Set Free: My abortion stories.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord…” 2 Timothy 1:7-8

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”  Psalm 34:4-5

Before I begin to write here, I first and foremost give God all the glory for the work that he has done in my life, that only he could have done. He has used the last eight weeks as a place of deep healing to come forth and I am a changed, whole, new creation in him because of what he has done. I am humbled by his grace and love for me and I am so thankful that God has brought me to this place of being able to share something that is such a sensitive topic and one that is not talked nearly enough about. So, thank you Jesus for bringing me to this place. I pray that as I write, my words would not be my own, but that they would be from the lips of my heavenly Father and as you read this, that your heart would be touched in whatever way God wants to touch you today.

I have always loved being a Mom. From as young as I can remember, all I wanted to do in life was be a Mom and take care of other children. I have always been pro-life, and as I like to call it now, pro-love as well. The thought of abortion never crossed my mind and if I am honest with you, I had a lot of judgment towards women who would even contemplate abortion, let alone actually go forth with it. I felt all of this until I was face to face with these thoughts of my own when I was in the darkest, most painful time of my life. This is not the part of my story where I say that “my story begins” and that is because yes, it is the start to my story in how I will share it with you, but where my story really began comes a little later and I will explain why.

I went through one of the hardest seasons of my life back in 2015. It was a season of pain, brokenness, depression, fear, anger, and where I allowed the enemy to creep into my life and my heart in ways that entangled me and twisted everything I thought to have known.  I was broken and in my shame at that time, I chose to end the lives of two babies. My first abortion was May 8th, 2015, and I was 8 weeks along. I remember the period of my life that surrounded that day as this heavy fog and complete denial that I even chose to do that. I would often tell myself that I did not actually end the life of my baby because I only swallowed this pill that some nurse gave me at Planned Parenthood. I kept telling myself that I somehow, did the right thing. I had no idea what that first abortion would do to me, the mom of that unborn baby. I did not know that it would cause me to quickly send my world crumbling from under me because the depression and heaviness that came over me was too much to bear. I felt unworthy of anything good in life and I walked away from everyone and everything around me to only continue into the path of destruction laid before me. Then again, just a few months later, I was faced with a second pregnancy and because I was so entangled in this web of believing the lies that they enemy had over my life, I thought that maybe this was a good thing and even though deep down I was struggling silently with a depression that had such a tight grip on my heart and my mind, I continued on with the pregnancy thinking it would solve all of the other problems I felt.

But on November 20th, 2015, I walked into a Planned Parenthood clinic, with no knowledge of what would happen and completely alone, I had a surgical abortion done at 14 weeks. That day was a day of sheer trauma, darkness, sadness, tears, brokenness and regret. After I left the recovery room later that day, I drove home and wept. I never wanted to have the abortion, but I allowed the voices around me and the enemy to consume my thought process and I went ahead with it anyways.

Deep breath here. 

I know this is heavy. I know this is a lot to read about my life. But this is not even close to the beginning of what God wanted to do and is doing. I am getting there and it is life-changing, so hold on. God wants to speak into your life today, whether it is because you can relate and you have been silent and he wants you to speak up and find healing and freedom yourself, or God is wanting to speak into your heart in a different way. Keep reading.

My abortions caused me to shut down. Within hours of both abortions, I pushed it so far down and covered it up with layers and layers of “stuff” so that I could somehow, maybe, someday, make it seem as if they never happened. It caused such a deep depression in my life and shame took root in so many different forms in my life the months and years following and I never, ever really felt good enough; to myself, to others, to my kids, and especially to God. I walked through both of those abortions by myself and the trauma that I faced during those and following was too much to bear. I did not want to ever think about the abortions and I never wanted it to be apart of my story.

But God. He always has a different plan that we do. His desire is to use our brokenness, turn it into something beautiful (Isaiah 61), heal us, set us free from the bondage of sin and then use those painful stories as a way to bring him glory and for our good. This is where my story really begins. This is where God started doing a miraculous work in my heart and I am here today, sharing this with everyone, because God has done too much for me to stay quiet and because I know that what he has done for me, he wants to do for so many other women out there.

In the late Summer of 2018, God spoke into my heart abruptly. It was one of those moments where I was just going about my day and he stopped it all to speak to my heart. I knew that ABC Women’s Center of Middletown was going to be hosting a “Support after Abortion” training that would enable people who attended it to they themselves help with counseling other women who had abortions. God told me right then and there to go. So I did. I always had a heart for ABC Women’s Center because my Grandma Detzler, who passed away just two years prior to this, started the center almost thirty years ago.

I attended this training and as one of the leaders was speaking, I felt God’s hand on my right shoulder and he whispered in my ear, “My dear daughter, this is why you went through all of that. This is where I am leading you. It’s time.” I wept. I raised my hand and for the first time ever, EVER, I opened up my mouth and shared that I had an abortion. It was that day that God began shifting something in my heart towards what he had called me to do, even though at the time I had no idea how this was really going to un-fold.

I knew that ABC Women’s Center had a “Forgiven and Set Free” 8 week course for post-abortive women to find healing. I saw the posters and heard about it but I truly believed that I was okay. That maybe someone else needed it, but I did not. That is one of the things that abortion does to a woman, it tells her the lie that she is okay. For all those years, I convinced myself that I was fine.

January of 2019, I joined the post-abortive team at ABC Women’s Center and I was told that one of the requirements was to attend the “Forgiven and Set Free” courses. I thought that meant I would be able to shadow the class so I could eventually teach it myself, but God had way different plan. His plan was not to have me teach it but to have ME walk through the 8 week course myself. Just me. No one else. And 6 other amazing, godly women who either were teaching the class, or shadowing as post-abortive women themselves who already received healing.

Guys. THIS is where it ALL began! THIS is where God began to peel back the layers of shame, brokenness, fears, my lost identity, lies, and so much more. This is where God HEALED. MY. PAST. and BROKE. MY. SHAME. 

I spent 8 weeks walking through this “Forgiven and Set Free” class and to say that it was life-changing would be an understatement. Everything about the course was scripture based, which had me reading God’s truth and promises to me and for me every day, all day which was the very thing that began to change my pattern of thinking and how I saw myself, and how I saw my past, because I was reading what GOD SAYS about me. This revelation changed everything for me.

I wish I could somehow reach through this screen and look you in your eyes and with tears of joy and tell you how GOOD God is and how his grace changes everything. Nothing in my life is the same anymore. Everything from before this class, is behind me, and going forth I am now a new woman, one who is completely healed and restored. My depression is gone, my shame is gone, fears have been removed, chains broken, lies crushed. I am whole in Jesus. I am healed. 

I am set free.

As I write this, on May 15th 2019, God is launching me into what I know he has called me to do. My abortion stories are apart of me, are apart of his plan for me and I am full of anticipation and joy knowing that God is going to do amazing things as a result of the work he has done in my heart.

So to the ones reading this, I don’t know if you can relate because you had an abortion (or more than one!), or maybe you know someone who has had an abortion, or maybe you are that nurse or doctor who works at Planned Parenthood. I don’t know your story but what I do know is that if you can relate to what I have said then you know you are not alone. God wants healing for you. He wants you to experience the full freedom that I have. He does not want you to have to keep that secret anymore and God does not want you to share it as a way to hurt you, he wants you to share it as a way to heal you. 

Abortion hurts women. It is not God’s plan for us and my heart goes out to anyone out there who has made that choice to end their unborn babies life. You are deeply loved. You are seen and it is okay to grieve the loss of your baby/babies. There is no judgement from me, and certainly no judgement from God. He loves you more than you could ever understand.

I find peace knowing that both of my babies are in heaven with God, laughing and dancing around. I find peace knowing that God was there every step of the way and that he was there when both abortions took place. He never once left my side. One day, I will see my babies again. For now, I long for the day to be with them again and I will spend my time here on earth serving Jesus and using my story to reach other women and help them find healing and freedom in Jesus.

In Christ,

Erika

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