After The Rain
(My story of abortion and how I found healing)
Looking at me now, you would never know that I was the same person that I was 9 years ago. My attitude now is generally cheery and positive. I smile at EVERYONE I pass on the street, and love the life that God has given me. I wasn’t always this way. There was a time when I was lonely and depressed…feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I was scared and sad, and at times, even suicidal. My name is Mariah, and this is MY story.
I grew up the daughter of a single mother. My mother and father were married for the first few years of my life, and then realized they had married too young and decided that it was in their best interest if they divorced. I don’t remember much more than my dad leaving the house and saying that he would pick me up on the weekend. I bounced from house to house from there on in. My mom remarried an abuser…Dad remarried also. The cycle continued. Each one marrying and divorcing, moving from house to house and apartment to apartment. Each time I got a little bit stronger on the outside but sadder on the inside.
I guess you could say the way that I learned as a child to handle problems was to take the easiest way out. I feel that this is reason that when I found out that I was pregnant at the young age of 14, I felt that abortion would be the easiest and quietest way to hide the “mistake” I had made, and nobody but those I chose to tell would ever have to know. I thought abortion would be a “done deal”. People that loved me and cared for me told me that I could have this quick procedure done and then forget about it. I was 14, so I believed them. God DID put a few people in my life who told me that maybe abortion wasn’t the best choice, but I choose to ignore their warnings and went instead with my first instinct.
At 8 weeks pregnant I succumbed to the hands of an abortion doctor. I remember it all like it was yesterday, not like the 13 years it has been. The “clinic” was so clean. There was cool music playing. Oprah was on the television in the waiting room. The “counselor” was so knowledgeable and young and “cool”. She told me that this wasn’t really a “baby”, but a small mass of tissue. I thought to myself, "Hey, this may not be so bad after all!"
Wrong. It WAS bad. Not so much at first. In fact, at first I felt relief that it was over. I felt empty in a way, and maybe even regret in a way, but definitely relief!
The relief didn’t last long. Soon that relief gave way to anger and sadness and depression. I broke up with the father of my child. My best friend at the time got pregnant and all of a sudden I felt very envious of her. After all, she chose to keep her baby. Why didn’t I have the strength to keep mine? Every time I saw the swollen belly of a mother, or a baby in a stroller, I wanted to cry. I got mad, and drank away my anger every chance I had though I was barely a teenager. I contemplated suicide, more than once. I was lost. I thought that God HATED me, and that I was going to go straight to hell for what I did. I had nightmares of my child.
This continued on and on, a vicious cycle of self-hate and self-abuse by drinking throughout most of my teen years. I wanted to die, yet at the same time I wanted to somehow help others in the same situation. I wanted to share my story with others, but at the same time, I couldn’t even HEAR the word abortion without cringing.
One Sunday my aunt invited me to her non-denominational church. I grew up Lutheran, but found it very boring as a teen, and stopped going. “Why should I go anyway,” I thought, “God won’t want me there.” But I did go, and wouldn’t you know it, balancing on the pew in front of me was a flyer for a Bible Study called Forgiven and Set Free for people like ME, who had had abortions!
I flew home fast that day and called the number listed. This is what I had been looking for! Between the Bible study and the AWESOME leadership of my church, I learned that God did forgive me and I WASN’T going to hell. I accepted Christ into my heart and asked Him to be the Lord over my whole life. Jesus died for ME, not just “some of the sinners”…ALL of us. I was forgiven. I was forgiven the first time I asked, no questions, and no looking back.
There was one catch though. God gave me a story to tell. He didn’t AGREE with my abortion, yet he ALLOWED it to happen. He brought me from despair and loathing and anger and loneliness and darkness to a place of light and peace and solitude and love. I learned that I am forgiven. I learned that I am loved.
God gave me this wonderful peace about my abortion. I KNOW I will be reunited with my child in heaven someday. Until then, my precious son is in the safe and loving arms of Jesus, and for the sake of mothers EVERYWHERE, I have chosen to be silent no more.