoke, and drink and become sexually active. I had never talked to my parents about sex; that subject was taboo. Since I wanted to fit in, I decided to follow the advice of my best friend and do what everyone else was doing.
My junior year, at the age of 16, I became pregnant.
I knew I couldn’t tell my parents or my family, so I told my best friend. I went to my boyfriend and he told me to “get rid of it” and broke up with me.
My friend took me to the local Planned Parenthood where they confirmed my pregnancy. They didn’t offer me any counsel. I was told that if the father didn’t want the baby and if I couldn’t tell my parents, the best option was abortion.
I was told that it would be a fast and easy procedure that would get rid of all of my problems so I could get on with my life.
So the appointment was made.
I wrote my own note to excuse my absence, skipped school and my friend drove me out of town to a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. I was in no way prepared for the pain I experienced that day. As I walked into my house later that afternoon, I knew I had to put on the best acting job of my life.
The next day, I had to do my best to put everything behind me and live as normally as possible.
But from that day on, my life was anything but normal.
I continued to hang out with the same crowd, my drinking increased, I started using drugs and I became sexually promiscuous.
The following year I turned 17 and was a senior. I became pregnant for the second time and was reliving the same nightmare all over again. My new boyfriend also told me to “get rid of it,” and he broke up with me. My best friend drove me to the same Planned Parenthood to have a second abortion. I was numb and simply going through the motions this time.
I continued the next three years in very unhealthy relationships. When I had once again broken up with an unfaithful boyfriend, I cried out to God and asked Him to please let me meet the guy I was meant to marry.
A few months later at age 20, I met my future husband. I shared with him everything I had done in my past and he still loved and accepted me. We were married after a short engagement and by the grace of God had our first beautiful and healthy daughter a year later in 1990.
But even still, life was becoming rapidly unbearable. I was plagued with shame, depression and anxiety. I just wanted to die. I didn’t understand what was happening to me.
In 1992, my husband and I were invited to a Billy Graham crusade in Portland by some close friends. We accepted the invitation, and as I sat and listened to the message of hope and salvation, I knew the only one who could rescue me was God. I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior that night which became the beginning of my road to healing.
Following the crusade, I started attending church for the first time. I became involved in different ministries and started developing come close friendships. However, following the birth of my second beautiful and healthy daughter in 1994, things that I had buried for so long began to surface.
After many years of silence, I finally confided in a friend from church about my past. She told me about the Heart ministry, a Bible study support group for women to be healed from abortion. God told me that I needed to go through the group, and allow Him to heal my heart. I called the confidential number, met with the Heart leaders and went through the group. Through that study, God changed my life!
When I look back at that time in my life, I am so amazed at how God had a support system around me the whole time. I had a supportive husband, church family, and friends who loved me long before I started my journey of healing.
I went through the group twice; once for each baby. I was finally free from all of the symptoms my sin had left me with. God forgave me of my sin and redeemed me! I knew God loved me and forgave me.
Because of God’s forgiveness, I was able to forgive myself.
God also gave me the courage to finally tell my parents and family about my past. They were very gracious and wished they had known and been there to support me.
When I completed the study, I went through the training to become a group leader for Heart. I wanted to help and support other women who were going through the same nightmare I had. I found out that Heart was part of First Image’s Pregnancy Resource Centers. I found out that they offered a safe place for women to go to if they were struggling with an unplanned pregnancy. I was thrilled to be a part of a faith based ministry that gave young women truthful information about all of their options.
After serving for a few years with Heart and Crisis Pregnancy Center, I went to work full time in a school district and was unable to continue volunteering. After having the wonderful opportunity to work with kids for 13 years, God called me away from my job and told me it was time to get back into ministry for women. I am happy to say that I am now leading Heart groups again! I am so excited to be back, and so thankful for everything the Heart ministry does for women. It has truly changed my life and I consider it such an honor and privilege to walk alongside women and support them in their journey of healing.
First Image, PRC and Heart has given me the opportunity to offer women the love, help and support that I never received.
I also look forward to speaking in our community about this awesome ministry and expose the fact that abortion hurts women and ends innocent lives. I am only able to share my story because I am 100% redeemed by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
God alone deserves all the glory!
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5