These past several weeks I have been thankful for the opportunity to minister on the sidewalk at our local abortion mills. It has been a blessing and has brought back memories that used to be difficult but not anymore because of the work of Jesus Christ in my life.
You see, when I was 18 I had an abortion. I was unmarried, living with relatives and selfishly thought a baby at this time would just add to the problems I already had. I had already been leading a rebellious life and was not living at home so I couldn't even imagine sharing this with the family I was living with and just took matters into my own hands.
That day was the ugliest of my life. It hurt so much and coming home and not being able to share what I had been through with anyone was difficult. There was much time spent alone in my room crying and I had no one to turn to for help. There hasn't been a day in my life that I don't think about that little baby who's life I took.
I know to some people murder sounds like a harsh word but what is it called when you take the life of another human being? – It's murder.
You see I wasn't the victim in this situation – the unborn baby whose life I choose to take was the victim.
Several years later I find myself in the same situation, pregnant and unmarried. This time I am determined to keep this baby because I have not healed from my first pregnancy that I aborted and couldn't imagine going through that kind of pain and guilt again. I share with the father that he doesn't have to marry me or help with the baby but I'll take care of this little one on my own. Doug wants to get married and raise this baby together. I had shared with him the story of my first abortion and this man still wants to marry me. After 28 years of marriage I find myself still growing more in my love with my Doug everyday. We were both young and not sure how things would work out. We had a quick and simple wedding ceremony and little Amber made her arrival in September of 1986.
We have now been married 28 years and have two children. Josh made his arrival in June of 1992.
Doug's parents were Christians and we had heard the gospel a lot from his side of the family. As I look back I can see the Lord drawing our family. I really had a desire to attend church and was attending a small neighborhood church that wasn't a Bible preaching church so I wasn't hearing the gospel and assumed I was going to heaven because I was a good person and attended church.
I love this part of the story because it involves meeting a woman who will always be dear to my heart, my friend Trena. I met Trena at a Curves exercise facility We were taking our introductory class together and she invited me back to her home for coffee afterwards. Trena loves to talk about Jesus and when she shared with me about the work of the Lord in her life made me know I was missing something. I was religious but I didn't have a relationship with Jesus like Trena did.
The kids and I went to church with Trena that Sunday (Doug stayed home) and that afternoon back at home I came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. For the first time I realized I was a sinner against a holy and righteous God. I understood that God is perfect and is angry with sinners and will punish sin. But God is also rich in mercy and sent His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, God's eternal Son, born of the virgin Mary to die as a substitute and ransom for rebellious sinners. Jesus willingly died on the cross and took the punishment for my sin that through my repentance and faith in what He did and acknowledging Jesus as my Savior and Lord I was saved from the wrath to come. What a glorious moment when my eyes were opened to the free gift of salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ!! The Lord saved Doug later that week and I cannot even express to you in a short amount of time the changes in our home. It was a celebration with Doug's family and with our new family of believers.
What I love most of Christian sidewalk counselors is that we aren't just there to tell them there is an option but we are able to share with them the life saving truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the One who can change lives and hearts. Knowing they aren't alone and we will help them through every step in keeping their baby is reaching out to them with the love of Christ.
Over 1 million babies are killed each year in the U.S. And chances are that this is happening just down the street from you. Anybody can make a forever difference, just by being willing to step out onto the sidewalk for these lives.
Thoughts for Christian Women who have had an abortion on Forgiveness:
I want to share some encouraging words to you if you have had an abortion and are now a Christian – there is no sin beyond the reach of God's grace. God sees us at our worst and still loves us. True freedom and forgiveness is only found through a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you find yourself feeling unforgiven it's time to go back to the truths of God's Word and remind yourself as it says in Romans 8:1 – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
My Abortion Testimony on Haven Today's Radio Program
Blog Post on my Abortion Testimony at Haven Today (with an extra audio clip)
Sidewalk Counseling: Crying Out for the Lives of the Unborn