I met with Roni at Portland Rescue Mission, Shepherd’s Door. She began to tell me her story as her precious two-year-old was running around the room playing with the toys. She told me that her story began two years ago, when she was in the recovery program at Shepherd’s Door. She had shared with her Bible Study leader that she had previously had an abortion, and that leader asked if she would be willing to talk to someone from a Heart group to receive healing. She shrugged it off, saying she didn’t think she needed it. Since that time in her life, she had forgiven herself and had become a Christian and knew the Lord forgave her as well. After a couple times of her leader encouraging her, she gave in and finally began to go to a Heart group that was meeting at Shepherd’s Door. She said she thought, “Okay, God, what are you really going show me through this? My hands are open.”
Then, the pandemic hit. The Heart group was put on pause as the world shut down. Then, as if things couldn’t get any crazier, Roni found out she was pregnant, again. She was scared at first. “What am I doing? I’m not even supposed to be talking to guys, let alone getting pregnant, and the world is shut down- how am I going to do any of this?”
Trying to figure out her options, she looked for local places to have an ultrasound done. Planned Parenthood remained open despite the shutdown, so she called to make an appointment. She asked if she could get an ultrasound to see how far along she was. Her response from Planned Parenthood was, “we can give you an ultrasound, but only if you terminate the pregnancy.”
She immediately knew that she couldn’t terminate her pregnancy, so she looked at her other options. She said she heard God say, “Okay, you’re going to have your daughter. She is a blessing, and I’m going to do some work in you.” Her Heart group leader reached out again and referred her to Pregnancy Resource Center, where she found out she was four weeks pregnant with a happy, healthy baby. “They were very gentle with me,” she recalled, as she thought about her experience with Pregnancy Resource Center.
She explained that the Lord has, indeed, done a lot of work in her since she found out she was pregnant with her daughter. “A lot of shame and guilt has been healed,” she said. “It’s different raising your child clean and sober, the right way, the way God intended. And my daughter is such a blessing. I don’t know how I’m doing it, but I’m doing it.” She said that the moment she found out she was pregnant with her daughter, shame wanted to come over her, but instead she experienced true grace while she was in the program. “I should’ve been kicked out, but I wasn’t.”
“And my daughter is such a blessing. I don’t know how I’m doing it, but I’m doing it.”
Roni has now graduated her recovery program and has been giving back by working at Shepherd’s Gate for two years. The daycare program at Shepherd’s Gate allows Roni to visit her daughter on her breaks.
“My story from my past, things that I have done, being in recovery, that stuff is super real. I fully with everything in me that God has brought that little girl into my life to heal a lot of my broken areas and she is going to do something amazing, I know it.”