The summer after I graduated high school, I got pregnant. I was the girl who thought “that won’t happen to me” but it did. I was getting ready to go to college and I was the first one in my family to do that and so I thought it would be better to have a college education than a baby at that time. I was so scared about telling anyone that I told only a couple of people: my sister was one of them. She made all the arrangements for me and I remember being in the waiting room of the clinic and wondering how it was that I got there. I cried the entire time. I remember the “counselor” telling me it was just a blob of tissue and that it wasn’t really a baby and then I remember waking up during the procedure crying and the doctor telling me to go back to sleep. Then I remember waking up in the recovery room on a mattress that was on the floor next to a couple other girls. I didn’t realize the emotional toll that it would take on my life. Nobody told me about that part. For the last 14 years I have been living with this secret, and I hid behind a mask that made it look like everything was ok on the outside but on the inside I was dying.
I was going to a local MOPS meeting and a friend of mine wanted to play a video about all the different ministries that Sav A Life has. I froze in place and didn’t even want to watch the video- and nobody saw the tears that I had in my eyes throughout the video but I finally got up enough courage to tell that friend about my suffering. She said she’d go with me to Sav a Life and let me talk to some people who could help. I wanted to be a counselor to educate girls and try to stop them from making the terrible decision that I made to end my baby’s life and they told me that I’d have to go through the Abortion Recovery Assistance bible study first. I didn’t even know something like that existed and it scared me. I thought “I can’t talk about this. This is my secret. Nobody will ever understand. They’ll judge me.” The first night of the study none of the other girls in the lobby really talked much- but then we ate a wonderful dinner that some special volunteers made for us and then at the end of the study, they gave us a gift. Now I can only speak for myself when I say that I didn’t feel worthy enough to receive a gift but these women that were facilitating the bible study just showered us with love. They did this every week.
For the last 14 years I had built up this brick wall between me and Jesus because I thought he couldn’t love me after I aborted my baby. In all other aspects of my life I was doing pretty good but this was the big one- the one he could never forgive me for but I was tired of the shame and the guilt that the Devil gave to me everyday. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think of what I’d done. Well, every week of the bible study that brick wall got smaller and smaller and by the time the course was done- the brick wall was gone and Jesus was waiting for me on the other side saying “see Michelle, I told you I still love you, I told you I’ve forgiven you, I really don’t even know what you’re talking about.” Being able to talk about my past in this safe and loving environment was the best thing I’ve ever done. It allowed me to see the true character of God and that he doesn’t want me to live a life of shame and guilt- that doesn’t come from Him. I was finally able to forgive myself and to accept God’s forgiveness. Now the regret will always be there but the shame and the guilt are gone thanks to this wonderful ministry. Now I’m a co-facilitator in the bible study seeing the healing that God is bringing to many other women who have been in my same shoes and it is a privilege to give God the glory out of a terrible situation.