I received this letter from a dear, sweet friend and sister in the Lord at the end of 40 Days for Life. Her incredible courage to share her story inspires me so much. . . more than I could ever express.
With her permission I'm sharing it with you all. Although it's written to me, please make it personal and read it as if it was written to you. Because it is, really. Your prayers and sacrifice during 40 Days for Life are changing hearts and saving lives. I could never say thank you like my friend does in this letter. I can tell you nothing has inspired me more to stand in the gap for vulnerable women and children than this, and I know it will do the same for you.
I'm writing this to you so you will know how much I admire what you have been doing with the 40 Days for Life. What I am about to share is extremely personal and something that only God and my husband know about. Please know that I have no objection to you sharing my story if you choose to; however, I know you will understand why I ask that you do not disclose my name if you should decide to share my story.
During high school I was engaged to someone and we had plans on getting married a couple of years after graduating, which was 1981. During high school and after graduating, we had lots of friends that we would get together with and one night, in fall of 1981, a couple joined us for dinner. Approximately 30 minutes after everyone left, the male friend of ours, who had just left after having dinner, was at my door knocking. I opened the door, he was pushing his way in and I attempted to stop him but he forced his way in and raped me. It was a couple of weeks later that I found out I was pregnant. I told my fiance' and we decided it would be best to terminate the pregnancy. We went together to PP and they paid for and provided a referral to a small building (almost like a motel) in SeaTac where the procedure was performed. To this day I remember the numb feeling I had from the cocktail of "relaxing" drugs that they gave me and the sounds of the "vacuum" as they removed the child from my womb. I remember (although extremely foggy) going back home afterwards to take a nap and then that evening going to a babysitting job. The parents of the child I was babysitting allowed my fiance' to stay because we told them I wasn't feeling all that great. From that night on we never talked about what we did - it was like we went on with our lives as if nothing ever occurred.
In 1985 there was a program on t.v. about abortions and I thought it would be good for me to watch and hopefully would bring healing/closure. Let me tell you that was a horrible idea and only brought back all those memories to the forefront of my mind as if it had happened yesterday.
I have never discussed this part of my life with anyone, even my closest friends do not know about it. Sometimes, I want to share my experience but how do you do that knowing there is a possibility of being shamed, hated, or rejected. I only wish someone, like you, would have been around to talk some sense into this "then 18 yr old". Do I get uncomfortable when the topic is brought up? Absolutely. Am I afraid for others to know that I did a horrific thing? You bet. Can I change what I have done? No way. I support what you are doing and encourage you to keep up the good work - don't stop getting the message out to others. You never know, you path may cross another person who is experiencing the same thing I did and it might change their mind - which is what I wish would have happened to me.
God does have a plan for us all. I know that I am forgiven and that is why God has blessed me with the ability to have children even after this took place. I often wonder if the first pregnancy was a girl but know that I will never know; however, I am blessed to now have not only 5 grandsons but to also have 3 granddaughters from those blessings I was able to give birth to.
Thank you, Caroline, for reading my story and knowing that I truly wish someone like you had crossed my path back when I was 18 - my story would have been different than it is today.
How could I say thank you in a more meaningful way than this heartfelt letter from my friend?
Doesn't your heart break to think of the millions of young women just like her (nearly 60 million) who have experienced the emotional, psychological and physical pain of abortion first hand - many sometimes more than once. How many young ladies in a time of such fear, vulnerability and despair are led to believe abortion will make everything better?
I couldn't say it any better than my friend - I encourage you to keep up the good work - don't stop getting the message out. You never know, your path may cross another person who is experiencing the same thing she did and it might change her mind.
I've been so thankful to discover many ministries that help post-abortive parents find healing and restoration after abortion. Not only are women harmed, but men also experience the same pain and trauma of losing their child. These places are safe-havens - many times led by women/men who have walked in those same shoes and know the intense pain, fear and shame firsthand. Healing and forgiveness is readily offered through our friend and savior Jesus Christ - who gave His life so we could be redeemed. Praise God He gave us His Son. He knows the anguish of losing a child; but He loved us- sinners -so much to willingly transfer the penalty of our sin to His Son so we could be forgiven. What amazing love, and what boundless freedom found in Christ alone!
'This is how God's love was revealed among us; God sent His one and only Son into the world; so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
(1 John 4:9-11 BSB emphasis added)