Below is a piece I wrote that was included at the end of the celebration edition of Dannah Gresh’s book, And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity (Moody Publishers, 2004). Please feel free to use it if it can be helpful in any way! Please note that my book, Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion.
I want to invite you into one of the most private moments of my life. It was the moment my life was sliced in two, if you will. I say it was sliced into two because the person I was before this moment was drastically different from the person I quickly became for many years to come.
I was 19. I was the daughter of a pastor. I was attending a Christian college and dating the son of a pastor. I was having fun, enjoying both the newfound freedom of college and a really neat dating relationship with a Christian guy.
Sounds picture-perfect so far, right? Suddenly the unthinkable happened. I got pregnant. My boyfriend was less than supportive and seemed to threaten to turn the whole world upside down if I carried the pregnancy to term. He taunted me with stories of getting me kicked out of college. (The college expelled pregnant, unwed students.) He even relayed my own assessment – that my mother would probably have a mental breakdown. He convinced me that I didn’t have much choice.
I aborted my baby. He would have graduated in 2000, and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about him.
I could have been engulfed in the most horrible grief imaginable, but I didn’t have anyone to face it with me, and I wasn’t willing to do it alone. I chose to numb myself. I drowned my feelings with drugs and promiscuity for many years. I just wanted to escape the overwhelming pain. And in many ways, I did. The only thing I believed during that time was that I made the right decision for that period of my life.
But one day, I found that there was no escaping it. I had to face it. While it was the most painful time in my life, grieving my child brought healing. Finding forgiveness from Christ furthered the journey that brought me to peace that passes all understanding. Then God gave me the inspiration that He could work even abortion to His good.
The world can debate abortion all it wants, but the fact remains there is pain. I am so much happier now than I was when I was in denial and had convinced myself that I had only aborted a “blob of tissue.” I am very loved by a wonderful husband, and I find tremendous fulfillment in a productive and successful career helping other women heal from abortion. God has even allowed me to rescue a few children who would have been aborted had their mothers not heard my testimony.
What do I tell these women? What do I see working as they seek to heal? First, I tell them that they are not alone. The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider) recently stated that, “At the current rate, 33% of women will have at least one abortion by the time they are 45 years old.” And you might find this surprising, but women in the church are not immune. Imagine that 33 percent of all women are post-abortive – they sit in your congregations, work in your schools, climb corporate ladders to success, and exist in every part of our society. Despite those statistics, abortion is rarely discussed by those who have chosen it.
Second, I would have to say that a good step toward healing can start with confession. Oh, I had confessed it before God, but confessing it to a loving, godly friend through sharing my testimony was a major step in my journey to healing. James 5:16 says, Confess your sins to each other… so that you may be healed. God gave us each other to encourage and provide help in the process of healing. Telling this truth was one of the most frightening things I’ve ever done, but it was very worth it. I tell people to just make sure this person is one that they can trust.
I hope that you can’t really identify with my story. I hope that you aren’t hiding from the pain of abortion. I hope you can’t feel the overwhelming grief. But if you can, let me encourage you to tell an older, wiser, and very godly woman. If you don’t fee you can talk to your family about it right now, find a local pregnancy center to talk to one of their counselors. Their services are free and confidential and you can find your center through Ramah’s website link – https://ramahinternational.org/help-in-your-area/. I know that sounds tough, but it will be very worth it.
Speaking as someone who knows what premarital sex cost me, I can say that the best way to avoid pain is to remain abstinent until marriage. Your heart is very precious and should be saved for the perfect man. One of my greatest regrets is that I couldn’t share my innocence with my husband. Regardless of the fact that the “sky doesn’t fall” when you go a little bit further with your boyfriend than you would have liked, there are major consequences to your future. The boy who truly loves you will wait for marriage.
My prayer for you, if you have experienced abortion, is that you would join me in my journey. Never encourage or support a friend in making the choice to abort – regardless of their circumstances. Abortion is never the solution. Lead them to a pregnancy center where they can find the truth about abortion and help to continue their pregnancy.
In God’s Great Healing Love,
P.S. If you aren’t able to share, please consider reading my book, Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion. You can e-mail me as well at [email protected].