January 22, 1973, was the day that all state restrictions on abortion were declared unconstitutional in the infamous Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Now, 40 years later, children are sacrificed daily on the altar known as ‘choice’, most of them simply because to let them live would be an inconvenience or an embarrassment. Although an accurate number of abortions performed since 1973 is hard to pin down, a safe estimate is somewhere in the range of 55,000,000. Approximately 43% of women in America will have an abortion by the age of 45. These are staggering numbers.
I share my testimony here because I am deeply disturbed about the failure of the church to minister to women who have an abortion in their past; women like me. God sent his Son as a sacrifice for sin-including the sin of abortion-and women can be forgiven and set free. It breaks my heart that millions who are suffering from a past abortion are so ashamed of being judged by the church that they keep quiet about the secret that is eating them alive. I believe it also breaks the heart of Christ. Satan loves secrets; he is the father of lies. While the church remains mute, the hearts and souls of countless women (and men) are hemorrhaging. Abortion is not a political issue, it is a spiritual war, and the silence coming from Christ’s church is deafening.
In 1973, I was a sophomore in high school. Roe v. Wade really didn’t make any difference to me at the time, I’m not sure I even knew about it. Only 8 short years later, however, the “right to choose” altered my life forever. I was a Christian; Christ had reached down, pulled me out of a very dark pit, and claimed me for His own in 1974; there is no doubt in my mind about that. I remember it like it was yesterday. Having been raised in a non-Christian family and surrounded by non-Christian friends, though, it wasn’t long before I walked straight back to the life that I so desperately wanted to leave.
In 1981, I found myself unmarried and pregnant. I was ashamed, I was afraid, and I was without emotional support. The baby’s father wanted nothing to do with the pregnancy. He was just as ashamed and afraid as I was, I know that now and I have forgiven him, by God’s grace. For many years, though, I resented him and blamed him for not stepping up; our relationship was toxic to both of us. In no way can I claim that I didn’t know that I was carrying a baby because I knew it almost at once, just like I did when God later blessed me with three sons. I knew with every fiber of my being that what I was doing was very, very wrong. I loved God, I believed Him, but I did not trust that He would take care of the life that He created. I was afraid.
I remember feeling like I was literally being ripped in half. I wanted my little girl so badly, but I listened to the wrong voices. I listened to the voices that said it was ok because it was very early in the pregnancy. I listened to the voices that said I would be better off without her. I listened to the voices that said no one would ever have to know. I listened to the voices that said it was my choice to make, and I chose the wrong path. I knew it even as I was lying on that cold table; listening to the ‘doctor’ and nurse laughing about where they were going to go that evening. I remember wanting to scream and run away, but I didn’t. I got up and walked out of that clinic and went on with my life, just like the voices told me to. What I didn’t realize is that those voices were straight out of hell. Not only did those voices separate me from my baby girl, they also separated me from God for a very long time.
I stuffed the pain deep down inside of me, and it stayed there for over 20 years. In the meantime, I got married and lived what looked like a storybook life, from the outside. We had 3 perfect sons, we were active in church, I did volunteer work in the schools; we owned a small business, we had the proverbial ‘castle on a hill’. On the inside of those walls, however, lived domestic violence, drug abuse, adultery, and mountains of bitterness and regret. I went through the motions with a smile on my face; I became an excellent actress. Slowly, or so it seemed, everything started to unravel…
I became so depressed that I couldn’t function; I started having panic attacks, seemingly out of nowhere. I felt like I was going crazy. God gently led me to prolife resources; I started to read and study His word and light began to shine into my darkness; everything started to click. All of the dysfunction and pain in my marriage, all of the physical symptoms, all of the bitterness and regret pointed right back to that day in 1981, the day I let my daughter go. In 2002 God reached down to bind up my broken heart and set me free. It was not instantaneous; it took a very long time. There was a lot of scarring, a lot of layers that He had to peel back in order to get to the root of the problem. It took many more years for me to admit to another human being that I had aborted my daughter.
I remember so very clearly saying to God, “One of these days, you’re going to ask me to talk about this, aren’t you?” The very thought of ever speaking out about my abortion and the pain it caused almost paralyzed me with fear. I was so ashamed; I didn’t want anyone to have to know. Over time, though, God has taken that fear completely away and replaced it with an incredibly strong passion to reach out to others who are suffering in silence and shame. He has truly taken a life that was in ashes and turned it into something that He can use for His glory. What the Enemy of my soul meant to destroy me, God is using for good. I still feel very fragile sometimes, and I still struggle, but God is faithful and continues to sanctify and redeem me daily as I surrender to Him.
This leads me back to my original point. Where was the church when my life crashed down? Why the silence? Why did I have to pursue resources from other places? By not saying anything, the church speaks loudly and women understand that this particular sin is not to be discussed. Why do we not actively and intentionally reach out and minister to women and men who are in bondage from the lies of abortion? The church is supposed to be the body of Christ; why are we not doing what He would do? It is a travesty; one day we will stand before a Holy God and He will be the one asking why…