A young woman of 19, full of grief and desperation, darkened the doors of a clinic promising freedom from the responsibility of parenthood. She was frightened and walked into a decision that she believed was the only way out. Tears streamed down her face as she cried out, “I’ve changed my mind. Don’t take my baby,” but the nurse appeased her and uttered, “It’s too late.”
That day will forever be vivid in my memory. For years, I lived with regret, shame, and guilt from walking out the worst decision of my life. Selfishness and pride sacrificed the life of another, a life that had purpose and promise. A scarlet “A” was written across my heart. The word “murder” haunted me. Fear of exposure gripped me. How could I expose this dreadful sin to my children and others who knew my stand on abortion? I would disappoint them and they would lose respect for me. These were the thoughts that plagued my mind. As I meditated daily on the promises of God, He gave me power and freedom through the blood of Jesus, the love of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit living in me. He reminded me of the freedom I had as a forgiven follower of Jesus. He gave me courage through 2 Timothy 1:7, For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. I was no longer under the weight of the punishment for my sin. There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out all fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18 I truly had been perfected in His love!
The strength and courage I gained through the presence of God and the power of His Word led me to begin sharing with women who had made the same decision and experienced feelings of guilt and shame. I shared my testimony in an effort to walk them through the process of healing by receiving the forgiveness Christ died to give them. There was a tugging in my heart that one day I would go public. God gave me a vision of being on stage at our church, holding up a sign with the word ‘Abortion’ on one side and ‘Acceptance’ on the other side, and saying, “Through the forgiving power of the blood of Jesus, I moved from the shame of abortion to receiving the acceptance of God.” And, every time God gave me this vision, I recoiled in fear that the first hurdle I had to jump over was sharing the truth with my children and others who respected me. A nervous pit in my stomach would immediately cause me to write off the notion of going public.
Fast forward to 2016…God birthed in mine and Shawn’s hearts the idea of adopting our daughter, Chelsie. He had strategically placed her in our home right before her best friend, our daughter Ashley, was to be married. After a few months of her living with us, God revealed to me that she was a part of my restoration after the decision to abort 30 years prior. It’s interesting that this came to pass 30 years later, a multiple of 3, the perfect number in His perfect timing. He gave me a peace to go ahead and share with Chelsie that she was a part of my restoration. This opened the door for me to then share with my other three children, one-by-one. The beautiful part was that they all received this news with compassion, grace, and love toward me. The same Jesus who restored Peter after he denied Him three times lives in my children and He restored me through them.
The red “A” that once was abortion became adoption. The sin that I laid at the feet of Jesus became my testimony. The pain that I experienced was met with mercy, grace, love, and compassion. The child that I sacrificed at the altar of self-centeredness lives in Heaven and awaits me. The child that God gave me 30 years later to enjoy on this side of eternity is a beautiful, precious woman who is my daughter and bears my likeness in many ways. I am forever grateful!
Why do I share my story? I am a messenger of hope for you. He has healing and restoration for you, too! Regardless of what shame is written across your heart, He is standing at the door knocking. Invite Him in to dine with you. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20 Through His presence, you will experience the power of being perfected in His love and seeing yourself as a forgiven, treasured child of God.