I grew up during a time when most mothers stayed at home with their children and the dads went off to work. My family was no different, my dad worked long hours and as a young child it seemed to me that my mom was alone most of the time. I watched her life and decided I was going to have different life.
This made me very independent, I was going to do everything myself, I had no interest in being a wife and mother like my mom. I was going to have a career and something different for my life, I just wasn’t sure what. I dated in high school and college and turned down opportunities to marry. Mostly I wasn’t that discerning about who I dated because I knew I wasn’t looking for a husband. I dated men who I knew wouldn’t be a long term relationship and I didn’t care. I was just having fun. I didn’t have sex with most of them because I didn’t want to get that close to them.
I finished college and continued to date and work my way up the corporate ladder. Then when I was in my late 20’s I met “the one.” This was a man I thought I could spend the rest of my life with. We had similar interests, he was fun and affectionate and he said he loved me all the time. We started having sex. I believed that as long as you were only having sex with one person at a time, it was ok. It was love and a committed relationship and I had never heard anything different. I had never been too involved in church so the idea that having sex outside of marriage was wrong never crossed my mind. Despite using birth control I found myself pregnant. I was mortified. I had become one of “those women”. When I told my boyfriend I was pregnant he said he didn’t want to have a baby right now, I told him I would take care of it and I did.
The day of the abortion arrived and my boyfriend dropped me off at the clinic. I didn’t want him to be there with me, I of course wanted to handle it on my own. He didn’t offer to be a part of it anyway. He didn’t want to talk any more about it after the initial discussion.
As I sat in the waiting room, I looked around and I never felt more alone. Every step in the process seemed to take forever, and all I wanted was for it to be over. Afterward I just felt relieved. I was over and I could now move on with my life. I thought it would pick up where it left off and go back to being the same. Instead I ended the relationship with my boyfriend soon after he told me that “Had the decision been up to him, he never would have gone along with the abortion.” I ended the relationship.
I was alone again and on my own. I poured my energy into my work, volunteered in the community and I was extremely busy. I was back working on the plan I had for my life. This worked for about a year until I was passed over for a promotion. I was devastated. The strategy I had for my life wasn’t working and I didn’t have a plan B. This was when I hit bottom. I was alone, feeling shame, and harboring this huge secret. I couldn’t see a future for myself.
Through this dark place, the Lord brought a couple of caring Christians literally to my front door. I was home alone one winter night when these people from the church down the street rang my doorbell. They asked if they would come in and talk about Jesus. We talked for awhile and they asked if I was interested in giving my life to Christ. I said fine, I figured what did I have to lose? I was all out of tricks.
Over the course of the next decade I was baptized, joined a church, worked in ministry and tried to grow as a Christian. But all around me I saw perfect Christians. I thought none of these people could have possibly done what I did. I kept my secret and found myself crying when I would see the freedom that others seemed to have. I just kept wondering what was missing? One day, I dared to share my story with one of my Bible study leaders and she suggested I attend the Conquerors program. I had seen the program advertised in my church bulletin, but I always thought “I don’t need that, I am fine.”
Well I wasn’t fine. I started the Conquerors program and realized how much pain and shame and heart break I was carrying around. I couldn’t work or accomplish enough or stay busy enough to rid myself of this heartache. I didn’t fully understand the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. I thought he died for all sins except the one I committed. I thought abortion was the one unforgivable sin, particularly since I never heard the topic discussed in church.
Since going through the Conquerors program, my life has changed course dramatically. I have freedom and peace about my past. I no longer need to compensate for the mistakes I made by trying to be perfect.