My story is not so different from any other woman who’s had an abortion: an unplanned pregnancy, fear, panic, and a decision that forever changed my life. The circumstances surrounding our choices may be different, but we all left the clinic in the same shape – broken, ashamed, relieved. For me, the guilt didn’t set in until later. I was able to partition my heart for a number of years. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my son that what I had done came screaming to the forefront of my mind. You see, no one at the clinic bothered to tell me that I’d spend the forty weeks of my two planned pregnancies asking God not to take these children. No one told me that when I saw the ultrasound of my babies, my mind would immediately jump to the child I had aborted. No one told me that I would unconsciously keep my children at arms length because I feared retribution. No one told me that I’d spend years trying to fill the void in my heart with things and experiences in order to just feel something. No one told me it was okay to cry for that baby. They just sent me on my way, antibiotics and post-procedure instructions in hand.
I went by myself. No one knew I was pregnant. I couldn’t tell anyone. I had only been married a few years but knew I wanted out. I couldn’t get divorced and be pregnant. I had already made one colossal mistake by getting married in the first place. And the man I was married to wasn’t the baby’s father. I was batting 1.000 in the “screw-up” league. I justified every action – this was MY life, after all. You might be wondering where God was in my world. He was there, I just wasn’t acknowledging Him. To do so would’ve meant I’d actually have to face the consequences of the bad decisions I’d been making. I wasn’t looking for judgment; I was looking for an easy way out.
Fast forward fifteen years. I am now the married mom of two young teens. We go to a church we really like, and I’m invited to a Women’s Retreat. God starts to work on my heart, particularly the part that’s walled off. I tell my roommate about my abortion. She confesses that she drove a friend of hers to an abortion clinic and how that’s haunted her ever since. We cry, we pray. It feels good. I eventually come to lead our Women’s Ministry. And while I was looking for a speaker for another retreat, my sister suggests a woman she knows, who happens to have written a post-abortion healing Bible study. My sister knows her because she’s been to her healing group. Two post-abortive women in one family, neither knowing about the other. We cry, we pray. It feels good. The internal wall is being chipped away, bit by bit. At that point, I do the scariest thing I’ve ever done: I tell my pastor that I’ve had an abortion. Scared does not begin to describe how I felt telling him. Fear, shame and worthless are good descriptions. I was looking for judgment, what I found was grace. That gave me the courage to ask him if the church would pay for me to be trained as a certified leader for the study. I go to the training, work through the study and begin to experience a relationship with God like I have never known before. I cry. I pray. It feels good.
Fast forward two more years and here I sit. I’ve had the privilege of helping women establish or reestablish their relationship with Christ through this study. Each time I lead a group, the Lord graciously brings me a deeper peace. I know my child, her name is Catherine and I have been able to mourn her and celebrate her. What I thought I was doing for other women has blessed me beyond measure. I know the Lord more intimately. I am His Beloved and I am forgiven.
Photo Courtesy of bosela
Jill Marquis describes herself as a wretch saved only by God’s amazing grace. She has been married to Dan for twenty years and they have two children. Their son, Drew, is a college freshman and their daughter, Rachel, is a junior in high school. Jill is an avid reader – novels of intrigue and conspiracy are her favorites. She and her husband love college football and are the most at home on the beach. She is an aspiring writer and speaker. You can connect with her through her blog Prodigal Daughters at www.jillmarquis.wordpress.com.
Thank you for sharing your heart and your story. Soooo powerful. My 28 y.o. daughter and I have started volunteering in a pregnancy resource center. I can’t tell you the love that wells up in my heart when I walk in that place–totally grace-filled.
Just wanted to send you a hug from Georgia and that your honesty will bless so many.
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