The identity of this author would like to remain anonymous. Here is her testimony:
I grew up in New Jersey in the ‘60s. I graduated high school in 1973. I was totally absorbed in all the trends and mores: If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. Burn your bra. Free love. Women’s rights! Anything goes as long as no one is getting hurt.
My Dad was handsome and charming, my mother was beautiful and kind. They had many friends and entertained and were entertained every weekend. Everyone liked my parents. They were very nice people, salt of the earth. I grew up going to church and Sunday school. I even gave up being a Girl Scout Brownie because I preferred to sing in the choir at church. My Dad came home from work every night and joined my Mom for cocktails. I had two brothers who were into sports and we ate dinner as a family every night. My neighbors were Jewish and Catholic, democrats and republicans. The neighborhood was very nice, true suburbia. All pretty normal and nothing really out of the ordinary.
I had lots of friends and always had a boyfriend. We cut school, smoked pot, drank beer and stayed out of trouble. I did not play sports, but I went out with the captain of the football team. I was involved in afterschool activities and made pretty good grades. Perfectly normal. I went with the flow and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
After high school I went to college in Pennsylvania but left to get a job and join the “real world.” I started working as a waitress in a family owned diner. Within three months I was made an assistant manager. I did pretty well for myself. I had an apartment, lots of friends and of course a boyfriend. It was during this time that I met Prince Charming. He was so handsome, so smart, and so charming. I dreamed of marrying him and living in a house with a white picket fence. We were married in the spring of 1981. He was one of eight children. I loved them all. All good stuff. An ideal life.
Remember back when I said free love and boyfriends? Free love meant sex. I loved all my boyfriends. When I lost my virginity at fifteen I was convinced I was in love and that we would get married, so it was okay. After we broke up and I “loved” my next boyfriend, I remember feeling shameful and slutty. But that didn’t last. I realized that we were actually in love and were going to get married. So, it was okay. That was what everyone around me was saying and doing. It was the way of the world, no big deal. All perfectly normal. It was just life.
Roe v Wade passed in 1973. I made use of this new law shortly after it was passed. A friend drove me into NYC to a Planned Parenthood clinic. I was asked all the appropriate questions and answered them all honestly, (except for not using my real name). The female doctor had an accent that I attributed to German. She was very nice, and told me to “just relax.” That’s just what I did. I kept saying to myself “no pain, no pain, no pain,” and did very well. In fact, the doctor commended me. She said she wished all her patients were like me. All good stuff. My problem was solved and I went on about my business.
During college I fell in love again. Greg was a great guy, we even got engaged. This time I went to a hospital for the procedure. I was very calm and matter of fact. I think I even joked with the doctor. He was kind of put off. He did not commend me. In fact, he said he really didn’t want to be there doing what he was doing. Imagine that?!? I thought he was just a jerk. Greg and I broke up.
When I worked at the diner, I met a handsome fun-loving guy. We moved in and were having tons of fun. This time I was going to keep the baby. I don’t think we talked about marriage. He was, after all, a high school dropout. The light bulb went off and I realized I couldn’t do this! Mark, nice guy that he was, was basically a loser after all. It wasn’t fair to me or the baby. We both deserved better. Because I had waited a little too long I had to go to D.C. for the procedure. Again, I was asked all the appropriate questions and answered them honestly. I was told I was mixing up sensuality and sexuality. What the hell did that mean?!? I was put under for the procedure. Mark actually said, “You killed my baby.” His baby?!? It was my body and my life!?!
Prince Charming was an alcoholic. Our wedding was like a fairy tale and our ideal life began with him coming home from work and us sharing a cocktail, just like my parents! All good stuff. I idolized him. He was my prize! But I couldn’t keep up, one rum and tonic was all I could handle. The marriage lasted five years on the books. It was more like eighteen months of rollercoaster ecstatic highs and devastating lows before he left me for the third and last time. Really tough times, not okay, but I got through. I don’t remember exactly where or when those last two procedures were performed…it’s a blur. I knew from the beginning that Prince Charming didn’t want children, but I never really believed him. I thought he would eventually change his mind. He didn’t and I didn’t want to lose him. I remember years later hearing that he said if I had insisted on keeping the baby he would have accepted my decision.
So, that makes five. Five.
But it was all okay, right? I mean that is what the world said?!? I was even a member of NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) for a while. Women’s rights! A woman’s body! My choice. I had thought every argument through. I knew it was the right thing to do. A lump of cells, a tiny fetus. I knew it was the only real choice I had. I was never in a position to financially raise a child on my own. And adoption was never an option. No one could love my child more than me! It wouldn’t have been fair to the baby to give it up. I never understood why other people thought it was such a hard decision, or why they agonized over it. I had a certain pride about coming through unscathed. The Pro-choice people were all not really “with” it. They were behind the times.
That was all before I had three healthy children with a loving supportive husband of nearly thirty years, Facebook, and Breaking Free. I have a FB friend who is a zealous pro-lifer. She is constantly posting anti-abortion articles. I read them all. I listen to conservative radio and watch conservative cable news, a lot. I knew now that I would never have another abortion, and would not council a woman to have one. But, I was okay, I still did not feel I had done anything outside the normal, everyday life we are a part of.
Then, one day, while doing my homework for Breaking Free and reading how the people of Israel would follow God’s laws and commandments for a while and then fall back into sin and follow the pagan ways of their neighbors I came across Psalm 106:35-38.
but they mingled with the nations
and adopted their customs.
36 They worshiped their idols,
which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to false gods.
38 They shed innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was desecrated by their blood.
I was stabbed in the heart.
“They sacrificed their sons and daughters” …
All the lies and half-truths of this world flooded my brain. I saw the beds I had laid on to abort the cells in my womb as altars for sacrifice. I had sacrificed my children to worldly idols. I had believed the deluded upside-down thinking that is all around us. But God had broken through my blind, self-serving, self-centered, self-thinking, self. Every procedure had been all about me. What I could never face before I could face now. The wall had finally been shattered. I finally saw clearly. Jesus had set straight my muddled, mixed up ambiguous feelings. I could finally truly confess. I could truly repent. I could truly be redeemed. I was finally washed clean. I have finally broken free. I am finally understanding what it means to be washed clean by the blood of Jesus. Oh glorious day. Thank you Jesus.
Ephesians 1:7-9 says In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ…
I believe God’s Word is true. And God is LOVE. Jesus preached the beatitudes, he spoke only Truth. If God wants us to be forgiving how can He be any less? How can He not forgive? How can we not forgive ourselves? Do we know better than God? If we give it to God, it is gone. If we take it back, it is not from God. If not from God, than who or what? Let it GO.
I believe I wasn’t convicted until I was in a “safe enough place” to receive the conviction. First conviction, then confession and repentance, then forgiveness. And now I walk in freedom.
Note: The Author can be reached though firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions for Discussion
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.