My childhood pastor would often say, “Your best testimony is the one you can’t share with anybody.”
Many know my testimony of being super, ultra pro life until I found myself pregnant for both the third and fourth time. I was even bold enough to write a paper in my freshman year of college which pointed to the negative nature of a CHOICE that causes so much pain and loss. In that paper I wrote about the selfishness involved in making that CHOICE. I wrote it as a proud teenage mother of two who had CHOSEN LIFE, despite being a high schooler with so many other possible CHOICES. Then came pregnancy three.
I was smart enough to make my way to college with two children in tow, but I wasn’t smart enough to use a condom or some other form of birth control or protection. The struggle was real and my college career just would not survive another newborn (I believed). Then the hypocritical decision was made. I CHOSE to make my appointment, make my way to the office, and make my way past the protesters who I just wanted to grab me and force me not to do it.
I remember the quiet in the waiting room which seemed to be the comtemplative silence that accompanies every bad decision ever made. The silence that makes you want to run but also reminds you that you would be so embarassingly obvious that that was not an option.
There were no smiles, no jokes being told, it was just an uncomfortable silence that was only broken by the call of the nurse or receptionist for the next victim.
My counseling session consisted of a woman asking, “Do you realize your making the choice to terminate your pregnancy?”
My response, “Yes.”
“OK have a seat in the waiting room and we”ll call you back.”
Again my chance to run. To get out before any real permanent damage was done, but the silence made that impossible. Everyone would know I couldn’t do it.
All of these people I don’t even know mattered more to me at that moment than my unborn child.
Then the dreaded call of the executioner. My legs felt like lead and I began to feel light headed. The best part of the whole experience was the nurse who held my hand throughout, and the chenille cover they gave me to shiver myself to death. They took me into the room that was a bland and boring, extremely small hospital exam room they packed full of all the equipment necessary for “The Termination Process”.
I laid back the nurse took my hand and the doctor came in to begin the procedure. All I remember was what felt like a speculum being inserted, the sound of a vacuum, excruciating contractions and menstrual cramps, and the sound of marbles being sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. What seemed like hours truly took minutes and it was over.
I was then in the ‘recovery room’ with all the other silent, no longer mothers to be. We each had our own recliners, our chenille covers, orange juice and crackers to mull over the ordeal we had just been through. Some were vomitting, others were crying, but no one made a sound. It was like watching a movie with
the volume on mute. It was almost as if this wasn’t truly occurring, but in the end I knew it was.
What they termed: ‘termination of pregnancy’, I termed the beginning of depression, anxiety, shame, doubt and guilt. I know God has since forgiven me for my CHOICE, but I struggled for many years to forgive myself. I struggled to see myself as a ‘good person,’ when I could have a hand in killing my baby. I struggled to be a good mother to the babies I had, when I saw their siblings as a ‘blog of tissue’ and therefore justified my CHOICE. Notice the plural shift as that would unfortunately not be my last trip to the abortion clinic. I was there once again for me, and for a season I grew so comfortable with the CHOICE, that I accompanied others in making the worst ‘CHOICE’ of their lives.
I don’t write this to beat, bash or guilt those who belive their CHOICE was the right one. I share my testimony just in case someone is wavering with making a better CHOICE than I did. I know this veers a little away from my usual marital focus, but this is a CHOICE my husband and I made together (although I don’t believe he could’ve made me CHOOSE differently). And being a week out from the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, I feel an urgency to implore young women everywhere to make a better CHOICE.
CHOOSE LIFE for both you and your baby. My babies weren’t the only ones to die in that small exam room. That machine also took the me that I used to be. It took the strong, confident, woman of integrity I was, and left me with two small holes in my soul.
Now it sounds bad but it doesn’t end there. I have since cried out to God, repented and allowed Him to heal my broken places. Bible studies like “Forgiven and Set free” and memorial services for my unborn babies have helped in this process. My husband’s support and subsequent healing also assisted me on my road to recovery.
I am now free to be the me God called me to be, because I released that testimony of insecurity, shame, and sadness that held me captive.
With all of that I ask, what is God calling you to release? What freedom awaits you (and others) by sharing that testimony you vowed never to tell. Release it and watch God do the work of deliverance and healing for you and those around you.
I pray God speak clearly to you and allow you to share that testimony in the right setting, at the right time, in the right place, with the right people. I pray nothing but blessings and freedom come your way for your obedience and that God bless you indeed for being his good and faithful servant.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony
Rev 12:11, NIV
If you follow my blog, you know the scripture reference is usually my tag line. Although the Word is sufficient to do the work of healing, God has also provided other avenues to assist with this. If you find yourself struggling with the CHOICE you made or took part in, please seek professional help. Don’t suffer in silence, but rather, find a good counselor or support
group that can help.
Some great resources are pregnancy centers and Christian counseling centers. My colleagues and I are available in the Pittsburgh area at the Christian Counselor’s Collaborative and the Women’s Choice Network is also trained and ready to walk with you through the work of healing. Please get help today!