I was 24 years old, and had recently had sex for the first time outside of marriage. I had grown up in a Christian home and was already ashamed and ambivalent about my sexual relationship. Then I got pregnant right off the bat.
 
My abortion was a cowardly, selfish decision. I saw it as my whole life being “over” if I stayed pregnant. I didn’t even consider any other options. I chose myself over the baby.
 
I felt a huge, gaping hole, an emptiness, right away. I also felt terrible guilt. I turned away from God completely, because I could not face Him with my abortion. I felt I had passed the point of no return–just gone too far. That was an unforgivable sin. And I had gone into it knowing that. It was sort of like I sold my soul. . . . . . . . . . . I began to drink a lot to be able to get to sleep, to not think. My relationship with my husband went downhill immediately. I now understand the rage and hurt he must have felt over my aborting his child without even telling him first. But I was just so wrapped up in my own hurts I didn’t think about that then. We never talked about it.
 
He was abusive, and I accepted it. I would hear in my mind, “So what’s your problem? At least he didn’t kill you. You killed your baby!” I wanted to die, but I was afraid of hell. I even felt guilty about not committing suicide: “You didn’t have any problem killing your baby. Why get cold feet now? You deserve to die! You’re not only a murderer, you’re a coward!” I wanted to be in a coma. I guess I thought I could wake up in 50 years or so and be able to deal with it then.
 
Six years later, we were divorced. I had been stuffing my feelings down or anesthetizing them with alcohol so long, and wearing a mask and pretending for so long, that I felt numb. I remember getting out of the car to go into a grocery store one day and thinking, “I’m even just pretending to go to the store. I don’t even exist.” I felt like a zombie. The abortion changed me in every way. I went from being an outgoing person who loved friends to being a hermit, not wanting to be close to anyone. I thought they would hate me if they really knew me. I became a heavy drinker-probably bordered on becoming an alcoholic. I ran from God and hated myself. I accepted abuse and felt humiliated over that, and all the while I had this gnawing emptiness. For 12 years I was in a state of non-growth-just existing.
 
I became a Christian while I was separated, shortly before my divorce. At that time, I asked God to forgive me for my abortion, but I still felt so numb. I didn’t cry about my baby or anything. I felt hard-hearted and unable to really confess. I wondered if I was really sorry, or just regretted what had happened to me.
 
I finally was able to get over myself and think about my baby, come to love my baby, and then grieve for my baby. And I was really able to understand God’s forgiveness–that all my self-punishment and misery could not atone for my abortion, that there was nothing I could do to pay for it, that Jesus died on the cross for my abortion and all my other sins, and paid for my sins in full. God not only forgave all my sins, He brought me peace and joy. Real joy! Now that I have found healing and forgiveness, I am once more developing friends, and am able to serve God however He chooses to use me. I know God works everything for good, and I have seen Him use me to help others now. After working through my abortion, and seeing how very much God values each one of His creation, I am less critical of others, and tend to see all people as precious in God’s sight.
 
*Posted with permission of Elliot Institute.