So far I had learned that God still loves me, despite my sin, and that He wanted to use my story to further His kingdom. He had shown this to me on numerous occasions. And in order for that to happen, I would have to maintain my connectivity to God to further the healing that had only begun…
I started to recognize the lies that the enemy had fed me for years – resulting in me keeping my abortion a secret – a secret that had slowly been destroying me from the inside out. After I shared the detail of my past with two very trusted confidants, I started to really acknowledge the reality of my decision and the truth of what I had done.
For many women, the first emotion after having an abortion is immediate relief. If you think about it, that makes sense… Most women have an abortion as a result of some sort of fear. Fear that their parents, families, friends and/or boyfriend/husband will reject them. Fear that people will judge them. Fear that they cannot be a successful mother. Fear that they don’t have the right financial and emotional resources to care for a baby. Once the “threat” to that fear is eliminated, then a sense of relief naturally follows.
I don’t remember that sense of relief, though… My first emotion was immediate dread. I knew that I had just done something that I couldn’t undo.
Did you know that 92% of women experience emotional deadening after an abortion? 86% experience anger or rage; 63% experience denial; 58% experience nightmares; 39% experience eating disorders. I can honestly say that I was part of the 92% and the 86%.
I never related my anger to my abortion, but I can remember a time very shortly after I had the abortion where I was just angry at and rude to everything and everyone. I remember sitting on the phone talking to a collection agency (who had every right to be calling me on my debt!) yelling and screaming at the person on the other end of the phone – and I was the person in the wrong!! The anger I harbored generated from somewhere deep inside of me and it wasn’t until many years later that it started to dissipate, with the help of my Heavenly Father.
As I started to really understand the truth of my decision and my emotional history, I also started to see my child in my abortion. It’s really easy to disassociate the true, physical being that is growing in your womb from “the abortion”. It’s hard to explain, but until this point, I really hadn’t acknowledged that there was a baby… a gift… a victim…
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; You formed me in my mother’s womb… You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before You, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. (Psalm 139:13, 15-16)
God had a plan for my child before he’d ever been conceived. Until now, I had only seen myself… my life… my mistake… my decision… I didn’t realize that God knew my son (yes, He revealed to me later on that he was a boy), that God knit him together in my womb, that He had prepared my son’s every day before he even lived one… Before I carried out my free will and took his days away from him.
And yes, at this point, you can only imagine how devastated I felt. Not only had I taken the life of my own baby, but I had also taken the life of someone that God had plans for. Even to this day I still feel regret over what I did. I wish I could take it all back and make a decision for life – my son’s life. Thankfully, God can (and did) bring healing to me so that I don’t live in this state of despair that is so easy to sink into.
The study that I was going through taught me a little about the physical development of babies in the womb: at 7 days, the baby has his/her own blood cells; at 19 days the heart begins to beat; at 20 days the foundation of the nervous system is forming; at 30 days there is regular blood flow throughout his/her little body; at 35 days the eyes are forming and there are 40 pairs of muscles; at 42 days brain waves are detectable and at 49 days the skeletal system is developed – fingers, toes, ears, etc.
From what I’ve calculated, I believe that my abortion took place between days 50-56. This is the time where all of the things I’ve mentioned above have happened. A baby is beginning to become recognizable at that point.
Denial started to dissolve. I took a life that God had purposed. A living child – MY living child… And for nothing more than fear, pride and ignorance.
I was only in denial to myself though… God already knew the inner workings of me and knew what he had planned for me through my repentance, His love, His forgiveness and His healing and restoration.
When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me, my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32:3-5)
You see… only God can restore us from the inside out. If we want to experience the restoration that He can give us, we have to be willing to open old wounds, confront our fears, repent and trust that He has a plan to bring us to His healing.
The enemy’s lies had pushed me down for years. I often thought that it was no big deal and that I had “survived”, which led me to treat other things in my life that way.
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, than you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live. (Deuteronomy 30:19)
I choose life! I choose to live! Abortion led to insecurity, guilt, hiding, fear, anger – I could go on and on. I was now making the decision to leave the broken women I’d become behind me, in search for the healed, restored, humbled, yet confident woman that I knew God would mold me into. I choose to accept the forgiveness that only He can give me and that He promises me, if I only turn away from my past sin and live for Him obediently.
Praise God that He was walking with me through this journey and that I knew He would never leave me, nor forsake me in the midst of it. I still had a lot of work ahead of me, but the truths that the Lord had already shown me were beginning to transform the perception I had of myself and stir emotion that I hadn’t felt in so many years.
What I’ve Learned:
- The enemy had fed me lies for many years, oppressing me into secrecy, guilt and insecurity.
- My Heavenly Father had other plans for me, through forgiveness, healing and redemption.
- I was a statistic – reacting the same way to my abortion as many women before me reacted to theirs.
- God had a plan for my child, before he was even born.
- I could no longer live in a state of denial about my abortion decision, I had to choose to understand and live in truth – regardless of what that meant for me.
- What past decision(s) are you wrestling over right now?
- What is the Lord trying to teach you about that decision?
- Are there truths about that decision that you need to discover? Truths that the enemy has kept hidden from you?
- How is God prompting you to confront your decision? Your past?
- How can you let Him in to lead you through the forgiveness and healing that He is offering you.
- What choice will you make?
If you need prayer or a listening ear, please contact me privately. I am happy to be a safe place for you, if you need it.