THIS IS HER STORY...
No little girl ever dreams of the day she can grow up and have an abortion. Yet, on March 29, 1985 that was me. I believed I was ridding myself of a problem, in reality I was making a choice that changed the trajectory of my life.
As a young child my care was entrusted to a family member who sexually abused me. I carried the shame from that abuse for many years. The enemy planted lies in my mind about who I was and what I was created for, distorting my God-given identity.
I later came to know the Lord through a church my school friends were attending. I fell in love with Jesus, but didn’t understand He could transform my thinking. I held on to the identity of believing I was lesser than and never enough.
I made it through high school only dating boys from my youth group. Then, I started college and everything changed. Suddenly I was faced with new ways of thinking, and new boys. I met and was instantly overcome with “Brian” from one of my classes. I knew he wasn’t like the boys from my youth group, but I was convinced I could handle this relationship. The opposite was true. He swept me off my feet and away from church. I went willingly, placing no objections in our path. 18 months later, I was living on my own, barely making any money…and pregnant. I was in disbelief everything had changed so quickly and drastically.
Turning to a friend, she recommended abortion. Her advice was what I wanted to hear- an easy way out. I informed “Brian” and he begged me not to abort. I simply thought he wasn’t thinking straight; I could have this abortion and get right back to life. I justified my decision by thinking the Supreme Court would not legalize abortion if it was wrong.
I could not have been more misguided. My abortion was the most regrettable mistake of my life. I spent the next seven years trying to forget that day. When drugs and alcohol didn’t make me forget, I attempted suicide. I thank God He still loved me even as despicable as I was. The abortion compounded my twisted identity, making the lies bigger and louder in my head. I saw everything in my life through the filter of abuse and abortion. I was convinced I had no future, no hope, and no purpose.
During those seven years, I got married and we had two children right away. I was mentally unstable and took my family on an emotional rollercoaster. Then…I heard a radio commercial from a local pregnancy center. They were advertising a class for people who were struggling after abortion. I remember that moment as if a heavenly host of angels were singing, and a light shone on my car. I couldn’t believe there were others who were suffering too. I attended weekly and my life was transformed.
This class was a simple Bible study introducing me to a Jesus who loved and forgave me. He changed my identity by washing away the lies with truth. Since then I haven’t been able to be quiet about His transforming grace.
I immediately volunteered at the center and taught their abortion recovery program. Repeatedly I heard the phrase If I could just save one unborn baby, I would tell my story. God revealed to me how the abortion-wounded needed a platform to tell their stories so we could Save One. He showed me through Revelation 12:11 how our stories are more powerful than the enemy. This realization was the catalyst to start the global non-profit SaveOne, helping men, women, and families recover after abortion. We have written three studies for the abortion wounded, that mirror each other. Churches can offer one abortion recovery small group and each person can have a book pertaining to their situation.
SaveOne is literally seeing abortion end in families around the world.
Through the 20 years SaveOne has offered abortion recovery, I have come to understand, sexual trauma and abortion are intertwined. The enemy gets his foot in the door of our lives often times through sexual abuse. He then distorts our God-given identity through lies about ourselves. In turn, we may unknowingly pass along these mindsets to future generations causing generational curses.
Through the power of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit leading us into all truth, we can be free from the aftermath of abuse and wrong choices. Truth sets us free, but before we can experience freedom, we must dig to uncover the lies holding us in bondage. When a person is looking at their life through the filter of abuse, abortion seems justifiable.
How could a person like me ever be a good mom or dad?
I’m already ruined, an abortion isn’t going to hurt me.
Who would ever want someone like me, now with a kid?
These are just a few of the lies we have heard from those seeking help after abortion. You may be wondering if I was ever able to forgive my abuser and the answer is yes. I went through many months of counseling and then God did a miraculous work in my heart to help me forgive and even have a heart of love and forgiveness toward him. He can do the same for you.
When we speak of what God has done in our lives those words become more powerful than Satan. Never underestimate what God has done for you. Speak it loudly. Speak it often. See the enemy be overcome.
Our stories are powerful tools in the hands of a powerful God!
~ Sheila Harper