Door to Forgiveness
I want to tell
you about a choice I made a long time ago, a choice that has
haunted me for 20 years. I did not know the effect that
choice was going to have on the rest of my life. Until now,
I have been silent.
At 17, I got pregnant. I went from becoming an honor
student, to barely making it to my 18th birthday. I was
terrified and ashamed. I was the “good girl” that went to
church and did not get into trouble.
When I first saw my pregnancy test results, I remember
smiling. My first reaction was happiness. A few minutes
later, the dread set in. I did not want to disappoint my
grandmother and I did not was to be like my mother who had
given birth to me when she was 17.
I will never forget the moment when I opened the grocery
store cooler and reached for a quart of milk. I was thinking
that I needed to take care of myself and be healthy for the
baby growing inside of me. I would give anything if I could
go back to that instant when all I was thinking about was my
well-being and that of my baby.
My boyfriend and I decided an abortion was the best thing to
do because neither of us was ready to take care of a child.
I knew it was wrong, but I made the decision anyway. If I
had simply told my grandmother, she would have understood
and I would have my child with me today.
The drive to the clinic that summer was long and hot. It
took 2 hours to get there and I was very sick. When we
finally arrived, the lady at the counter could tell I was
not feeling well and offered my some saltine crackers and a
Sprite. She was so nice! I didn’t think anyone so nice would
let me do something so terrible. She took my $250.00 and I
waited for her to tell me I did not have to go through with
the abortion if I didn’t want to, but she never did.
I was given a pregnancy test and sent to a room with a bunch
of other young girls. Our “counseling” consisted of them
telling us about birth control and how to rest after what
they referred to as a “pregnancy termination”. I was not
given an ultra sound, and I was not told about fetal
development. They did not tell me that my child had a
beating heart, fingers, and toes. They did not even explain
I asked if it would hurt and they said, no, nothing worse
than a menstrual cramp. That was a lie! I was taken to
another room and put on a table. The nurse held my hand and
told me to squeeze. I will never forget the sound of the
suction and the agony of what was happening to me. I just
laid there and cried! My mind was screaming to stop, but it
was too late. I knew as soon as it was over what I had done.
That was the worst moment in my life! That was the beginning
of many years of guilt, shame, depression and grief.
The drive back was dreadful. The pain from cramping and
bleeding was nothing compared to the way I felt inside. How
was I going to deal with this? My body had just gone through
a very unnatural process. My body that had been designed to
nurture life had just been pried open and the life inside
had been stripped away. Once home, I could not sleep or eat
for days. The first time I went out, I saw a woman pushing a
stroller and I was sick. I wanted to step out in front of a
car. I wanted my baby back! I wanted to drive back to that
clinic and tell them I changed my mind! I wanted them to
help me with the pain, to make it go away. I wanted to go
back in time and make another choice. But they could not
help me. They had done their job, which is what I had paid
them to do. I paid them to destroy two lives...my babies and
mine. I was left to deal with my choice.
I began daydreaming about going to the police station and
telling them I had committed murder. I imagined they would
then put me in jail and sentence me to death. I deserved
death; I wanted to be dead. But I knew the police would do
nothing because what I had done was legal. So, I stuffed it
away and told no one. I kept silent for 20 years.
I have never forgotten my baby and I have never forgotten
the experience. The comfort I get now comes from knowing
that God is forgiving, and I know that I will see my child
in Heaven. It took a loving Evangelist to show me that I
could be forgiven and healed. I had never heard about anyone
talk about abortion before in those terms. She talked about
love and forgiveness and deliverance from the sin and guilt
of abortion. I felt a wave of forgiveness washing over me.
God had forgiven me, but I had not forgiven myself. I
punished myself over and over.
Today I am finally at peace, but I will never forget what I
did. For years I wondered if my child was a boy or girl. In
my heart, I did not want to know because that would have
made my baby more of a real person. I began to pray to God
to reveal to me the sex of my child and to tell me if I
should name him or her along with a name. After praying, I
had a dream that my baby was a boy named him Daniel. God
lifted Daniel up and one day I will get to hold him.
My abortion was not good for me. It was something I did out
of selfishness and convenience. One out of four women who
have had abortions are silent about it. You don’t hear about
their experience or how it destroyed their lives. Some say
there is no such thing as stress and depression due to
abortion. They say we must have had some other problems
before we killed our children. My experience tells me
otherwise. Choosing abortion can be devastating and I want
to make sure that those who have had abortions and those
thinking about abortion know that there is help and hope and
love for those who choose life for themselves and their
babies. That is why I am silent no more!