Sharing our stories helps unveil the truth of abortion’s devastating impact on women, men, and babies, and also encourages other post-abortive women and men to find the hope, healing and redemption available in Jesus Christ!
Never did I envision myself there, in the women's center, under those circumstances. I was told that it would be a short procedure to remove the "pregnancy tissue,” and after a time of recovery, I would be on my way.
That one tragic day dramatically altered my life, sending me into a longstanding downward spiral.
Years later, it took an unexpected encounter with a complete stranger to unearth and bring into the light the part of my life that I had tried so hard to hide, bury and forget.
I was an 18 year old freshman in college when my boyfriend of two years and I suddenly found ourselves faced with an unplanned pregnancy. I did not know where to turn. My parents had just separated. Feeling shame and fearing rejection, I didn't tell any friends. My boyfriend and I had just started college and had no money to support a baby. We felt the only option was abortion.
My abortion occurred on December 17, 1980. That day is forever etched in my mind. I remember being very fearful and anxious. The procedure was painful both physically and emotionally. My immediate reaction after the procedure was one of relief. The procedure was over. My crisis had passed. I could continue school. No one would know.
But soon came guilt, shame, emptiness, and depression. This seemed too much to bear so I stuffed all my painful emotions into a box, tightly shut the lid, walked it down into the dark cellar of my heart, shoved it in a far corner, turned the latch on the door, and threw away the key.
The pressure of keeping the lid on the box was great. Sadly, for the next seven years I immersed myself in the party scene, using alcohol to dull my pain. My life was in a downhill spiral, and I was powerless to change it, but praise God, in October of 1987, Jesus Christ saved my life! One year after I received Jesus, He began to lead me by the hand to that locked cellar door.
He began to orchestrate experiences that would reveal my need for healing. One such experience began on the way home from a Wednesday night Bible study. While driving down the road, I passed a stumbling figure in the darkness. I felt a strong urge to go back. It was a woman, noticeably drunk, who agreed she could use a ride home.
When we arrived, she invited me in. For the next two hours, this woman sat in a crumpled heap, pouring out tears over the death of her 29 year-old son. She also confessed that she had an abortion later in life and wondered if her son's death was God's punishment for her abortion.
At that moment the lid to my tightly closed box blew off as the reality of my abortion and the loss of my child became painfully real. The woman and I wept together bitterly.
I shared my abortion history with my pastor, and his daughter referred me to an abortion recovery Bible study support group. Through this ministry, God mended my heart piece by piece. The women in my group became "Jesus in the flesh" to me. They loved me, cried tears with me, and offered His words of truth and hope.
One of the final weeks of the Bible study addressed the topic, "Accepting the Loss and Letting Go." The leaders suggested that we prayerfully name our children. Several days later, I was praying on my bed at night. I was not even thinking about my abortion when, in my mind's eye, I saw the image of a beautiful blonde curly-haired blue-eyed boy running to me. He wrapped his arms tightly around my waist, and with his bright shining eyes he looked up and said, "Mommy, I love you." I told him I loved him too, and as I held him I tearfully asked, "Do you forgive me?" He said, "Of course I do, Mommy. I love you. I'll see you in heaven."
Immediately, I felt in my heart his name was Stephen. I asked God to confirm his name. Over the next few weeks, He did.
The first confirmation came when I was in a post office standing in line behind a woman holding her beautiful blue-eyed baby boy. I felt the nudging of God to ask the woman the baby's name. She replied, "Stephen."
The second confirmation came at the close of a conference on the topic of "The Lord's Mercy.”I was one of the last to leave the church except for a woman nursing her baby. Again, I felt the nudge of God to ask the mother her baby's name. She replied, "Stephen."
The third confirmation came when I was sitting alone at a park, watching a father and a young curly-haired boy stroll through the grass. As they turned to walk past me, I again felt God say, "Ask him his son's name." The man replied, "Stephen."
I was utterly amazed! Not only had God confirmedly child’s name, but God was also confirming time and time again that He really cared about me and was divinely orchestrating every moment of my healing.
At the final meeting of our Bible study support group, we held a memorial service for our children. We agreed to plant a tree to symbolize that despite our children's tragic deaths, God could still create new life and new beginnings in us.
It was at that moment, while holding hands in a circle around our newly planted tree, I realized that the box that had been hidden in the cellar of my heart for ten years was now standing open in the light of day. It was empty. My heart had been mended and given wings to fly!
Within a few short years, God brought another Steven into my life, who became my husband. We are blessed with two amazing sons, who love God with all their heart.
God, in His amazing grace, has healed and restored me. I share this story to honor the life of my precious son, Stephen, whom I’ll see one day in heaven, to help others who are grieving after an abortion, to discourage others from ever making the same tragic choice, and most importantly to give glory to God who saved me and brought me to wholeness and peace.
To those hurting after abortion - you are not alone. God can bring hope and healing to your heart, so that you, too, will know, "If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!”