Whether it’s the older catholic ladies outside of a Planned Parenthood holding graphic signs, a seemingly clever bumper sticker that you are forced to look at in traffic, or a disturbing article/ picture on your FB newsfeed, to a certain population, it all feels the same. Gut wrenching. You don’t have to tell me how horrific abortion is or describe it detail by detail. You don’t have to flash images in my face constantly, because I lived it. At one regretful time in my life, I chose it.
A fetal ultrasound is supposed to be a special heartwarming experience. For me, it was to validate a life I was going to have destroyed. My boyfriend, the father, had said, “remember, $400 is a lot of money so no backing out last minute.” When I caught a glimpse of the ultrasound, I truly wanted to run out of that building and protect my baby. For some reason, that stupid comment about the money in combination with the fear I had of disappointing my mother, kept me from leaving. Having never stepped foot in a Planned Parenthood before, I didn’t know that during the procedure I was supposed to lay flat until I was told otherwise. That is why I sat up too quickly and saw the most horrific sight imaginable…a glass jar full of blood and “tissue.” With a gasp, the lady told me to lay back down. It was at that moment that I became something I never thought in a million years I’d be…a murderer. And you can’t tell me, “no you’re not, it was your body- your choice.” It’s one thing to pay money for an alternative, close your eyes and pretend it’s just a medical procedure, however it is quite another to see what you’ve done. Little did I know, that wasn’t the last time I’d face it.
Days later, I started experiencing extreme pain and became very sick. With a scheduled trip to California for Christmas coming up the next day, I panicked! My mother, who I was living with at the time, had no idea I had the abortion. I pretended that I had a sinus infection and went to my regular doctor for help. When I broke down and told them about the abortion and the pain I was experiencing, they told me I had to go back to the same Planned Parenthood and see the same Surgeon that did the procedure. All I wanted to do was put this behind me, get to my brother’s house in California and drink myself into oblivion! My flight was scheduled for early the next morning, so I had no choice to go back to the Planned Parenthood that night. The woman did an ultrasound and saw that there was “tissue” left behind. That tissue was part of my 12 week fetus. I had to take an abortion pill and the tissue would pass over the next two days or so.
So, early the next morning, the car ride with my mother to the airport was incredibly painful. I winced out loud a few times because of the pain and had to blame it on a “back strain.” I sad goodbye to my mom as we pulled up to the terminal and fought with myself to tell her. I quickly turned and went on my way.
I truly thought I was going to die at the airport alone. This is the moment, Jesus showed up in my life. He didn’t show up because I was asking Him to, because I was certainly too guilty feeling to pray. I’ve heard from the time I can remember, in Sunday School, and from my grandmother “Jesus loves you.” I remember thinking…”but why?” “What on earth did I do..for him to love me?” This was before I knew what that whole “grace” word was all about. I never knew that, ‘grace’ means UNDESERVED favor. And there was never a moment in my life that I felt as undeserving of love, as I did right then. I ran to every bathroom I passed in the airport..wondering how I was going to survive a 6 hour flight. I had lost so much blood, that I looked as pale as a ghost. The cramps were so intense that I couldn’t stand up straight. I finally got to the gate and handed the attendant my buddy pass. She looked at me and smiled, saying, “wow, this is a full flight and there is only one isle seat available in FIRST CLASS.” Please don’t miss this part of my story. The baby that I chose to abort was still being “aborted” during this moment and I got bumped to first class….this is the God I serve. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)” First class is great for the space, the seats, the food, the privacy…but none of that mattered to me. I would be sitting right next to the bathroom without having to wait in any line to go in. It was only upon looking back that I can see Jesus in every step I took that day. From the helpful people he put in my path, the doors that were held open for me, the stranger that helped me pick up a bag that I dropped, and my loving dad who met me at the airport.
All of my life I wanted to be a mom. Every childhood picture of me has a doll in it, usually accompanied by a pretend stroller and diaper bag. There was even a time in my young life, when I judged “pro choice” advocates and would’ve gladly stood side by side with the screaming ladies on the street corner of Planned Parenthood. Now, my perspective has drastically changed. I am not pro-choice when it comes to life or death. Life is a gift and an opportunity no matter what the circumstances are. What I am now, is Pro-Grace. Meaning, people don’t need to be horrified into making a moral choice..people don’t need to be labeled a murder the rest of their lives.
Die to the name of your story and rise up to the name God has chosen for you.
It’s a knife in my heart, every time I read the signs, bumper stickers, and news feeds that remind me daily of the harm I’ve done. These proLife advocates/ Christians mean well, but they don’t see the hurt and depression they are causing people like me, who are trying to move on. Marinating in your sinful past does nothing but keep you there. Rise up and receive the forgiveness you could never deserve, but is given to you anyway. It’s never too late.