If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
“Are you pregnant?”, she asked.
“I think so,” I answered fearfully.
It was 1973 and I was 17. I saw our family doctor first, a visit filled with dread and shame. I went alone.
On the day of the abortion I was accompanied by my mother and my boyfriend. We went to a city far away.
“We won’t tell your father and I don’t want you to tell anyone else either.” We were a good church family with a fine reputation.
I was awake throughout the abortion. I could hear the noise of the suction and feel a deep pressure inside my core, a pressure both physical and emotional.
In the middle of the night, at home in my bed, I began cramping. Deep, painful cramps with bleeding. I called out to my mom in fear.
“Those are labor pains,” she answered tersely. “Even though “it” is gone you still have to go through the pain.
Yes, I still had to go through the pain. That night and for years to come.
I asked God to forgive me many times but the pain continued. Over the course of many years I had bouts of undiagnosed depression. How could it be diagnosed when I kept my secret to myself? I was frantically living my life to look like a good Christian, trying desperately to live up to the name that my family gave me when I was very young, “Perfect Patti.”
When the lows came I would sometimes sink so low that I would want to die. I cried out to God to take my life. During this time I failed at so many things. I married the boy who fathered my child, because I heard at youth group that having sexual relations meant you are married in God’s eyes. I wanted to be obedient. That failed after only a few months. I married again, a church man who was much older. It was a poor decision from the outset but I truly believed that no one would want me and I was lucky to be asked. Another failure. I married my current husband, “the doctor”, believing that he would be my savior.
After the initial “high” of marrying the man of my dreams, the pain returned and the draw of death pulled me closer as each low became lower than the last . . . until . . .
“You have a spirit of death hanging over you,” said the prayer counselor at the retreat we were attending.
A light came on as I realized what was causing my obsession with death.
“Abortion,” I spoke the word out loud.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16
My first confession, a prayer prayed over me, and the experience of a great weight being lifted.
This was followed by the same confession to my home group and more lifting.
Sometime later, after much healing in my husband’s and my lives, our Pastor released us into ministry within the church, and I told my story in front of a larger group of people. I’ve done this many times now and though there still may be tears in the telling there is no guilt or shame because I know that I am clothed in robes of righteousness through Jesus Christ my Savior. I am forgiven and I have been set free.
Each time I share my story I’m surprised at how many Christian women come to me and share their own abortion stories. It isn’t something one freely talks about in church settings and I’m sad that so many are living under a cloak of guilt, unable to lives their lives to the fullest.
The enemy of our souls loves for us to keep our secrets hidden inside. Confess to God and receive forgiveness. Confess to another trustworthy person who will pray through the pain with you and experience healing.
I am Perfectly Imperfect Patti, daughter of the King, wife to the amazing Mr. OTN, mom to two loving daughters, companion to three dogs. I blog at OldThingsNew where I share home and soul transformations. God has redeemed the wasted years of our lives and my husband and I are both grateful that God has allowed us to share our stories to help others along in their healing journeys. We’ve recently moved from Washington State, where we directed a program called Freedom Session, to South Carolina, where we are currently working one-on-one with others and waiting for the “next step” in ministry.
We are all a work in progress and the story isn’t finished yet.
My story was first shared by Deb Wolfe at Counting my Blessings