In 1997 I found myself pregnant with my second child. I wasn't married when I had my first child, and I lived in a small town, where everyone knew what you were doing. My boyfriend at the time was very unhappy when he found out I was pregnant, and he was adamant about me having an abortion. I had just started a new job, and I was afraid of how my pregnancy would affect my job, as well as my reputation. Abortion wasn't available in Missouri at the time, so we went to a clinic in Iowa. I remember going to the clinic and having an ultrasound to find out how far along I was. I also remember being given Valium, which made me really loopy. I barely remember anything else, except being put on the table and then hearing a vacuum-like sound. They gave me a Rhogam shot and sent me on my way. My initial reaction was one of relief. The stress of worrying about people judging me for being pregnant out of wedlock again was no longer weighing on me. Little did I know how long the guilt from that day would have a hold on me.
The following year was one of great heartache for me. During that year I lost my grandmother, my favorite aunt, and my brother. I was sure that God was punishing me for taking the life of that innocent baby. I was brought up in the Church, so I believed in God, but I felt so guilty, ashamed, and unworthy that I could not bring myself to even enter the Lord's house. I struggled silently for years, feeling unworthy and disgusted with myself.
Finally, seven years after my abortion, I picked up "The Purpose Driven Life" and finally started to find my way back to the Lord. Soon after that I met the love of my life, my husband. He helped me not only grow in the Lord, but he was the first one who told me I could be forgiven for the abortion.
In 2016, after a trip to Haiti, I decided I wanted to help other women who had had an abortion. It was through God's leading that I finally found my true healing. By joining my local pregnancy care ministry, I also found my way to the SaveOne program study, as well as a Project Rachel retreat, and found my own healing. And that's why I'm silent no more!