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Hope for Tomorrow

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

God Provides Healing After Abortion

I received this story from Ann over at As They Rise Up It is a beautiful story she shares in hopes that others don't make the same mistake she made.  

I was young when I got married, only 19, and within 6 months of getting married I was pregnant.  I was very excited to be having a baby and to be a Mom.  There were many in my life that were not excited, they said I was too young, that I was ruining my life and that my husband and I couldn't afford to have a baby.  I held on to my convictions and had my baby, he is now grown up  and has his own baby, and I am so glad that I didn't listen to the negative voices when I was pregnant.

But my story doesn't end there.  My husband, who had been in the service when we met and married, got out of the service and was unwilling to look for steady work, he drank a lot and was just generally immature.  We ended up getting divorced and I went to live with my Mom for a while.  I was also young and woefully immature but not willing to admit it at the time.  I spent some time on welfare, I tried to go to college and succeeded for a few semesters but I was way to immature for the workload, so I got a job earning a little over minimum wage and had my daycare supplemented by a workfare program (a division of the welfare program to encourage moms to go back to work). 

I met a terrific man, a few yrs younger than me at work and we began to date.  He liked my son, my son liked him, I liked him, we moved in together when he graduated from college much to his catholic fathers chagrin.  His family loved me though, and his mom insisted that my son refer to them as Nana and Poppy instead of Mr ___ and Mrs____.   Things were going fantastic, my boyfriend proposed to me and I accepted and we began planning the wedding.  My future mother-in-law was very supportive of me in all I needed to do.  She would babysit my son at a moments notice, she loaned me her car when mine was broken down, and I know she spent oodles of money on us that I am still unaware of, she was forever buying clothes for my son and gifts for us.

Then I got pregnant. This was a total surprise, when I got pregnant I was TWO kinds of birth control.  At first I denied it to myself.  I was working a high stress job taking care of profoundly retarded adults at the time and it was exhausting.  I attributed the nausea and tiredness to that.  Then I finally had to admit that something was up.  I shared my suspicions with no one not even my boyfriend, looking back I think that was my first mistake.  I went to the doctor and got a pregnancy test.

I still remember the day I got the results.  I was loading one of my clients onto the van in their wheelchair and my coworker brought the cordless phone out to me.  As I stood on the ramp suspended in air I got the news that would change my life forever.  The test was positive.  She said I would need to make an appointment for followup with the OB, and I replied that I was going to need an abortion. 

At the time my son was just getting ready to start kindergarten and I was finally for the first time in 5 years going to be free of daycare payments.  As I looked down the road in front of me I couldn't imagine being able to take time off of work for maternity leave, my employers had groused when I  had jury duty as if I was trying to cheat the system somehow.  I knew we couldn't make our bills on just my boyfriends paycheck and I didn't see any other way out.  The nurse on the phone informed me that my insurance would pay for the abortion, her attitude was the same as if I had asked to have a wart removed.

I went home that evening and broke the news to my boyfriend who didn't argue with my choice.  He wasn't enthusiastic but he didn't try to change my mind.  We both chose not to tell our parents about the situation.  I knew his parents disagreed on the issue, his father being pro- life and his mother being pro-choice.  I made the appointment, arranged for the time off, and my boyfriend drove me there.  I had agreed to go to a clinic that used only local anesthetic because it was closer than the one that used a general anesthetic, turned out it was right down the street from my work!  Oops!

It was the single most painful procedure I have ever had done, both emotionally and physically.  I bled heavily and cramped for days.  I was despondent and distant.  I know now that the emotional pain I was suffering should have been talked out with someone but I didn't know then and I was ashamed to talk to anyone.  I did talk to my Mom about it but I don't remember what she said.  My boyfriend and I ended up separating and called off the wedding, probably due to the emotional baggage we were both carrying because of the choice we had made.

Almost 15 years later I became a Christian, I now had remarried, I had 2 wonderful daughters and I hadn't thought about my abortion in years.  I was at a Homeschool Moms luncheon and someone was speaking about the pain women carry because of abortion.  It was a providential moment, I turned to a friend of mine and confessed to her that I had had one.  I said I didn't think I was carrying pain, only the shame that God allowed to keep me from ever making the same mistake again.  It was then that God began to open my eyes to the healing that I could experience.

I was in a Bible Study at the time studying a book called Intimate Issues and the next chapter after the luncheon dealt with abortion.  I sat on my bed with tears streaming down my face as I did my homework.  My husband comforted me and prayed for me.  My bible study group comforted me and prayed for me and I found healing in God's word.  I don't remember the verses that touched me and sadly I didn't record them in my journal at the time.  I did record a 4 page letter to God  confessing and asking forgiveness, offering forgiveness to the father of my child, and others who were involved including the medical professionals.  I had always felt that my baby had been a girl and I named her, Emily, and released her to God's care until I see her in heaven.  

I still think about her.  Not so often as I used to, she would be 19 this year if she had been born, only 5 years older than my older daughter.  Looking back it is hard to imagine that 5 years changed so much!  When I chose to abort my child I was struggling to pay bills and couldn't imagine having one more responsibility, 5 years later I was remarried (to a new man) and having our first child together.  He loves my son and considers him his own son to my joy.    And a few years after that we had another beautiful little girl. 

Since then we have tried to have more children, I had a miscarriage in 2004 and have not gotten pregnant since.  I don't feel punished, I feel more like God is saying He has other things for me to do, but the longing in my heart for more children is strong and I often wonder how different my life would have been if I chosen life instead.  I wonder what she would have looked like and what her likes and dislikes would have been.  I also wonder what her father thinks about it, if he thinks about it and if he regrets it as much as I do. 

Many people in my life don't know this about me.  I am not secretive about it but people can be judgmental and critical without hearing the whole story.  I am not ashamed to share my story and when the time is right I do, which is why I am writing this now.  Emily Dickinson wrote this poem:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

That is why I share my story.  To help one life from being broken and lost.

If you are reading this and you have made the choice to have an abortion please know that God loves you unconditionally.  You can still lean on him for support and love and healing.  If you are considering an abortion I beg you to please consider all your options.  Talk to loved ones and let them know your pain and stress, they may be more willing to help than you think.  If you have no loved ones to talk to, try your pastor, or any pastor for that matter.  A pastor worth his bible will not pass judgment on you, he will help you through the most difficult decision you will ever make.  He may even have resources you are unaware of. Jessica, the author of this blog, most likely has resources she can refer you to as well.   If all else fails contact me through my blog at www.astheyriseup.blogspot.com and let me talk to you and offer support and resources.  Please don't feel that your only option is abortion. 

1 comment:

A Little R&R said...

Wow - what a moving and powerful story! and this is just what amazes me about the grace of God - He takes our wrong choices and redeems them through His blood..and then uses us to help others who are in danger of making those same wrong choices. :) Praise God that He brought you healing, and that you are now able to help other young women. Thank you for sharing!