Dear Friends and Family,
I have something to say that is going to be really hard; both for me to say and for you to hear. But I hope that no matter what, you will love me and support me just as you always have.
When I was younger, I had an abortion. That’s right; I killed a baby. Not just any baby. My baby. Though I didn’t know it then, it would be a changing point in my life that would lead me to some very dark places, some I am still trudging through.
Now if you are still reading, I’d like to tell you how I felt then and what I am feeling now, and why I felt the need to confess this to you.
You see, I was so scared upon finding out I was pregnant. I was alone and frightened and didn’t know what it would mean for me. I didn’t know how to be a mother. I didn’t think I could change my life enough. I didn’t know if I wanted to change my life enough. I was in a relationship but I didn’t know what the future held. I thought maybe we’d get married but I didn’t know. I had plans that didn’t include a baby and my boyfriend didn’t seem to want a child either. I was told the baby was not really a baby; that it was just a mass of cells, and that it would be the easiest thing to just get rid of it. I didn’t know then that my baby’s heart was already beating; that his life had been planned long before he came to be inside of me.
After I had the abortion, life was very different. The world seemed more grayish and I felt like this huge hole had developed inside of me; though at the time, I couldn’t really figure out that it was because of the abortion. Only being able to look back now has shown me that…and so much more. Things started getting really tense between my boyfriend and me. We were fighting and we didn’t even know why.
I cried a lot, feeling a sense of loss I have never ever felt in my entire life. I felt disappointed and resentful toward my boyfriend, though I couldn’t really pinpoint why, not at the time. I spiraled down into depression. My behavior was often erratic; as I’m sure some of you might remember. I am sorry that I could never tell you why. Some days I thought about killing myself. Other days I just stared at the wall, paralyzed inside of myself, going through the ‘what ifs.’ I tried to push it all down inside of me; to go on as if nothing was wrong, as if I hadn’t done what I did. Some days I succeeded; other days…not so much.
Looking back on that fateful day that I walked into that place to get rid of my baby, I wish someone had been there to tell me I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life. I wish someone had told me that my baby was alive inside of me; that he was not just a blob of cells and that he had specific DNA, a heart that was beating….that he would change my life in such a huge, important and amazing way if I would just give him a chance. I didn’t think about any of that. All I thought about was myself; that I couldn’t handle a baby, that I didn’t want my life to change. Funny how things work out, huh? My life changed in a way I never even saw coming.
Thinking about my baby and what I gave up along with his life, I realize that I gave up a part of myself that I will never get back. The chance to be a mother to that specific child. The chance to rise above a less-than-ideal situation and all the challenges it presents and say “I did it.” The gift of new life - for me and my child… I didn’t think about the fact that I would in fact be doing something so much more difficult and painful in the long run because of the abortion, than what I thought having and raising a child would be.
Something else I didn’t think about back then was that I wasn’t just getting rid of my child (and at the time, I didn’t think of him as such), but that I was getting rid of your nephew, your cousin, your uncle, your grandson, your brother, your friend. And even though my boyfriend was ok with it, I didn’t think about what he might go through as the father of a child he’d never know. I didn’t think about the impact that child’s life could have had on any of you. I didn’t think about the fact that I was robbing the world of another soul, one who could have grown up to do great things like find the cure for cancer or change kids’ lives as a teacher or coach, or be the president that would restore the nation. I didn’t think about these things. I didn’t think about how you might feel if you had known what I was going to do. And now, now you will never know. You will never get to hold him, to know him, to love him. You will never see his tiny fingers and toes or smell his sweet baby skin. You will never see him grow up; hit milestones, light the world on fire with his smile. You won’t. And I won’t.
I won’t ever get to experience the tiny movements inside of me that only could belong to him, or his personality which would have stretched and spread my heart open wide, or the infinite and unconditional love only he could give in his own special way. I am so sorry for this. For you, and for myself. I am sorry that I just didn’t realize that this child was indeed a child, one with a soul, personhood, a plan mapped out by the Father who creates all life.
I have a two year old now, as you know. I look at her and wonder what it would have been like for her to have a big brother – one to protect her when things get tough; to team up against me, to fight with, to play with. I wonder how different her personality is from what his was. How different my body looked and felt carrying her compared to what it would have been like to carry him. How her birth differed from what his “birth” was. My heart breaks the most for her. Will I ever tell her about this? About her brother who I stole from her before he could ever take a breath? Will she understand? Will she forgive me?
Please don’t cry for me. But if you do; please know that I have cried many thousands of tears more than you ever could. I have a hole, not only in my heart but in my soul – one that I’m not sure can ever be filled again. The grief of this tragedy that I brought about knows no bounds; it hungers for more and it takes as much of me as it wants. I only hope that someday, somehow I will be able to find forgiveness from God, from you, and from myself. I try to go on with my life and I know that in some way, I haven’t faced the depth of this horrible sin. I am trying.
I know you must be angry with me. I’d be angry too if I knew you took something so valuable from my life without my ever knowing, seeing or touching it. I understand that anger. I deserve it. But please, don’t let your anger turn your hearts from me. I need you now more than ever and I can’t go through this alone. I need prayer, and patience. But most of all, I need love. I am so so sorry for the pain I have caused you and maybe you think it would have been better for me to not let you know. But I could not keep this from you any longer. You deserve to know, to grieve your loss, to grieve his life. He deserves that, too.
Please keep me in your prayers. I desperately need them.
With love, humility and sorrow,
Please note: This is NOT about me, as you can hopefully tell by the fictitious initials I signed. I woke up at 5 this morning with some of the words to this letter running through my head. I wasn’t sure why it was in there and frankly, I really wanted to go back to sleep. But I felt a tugging on my heart from the Lord that I was meant to write these words down. I didn’t do it right away as I should have (sorry, Lord, I know I need to work on that), but I did think about them a lot throughout the day and found time in the semi-quiet of this evening to get it all out. I wasn’t sure what it would end up being. I wrote it out of the depths of understanding from working with post-abortive mothers and fathers, knowing a few personally, reading about some, and knowing and studying the psychological, emotional and physical ramifications of abortion. I wrote it from understanding of being in the place of some of the family/friends of a post-abortive mother, someone who will never have the pleasure of knowing and loving those tiny people whose mothers did not give them a chance at life. And I write it from the understanding of losing 2 children myself, not through my own doing but through miscarriage. The thoughts and pain I went through from that – never knowing how my baby would feel moving inside of me, his/her personality, the relationship he/she would have had with siblings and aunts and uncles and grandparents - has made me think about how much more grief a mother who actually makes the choice to end her child’s life must go through - even if they're unaware of that grief.
It has taken me a long time to get to a place of compassion and love for any woman who chooses this path. That love and compassion has expanded to depths I could never have imagined over the past few years, and especially these past few months that I have worked at the center, hearing stories of post-abortive and abortion-minded mothers and helping some myself. By the grace of God, this “passion” I have for the cause of LIFE, has grown into not just a passion but a calling. As Christians, we are all called to defend and protect life. It is a great tragedy in this nation in the year 2012 that we live as barbarians, killing off our own children in the name of “choice.” True Christians and God-fearing people don’t need “evidence” to know the truth of that calling, to understand the sanctity of human life. For everyone else, if you will do even the littlest bit of research, you will find that even science can’t deny the absolute personhood and life of a human baby even in its most early stages of growth in the womb. I pray for an end to abortion – not just for the sake of all those millions of babies who die in this way each year, but for the sake of the mothers who lose so much more than they could ever dream of when they take the life of their child.
One of my most favorite passages in the Bible, especially being a mother of a growing family, is Psalm 127:3-5 – “Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate.” This states that not only are children a blessing and a gift but MANY children are, AND having a “quiver-full” of them actually protects you from evil! Another passage I enjoy is Psalm 139: 13-15 – “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth.” This passage tells us that God knew us before He ever BEGAN knitting us in our mother’s wombs! How amazing is that? Let us all pray for an end to abortion; and for the healing and conversion of all post-abortive women and men.