I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin with an older brother and my parents. For the most part my family was pretty normal and I grew up being taught moral value and responsibility. We ate dinner together as a family every night and had good relationships with each other. But, by the age of 10 I had already been sexually abused by two different people. Somehow I continued to lead a somewhat normal life after this.
However, during my college years, my story takes a turn – this is when my “Dark Years” began. While on a date, I was beaten and raped. This is where my self-destruction began. It was at that point that I began a life of promiscuity – a life of drugs and alcohol.
During that time I met someone who I felt was special – someone who really cared for me. A few months later my worst fear was confirmed – I was pregnant! I really struggled because I knew deep in my soul that abortion was wrong. What other choice did I have? I couldn’t have a baby. I was single; my parents would be devastated…I felt totally alone. How could I have a baby?
My roommates encouraged me to seek “help.” That help ended up being Planned Parenthood, our local abortion clinic. I will never forget the day I decided to have an abortion. I was in denial. I didn’t tell the father of my baby that I had scheduled the abortion because he wanted to marry me and have the baby. By making that decision on my own, I stole his fatherhood from him- my own selfishness gave him no choice.
The nurse rolled me into the surgical room and I was moved onto the cold metal table. I started to cry and shake almost uncontrollably as I looked around the room. My heart was breaking, but I didn’t have the courage to say no. I was in such disbelief that I just closed my eyes and waited for it to be over.
I lay on my couch for days. I was depressed and alone. I had no idea what affect my “choice” was going to have on me. This time I was the one hurting myself – so deeply in fact that I began hating everything about myself. This is when my life began to spin out of control. My drug and alcohol use increased and I was soon back to my self-destruct mode. I was trying so hard to numb the pain of having an abortion that I was willing to try almost anything to forget all the hurts in my life.
As time passed, I began to seek for greater peace and rekindled my relationship with God. I knew that I had a lot of regret and needed to get things right again. My life took another turn – this time for good. I started to date Tobin. We eventually married and settled in Staunton.
At this time I was working full time as an executive assistant. When the position for Event Coordinator came available at ComfortCare, I applied and was hired. As a staff member that had an abortion, I was required to go through the H.E.A.R.T. Bible study. H.E.A.R.T. stands for Healing Emotions and Renewingthe Heart. To be honest, I was somewhat annoyed that this was required of me. I had enough on my plate and I thought I had already dealt with my abortion. Here I was with a rekindled relationship with God, happily married, a great new job… Of course I was healed of my abortion.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. In retrospect, I am so thankful that that this group was required. During the 10-week course, I realized that I hadn’t dealt with my abortion at all. I had only stuffed the feelings down. God revealed the many layers of the onion of my pain and hurts. Each week, He showed me the results the abortion had on my life. I never realized how the littlest thing could make me angry. I never saw how I funneled a huge portion of my anger and grief on my husband. I never looked at the way I internalized the true root of my anger, unable to share it with anyone. I never acknowledged my extremely defensive attitude. These are things that had become so engrained; I never wanted to look at them. HEART opened my eyes. HEART and the forgiveness of Jesus changed my life.