Given Life Through Death



Bonnie said... "How has love changed your life?" :

Because my story will take a while, I will do it in parts.

Part I
I grew up fast, and was very young when I had both of my abortions. My mother and father divorced when I was about 5. My dad left, and never contacted me as a child. My mother remarried a wonderful man when I was 7. He's been the best father I could have asked for and has always loved me as his own. With their union came a good home. I had love, stability, support...everything I should have. Yet, at a young age I ventured off and got involved with a man that was older than I.

Not surprisingly, I fell deeply in love with him, and was in a relationship with him until I was 21 (9 years to be exact). He came from a very dysfunctional and unstable upbringing with no real positive male influence. The men in his family were womanizers and lived very risky lifestyles. That's what he learned, and that's what he became. With this, I was introduced to a raw world that I was not prepared for. I believe my real fathers absence had everything to do with me getting involved with a man that lived wilder than I had ever known. I longed to be loved and accepted, and I guess that it what I felt being in a relationship with this older man. As unstable as he was, I always felt safe and protected with him. The flip side is that he would proclaim his great love for me, and then be all over town if you can catch my drift. As a young, naive, and vulnerable girl, I was completely confused as to why someone claiming to love me would do this?

My self confidence was reduced. I doubted my ability to satisfy him, and felt completely responsible for his lack of faithfulness. A quiet depression started in my heart with all of this. I honestly did not know at that time how to get around what I was experiencing. I hated what he was doing, but at the same time didn't want to be without him (typical of so many women, isn't it? ). My mother never approved of this fellow, and had great concern for the path my life was taking. I heard and took to heart every bit of her concern, but my actions said otherwise. I was driven by my misconceived interpretation of the relationship.

Part II
My spiritual background at that time was that my family and I did believe in God, and we did pray, but never as a family. We mostly prayed when times were difficult. We were Catholic, and I can remember going to church with a friend on occasions like Ash Wednesday and Christmas Eve, but that was the extent of it. I had no real idea what-so-ever of what it meant to have a true relationship with God.

So, there I was; young, depressed, confused.....and very lost. I put up a good front that I was strong and fine, but that really couldn't have been any further from the truth. With all that I had compromised of myself, I had become someone that I no longer recognized.

At the age of 16, I learned that I was pregnant. No one knew. We did tell my parents, however. They were devastated. All of my mother's concerns for my life were now painfully confirmed, and all hope for my future became desperately dictated. Abortion was the only logical solution that could be seen.

I remember soaking in a tub the morning of my scheduled abortion. Full of tears, I told my baby how sorry I was for what I was about to do. My spirit had deep conviction and sadness for what was about to happen, but I did not allow myself to stay in that place too long. I knew that I would not go through with it if I didn't toughen up quick. So... that's exactly what I did. It sickens me to share with you that my mother, father, boyfriend, and I all went down to the clinic together. I sat in a waiting room full of other women that were also very quiet and focused. My turn came, I had the abortion, and then sat and recovered with the same group of women; now all quietly facing the reality of the death that just occurred.

We all went on with life, and no one ever discussed it. I did not allow myself to feel anything other than hardness, because that was the only way I knew to cope. It wasn't until a couple of years later that much of my brokenness began to overpower the hardness. I still never spoke to anyone about what I was feeling. I really thought that there had to be something wrong with me. After all, I knew other women who had been through abortion and they seemed just fine. I can guarantee you that we were all feeling it, but no-one would dare talk about it.

This is the cycle that exists everyday around us.

My relationship went on in spurts of on again - off again with the same man. The depression that began to develop before my abortion had now graduated to a deep, secret despair. I numbed my pain every opportunity I could with substance, and just kept on carrying on to the best of my ability.

Part III
Days turned into months, months turned into years, and not one day went by that I didn't regret what I had done. I would have given anything to have been able to go back and choose life. I knew it was the biggest mistake I had ever made, and I knew I would never allow myself to be in that place again......................................Three years later, I was still in the same relationship and things were surprisingly going very well. He had changed a great deal, and was no longer running around. We were experiencing a season of great happiness together. For the first time I was optimistic about the possibility of a future with him. Although I was hopeful, there was this little nagging doubt that would not let me forget that this man may never truly ever change his ways. I wanted a future with him and dreamed of how happy we could be, but there was always the risk factor that poked at me. Against my better judgment, and in a routine I had become accustomed to, I proceeded ahead with the fantasy of happily ever after with this man. We began to speak very seriously about getting married and were anxious to have a child together. So anxious in fact, that guess who was pregnant again? We were both overjoyed. He immediately gave me a ring, and the wedding plans were on.

My mom disapproved more than she ever had before. Her stance concerning this man and all the potential she seen for my life never changed. Major decisions were being made, but all without her blessing. This dimmed what should have been a happy time of planning, but it didn't stop the planning. There were many people that were happy for us, and that's what I focused on.

It was about a month later that my whole world fell apart.

His mother, whom he was extremely close to, was in a tragic automobile accident and very suddenly died. This was a cruel blow to him, and, needless to say, hit him very hard. This changed EVERYTHING. He was filled with a sorrowful rage. It was a rage that I had never seen before and hadn't known he was capable of. It terrified me and I was gripped with panic. All hope for my future was now replaced with complete terror. I feared for myself and for my child. What was I about to bring my child into? The same position I swore I would never find myself in was there to wickedly revisit me. I felt completely bound. I was in a lose/lose situation, and I would not bring my child into that.

Please understand, I hated abortion at that point. I hated that I had already had one. I hated that I was in a place that abortion was the only trapped option I felt I had. I can imagine how terribly perverse my story may sound. But it was my reality. It is very hard to describe how grueling it is to feel forced to do something that goes against everything you believe or want.

I let my partner know of what I had decided. He begged me not to abort. I took authority like I had never taken before and quickly moved ahead with my decision.

Things this time around were very different. I soaked in the same tub, and once again told this child how sorry I was. I was unable to toughen up this time though. I was fragile walking into the clinic, and that made the experience impossible. I walked out, unable to follow through. It took days to coax myself up with enough toughness to get through it. When I finally did, the procedure was excruciatingly painful in every aspect. I walked out of that office a completely different person. No life, no care, no anything! When things couldn't possibly get any worse, I began hemorrhaging two days later, and was forced to return to the clinic so that they could repeat the procedure. This was a very traumatic experience. I remember freaking out, hyperventilating, and trying to do everything I could to communicate to the doctor that there was no way I could repeat it. I told him to put me to sleep, that I couldn't handle it. My requests were ignored. They took complete advantage of my vulnerable state of mind and forced me back on the table to finish their job.

I might as well have died. Everything inside of me was now dead. I immediately became severely and dangerously depressed. I isolated myself from everyone. I didn't eat. I didn't bathe. I existed in a mute and numb state. I often awoke in the middle of the night in complete panic attacks. I was literally losing my mind, and I told my mom numerous times to admit me to the mental hospital.......................I didn't care.

Every one of my days were filled with deep weeping and sorrow. I could not relieve the hell, substance could not relieve the hell, NOTHING could relieve the hell, until....

The day came that I was down on my face in despair, and I cried out to God. I cried out for forgiveness! I cried out for relief! I begged for another chance to live a better life. I even bargained and said, "God, if you will just give me one more chance, I will serve you all the days of my life! I honestly didn't expect anything to change. But oh, how it did!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity."
Jeremiah 29:11-14...

Part IV
Something DID change as a result of that desperate prayer! I hadn't known that just a few weeks prior to this time, a close cousin of mine had began to attend a Christian church. It was very soon after my prayer, that she invited me to attend with her. I didn't hesitate because I knew I needed some kind of help, and at that point, I had nothing to lose. I also wondered if God couldn't possibly be responding to my plea.

I ended up attending church with her, but with a very critical attitude. I sat in the last pew, and can remember sizing up the Pastor before he even spoke. This church was different than what I knew church to be, and I felt confused.

The music began, and it was beautiful. The atmosphere in that place became so peaceful. The Pastor started to speak, and for the first time ever in my life, I experienced God talking directly to me through that man. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing! That message was for ME! I wept and wept as I realized without a doubt that God really had heard me, and that God really did care! I determined before even leaving that evening, that I was not going to miss this opportunity for new life. I determined right then and there that I would return on Sunday morning, and publicly commit my life to God. I really didn't understand the depth of what was happening inside of me, but there was this new spark of hope that was not there before.

Sunday morning came and I put on the prettiest dress I had. I couldn't wait to get there. At the end of the service they extended an offer to pray for anyone who wanted to make things right and give their life to God. I couldn't walk to the front of that church quick enough. I decided to say "yes" to God that day, and I meant it with everything inside of me.

A radical transformation began in my life. Every single day that followed became a thrill as I discovered the truths and promises of God's word. I stayed in His word and surrounded myself with worship music constantly. I knew I couldn't afford to come out from under His covering.

There were three life changing revelations that became my lifeline:

1. God had forgiven me for the unforgivable, and would never remember my sin again.
"You will again have compassion on us;
You will tread our iniquities underfoot.
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."
Micah 7:19

"I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake;
and I will not remember your sins"
Isaiah 43:25

As far as the east is from the west,
so far has re removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:12

2. Satan wanted to kill me, but God promised to save me.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

3. I would never be that same person again.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

My dear friends, I do not know where you're at in your life, but please know that God is mindful of you. He loves you more than you can imagine. Committing your life to God is not just about the deliverance that He can and will provide in the midst of turmoil. That is definitely a major benefit, but the truth is, we are all sinners in need of the Savior. We all need to be forgiven and redeemed from our sin (no matter the sin). We must be born again. What is it to be born again, you may ask?

In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

Jesus answered, " I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, You must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3: 3-8

Perhaps you haven't yet given your life to God, but you recognize your need to. It's really very simple. It involves a heartfelt, sincere prayer to God acknowledging that you understand that you are a sinner and in need of a Savior. Saying a sinner's prayer will not accomplish anything on its own. A sinner's prayer is only effective if it genuinely represents what a person knows, understands, and believes about their sinfulness and need for salvation. The first aspect of a sinner's prayer is understanding that we are all sinners. Romans 3:10 proclaims, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." The Bible makes it clear that we have all sinned. We are all sinners in need of mercy and forgiveness from God (Titus 3:5-7). Because of our sin, we deserve eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). The sinner's prayer is a plea for grace instead of judgment. It is a request for mercy instead of wrath.The second aspect of a sinner's prayer is knowing what God has done to remedy our lost and sinful condition. God took on flesh and became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14). Jesus taught us the truth about God and lived a perfectly righteous and sinless life (John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus then died on the cross in our place, taking the punishment that we deserve (Romans 5:8). Jesus rose from the dead to prove His victory over sin, death, and hell (Colossians 2:15; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). Because of all of this, we can have our sins forgiven and be promised an eternal home in Heaven - if we will just place our faith in Jesus Christ. All we have to do is believe that He died in our place and rose from the dead (Romans 10:9-10). We can be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8 declares, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." Saying the sinner's prayer is simply a way of declaring to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ as your Savior. There are no "magical" words that result in salvation. It is only faith in Jesus' death and resurrection that can save us.

Here's an example:
"God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I choose today to trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I acknowledge and believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I ask you to cleanse me and re-make me. I confess and receive Jesus Christ right now as my personal Lord and Savior, and I commit my life into your hands. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!"

I encourage you to study the referenced scriptures carefully so that you have a complete understanding for yourself.

If you've made a decision to follow Christ, please don't hesitate to let me know. (ExtendedHope@aol.com) It is a milestone in your life I wouldn't want to miss! I'm praying for you all.

Part V
Right around the time that I began to serve Jesus, my partner went to jail. He had gone off the deep end in response to the loss of his mother and everything else, and gotten himself in a lot of trouble. I continued in relationship with him, but it was in a completely different manner. I stayed committed to sharing Jesus with him during that time. I would visit him in jail and share about all the things God was doing. He was eventually moved to a Christian rehabilitation program as part of his sentence. This place was quite a drive for me, but I would make every effort to visit him, attend church with him, and encourage him in the things of God. I could see definite change and I was sincerely happy for him.

In the meanwhile, I continued going to church myself. I was totally focused on receiving from God. God was continually filling me up, and I felt so satisfied. I understood that it was only He that could fill my void inside, and my dependence was now on HIM and HIM alone. It was liberating!

Everything around me was changing daily, it seemed. My mom was so impacted by my change, that she decided to come to church with me, and too, gave her life to God. Soon after, my father followed, and as a family, we were following God together. Such a glorious thing that God was doing within all of us! I remember asking God for new friends who would share my love for Him. Before long, a whole new family of friends entered my life. I began to spend my time with other like minded people, and it was great.

Two years later, my partner was released. I knew this would be his true test. He stayed focused on God for no longer than a couple of months. The temptations that lured all around him quickly became too much for him to resist. He went back to the former things. I knew that this was where things ended. He was now choosing a lifestyle that no longer lined up with mine, and I would not allow anything to hinder my walk with God.

The end of my relationship with him was indeed a sad time. I was sad in my own heart, but was mostly saddened for him, and all that he was choosing to give up. As I looked to God, He continued to tenderly love me through and once again help me to heal.

It was then, that I no longer had any associations with my past, and that God would begin to really build my future.

How Could Anyone Do This? (conclusion)
It is appalling to consider that a couple or woman would make a conscientious decision to end the life of their unborn child. This goes against the very principle of "life" that God is and created. Yet, day after day, decisions to abort continue to be made. And day after day, the consequence of this horrendous sin lingers to confront.

Women who have had an abortion are not bad people. They are very real, very human people that are most times so paralyzed with fear and the inability to see beyond their circumstance, that they make a life altering decision without any real comprehension of everything abortion involves and will cost (and I don't mean financially). Many are quick to form judgment on something they are sure they would never do, but let's be honest. Haven't we all been there at some point-in one of those cringe-inducing moments that leave you wondering, "how do I get myself out of this one?" I realize abortion is an extreme example, but my point is, we can all relate to experiencing that feeling to varying degrees at some point or another.

So the question is: How could anyone do this?

According to many studies, the primary reasons for choosing an abortion are:
- The pregnancy was not planned or wanted
- The couple does not feel ready to have a baby yet
- It's an inconvenient time of life for the mother or father
- The child would interfere with goals
- There are financial concerns
- There is pressure and influence by parents or other family members to abort
- There is fear of disappointing loved ones or being abandoned
- There is fear of bringing a child into a troubled relationship
- There is fear of people finding out about the pregnancy
- There is a lack of support or encouragement
- There is a lack of accurate information given to help make an educated decision

The number one reason that women choose abortion is that their partner, the father of the child, either passively or aggressively, refused to support the women in carrying the child to birth. It has been reported that an estimated 70% of these relationships that continue after the abortion will end within the first year following the abortion. When men refuse to live up to their responsibilities, they often will resent the women that they have let down-the mother of the child that they did not support. And, when a woman realizes the pain abortion has caused, she will resent the man who got them pregnant and did not fulfill his obligations as a father.

Other contributing factors can stem from a woman's or man's family history:
- Did abortion run in the family?
- Were their parents divorced?
- Was she or he abandoned by one of their parents?
- Was there physical or sexual abuse?

This information is intended to offer a small glimpse into the state of heart and emotion a women is often in when she chooses abortion.

May God have mercy upon us for the generational sin that has festered and spread like infection upon our nation.

5 comments:

Lori said...

Hi Bonnie,
Your story moved me to tears. We never met, but I feel close to you, it seems our pasts mirror each other. I too had an abortion, I had to come to the end of myself before I looked to God for help. I also was Catholic, I had no idea of what a relationship with God looked like. I started to cry when you described how you felt when you first encountered God, because I felt the same.
I know that we, who have gone through alot of stuff, need to tell others how great God's love is. You are doing a great job my sister. Keep pointing people to Jesus, and keep letting your light (His light) shine! God bless you!

LisaShaw said...

Bonnie, I commented on your blog. I am deeply moved by the way God has touched all of our lives through Jesus Christ with a love, grace, mercy and forgiveness that only He can provide. How that humbles our hearts. I love Him so.

I appreciate Power Up Love sharing your story and God bless this Ministry service unto the LORD.

Bonnie said...

Thank you Lori & Lisa for such encouraging words. There's a song that says "Let my life song sing to you"...I love those words. Each of our lives has a story that God will make into a song. My prayer is that people everywhere, would be compelled to share about their lives and the great things HE has done -- that our life songs would sing to HIM!

Many, O Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.
Psalm 40:5

Too many, yes. But let's declare everything we can!

God Bless you both.

Bonnie
extendedhope.com

LisaShaw said...

Amen! Bonnie!

Kat & Steve White - The other White House said...

Hi Bonnie,

What a heart wrenching story. I am so glad you found Jesus. I lost my dad at 15, he left my mom for another woman other then my mom. It hurt and still hurts to this day. I know Jesus as my savior, he came into my life just before my dad did this to our family.
I was pregnant at 17 and 19 I choose to keep them, but I can't imagine the deep pain and sorrow you must of felt and feel to this day. God Bless you, I am sure this story will help many that have been walked in your shoes.
God Bless you this story was shocking but amazing. I literally have never read anything so real about how a women feels after abortion. You should write a book. Really! Hugs