Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A piece of my testimony... a piece of my heart

His name is David, and he is my oldest son. He will be thirty-three this coming November. It was around this time thirty-two years ago that Roe verses Wade entered into both our lives in a very personal way.

I was sixteen, and I was pregnant. Those two words didn’t seem to go together in the same sentence, especially in 1976. I tried to ignore the truth as long as I could, but eventually the evidence started to show itself.

Thoughts of what I had allowed to happen brought feelings of deep shame, then isolation. My parents had taught me right from wrong, and I professed to be a Christian, though it was obvious I did not live up to the standards of that truth. I knew I had no excuse.

It had been a few years since the court ruling of Roe verses Wade, so I had choices; I just didn’t want to make them. When I finally got the courage to tell a few friends about my situation, I was bombarded with lots of opinions, most of which bore the wisdom and maturity of a typical sixteen-year old girl.

I also heard the stories of those who found this crisis in my life a safe time to confide in me and share their similar experiences. They described abortion procedures they had gone through, some had experienced them repeatedly. I didn’t know much more about abortion, just what my friends had told me. I was also told that the school office would keep my parents from knowing if I had to miss school. I remember thinking, “It must not be too bad if the school will keep it a secret for me.”

I entered into my teens in the days of bra burning (its second or third time around), moms in the work force, girls being allowed to wear slacks to school, and women gaining the right to “choose.” The feminist movement was up front and marching with a powerful force of self awareness. I didn’t realize it then, because it swept me up in its path, but it was really a force of “selfish” awareness. Bringing to top and center one thing above all else – Me, Myself, and I.

So I tossed my brassiere! I really didn’t need it anyway, for lack of something to put in it. Yet, with that one simple act of rebellion, I threw off much more than a bra. I tossed my morals to the wind; that foundation of right and wrong that once seemed so firm beneath my feet when I was younger. In its place I put on an ideology that told me anything goes. Society was telling me I had choices and I could do what I wanted with my own body. You can imagine at age sixteen what some of those choices might be. And some of them you don’t have to imagine, I already mentioned I was pregnant!

This period in my life became my first real earth quake emotionally and spiritually, and I was finding it hard to keep my footing. I was now over four months pregnant and a simple abortion procedure was not going to take care of the “problem.”

I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood during school time and talked to a person I was told was a counselor. She asked me four questions; the date of my last period, did my parents know I was pregnant, how would they feel about it, and did I have medical insurance? Then she informed me that I would have to stay overnight in the hospital. I learned later that the “fetus,” as they called it, was too big for vacuuming, it had to pass through the birth canal. They made the hospital arrangements for me and I went home.

As I began hiding things from my parents, the darkness where I hid them began to engulf my life. I felt dead emotionally, as though the things that represented life had been removed from inside me, laughter, hope, closeness; they were gone. And in their place were fear and hopelessness. My conscience began working on me; I was restless and had no peace.

The time came when Kaiser called to confirm my appointment for the next day. As I put the phone to my ear and opened my mouth, all I can remember is this quivering voice coming out saying, “I’m not coming!” as tears streamed down my face.

I put down the phone that day and from that moment on, I have believed without a doubt that it was God’s Spirit speaking to my heart that put those words in my mouth. As the tears flowed from my eyes, I began to see a glimmer of hope and decided to move toward it. It wasn’t an easy journey and I have made a lot of mistakes (a lot!) along the way, but I will always remember that day as being the day God placed my feet back on the path of life.

In the picture my son is receiving a medal after his return from Iraq in 2004.
Among many other things, he was responsible for stopping a car carrying explosives intended to hurt fellow soldiers and innocent people.
I’m glad he was there to stop it…I thank God he is here.

If you have had an abortion in your past, please do not feel that I am condemning you, that is not my heart. Instead, I would like to share with you the hope that dwells within me. Hope in the One who places our feet on the path of life – Jesus Christ. He has covered every past sin and mistake in my life with His mercy and grace. His forgiveness is complete and it is forever!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful testimony Charlotte. Thank you for sharing this. What a blessing your son is in your life I'm sure. And David means beloved, I'd bet you already knew that.

    My oldest son is named David too. He is precious to me.


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