Monday, May 12, 2014

My Own Positive Abortion Story

Monday, May 12, 2014

(The Way It Should Be)
A few weeks ago I read an article about an abortion counselor who filmed her abortion so others who want abortions would feel more comfortable having one. You can find it:
And many other places if you just "Google" it. 
If you didn't hear about her story or his response, then here is a brief synopsis:
A woman in this related industry got pregnant, then filmed her abortion to show people that abortions are not as big of a problem as they were previously thought to be. They are easy, and even, "cool." The Matt Walsh Blog that responds does a great job at setting things straight for the opinion of the pro-lifer in defense of life. (I personally wanted to give him a high five since the moment I read his blog about the stay at home mom, but this was the cherry, trust me.)
A few days went by and I felt a continual nudge to share my own "positive abortion story." It has never been penned or written, and I have told very few. I was unsure and extremely scared. Sharing bits and pieces of a broken past is scary, tearful, and vulnerable. However, I believe sharing our pain is so essential. Especially in moments like these. 
I was 19, not sure how time went so fast and the last years of my life were a blur. I'm not yet blogging about how I got to this point, but I know that my heart was thirsty for love and affection. I would take it from any possible avenue that I could get it. Being well versed in unhealthy relationships, abuse, and unwise decisions, I ventured out to do life on my own; also called college life. I met a guy who everyone liked. Really popular, energetic, and charismatic. He also suffered from a common problem in the New Age: narcissism. Not the kind where you stare in a body of water until you die, or fly to close to the sun or whatever. But the kind where you feel so low about yourself, you beat others down to a lower standard than you, to build them up, to feel needed. To have control. This narcissism manipulates, abuses, and lies, lacking every form of empathy that exists. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 that,
"... There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."
That was who I was involved with. Loved money, loved women, loved sin. Alcohol was a staple, much like the need for an actual food group and he loved pornography of all kinds. I will stop here because I am not here to bash and slander him. However, please understand where I am coming from when I say manipulation, threats, financial, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse were not below this man.
After years of his abuse, I finally decided I was done. I was getting counseling and accepting that I allowed him in my life.  After a few months without him, I was doing really well. I got off birth control and rededicated my life to Christ. I was striving to let the past rest and live pure from that point forward. This is called secondary virginity and is covered by God's grace. This redemption is so possible! One day, this guy came back to my apartment to "get his stuff." When I let him in, I quickly discovered he came over drunk and I was subjected to the normal routine. When he was done, he went into the "office," watched his porn, and left. I started to panic. I knew instantly that this was going to end badly.

In a few short weeks, I had a positive pregnancy test in my hand.
"Why God? I was changing, I was new! Why would you allow this?"
"I cannot care for a baby. He cannot care for a baby."
When I told him, he told me to, "Take care of it and I will leave a check." If I scheduled an abortion he would finance it, so I did. I walked alone, out the door, to have an abortion at just under 5 or 6 weeks pregnant. No one knew I was expecting yet except the birth father. I climbed in my car and started the trip to Minneapolis to have the procedure. (This clinic is now closed.) The drive began fine, "This is best. This has to be done to protect this kid. What if he abused this child like he did  me? Neglect? I can't monetarily provide. And honestly, I cannot look at this child every day and remember this pain." The whole time I drove I tried to justify "my choice."
Until, out of nowhere, I was hit with emotion. So much that I had to pull the car over and sob. "What am I doing? I am killing my baby. Terminating a LIFE.  I know this as truth and I justify this."
At that point, I did what every prodigal does when backed into a corner. I called home. I remember it clearly to this day. I called and my mom answered. I was a wreck. I said, "Mom, I don't feel good." My mom didn't miss a beat with her response. "You are pregnant. We are coming to get you."
They did. Just days later I was moved back in with my parents. Sharing a room with my younger sister, crying myself to sleep at night. The pain didn't stop because my parents came and got me. The pain of a violated, wasted past, bubbled up like a volcano. My faith was tested. I was full of worry and grief. How was I, without a job, without a home of my own, without a husband, and without anything, going to be a mom? I began to search the internet for an adoptive family. Finding a family did not take long and I quickly made contact with them.
A few weeks later, at my new church, they were doing cardboard testimonies. (If you don't know what they are, search them on Youtube and grab a Kleenex.) I felt God was telling me to let the church know what I was facing. However, I told God no because I knew what judgmental church goers would think. I was one of them. There was no way I was going  up there to say, "Hey! Look at me! Single mom!" But, I did. I went up and flipped my board. My testimony read, "Considered abortion, *Flip* Chose life, Due in May." We got standing, tearful, ovations both services.
After church, a few women grabbed me, prayed with me, and asked if they could help me. What was I having? When was I due? What did I need help with? This was astounding to me. I was ready to be pushed aside as another social case. Instead what I found was a warm embrace, more baby clothes and items than I needed (I literally had to donate stuff), and new friendships that are still alive today.
A few months later, with the support of my friends and family, I chose to keep my daughter and  was giving birth. I remember the emotions even now as the room was packed full of doctors, nurses, and family waiting for this arrival. However, I felt totally, and completely, alone. I remember noise, lots of noise, maybe even a baby cry, but it was muffled, like they all had paper cups over their mouth. Pain, the most pain I have ever been in. A moment that was supposed to bring so much joy, brought nothing but fear. What seemed all at once, they threw a crying, messy baby on me and cut the cord. She screamed. I just stared at her and instantly I knew that I would die for this child. The love of my Savior finally made sense. She didn't have to deserve it, she didn't have to be conceived or born into a perfect situation, but I would give my life for her, my breath, and my future. She was my reason to press forward out of a depression that would have eventually taken my life.
And I asked, "God... Who is ever going to love the both of us now?"
As I stared at that little baby, the room stopped moving, the air fell thin... my throat felt as if there was a Dorito lodged securely at a 90 degree angle, and a voice like thunder boomed in my soul, "I DO." I knew it was God. I knew then that God's grace was in my life to stay. That this little, perfect, beautiful little girl was my gift. I didn't deserve her. She was given to me to realize the love of my maker. The beautiful, sacrificial love of a parent. "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now, I'm found, was blind, but now I see."
As I read these blogs, some encouraging more women to abort (such as and others damning people to hell who have had an abortion, I realized we are all sorely missing the mark. These things stick out to me when it comes to saving lives.
1) We need to be a culture of Christians in a church body who embrace, not shun, single parents. Babies are not the only souls that need saving in these situations. We live in a culture that single parenthood happens and unplanned pregnancy is happening at alarming rates.  Instead of judgmental glances we need to have real, authentic engagement with these women. They are raising or terminating the next generation. Let us remember we are all desperately in need of the Savior. That Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy (Mark 2:17). Jesus says that, "All have sinned and fallen short." (Romans 3:23). It is so important to not become ill with what I call "Pharisee Syndrome." Jesus hung for the gossiper, the liar, the thief, the rapist, the murderer, the abuser, and the people who have sex outside of marriage. The thing we desperately need to remember is that God's grace covers ALL sin. Not just yours, not just mine, but theirs, too. Let us not take the call to love lightly. Don't make a pregnant woman feel alone and like she "has no other choice." The truth is, she does, and it's Jesus.

2) We need to be prodigal parents.  Parents, we grow up. We realize you were right about things. If you are facing this with your child now, or have, don't rub their faults in their face. If my parents would not have come to get me instantly, I would have probably kept driving and have gone through with my appointment. Love doesn't set boundaries that say, "I love you if you do what makes me look like I have been a good parent." Love says, "You screwed up? I am on my way." I understand there is a difference between enabling and loving, that is a different post. These are human lives that hang in the balance. One thing I have come to realize myself is that parents are in a spiritual warfare for their kid's souls. We need to be so vigilant in being there for our kids, in prayer, in setting an example, and in loving.
3) Our culture embraces sexuality. Parents have to stop avoiding it at all costs.  Parents, this is weird, but if your kids are not learning about sex and sexuality from you, they are learning their information from someone else. We need to stop throwing awkward books with big words at our kids and hoping they don't have questions after (if) they finish reading it. We have to stop telling our kids, "Go ask your dad (or mom)." Because when we avoid this topic, chances are, when they start feeling these emotions and the first person of the opposite gender that says, "I know what you feel. Lets go in my room and talk about it," is going to ruin your child forever. Don't treat sex like it is bad. God wants us to have a God-honoring sexual relationship within marriage. Chances are, if you are avoidant of these topics, then you have also been raised in a "hush-hush" setting. Please do your research for their sake! Read Godly-authored books about sex in marriage. "Go ask your dad," has a lot less weight than, "Honey, I am so glad you trusted me enough to ask me. Let's get some ice cream and talk about what God says. I want you to know any time you have questions, especially like this, you do not have to worry about asking me. I was there once too and I am honored to help you figure this out." Then DO IT! Take them for ice cream, explain to them the birds and the bees, healthy boundaries, the difference of healthy and unhealthy relationships, and above all else, BE HONEST. (Some great books for moms and dads to read: Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll, Good Girls Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregorie, No More Headaches, Sacred Marriage, Song of Songs, and a few more!) If mom and dad role models are avoiding sex talk with their kids, we will have kids who find their education in porn, music videos, secular worldview, experience, and unfortunately, by being taken advantage of in molestation, rape, and assault. They will not know what God honoring sexuality is unless we tell them.
Lastly) We need to raise our kids with the pure idea that every person is created for purpose. We are not the standard of "good." God is. Parents tend to raise their own children to be successful. In the USA, success means that in this order you: went to youth group, didn't do drugs in high school, won metals, went to a good college, got a high paying job, got married, and then had kids. You can't be just a waiter, you can't have kids outside of marriage, and if you are living in a small house you cannot call yourself "successful." Instead of raising children that will love the Lord in whatever situation, in whatever career, in whatever circumstance, we have raised children who love to strive for earthly pleasure, and whoever else doesn't or can't is "worthless." This thinking makes a single mom "worthless," in addition, so does her baby. The truth is, God made everyone for a purpose and we all have a role to play. The cashier is just as important as the doctor. If I forget to take my trash out on Thursday, by next week the garbage man is my best friend. My point is, who are we to say whose life is worth something and whose life is worthless by how it was conceived (in marriage or not, planned or not, rape or incest). God is the giver of life and he alone should be able to take it. We need to stop raising children with the idea that what we do is more important than who we are (in Christ). 

This year, I did another cardboard testimony. This time, my four year old joined in with me. My card said, "Raped. Scheduled an abortion. *Flip* Chose life, Meet Gracie, She's Four." Gracie stood beside me and her board read, "Fatherless *flip* Being adopted by a dad who loves me." Never underestimate the influence one choice can have.
We need to combat abortion at the root. Nasty pictures of cut up babies might gross people out, but it certainly won't give that baby or that suffering mom vindication. We need to focus instead on creating a community that is healing families and raising children who don't grow up to wanting love from people instead of God. This world will never be perfect until Christ returns to claim his own but we certainly can give value and worth to a hurting soul with no place left to turn. Because honestly, the only positive abortion story, is the one that never had to happened to begin with.
This blog is my story, about what I learned, when "Grace Came To Stay."
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Denise Horrocks said...

Gosh that is beautiful,May God shower you with blessings for your transparency. Thank you Spirit for invading that car and stopping the ride to what could have happened. May God continue to allow these words to pour forth from your heart to your pen.

Nicole Josephs said...

Your strength and honesty is amazing. Telling your story and sharing such a difficult time in your life shows what a remarkable woman you are. God has great plans for you. I am so blessed to be able to call you a friend.

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