One day, a beautiful red fox was running through the woods back to his home, when he was stopped in his tracks by the whiff of a plump, juicy mouse.
With his nose leading the way toward the tempting fragrance, he wandered from the familiar path, stepping slowly, sniffing the air, and breaking fallen branches under his paws. Suddenly, a pain he had never felt before shot up his back leg and into his body. White-hot paralyzing pain! He couldn’t move. Looking down, he could see the rusty metal teeth of the hunter’s trap buried deep into his fur. He was caught. He was scared. He had been told about the hunter’s trap before, warned by others about the scent of the bait luring foxes off the path into certain death. He knew that time was running out before the hunter came to collect him, and he had to find a way out. Any way.
A few minutes later, a crow swooped down to see what all the commotion was about. She saw the fox’s predicament and agreed that the fox needed to be rid of the trap.
“I know it’s difficult to consider, but you may have to think about chewing off your leg. You really don’t have any other option. The hunter will come this way at dusk, and if he finds you, you’ll be dinner! That’s what I would do if I were you. Well, I have to be on my way. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.”
The fox didn’t want to chew off his leg, but he didn’t want to die, either. He was left all on his own to struggle with the tormenting decision, when came along a proud buck.
Seeing the fox’s predicament, he agreed that the animal’s plight was unfortunate, but he was also in a hurry to get back to his own thicket.
“Say, young fox, I see you’re in quite a poor situation, there.”
“Yes, I am! The hunter is coming, and I have to chew off my leg to be free of this trap.”
This idea troubled the buck greatly. He believed that animals should have all of their legs and would hate to see this beautiful fox lose his. So he proceeded to explain to him what a bad idea that was. The buck described to the fox, in graphic detail, how painful and bloody that would be; how he’d never be able to run the same way again, and how, if he valued his leg, he probably shouldn’t have strayed from the path in the first place.
All of this, though, the fox already knew. But none of it changed the fact that the hours were quickly passing away, and the hunter was coming.
After leaving behind his best advice, the buck loped away, proud that he was able to speak such wisdom to the fox, while fox looked down at his increasingly painful leg, still stuck in the grip of the trap. He wanted to live. He pleaded heaven for a magical wand that could take him back to the way things were just a few short hours ago. But no such thing existed. He knew what he had to do. Taking a deep breath, he placed his teeth around his leg and prepared for the first bite, when he heard a voice behind him.
“Hello”, came the calming voice of a large white owl. “Looks like you need help.”
“Yes, I am caught in this trap and time is running out. I have to chew off my leg, it’s the only way out. Can you help me?”
The owl’s heart broke when he saw the wounded leg in the trap, and he had compassion for him.
“The only way out, you say? Hmmm…. What if there were another way? What if I could help you open the trap? Then you would be free of the hunter, and keep your leg.”
The fox looked at the owl in hopeful disbelief. “How is that possible?”
“I am going to call for the other owls, and we’re going to work together to free you from the trap. Then, I will stay with you and care for you until your leg is healed and you are able to run again, however long that takes. I am not going to leave you.” Tears welled up in the fox’s eyes while the owl let out a loud “HOOT HOOT” into the sky. Within minutes, half a dozen owls surrounded the fox, feeding him, and offering words of encouragement. Working in unison, they opened the grip of the trap long enough for the fox to slip out his wounded foot.
“Dusk is coming, and we have to get you moving. Let us help you walk.” Steadying the fox on all sides, they walked him to safety, where they would care for him for weeks to come.
In 2009 I started volunteering at my local Pregnancy Center, where I now work. I had been raised in a “Pro-life” Christian home, and much like the buck, had a little more passion than compassion when it came to the reality of unplanned pregnancy and abortion. I had no idea just how much my whole perspective was about to be rocked.
I remember sitting in a little room, fresh out of training, with my first client whose situation was just impossible. Devastatingly heartbreaking. I realized that I had nothing to offer to her. NOTHING. We had facts and stories and pictures and practical baby items galore; but for her specific situation, that meant nothing. It was the first time that I was ever able to see why women really have abortions, and I cried. “Well, Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you, I’d love to see you again.” It was a ‘Be warm and well-fed’ as she headed out the door.
It didn’t take too long before I started to notice a common message coming from every young woman making plans for an abortion:
“I have no choice”, they would tell me, “my boyfriend will leave me….parents will kick me out…. I won’t finish college… I am homeless… my husband isn’t the father… my dad is an elder in our church….” It was clear that while the word “CHOICE” was the mantra of the efforts to keep abortion legal, these women are having abortions because they feel they have no other choice. Their situations, like my first client’s, all seemed impossible.
“A woman doesn’t want an abortion like she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche, but like an animal caught in a trap who wants to gnaw off its own leg…”
– Frederica Mathewes-Green
Many studies out there seem to echo this same discovery, including this one, from the Vitae Research Foundation, which says that women view an unplanned pregnancy as death to their very life as they perceived it to be, and thus abortion is seen as the least of three evils in an act of self-defense.
The abortion industry, as my boss pointed out, then twists and parrots the words of Jesus in Matthew 11, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” But the “Rest” that is offered is death itself.
What is the Church to do?
If you’re thinking the story about the fox sounds familiar, you’re right. Jesus told it a little differently in the parable of the Good Samaritan, but the call to action – to love radically – remains the same: “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:37.
It’s tempting to be the buck, believing in the sanctity of human life, yet never having been faced with that decision ourselves. We give out truth without love (usually very well meaning). I personally believe this is where those we see holding graphic abortion signs usually are. I have had the opportunity to speak to some of them, and their hearts are often not intending to condemn but to educate women with the truth of what abortion is in hopes that knowledge will change their minds. The problem with this is that all the truth in the world doesn’t speak to the very real crisis they are in at that moment and is almost always counter-productive to their cause, only hurting women further.
God is calling His people to be Good Samaritans when it comes to abortion-vulnerable women. One of the greatest arguments that abortion proponents have is, “Okay, say she has the baby. Then what? Are you going help her for the next 18 years?” The church needs to be the answer to “Then what?” We need to shift the fight from making abortion illegal, to making it unnecessary; being moved by radical compassion from our comfortable lives and walk alongside these precious women (and fathers, too) in a community of support, help, hope, and acceptance.
Everyone has something they can offer to a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy; and when we all put our “somethings” together, we can provide her with a way out of the trap and into true freedom.
What do you have?
If we truly long to see our communities become free from abortion, we need to ask God to make us owls and answer the call to “Go and do likewise.”
On January 22, I posted the following to my Facebook page in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade. Like the previous post, these things are difficult to write about as I know they can strike such a tender cord in the hearts of so many. But that doesn’t mean they should go without being addressed at all. It’s not about shame, it’s about love. It’s about opening the floor for dialogue and starting the conversation toward both healing and action.
I don’t typically like to post things on my Facebook page about abortion. Because, while I pray for and work toward a day when it no longer exists, I also understand that many of my friends, statistically 1 in 3, have experienced an abortion in their past, and are at a variety of phases in the journey of the heart that follows an abortion. If that is you, I want to first say that I love you. I really, really do. My heart is for everyone to feel respected, loved, and heard. “…It’s the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance.” Romans 2:4
Today is also the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion. Since that day, over 55 million abortions have taken place in the US. If you believe that this is THE human and civil rights issue of our day, as I do, will you take an hour with me today to pray for an end to abortion? Regardless of what happens to its legality, let’s work to make it unnecessary, through genuine love and practical support, as the Good Samaritan did. Lets not live to see another 41 years of abortion.
Actual audio from Roe v. Wade trial
Noble: Original Hebrew Hayil: Strength, capability, skill, valor, wealth, troop, warrior, army, able-bodied.
Ladies, we’ve been hoodwinked. Unfortunately, this duping has risen from among our own ranks. Because of the misguided efforts of the women of late 1900’s, an entire culture now faces the crisis of the disappearance of true womanhood. The original vision, championed by feminist heroes such as Susan B. Anthony, was equality: This radical idea that men and women have equal value, equal rights, equal opportunities in life, and equal contributions to society. The efforts of these brave women of the suffrage made it possible for us to enjoy the life and liberties that we do today.
But over the last 50 years, something has gone terribly wrong. Equality itself has morphed into this idea that the previously oppressed is now superior to their former oppressors and that our empowerment comes from abandoning the very things that make us women while simultaneously trampling all men under the might of our high-heel.
The Great Facade
There are many trends in modern-day feminism (herein referred to as fauxminism) that actually anger me, because they are things that sell themselves as strengthening women while they, in fact, do quite the opposite. The most prominent is abortion, which I believe to be the greatest insult to women that has ever existed. The abortion industry, just by the nature of what it does, lies to women, telling us that we are not strong or resourceful enough to rise to the challenge ahead. They take advantage of a crisis to sell a “service” that leaves a wake of destruction and heartache in that woman’s life, all under the masquerade of “choice” and “control”. Organizations like Feminists For Life have been able to clearly articulate the flaws in the marketing of this industry saying, “Abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women. Women deserve better.”
Another irritant comes from the “Affordable Care Act” mandate saying that women are now entitled to free contraceptives, as if birth-control deficiency is now a disease that is going to leave masses of women dying in the streets if left untreated. My question for Sandra Fluke is, “How does depending on the government to provide you with a medication that allows men to further objectify you and take advantage of your body without consequence make you a stronger woman?” Wouldn’t true self-confidence say, “I am so awesome that if you want any where near this body you’d better ‘put a ring on it’?”
The last is how we’ve been taught to live in this world full of men. Fauxminism teaches us to not need men in a way that we’re supposed to need men, and to need men in a way that we’re not supposed to.
Did you get all that?
Ladies, this means getting a false sense of value by what we can physically offer to men while refusing to take from them what we really need: love, protection and provision (and then ironically, demanding protection and provision from the government, which I like to refer to as the ‘Fauxminist substitute husband’). And this doesn’t just weaken women, it weakens men, too. Are you a single gal wondering why the dating pool seems to be full of ambitious-less “man boys” who are into their thirties playing video games in their parent’s basement with no intentions of supporting a family any time soon? You can get your answer from 1980’s fauxminism. Women are strongest when we act like women, and men are strongest when women act like women.
So, does this mean that if we don’t all go back to being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen that civilization will collapse? Good Lord, no! Just look at what God thinks that women should be in the verse above. Proverbs uses that Hebrew word for “Noble” to describe a woman 3 times. The true strength of a woman comes from embracing the design of the Creator, not from trying to be like a man. Our gifts and talents as women, physical abilities, childbearing, femininity, are all differences that should be celebrated and compliment the differences in the men in our lives. This call is no easy task. It takes the heart of a noble warrior. It takes a radical faith and trust in the Lord. It takes a brave and courageous spirit.
This is Dianne’s Real Abortion Story
“My boyfriend and I had been dating for 1 ½ years when I got pregnant. When I told him the news, he panicked. Without asking, he made an appointment at an abortion clinic and called to let me know.
My world was crushed! The man whom I thought loved me, was unwilling to do the right thing. We had talked about marriage and I had been anticipating a proposal in the near future.
As Dave drove me to the clinic I was consumed with fear and felt the pressure to follow through with the abortion. I wanted to talk to my best friend but I was too ashamed and afraid. I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone.
As a Christian I was carrying the shame of being pregnant out of wedlock. While I bought into the world’s claim that my baby was mere tissue something inside me made question if this was really true.
I was very afraid. Everyone that day was telling me that everything would be fine.
Laying on the table as the doctor’s wife held my hand I was dying inside. I felt overwhelmed with guilt, and then … it was too late. I was devastated and filled with regret.
Still laying on the table, I was sobbing and begging God to forgive me. The nurse tried to console me saying, “Everything’s alright.” And I remember telling her, “No! Everything is not alright!” I had been deceived. I had been lied to. I felt like I had been thrown to the wolves. I was just a dollar sign to them. I left that place empty; a broken woman.
I was in shock and in mourning. I had to plaster on a fake smile and pretend to my family and friends that all was good.
Dave and I stayed together as a couple, even though our relationship was now anything but healthy. I still loved him but I hated what he had done to me. He made me feel so worthless by pressuring me into an abortion, instead of taking on the responsibility like a decent, honorable man should. I had such low self-esteem, I felt unworthy of anyone who would have treated me any better.
Ultimately, Dave proposed and we were married. We began our marriage with baggage that would take years to sort through. There were constant reminders at every turn – TV commercials, a baby footprint pin on the lapel of a pro-lifer, seeing a newborn baby – they went on and on. I’ll never forget holding my first-born baby boy in my arms and knowing what I had done and feeling like I didn’t deserve such a beautiful gift.
From the day we left that awful facility in 1981 to the fall of 1987 we never talked about the abortion. I suffered in silence that screamed heartache, anger, regret and sadness, almost each and every day. In June of 1987 we were again blessed with another baby boy. There were some difficulties with my 3rd pregnancy and I miscarried. I was heartbroken and wondered if the abortion I had, caused me to miscarry. I pictured this baby meeting his or her sibling in Heaven and it gave me comfort.
In 1987 I attended a Concerned Women for America (CWA) National Convention in Washington D.C. to support Robert Bork, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan. My Mom was a Regional Director of CWA and she had asked if I was interested in attending with her. Trying to protect my secret was consuming me. I feared my Mom’s friends would not accept me and even judge me If they knew my secret. Because of my passion for the protection of the unborn, I decided to go, even though I knew I would be uncomfortable.
When we arrived, we joined with other women making signs, which we would hold while marching on the Capital steps the next day. I felt like a hypocrite. But, I also felt like I was doing a good thing.
On the 3rd day of the convention, a woman who had adopted a baby who was close to being aborted spoke at the breakfast meeting. She told the story of her adopted baby girl almost being a victim of abortion. Then, she began singing a song she had written about her daughter called, “I Almost Didn’t Know You.” I started feeling sick to my stomach. I worked hard holding back the tears but I knew I couldn’t so I excused myself to my guest room telling my Mom I wasn’t feeling well. I reached the hallway and the tears began to flow. I reached my room and I couldn’t stop sobbing.
On the return flight, my mom began recounting the conference. She didn’t know I aborted her grandchild. She didn’t know the pain I was carrying. I struggled to carry on a normal conversation, like everything in my world was fine but I was overwhelmed with sadness and shame.
On my first day back home, after my husband left for work, I was thinking about my experience at the Convention. I was glad I went. I remember being alone in the living room. I closed the curtains. I cried out to God for forgiveness. Tears began flowing. How could I continue with this internal pain? I felt so alone and so sad. God spoke to me that morning. I heard Him tell me in that moment of my agony that he was going to use me for his glory. It’s not like I heard Him audibly, but He spoke to my mind, my heart, and my soul. I didn’t really know what it meant but I believed that somehow and someday God would use me, even if He were only to use me to help just one person. I felt God tell me that it was time to take a baby step – a baby step to begin the process of healing.
The next day I said to my husband, “We have to talk about the abortion. It happened. We’ve swept it under the rug all these years and we’re not going to make it in our marriage unless we talk about what we did.” This was the first time in over six years that I had even spoken the word, “abortion.” The pretending needed to end. All those years, I would sit in church and look around thinking that I was the only woman in church who had had an abortion. I felt so bad about myself all the time. It was way past time to seek help. Dave agreed to try to get help. We went to our first counseling session. It was the first step toward seeking healing and Dave and I were actually talking about the abortion.
Over the next few years, Dave focused on work and supporting our family and I focused on doing what Moms do. We found a church home where we attended a few more counseling sessions. These loving, caring, Godly men tried to help us but they weren’t trained to work with post-abortive women and men.
No one knew about my abortion except for the counselors we had gone to in the past. One Sunday an ad in the bulletin about a “post-abortive support group” caught my attention. It was to be held at the local Crisis Pregnancy Center. The problem with that was that I knew the Director of CPC very well and she did not know that I had had an abortion. Also, my Mom’s best friend served on the Board and she did not know about my abortion either. Finally, with God’s leading, I decided to tell them about my abortion. The time came and I was afraid, but God gave me courage. I started crying as I shared my story. I was afraid they would reject and judge me. Instead they cried with me. They prayed over me and I left feeling grateful and encouraged. I attended that first class, another step toward healing.
Shortly, after that, I attended, a new Bible study that was offered at CPC, for post-abortive women. I learned more deeply about God’s grace and his love for me on a fresh and new level. While I was indeed accountable for what I had done, God wanted me to accept the gifts He was offering me – Grace, Forgiveness and his Unconditional Love. God’s Word came alive to me and I finally received healing and made peace with God regarding my abortion.
In 2001, God placed on my heart the desire to go through leadership training to help other women find healing through His Word. I thought back to the time in my living room with my curtains drawn, when I cried out to God and He spoke to me. But, before going into leadership I would need share my abortion story with those closest to us.
Dave and I called a family meeting with our boys. At the time, our three sons were 18, 14 and 12. We were both fearful and didn’t know how they would react. I didn’t know if they would think less of me. As their Mom, I didn’t want to let them down. It broke my heart looking at them and knowing it could have been one of them that had been aborted. God gave me peace to finally share our story with our precious boys. Dave talked about his part in it, we wanted them to know that we messed up…that we were imperfect but that we had a perfect God who can take anything ugly and disgusting and use it for good. Because of being miles apart, I wrote my parents a letter to share my story. They were loving, and forgiving, and supportive. The next time they came to visit they brought me a bouquet of beautiful roses, sending a message of their unconditional love and forgiveness.
It is a miracle that Dave and I have now been married for 32+ years. Part of my healing process was focused on “forgiveness.” We are all called to forgive others for wronging us. God showed me grace and I in turn needed to show grace to my husband. It didn’t come naturally – I had some deep-seeded anger to deal with. But, God gave me the ability to love unconditionally just as He loves me unconditionally.
If I hadn’t had Christ in my life to carry me through my darkest days, I most likely would have turned to alcohol, drugs or something else to mask the pain. I am also thankful to those who prayed for us through the storms of our lives. Prayer works.
Abortion does not end in the clinic—that’s where the suffering begins. If you have your own abortion story, I pray that you will replace fear with courage so you’re able to take that first baby step toward your own journey of healing. It begins with truth – for the truth shall set you free!” – Dianne
Read C.C.’s story
“My abortion was 30 years ago and still impacts my life today.
At the age of 21, I entered into a relationship with a man that I felt was great marriage material. He had a good job and owned a house. I felt secure with him. We occasionally attended church and I liked his family. I hoped our relationship would restore the years of dysfunction, abuse and divorce I had experienced as a child. I now realize that was a lot to ask of one person.
Several months into our relationship, I found out I was pregnant. I thought that this would be an exciting new adventure and challenge for us. I remember waiting until just the right time to share, with excitement, the news of my positive pregnancy test. As I told him about the results, I could see his countenance change. He shifted in his seat and squarely told me that he did not want to be a father and he would pay for an abortion. I was reeling inside trying to process what he was saying. I loved this man and wanted to marry him. How could I reconcile that I was going to have to choose my boyfriend or my child?
I’ll never forget the day of the “procedure”. It was rainy and I remember entering the doctor’s office to see several women in the waiting room. These were not women, myself included, that were empowered by the choice to have an abortion. It was clear to see we were all uncertain about what was about to happen to us. Some were staring at the floor, others cried quietly. I remember signing in, thinking, “What am I doing here?” “How can I get away?” I don’t remember my boyfriend being there, although he must have been because he drove me and paid for the abortion. I felt entirely alone; a member of some club I had no desire to be apart of. Who was this person that signed in, numbly took the Valium, and silently waited for my name to be called? Where was my voice?
To this day, I can’t remember how far along I was but I know I delayed as long as I could in hopes that my boyfriend would change his mind about the pregnancy. I now know that it must have been an early second trimester abortion, because the prep started a couple of days before the procedure. When my turn came, I clearly remember shutting down emotionally, trying to ignore the sound of suctioning and coldness of the doctor and nurse. I asked the nurse if she could tell if it was a boy or a girl. She said she thought it was a boy but it was too early to tell for sure. I remember returning to a room afterward where other girls were laying on beds that lined the wall. I remember vomiting and wanting to die as I listened to others weeping, obviously feeling the same way I did.
As I walked out of that clinic I remember feeling the finality of the decision I had just made. I could never undo what had been done. I felt like my very soul had been removed from me. I was especially aware of how ashamed I felt because I knew my choice was wrong and that, even though I had recently become a Christian, I made a decision motivated by fear and a desire to please another person. I felt a separation in my relationship with God that I had never felt before. I had not trusted Him. I just wanted to hide.
Along with feelings of despair, I was confused because initially I made the decision to abort in order to maintain my relationship with my boyfriend. I hoped that I could remain in the security it afforded me, but the second the procedure was over; I wanted nothing to do with him. I had lost all respect for him and wondered how I could have made such a sacrifice for someone I no longer wanted. He had not stepped up and reassured me that we could make it through this challenge. He had not rescued me at the clinic but instead delivered me to the door and let me pay the price.
The days, weeks and months after the abortion were the darkest of my life. I had in the past turned to God for comfort when I was hurting but I found it difficult to cry out to Him because of the choice I had made. How do you approach a Holy God after taking a life? I tried many different things to try to fill the void in my life but nothing satisfied me. In those dark days, God heard the cry of my heart because slowly He began restoring my life and surrounding me with authentic Christian people. However, it would be years before I felt safe enough to share my “secret” with them. I faithfully served at church but had conveniently tucked my abortion into a locked safe and pretended it never happened. I returned to work and school and I later met my husband, who I’ve been married to for 27 years. I studied and became a nurse and went on to have 2 children.
Only 5 years ago, God began to reveal that only healed people can help others to heal and hidden things are not necessarily healed. In order to work with an organization that helps men and women facing an unplanned pregnancy, I had to attend a post-abortive recovery class. I am so thankful I did! This is when the real healing began. I was able to really look at why I had made the choice I did and how this impacted the choices I made after the abortion. The class also allowed time to grieve the loss of my child. And most importantly, I was able to “come clean” with God by discovering that Jesus sacrifice even covers the sin of abortion. There is nothing more freeing than having the weight of such an offense lifted. God revealed His incredible mercy, grace and restorative power, not only for me, but anyone who is crushed in spirit and asks in repentance for His forgiveness. Psalm 51 and 1 John 1:9 remain as some of my favorite reminders of these truths.
I now meet with men and women facing the challenge of an unplanned pregnancy, hear their stories and provide support and resources that might make it possible for them to choose options other than abortion. I also facilitate post-abortive classes for those who have chosen abortion in the past and are seeking hope and healing.
In retrospect, I can see how God has used my “mess” from so many years ago to become my message to this generation. Namely, that abortion is not empowering for women. It is not the magic eraser that so many believe it is. It is a big deal! It takes a life and can destroy or at least alter the lives of those involved for many years.
If you are post-abortive, I encourage you to find a safe place to tell your story and so begin the process of healing. You won’t regret it!” – C.C.
N.S.’s Story – Names have been changed to respect confidentiality
“Doesn’t being married mean its okay to get pregnant? Apparently not, as I learned back in 1986 when I was married to my first husband. We were in our early 20”s, starting a business that consumed all our time, scraping by living off of Cheerios and cans of chili 1 1/2 years into our marriage. We had relocated down to Texas from Nevada living in a rental house down in San Antonio when I began to suspect something was “off” given the way I was feeling. My mother in-law happened to be visiting that week which was both a comfort and a stressor when I felt the compelling need to go buy a pregnancy test as I began to think through when I had my last period. At the time, we were sitting down to lunch prior to taking her to the airport for her flight back home and the blood began to rush through my veins, my face was flushed and my palms became clammy as I realized for the first time, “Oh my gosh, could I be pregnant?”! I went into the bathroom of the restaurant we where we were and she happened to come in right after me. The fear was so overwhelming of the possibility of being pregnant I just blurted it out to her as we were washing our hands side by side. Why was my first feeling one of fear? Shouldn’t it be amazement, joy and utter excitement? I felt none of those things. My feelings of fear, uncertainty and complete insecurity to take another breath consumed my thoughts. Those were only confirmed after her response was, “You know you can’t put *Daniel through that! He’s trying to start a business and he’s certainly not equipped to buy new shoes for a baby at this point!” WOW! Really? A business apparently was way more important than a baby, a life, which God and WE created! This was not me trying to ruin his business plan! I was speechless but felt the need not to disappoint her or him. It was to be “our secret” between the 3 of us. We were all believers but clearly didn’t feel Jesus was big enough to handle this unplanned precious life. She was not going to share with my father in-law who was a pastor of a church in Nevada nor her 2 daughters or other son. I was way closer to my in-laws than my own family who lived all over the country. I did not want to upset the one dream that finally had come true which was to have a” real” family where parents stayed together, siblings supported and hung out with each other and life seemed secure and “normal”. I was determined to keep my sense of living among the “Walton’s” intact! When I shared this with *Daniel, he agreed with his mom. He was first so taken aback by the reality that he drove out of our driveway speechless. Watching that and feeling so alone in this only confirmed to me I couldn’t have this baby. At the time, I was 8 weeks along. Needless to say, I felt very confused, scared and worried what God would think so I didn’t even go to him. I felt coerced and manipulated into believing abortion was the only answer. I didn’t want to be pregnant but I certainly didn’t want to have an abortion. The night before my abortion appointment I couldn’t sleep. I felt anxious, nauseous and light headed to the point I passed out in the bathroom, hit my head and split my lip open as it fell on the cracked plastic of the bathroom scale. I felt and looked like I had been beaten and run over by a train. It all added to the dark emotions I was feeling about what awaited me the next morning. I remember signing the medical release forms in the Planned Parenthood office & looking around to see all these emotionally confused and upset women of which I was clearly one. I felt so anxious waiting for my name to be called. When I laid on the table waiting for the Dr. to come in, I remember looking up and seeing a water color painting of 4 cows in a quadrant of barbwire fence. Each one was stuck and couldn’t get through the barbwire to freedom. I remember identifying so well with each of them. I, like them didn’t want to be where I was but didn’t know how to escape. Next I remember nervously talking with the Dr. as he was suctioning out my baby. I remember a big waste basket with bloody tissues, the sound of the vacuum and then severe cramping. I didn’t feel relieved, only sad, confused and lost. Daniel and I never did really talk much about it afterwards. However, I did end up getting a fever the next day and ended up in surgery with 2 large cysts the size of limes on each fallopian tube. The same Dr. from Planned Parenthood ended up doing the surgery at the hospital for no charge as he was willing to trade out services with our auto detailing business. He and his wife continued to be a client of ours for years later but the abortion was never mentioned again. Many years later, divorced from that husband and married again, I went into see a lady from the west side that did deep healing prayer who was visiting our church. She had met with my husband and I several times regarding healing from addictions and so this one morning when I went alone, that is once again what I thought we would discuss. But then……. Jesus showed up and the Holy Spirit completely changed my whole agenda! There was an intercessory prayer lady along with the gal who did the deep healing prayer and they witnessed my shock when they asked me “What does Jesus want to show you today?” As my eyes were closed, He brought me right back to the abortion table and walked me through it moment by moment. He revealed it was a little baby boy, gave me the name “Rema” (Remo) which means Shekinah glory like that shown to John the Baptist. (John 14:9) I held this little boy in my arms in my mind and when I felt ready to let go, I handed him to Jesus who promised me I would see him in heaven. He let me know I was forgiven, loved and set free from this dark, chain that had been bound around me for so many years. I hadn’t even known how bound and shackled I was from my abortion until that very day. I am so thankful for His amazing grace and the dream I hold to someday reunite and meet that little boy I never knew. Thank you Lord for seeing in me what I could not recognize and was too blind to see! NS *Daniel is used in place of my baby’s father’s real name. May he too have found healing from this through the blood and redemptive work on the cross.” – N.S.
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Arlene’s Story – Some names have been changed to respect confidentiality
“I left home at 21, and a year later, started dating *Jason, even though all of my friends told me it was a mistake. I told myself it was a mistake. He wasn’t nice to anyone. He was rude and calloused and went out of his way to make people feel small. But when he liked you….wow. He could make you feel as if his whole universe revolved around you. So much so that I started believing that I had been wrong about him, and so was everyone else. He was just misunderstood. He was blindingly passionate. It was enough to get you blissfully tangled in his web. But then, he’d pounce-call me names, degrade me, especially in front of other people. He put me on a pedestal just to shove me off of it and he how badly he could wound me-how much I’d allow. I’d break up with him only to get ensnared again.
In November of 1999, at 22 years old, I found out I was pregnant. I had always wanted children, so although I wasn’t married to Jason, I was happy. He didn’t share my joy. All of the happiness I felt turned to brokenness in an instant. We were living with his brother and sister in law. I was working, and he wasn’t. He wasn’t even really looking. He told me we couldn’t afford to have a baby, and that I needed to “get rid of it”. I begged him to let me keep my baby. He said that if I didn’t have an abortion, he would push me down the stairs or punch and kick me in the stomach until I lost the baby. I made an appointment at Planned Parenthood for a termination. Just before I had it done, I talked to a counselor there. She asked me if I was being coerced and I denied that I was. She asked if Jason was supportive, and I waffled on my answer, so she asked if he was abusive. I told her that he could be mean sometimes. She told me she could refer me to organizations that helped women get out of that, and suggested I keep my child. What?? And go against what I was told? Go against him? No. He’d find me if I left and he’d kidnap my child, for sure. Or kill my child and me. No. No. No. I HAD to do this. It was the only way out.
Jason came with me that day. He had just gotten a job, but went in late to come with me. I think he really came to make sure I actually went through with it, but he made it seem like he was being supportive. He refused to hold my hand–to comfort me at all. I went back into the clinic. A lot of the details are fuzzy, but I remember asking to see the ultrasound before the procedure, and they said, “No. We don’t want you to change your mind.”. The nurse told me what they were going to do–very matter of fact, clinical. She told me what it would feel like—that it was no big deal, “it” wasn’t really a baby, that I “caught it early”.
And then it began. I remember the sound of the machine when they turned it on. I remember them telling me to relax. Then, sudden, blinding pain that made me scream out ripped through my body and soul. Tears streamed down my face. The doctor said it was “successful”, and that was that. My baby was dead, and I killed her. I felt like I was made entirely of broken glass, and every move tore me apart.
They wheeled me into a large, white room with other women who had just had abortions. Some were crying silently, others were sobbing. No one looked proud or relieved. I remember the girl next to me had long, red hair like me. They gave us juice and a snack. When I was able to leave, Jason went to work. I went home. Alone. I cried for days. Jason told me to stop so no one would know anything. I took my brokenness, my guilt, and my shame and put it away-like it didn’t exist, but a couple of weeks later, when Jason’s sister in law asked me if I had just had an abortion, the pain came flooding back and I sobbed on her shoulder. She told me that God forgave me, but I was Wiccan at the time, so I didn’t even hear that. Jason was furious that I told her, and forbade me to tell anyone else. I didn’t. Some of my friends knew, but he didn’t know that. I just kept the pain to myself.
We got married February 10th, 2000. My 23rd birthday. He started hitting me shortly after. I was actually surprised. He had built me up so much before we started dating and in the beginning, that I held on in the hopes that that man would return again. He didn’t—until I decided to leave. I told him I was leaving him in May, 2001. I vowed to never return to him. I started divorce procedures for cruel and inhuman treatment. I took out a restraining order through Family Court, and when he violated it, I had him arrested and he spent a couple of nights in jail. But where I was living after I left him wasn’t a healthy environment, so when I saw him in court while he was trying to file a restraining order against me (for nothing, of course), we started talking, and he roped me back into his web again. He promised to get counseling, go to anger management. He did none of those things, but promised me he would until I moved back in—just before September 11th. He told me he loved me so much, that he missed me, and that he was sorry for how he had treated me.
Then, September 30th, 2001, I found out I was pregnant again. I was elated. Jason told me after the first time that he’d never make me go through that again, and I believed him. We were married. We could have a family! We had just been talking about starting a family in about a year. It would just be sooner—awesome!
Jason told me he wasn’t ready yet. He told me I’d be fat and disgusting if he “let me stay pregnant”. He said I’d be huge, and that he couldn’t handle that. He told me to get rid of the baby. Again. All of my hopes and dreams were being crushed again. I told him no. I refused to this time. I was putting my foot…down? He reminded me that he was stronger than me, and that he would follow through this time and kill the baby if I didn’t. He threatened divorce and to plant drugs to have my child taken away. He threatened to smear and slander me in court—to make me look bad in any way he saw fit to ensure that I did not get to keep my baby. I caved. I put all my past brokenness, guilt, shame into my backpack of despair and anger, and went to another clinic. This time, they let me see my baby on the ultrasound, and I wept. I touched the picture. Then I was on a gurney, counting backwards from 10. I remember getting to around 6, then black. When I came to, I was hazy, in terrible pain, shattered—and alone. No one was there for me this time. I was given antibiotics and sent on my way. Once again, I had killed my child. I was a murderer. But I had to keep a brave face. Tell no one. Hide. Keep the secret. Act ok.
I was very, very far from OK. I thought about taking my life almost every day.
A few months later, I finally left Jason. All I ever saw when I looked at him was pain, anger, violence, resentment—and more pain. I hated him. He tried so hard to lure me back in, but I managed to escape. Then I escaped to Montana for the next 12 years.
I came to the Lord March 23rd, 2004. I felt such joy, forgiveness, and love that it overwhelmed me. How could God forgive me? Me? I killed two innocent children, among other things. How could I ever be good enough to deserve His forgiveness and love? But that was the point! I couldn’t ever be good enough, but Jesus made a way for me! I have a beautiful 8 year old son—a precious gift from the Lord. I have a wonderful husband, and terrific friends. I am so blessed. But that deep, dark secret I have that caused those wounds upon my heart—that I worked so hard to suppress and hide, it’s still there—the wounds still open and festering. It’s time to let God get the poison out of these wounds so they can finally heal. I know that I am forgiven, wanted, loved, cherished—a daughter of the King. Because I now not only know, but believe I am dearly loved and forgiven by God, today I can surrender my heart, mind, and soul to Jesus and forgive those who have hurt me. I have forgiven Jason, and most importantly, I have forgiven myself.
I know that God will do something with my pain to bring me healing for His glory. I know that He wants me to share my story, and that I don’t need to be ashamed anymore, because He is bigger than my shame! That is worth surrendering my secret.”