The Journey of Forgiveness – A Look at the Abortion Decision
Roe v. Wade seemed like a timely solution to a very big problem in young women’s lives, namely an unwanted pregnancy. What would one “do” with an unplanned baby?
In my case, I was unwed and pregnant. At the time, the pregnancy seemed like a bad dream – not to mention bad timing for a corporate career that was in full swing. My doctor mentioned that I could “always get an abortion” as simply as I could change a light bulb. “It’s legal now.” At the time, I figured that meant it was the okay thing to do.
The father of my baby, a fast track business colleague, would not even consider getting married but would pay for the abortion. I thought I didn’t have any options. I did not really have anyone to talk to.
So I bravely went to the abortion clinic and was shown a video. I immediately got sick, and I remember the nurse saying, “We need to take ‘this one’ right away.” The whole procedure was a blur, and it was over before I could even consider changing my mind.
I returned to my apartment numb, thinking that everything would now be okay. I was very wrong. The guilt did not come immediately; it grew over many years. My career focus and a full social calendar kept the pain from taking control. But every Mother’s Day I would feel terrible emptiness and horrible guilt.
All I ever wanted was to get married and have a family. I never found the right person, so I moved to Chicago and started climbing the corporate ladder. Many times I “found” religion in various places, but nothing ever stuck.
God finally led me to a lovely Christian man, and we married. Since I was older, we did not have any children. His teenage children eventually became mine through time and lots of love.
I was mad at God for a long time and thought He was punishing me for my heartless decision from all those years ago. I thought that although He really did give me a baby, I threw it away. Was my baby tossed out with the garbage or flushed away? What a horrifying thought even to this day. If I didn’t care then, why would He give me another child? As the years went by in my marriage without natural children, I again started to beat myself up over the abortion.
I hadn’t been barren, but heartless. I wondered where my baby was. Nowhere? In heaven? Would I ever see my baby?
After several serious health problems, I realized that I needed to give back in some way while still on this earth. God had given me so much that I wondered how I could give Him glory.
I spoke with my pastor many times about my guilt. I thought perhaps I needed to tell this story and help other young girls from making this horrible mistake.
I don’t remember when it happened, but I realized that God through Jesus had forgiven me for all of my sins. Even abortion! But how could I forgive myself? I realize now that beating myself up for so long was arrogant, and I was living in self-pity.
When I was strong enough, my pastor suggested that I make a video to show to young pregnant girls. We worked on this project in a small mission church. It felt so wonderful to be able to help prevent these young girls from making the same mistake I had made.
When my pastor told me he was going to put this video on television for all to see, I felt extreme panic. I guess I wasn’t ready to help in such a public manner! So again I felt shame – yet I came to realize I was letting God down again. The anti-abortion road signs hurt all the more at this point. We are all sinners. My sin of abortion had become legal in the world, but how did I get to the point of forgiving myself?
After several years of Bible classes, my faith became stronger. Yes, “Jesus loves me… the Bible tells me so” rang true. He loves me so much that He sent His only Son to die for my sins. Even the sin of killing my baby! Knowing this fact became the first step in forgiving myself.
Many times I turned to God for help when I couldn’t fix something. Well, I couldn’t fix my guilt over the abortion. When I focused my prayer in the direction of a loving Father, the pain became weaker. As I kept praying and knowing that He forgave me, the peace of self-forgiveness seemed like it happened overnight.
Do I still regret my decision? YES! Am I grateful that I am forgiven? YES! Is God now in control of my life? YES!
Each day He guides my path. Every day I sing His praises! And through my wonderful stepdaughter, He has blessed me with three grandchildren! What joy!!!