Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion

A Light Shining in the Darkness: A Couple Finds Healing Twenty Seven Years after Their Abortion

A Light Shining in the Darkness: A Couple Finds Healing Twenty Seven Years after Their AbortionI was 16, and he was my first boyfriend. It was so easy to get caught up in the kissing and the touching and then quickly came the sex. He seemed to be so careful, using contraception every time.  It was New Year’s Eve, and we were drinking at a friend’s house. We slipped away to a bedroom, and I noticed he didn’t have a condom. I asked him about it. He assured me that everything will be okay. But…it wasn’t.  Later, I was pregnant.

My goals were already set for college. I thought I was too smart to be pregnant at 16. It was embarrassing. I had to have an abortion. I thought it was my only option.

I told my boyfriend. He was not sure what to do. He was scared. He knew his parents would be so disappointed. Probably make him marry me. No way! I loved him, but I didn’t want to end up in Small Town, USA. I wanted to leave Texas, I wanted to travel. So, I knew I had to end this pregnancy, even though this was against my religion. I was not letting anybody change my mind.

I did end up telling my oldest sister about my pregnancy. I wanted her to know what I was doing in case something went wrong; and I needed money. I made her promise me not to tell my mom.  Well, she broke that promise and told my mom. My mom didn’t yell or get mad. She was just very sad. 

Many years later, I found out my mother had an abortion, and she also was there for my older sister’s abortion. My mom did try to talk me out of it, but she knew I was not changing my mind.

As for the money…we needed $200 for the abortion. My boyfriend and I asked every friend we had for money. We asked for $5 or $10 until we got the money we needed.

The day we went to the abortion center is a bit of a blur. My boyfriend and I sat next to each other and my mom sat across from me. We sat in silence. My boyfriend was on the verge of tears the whole time. It was early in the morning. They called my name. I paid the $200 at the window and a nurse took me to another waiting room.

This time it was a small room with chairs all around the walls. Almost every chair was occupied. I found a seat and looked around and everyone seemed to be as sad as me. It seemed like I was waiting for so long.  I finally went into the procedure room. I undressed and put on a gown. I sat on the table until a nurse and doctor walked in. The doctor was talking to me, but he sounded like he was babbling. I couldn’t understand him. I felt numb.

The nurse told me to lie down on the table.  She put my legs in the stirrups. The doctor was still talking. He turned on this big machine in the corner. He held up this white tube, and I felt it go inside me. It felt like suction. I turned my head to the right toward the huge machine. I felt like everything started to move in slow motion.

 I turned and saw two large glass jars attached to the side of this machine. I saw blood pouring into them. I saw the blood flowing through the clear tubes running from me to the jars. Then…the image I have burned into the deepest part of my soul…I saw white pieces of my baby’s body running through the tubes from my body into the jars.

I turned my head back toward the ceiling. And that was when I began to have tears rolling out of my eyes. Tears for my baby. I knew right then and there that God could never forgive me. He would never love me again. I was a murderer. I had just killed my baby. I guess the nurse noticed. She grabbed my hand and said, “Everything will be okay.”  She was so terribly wrong.

The aftermath of my abortion rocked me to the core. After I left the clinic, I just put the whole experience away and didn’t think about it. My life went on, but it was never the same. I was hurting inside, and I didn’t know why. I did not show anyone that I was hurting inside.

I did not go away to college. I stayed in my hometown with my boyfriend and went to a local community college.   I still had desire to travel, so I joined the Air Force. My boyfriend and I stayed together for four more years, and got married.  We have four kids.

I put the memory of that horrific day far away in my memory. I did not realize that was the reason for my sadness, depression, and anxiety. I did eventually show my husband the pain I was suffering. But we couldn’t figure out why I was so depressed. At that time, I was an officer in the Air Force. I always had to have a “game face” at work and when I would get home I would just collapse in exhaustion and depression.

It finally became too much to handle. I was admitted into the mental health ward of a hospital for a week. It was during this time, a sweet Chaplin told me about and abortion healing program. I participated in the program and the activities helped us progress through the healing process.

Though I had experienced personal healing, my marriage was still suffering from the after effects of our abortion. My husband has never been able to speak of our baby, whose name is Matthew. I held on to this anger because my husband did not acknowledge our baby. I felt angry because he did not seem to suffer the way I did over the death of our first child.

I told my husband I was planning on going to an abortion healing program called Rachel’s Vineyard for continued healing, and to my surprise just out of the blue, he said “I’ll go with you.” Needless to say, I was shocked, and I jumped on the opportunity. I knew it was the Holy Spirit working on us. My husband and I signed up to go on a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat in June 2015. 

My prayer to God was that He would show Matthew to my husband.  The retreat was wonderful! It was more than I expected and especially valuable for my husband.

On the very first night of the retreat, our son spoke to my husband at 3 in the morning. My husband said the light around the door all of a sudden started to glow and get brighter and brighter as if it were daylight outside.   Then he heard a little boy’s voice say “It’s okay daddy.” He knew it was our son. He began to cry uncontrollably for hours. He knew our son forgave him for not acknowledging him for 27 years.

I cannot say how grateful we are to Rachel’s Vineyard and the whole team who put it together. My husband and I look forward to helping other men and women in our home town who suffer after abortion and are discerning helping the local Rachel’s Vineyard ministry. We are moving slowly as my husband naturally needs time to continue his healing and allow that grace to settle into his life.    

We are praying, and are open to God’s will for our lives.