My Story; His Glory – Restored by Hope

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The Appointment

It was the first week of December. I should have been enjoying the early holiday season festivities with my mom and my sisters, but instead I had far more important matters on my mind.

The signs had been there for a few weeks, and somehow I managed to suppress the thought of them. But there was no denying it now. I had finally gone to a doctor to confirm what I already knew: I was 11 weeks pregnant with my first child.

Being so close to the end of my first trimester, there wasn’t much time to process the road that lay ahead of me. I only had a matter of days to get things taken care of, because second-trimester abortions weren’t offered anywhere near where I lived.  In my selfish state, I didn’t allow my mind to even consider the truth of why second-trimester abortions would be harder to access. Before I knew it, my appointment was set.

I don’t remember the exact date, but there are a few details that stand out from that day. My sister drove me to my appointment at Family Planning Associates in Fresno, California, about 30 miles from where we lived.

When we arrived, I walked up to the counter and signed myself in. The woman at the counter handed me some paperwork to fill out and instructed me to have a seat and someone would be with me shortly. So I sat with my sister and waited.

I can’t recall how much time stood between me and the door where I would be called back for my “turn.” I could have changed my mind and ran out of the building, never looking back. But that thought never crossed my mind. I was sure this was what I wanted to do.

Eventually, a woman opened the door and called me back. Little did I know how my life would be forever changed by accepting that call…

I’m not sure how long I was on the other side of that door. My memory is pretty blank from that moment up until after the abortion procedure was finished. I woke up, cramping and freezing cold in a recovery bed. I was no longer 11 weeks pregnant. I wasn’t pregnant at all. It was all over. And my only feeling was that of relief.

Remembering

As I sit here today recalling the memories I have of my abortion, what hurts the most is not the details of the events from that day, but the details of how I felt that day — or, rather, how I didn’t feel that day. I had no remorse for what I had just done. I wouldn’t even realize the magnitude of what I had just done until years later.

I remember clearly how I viewed abortion during that time in my life. I had been in a bad relationship. I wound up pregnant because of my irresponsible and sinful actions, and all I could think about was the fact that I didn’t want to be tied to this person for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to have a child. I didn’t want my life to be changed forever by becoming a mother. I wasn’t ready for any of it, and I wanted this person out of my life. All I kept thinking about was me, me, me, me. Adoption wasn’t even a thought that crossed my mind. I just wanted the whole situation to go away. And it was insanely easy to arrange for that to happen. It was as simple as filling out some papers, paying $70, walking in pregnant, and coming out with it all behind me…

Or so I thought.

My abortion will never be behind me. I will live with the consequences of that decision for the rest of my life.

Restored by Hope

In the next three years that followed, I met my husband and got married. When we began having children and started a family, that’s when the memory of my abortion started to creep into my thought life, nagging me with regret and condemnation. The truth began to be clear that I had done something horrible.

In the early years of our marriage, I went about life believing I was a Christian, saying my prayers and going to church here and there. The interesting thing about it was that I never read the Bible, and yet I believed I knew God and I thought I had a close relationship with Him. I knew the god the world told me about, and that was good enough for me. I knew the god I had fashioned in my own mind, and I liked this little god; he didn’t require much of me. The trouble with this little god was that he couldn’t forgive me for my abortion. I still lived under the guilt and shame of my past, and no matter how many times I asked for forgiveness, the guilt and shame never went away. I was sure this little god could never forgive me and that I was destined for hell because of what I’d done.

Fast-forward to two years ago, 11 years after the abortion and 8 years into my marriage. By the grace of God, my family started attending a church regularly and I began to really read the Bible for the first time in my life. I attended a women’s summer Bible study through my church. I remember carefully and prayerfully choosing which Bible study I should sign up for, out of the several that were being offered that summer. I chose the Virtuous Woman study, based on the Proverbs 31 woman. I had my own ideas and expectations of what I wanted to get out of this study, but God’s infinite wisdom is so much greater than anything we could think. I believe it was during that study that God showed me my need for Christ and brought me into His loving, saving grace.

One night during my study, I came to a part in my Bible reading of the book of John where it took me through the story of the Samaritan Woman. This particular part of the study also pointed me to a portion of the book of John, where I read about Jesus’ crucifixion and His death. I remember reading John 19:30, “When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished,’ and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” God used that single verse to open my eyes to the the truth of who I was before a holy God, and the magnitude of his love, grace, and mercy towards me.

It’s almost too hard to put into words, but in one moment I was wrecked over my sin and what it cost Jesus, while at the same time overwhelmed by the grace and love that He would give to an undeserving sinner like me. By God’s grace, I bowed my head in tears and laid the years of guilt and shame at the foot of the cross. I finally knew that I was forgiven. Not only for the abortion, but every sinful way in me. I am now a new creation in Christ, ready and willing to live a life devoted to Him in love, gratitude, and worship of my King.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.’” Matthew 16:24 

It is Finished

The life-changing truth that I realized that night was that Jesus paid it all, and His finished work on the cross was enough to cover my sin. The meaning of that finally hit me. “It is FINISHED.” I had lived for years thinking that God could never truly forgive me for my abortion. That night I realized that in thinking God could never forgive me for my abortion, I was essentially saying that Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t enough to cover my sin. I was so wrong. His grace and love are far greater than my sin.

Sharing an abortion story isn’t easy for anyone who has come to the horrific reality that they had their own child murdered in their womb. But when the Lord granted me repentance and brought me to Truth, He also began to teach me about His sovereignty and how that ties in to my past. I know He has a plan for my story and that doesn’t involve keeping it to myself. God is sovereign in all of it, and that gives me hope because I know that God is good in His infinite wisdom, and He has a greater plan and a purpose for my past.

“ And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

It is my hope and my prayer that by sharing my story, it might help other women think differently about abortion and that anyone who reads this and is considering abortion might think twice about the tiny precious life inside of them. I didn’t see my pregnancy as a life inside of me. I saw it as a problem that I could easily get rid of. It doesn’t work that way. Even as I sit here forgiven and free from the guilt and shame, I will always grieve over the child I will never get to meet in this life because of my selfish and sinful decision.

I wish I had someone there in December 2001 to tell me all of these things. I didn’t. Not one person warned me about the reality of abortion. Not a single person tried to help me understand what I was about to do. I hope and pray to be that person for someone else, and God has graciously given me the opportunity to do that by allowing me to begin volunteer work at a local pregnancy center where I will have the opportunity to counsel and pray with women who have found themselves in crisis pregnancies and may be considering abortion.

The Good News

I pray that my story is ultimately useful in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope, salvation, and freedom from guilt and sin that can only be found in Him. If you’ve been living in unrepentant sin, or if you’ve been weighed down by some sin that has you plagued with guilt, know this: You are not alone. Every one of us is is a sinner in need of Jesus Christ as our Savior.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” -Romans 3:23.

Even though we are sinners who deserve hell for sinning against a holy God, God in His infinite love and mercy has provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him. He provided a Savior — His son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who lived a perfectly sinless life and died on the cross, suffering the wrath of God for the sins of all those who will turn from their sin and trust in Him.

“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Three days later, Christ defeated death and rose from the grave. Now we can turn to him in faith, die to our old self, and be raised to new life in Christ.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

God commands us to turn from our sin and put our faith in Christ alone for forgiveness and salvation. If we turn to God and put our faith in Christ, we are saved and born again, restored to a right relationship with God our Father for eternity. All of our sins are imputed to Christ who has already paid the penalty for those sins, but it doesn’t stop there. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us, so when God sees us, He doesn’t see a sinner, He sees His Son. This is the reality for all who repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you have never put your faith in Christ for forgiveness of sins, I urge you to do that today. Your eternal soul depends on it.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” -Romans 15:13

HELP FOR THOSE IN CRISIS PREGNANCY:

Find a local Pregnancy Center if you think you might be pregnant.

ABORTION FACTS:

Source: Pro-Life Action League

  • Research indicates that 98% of all abortions are related to issues of  “personal choice.” The primary reasons women give for having an abortion include not feeling emotionally capable (32%) or financially capable (25%) of raising a child, and concern that having a child would drastically alter her life (16%).
  • About 22% of all pregnancies end in abortion in the United States. There were 1.21 million abortions in 2008 compared to 4.25 million live births.
  • The age breakdown of women having abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, is as follows (numbers rounded):

Less than 15 years: < 0.5%
Age 15-17: 6%
Age 18-19: 11%
Age 20-24: 33%
Age 25-29: 24%
Age 30+:  26%

  • According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were approximately 926,000 abortions performed in the United States in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available. This amounts to 2,537 abortions per day.
  • The number of abortions in 2014 is down from the number in 2011 when the number of abortions totaled 1,060,000.
  • Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, there have been approximately 56 million abortions performed in the United States.

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