- Posted February 10, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
Beauty for Ashes
Time marches on. I guess I got what I wanted. Things went back to normal, but I always felt that "what if" feeling around the time "it" would have been born...girl? boy?
What if I hadn't? I experienced grief and shame, and later came to learn that promiscuity is linked to abortion and resulting stress, but I am getting ahead of myself.
Several years later, post college and while working and in an intimate relationship with a man who I hoped at the time would commit, I discovered that I was once again pregnant. ( Mind you I had gone on birth control following the first pregnancy, then had some difficulty with it and was in the process of changing methods. This is when this happened.) I was stunned. The receptionist smiled and said "Congratulations!". I went to the car and cried. Here I was again, only 6 years later, unmarried and unexpectedly pregnant. I was hopeful that my boyfriend would be happy. Maybe he would surprise me and and say "Let's just get married now". Wrong. More like, I'll pay for the abortion, or for you to go away and have it.
In retrospect, had I been brave, I would have taken him up on the latter. I would think much more of myself today if I had given birth to a child and given it up for adoption, or even tried to raise it myself, than to live with the guilt and sadness that I felt after having the second abortion.
I changed the date for the "procedure" twice, hoping that my circumstances would change, but they didn't, so I went on Valentine's Day 1981 and had the second abortion. That night my boyfriend and I went to a party. That is real denial. But it seems that is where your mind needs to go when what you are doing is actually murdering your own flesh and blood and pretending that you are not. You put on a mask and wear it for the world to see, and walk around hurting, and seeing babies and wondering, and thinking 9 months ahead to what would have been your due date, and having a hard time seeing baby clothes, and stuff like that. Then you start denying that you are doing that. I did that for a long time.
Until God began to reveal Himself to me in scripture, and I found myself studying the book of Matthew. In that study we focused on how God was calling us to use our gifts to serve others. I had known for a long time that I wanted to volunteer at a center in town called "First Care" which is a crisis pregnancy center. Once of the prerequisites is that anyone interested in counseling clients who has had an abortion has to attend a Post Abortion Counseling group.
There began the healing that I needed. I realized that I was so ashamed of what I had done, that I felt I was unforgivable, even to God. Abortion is such a shameful topic, I was surprised to see that CNN was going to touch it. Churches have programs on healing for those who are post abortive, but women won't even pick up the literature in ladies rooms, or call confidential numbers. They are living in fear, still that "someone will find out" and judge them. It is horrible. In this study you learn to forgive yourself, those who never told you the truth, those who you were afraid to trust with your fears, and you realize that the child you aborted had a soul. As a Christian, we know that Christ knits us together in our mothers wombs, (Psalm 139:13) We know that we will be reunited one day with the souls of the departed, including those children who we denied existence. It is overwhelming, and healing. Christ died for ALL our sins, none is greater than the other. We are forgiven and set free.
As a result of this, I was able to become a facilitator of these types of groups, and have been able to minister to women just like myself who have been carrying this kind of pain for year, sometimes having told no one! What an incredible burden. It is such a privilege to help women through this. I really feel with all my heart that abortion is one of the biggest lies that is out there. Yes, I know my sisters all want to have their choice. What if their mother's had exercised that right when they were pregnant and didn't necessarily want them? God has a plan for all of us. I can't bring back the children I aborted, but I can help others make informed, educated choices, and help to heal the hearts of my sisters who are suffering with the burden of shame and deep lifelong wounds that abortion causes. Beauty for Ashes. That's how I like to think about it. In scripture Isaiah says that God will give us beauty for ashes. ( Isaiah 61:1-3) God knew this life would be hard, and we would get burned, and there would be ashes. God also knew he could replace those burned ashes with something beautiful, if you allow him.
"Something beautiful, something good,
All my confusion, Jesus understood.
All I have to offer him is brokenness and strife,
But he made something beautiful out of my life."