I Never Thought I Would be in this Position

Nearly 27 years ago I had an appointment at the local abortion clinic in Southern CA.  If there was one word to represent my state of mind it was scared.  There I was young, pregnant, unmarried and alone.  Only one thought came to my mind…abortion.  Growing up my mother regularly reminded my two sisters and me that if we came home pregnant, we would be getting an abortion.   She became a teen mom at sixteen, and it was hard.  Especially when my older sister, whom I never knew, was tragically killed in a car accident at age three.  So, I did what I had been taught to do, I called and made the appointment.  It was scheduled to take place at the 8-week mark, and I had to wait 4 more weeks.  I am forever thankful for those 4 weeks.   

Overwhelming Fear and No Support

A year prior to my unplanned pregnancy, my mother passed away from stomach cancer.  I was struggling with grief and depression, and trying to get through fashion college in Long Beach, CA.   Alone without support I was facing the most important decision of my life thus far.  I didn’t have a strong family to lean on.  My parents divorced when I was two years old.  My mother had many husbands and she was not the motherly type, but that story is reserved for another time.  And my father, well I was too ashamed to tell him what was happening.  He had high standards and by having premarital sex I had failed for sure.

Days Prior to the Abortion Appointment

Up until the day of the abortion I had every intention of going through with it.  Fear and shame were guiding my choices.  I had made a promise to myself that I would never be like my mother.  And though my father loved me he was very judgmental and I was stuck in a little girl mindset.  I wanted to please my father and I knew that having a child out of wedlock had the potential to deeply disappoint him.

I wasn’t a Christian yet.  However, there was a voice inside me…deep down trying to make its way to the surface.  Trying to be heard above the fear, guilt and shame…it was greater than any disappointment my father would have.  It was stronger than the failure of a broken promise to myself to never by like my mother…it ever so gently yet loudly screamed life.  This life inside my body had to live, and her right to life was bigger than any hardship, disappointment or failure I would face.

The Day of the Abortion

I woke up that morning and I knew without a doubt I couldn’t go through with it.  I was a no show to my abortion appointment.  They never called asking where I was or if I wanted to reschedule and I never called them letting them know I chose life.  It was as if the appointment never existed.  Relieved, scared, and excited…there was someone special coming to this earth and it was time I started preparing.

The Right Decisions Aren’t Always Easy

I wish I could tell you that once I chose life for my child everything was wonderful…a fairytale ending.  But that would be a lie.  Having a child is a huge responsibility, and at nineteen years of age, I was faced with raising a her with little to no support…mentally, emotionally, physically and financially I was on my own.  Her father wanted to be a good dad and mate, but he was incapable.  Drugs got the best of him.  He would come in and out of my daughters life and eventually withdraw for good.

Choosing life is always right but not always easy.

When my daughter was three years old, I married my husband.  We had the best of intentions but blended-family situations are complicated.  I longed for a close family, my daughter longed for her biological dad and my husband longed for my daughter to see him as her dad.  We would struggle, live, love, forgive and struggle some more.  However imperfect things were…God had a plan for life, redemption, healing and growth.

I Met God

Just prior to Kayla’s third birthday and getting married to my husband, I met God.  He sought me out and I responded His calling.  Forever changed by the love of God with the strength I needed and the forgiveness I longed for…I was never the same.  It was then I realized it was His voice trying to be heard during those 4 weeks while I awaited the abortion appointment.  God was knocking at the door of my heart and only His love had the power to overcome the fear and isolation I had felt.  In fact, I was never alone because God was with me, guiding me and supporting me even when I didn’t know it!

You Will Never Regret Right Decisions

While choosing life for my daughter wasn’t easy…I am so glad that I did.  Not for one moment have I regretted the decision to have her.  For those of you that know her… she is a joy!  As a little girl she dreamed big…sending letters to the White House and writing/dreaming of life without limits.  As a young woman, she is courageous, strong, sincere and humble.  She has a corky sense of humor and is a genuine person.  Though she’s had challenges with every struggle…she is growing stronger.  My life is better because of her!  She is a blessing not only to me but to many others too.  I can’t imagine a world without her!

A Surreal Moment 25 Years Later

Two years ago my daughter was accepted into nursing school.  I attended the first appointment with her. The school counselor went over important dates, school schedules and finances.  This was a dream come true for her and she teared up many times during the appointment.  All her struggles, her refusal to give up on her dream and her passion to help others had come to this moment…she had arrived.  As compassion for her melted my heart. I reflected back to that day…the day this amazing young woman’s life was chosen over my fear, doubt and shame.  I couldn’t be more prouder of her!  I couldn’t be more thankful that all the noise, fear and doubt created in my heart didn’t stop God from getting through to me.  My daughter will graduate and become an RN this summer.  She is making the world a better place not only for me, but for all the patients she will serve.

God’s voice was greater, bigger, louder…I am forever grateful that I listened. This world is a better place with my daughter in it!! I will always ne thankful that ‘Almost’ never happened!

If You Are Considering an Abortion

If you are pregnant and considering an abortion, please…please reach out for help.  I am familiar with your struggle and the fears that are all-consuming… you are not alone.  I am here for you!  Reach out to me at jj@chickeningin.com. There are alternatives to abortion. I am FOREVER thankful that I didn’t go through with it and that my daughter lives.  She is amazing and I am blessed!

If You Have Had an Abortion

If you have already had an abortion…I am so sorry!  So sorry that you didn’t have more support.  Sorry that you felt alone and didn’t think you had any other choice.  I am here to tell you that forgiveness is found in Christ Jesus.  He does not condemn you…God loves you!  He longs for you to come to Him and to receive forgiveness and healing.  Please talk to someone.  If you feel there isn’t anyone, reach out to me at jj@chickeningin.com.  God is for you not against you.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”  John 3:16

Timing

I wrote this post over 2 years ago.  For some reason I held it back and didn’t publish it.  I believe God has His timing for everything and with the recent legislation in New York, abortion has come to the forefront again.  I pray that my story will encourage other women facing an unplanned pregnancy to let LIFE overpower hardship, fear, doubt and shame.  My daughter turns 27 in a few days and the blessing of her life FAR outweighs the challenges of being a young mom.  I know it’s difficult to see that when you’re pregnant, alone and scared, but trust me, years later you will be thankful that you chose to honor the great gift we women have…carrying and delivering a life.

With Much Love,

JJ @ Chickening IN