Hiding in a Dark Place
Quite a few years ago I tried to hide from God while in a relationship I knew was wrong. John was a tall, athletic, good-looking college student from a well-to-do family who swept me off my feet. He had a way about him, making me feel like I was the only girl in the room. Everything he said or did seemed so romantic. I enjoyed being adored. So, I let my guard down and fell in love.
My parents were concerned and wanted me to slow down – I wouldn’t listen. John would not go to church with me. I told myself it didn’t matter because he was a good person. All I wanted was to be with him; however, he wanted more than kissing and holding hands. As a Christian who believed in God’s Word about waiting until marriage, I struggled to maintain sexual purity with him. We dated for about a year and talked about marriage. I was afraid he would leave me so I took our relationship to the next level. After all, the plan was to marry him and make it right.
When I became pregnant, the love of my life didn’t want me because I was “damaged goods” (which he took part in) and a baby didn’t fit into his plans. I was shamed, rejected, scared, crushed and now alone. I was too afraid to talk to anyone about this, especially my parents, and fearful of being cast out of my position at church. I was supposed to be the “good girl” in my family with a “good head on her shoulders”!
I panicked and couldn’t think straight so I hid… the first thing I hid was the pregnancy. Then I hid the abortion. These were not easy choices and I knew they were wrong and could spiritually break me but I did it anyway because of my pride.
John sent me money because he wanted me to get rid of “it.” I went to the abortion clinic alone. The doctor was cold and calculating. After the procedure he looked down in the trash can and said under his breath “hmm a boy.” I began to quietly cry uncontrollably; the doctor gripped my knee and said in a stern voice “stop crying” and left the room. I had to lie in a recovery area with other women who were crying. I had to stay until the bleeding stopped which took a few hours. The staff was irritated that I was the last to leave (I would have stayed all night just to avoid an empty apartment) so I drove myself home.
The moment my child was gone I started losing myself. Not only was my womb empty but my heart seemed barren as well. My moral compass began to slip away. I became obsessed with staying busy so I worked three jobs and skipped church. If I wasn’t working, I was going out and partying or dating just to forget. I had nightmares of a baby crying for me or crawling into danger when I fell asleep. So, I tried to stay awake as long as I could which began to destroy my health. I had suicidal thoughts at least twice a day.
I just wanted to stop hurting and be loved but random dating didn’t seem to help. I was so messed up physically I didn’t think I would ever be able to have children in the future. Yet God knew where I was the whole time through those 5 years of hurting and hiding! I was afraid of being seen as a fraud, dirty and broken – I wanted to be clean and whole. All I had to do was “want” to be found.
Finally after those few years of physical, emotional and spiritual struggle I threw my hands up and cried out. God heard my plea! Counseling ministries for post abortion “just happen” to come to our church and I attended every counseling session I could. I felt like the prodigal child who was coming home and my Heavenly Father ran to me and threw His arms around me! I finally felt safe again. That’s when the healing began. I am forgiven and I have learned how to forgive myself. I learned that I needed to grieve and my Gracious Heavenly Father has turned my mourning into dancing. I am Free because of God Almighty and I am His!
“For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more.” Hebrews 8:12
*Lisa has been happily married for over two decades with two wonderful sons.