Psalm 139:13-16
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Inwardly Knit
10 Week Fetal picture

January is Sanctity of Human Life Month. As soon as I started this business, I knew I would be doing this colorway this month. This colorway is loosely based on some amazing pictures that were taken by Lennart Nilsson in his book “A Child Is Born”. This particular one shows a baby at 10 weeks gestation. In every state, abortion is legal for any and every reason up until 12 weeks of gestation, though over 75% of all abortions performed in the United States are performed before 10 weeks gestation.

To read more about each week of development, look at this site. It’s amazing!!

So on to my story. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, and sometimes keeping them there allows you to be trapped in shame. So this is my story of freedom.

I was 16, living in a small town- where I knew everyone and everyone knew me. My mom was THE elementary counselor at our only elementary and had been since before I started school. There’s a lot of history, but basically- while I was raised in a Christian household- I was really taught by example that it’s more important what PEOPLE think of you than what God sees in your heart.

I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, where I was raped for my 1st sexual encounter. It was a date rape type of situation, and I stayed in the relationship cause I was stupid. He was a Senior, who was crazy about sex, and I was a freshman, who lacked a lot of wisdom and confidence. I had always vowed that I’d be a virgin when I married, and after that instance, I kept thinking I could say no. I never intended to be sexually involved. But somehow I could never say no. And he “hated condoms.” Since I was in denial about our sex life, I never took birth control . So about 10 months into our relationship, I found myself pregnant.

Honestly, I never even thought about keeping it. I knew it was wrong, yet I couldn’t imagine the shame I’d bring to my family by carrying a child. My parents expected me to appear like a “good Christian” and if I was pregnant, everyone would know. I coerced my parents into taking me to have an abortion. I cried and cried. And honestly, I lost a part of me that day. And on the way home the shame began, as my dad mentioned that I NEVER needed to mention this to anyone. Like it was our little shameful secret.

And I didn’t learn from the first encounter. Approximately a year later, I found myself in the same situation. But the precedence had been set and everyone knew what we would do. My boyfriend and I broke up for good shortly after my second abortion. Really, in some ways, I was a shell of a person for all of my high school days. It was as if I had to pretend that it never really happened because I didn’t know what I would do if I had to really face it.

Fast forward to college. I went through some counseling for my rape. I came to a place where I forgave my ex-boyfriend. But I was constantly swallowed up by shame. I got involved with a Christian sorority. I grew closer to God than I ever had before. I came to a place of repentance, true repentance. I cried out to the Lord and begged for forgiveness- for my immoral relationship, for the murders I committed. I knew that the Lord forgave me. His word promises us that He does. Yet there was always something in the way. It was like this invisible barrier to every relationship I had. Still the guilt. Still the shame.

Sometimes, I’d think about who those babies would have been. But not for long. I couldn’t stand to hear about abortion or anything like that. I really renewed my position on pro-life in college, just based on the pain I’d carried and the shame I felt. Especially, when I’d read in my local paper about loving couples who were desperate to adopt. I knew I could have given that gift to someone.

And in college, there was a girl who shared her story. She was not a Christian when she got pregnant and had her abortion. She met Jesus in a personal way, and wanted to absolved of all her sins. She went through post-abortion counseling and shared her story with us. The girls in my Christian sorority who she shared with were so supportive. I was in awe of her courage to talk about it. I saw how openly these people loved her and held nothing against her. Yet, I still continued to believe that it would not be the same for me. They’d judge me, because I was a “Christian” at the time I made the decision to kill a baby. So on and on I carried the guilt and shame, though.

I married my husband right after I graduated, and when we started talking about starting a family I grew really concerned. Often, women who have had abortions have trouble carrying children in the future. Right before we were planning on trying to conceive , we really spent some time in prayer and fasting. I confessed my sin and asked the Lord to heal my uterus. I honestly believe that He did. My cycle had been wacko before this, and all of the sudden, I was regular. My oldest daughter was conceived 3 months later, on our 2nd month trying.

When I got pregnant with my second daughter, it was laid on my heart to work with the local crisis pregnancy center. But to do that, you have to go through post-abortion counseling, if you’ve ever had one. I scheduled that and I have to tell you that this experience was a life changer for me.

You see, I believe that Christ came to make me into a new creature. And that I am no longer the person I was a long time ago. And that we all make mistakes. And whether it’s killing a baby (like me) or stealing a pack of gum from a gas station, we have all sinned against God. Yet, the blood of Christ is able to cover even the greatest of sins. And in that I have freedom. I think that I was carrying around shame that I no longer had to carry.

Am I proud of what I did? NOT AT ALL. But am I forgiven in Christ? Yes. If I could go back and change it, would I? In a heartbeat! And I believe that I’ll meet my babies (who I believe are a boys) in heaven. In Christ, I have freedom from my past. And I think that God can use my past to help someone else someday.

Though I am not proud of my decision, I am so grateful for what I’ve learned through it. I can honestly say that abortion is NOT the answer. The scars that you bear are wicked and invisible. Many women can not bond with their future children, if they can ever even carry them. Many turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. I am so glad that I was spared that route. Though bearing those children during my teenage years would have certainly changed my life, I could have looked out for the rest of my life and known I had given someone a gift- the gift of a baby. Instead, I bore the shame and scars that were self-inflicted for 16 years, until I found Freedom in Christ.

To read about my process of finding forgiveness in Christ, read my blog about “East to West”.

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