Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this guest post are solely those of the author and are not necessarily reflective of Live Action or Live Action News.
I was like that piece of paper… crumpled, unread, and thrown in the trash.
Persons impacted by abortion have a story to share and hearts that need mending. There is no sin that Jesus cannot forgive. His mercy is extravagant. His redemptive purposes know no bounds.
I was a freshman in college, and an unbeliever, when my high school sweetheart and I descended a slippery slope that ultimately made us come face to face with an unintended pregnancy. Shell-shocked and ashamed, we went to the nearby campus women’s center for help. The only “counsel” we received was that abortion would “remove a clump of cells,” “solve our problem,” and allow us to move on with our lives.
In crisis, confused, and without any money to support a baby, we scheduled the procedure to occur during Christmas break.
When I returned home for break, my mother (who had left my father shortly after I went off to college) agreed to spend a few days visiting, in order to spend time with my siblings and me for Christmas. Because of difficult family dynamics, neither my boyfriend nor I felt we could process our crisis situation with either set of parents.
Sadly, the fateful day arrived. No one in my family knew that the “Christmas shopping trip” my boyfriend and I reportedly were embarking on for the day was really the hour trip back to the women’s center near our college campus. Though I had no relationship with Christ at the time, during the procedure, everything within me reverberated with the truth that something terrible was taking place, and something precious within me was being stripped from me… lost forever!
My boyfriend and I drove home in total silence. My emotions mirrored the darkness of the evening sky. Sadness engulfed me, as well as a consuming emptiness that seemed to settle in my abdomen, forming a crushing black hole. When my boyfriend dropped me off, I quietly headed upstairs to my room. I desperately wanted to process what had happened with my mom, but fear kept my lips tightly sealed.
In a silent plea for help, I tacked my post procedure instructions in plain sight, in the upper right corner of the cork bulletin board hanging on the wall in the nook behind my bedroom door. I desperately hoped my mother would spot that piece of paper. To my dismay, it remained unnoticed for the remainder of my Christmas break.
As break concluded, I packed up my belongings to return to college. I took the post procedure instructions — my abortion trauma memorialized in black and white — removed it from the cork board, crumpled it, and threw it in the wastebasket. I felt like that piece of trash. I had changed. My boyfriend had too. Our relationship quickly imploded under the weight of our secret.
I tried to discard the trauma and wipe the abortion from my mind. I immersed myself in the party lifestyle in attempts to numb my pain. It wasn’t until seven years later, through a series of unforeseen events, that Jesus Christ saved me, and began to mend my heart piece by piece.
Because of the healing I experienced, and my amazement at the sheer magnitude of the mercy of Christ, I became zealous to share the gospel, as well as my story of healing. I shared with my pastor. Shortly after, he invited me to share on Right to Life Sunday. Though sharing such an intimate part of my life was daunting, I had a burning desire to give glory to Jesus Christ, to honor my child publicly, to help others grieving, and to discourage others from ever making the same tragic choice!
I shared my story, highlighting aspects of the fallout of abortion, namely what has come to be known as “post abortion syndrome,” which may include symptoms such as guilt, numbness, anxiety, depression, suicidal impulses, alcohol and/or drug use, nightmares, eating disorders, anxiety over fertility and childbearing issues, anniversary syndrome, etc.
After that service, a man who was a first responder came up to me and thanked me for sharing. He solemnly confessed that prior to my talk, he had always held great disdain for those impacted by abortion. He not only hated the sin, but confessed he held near hatred for the sinner. It wasn’t until hearing my story, and vicariously walking in my shoes, that the Holy Spirit convicted him of his hatred toward “those people.” As he listened to me share, he reported becoming awash in a flood of Christ’s compassion. He thanked me for my courage to share, and said instead of judgment, he would now offer compassion, pointing persons to Christ, as well as available pro-life abortion recovery resources. Those hurt by abortion also thanked me, reporting that my story gave them courage to step out of the darkness of their secret shame and into the hope of healing offered in Christ.
Since that day so many years ago, God has continued to amaze me by opening many doors to share His message of redeeming love. His redemption story continues in the lives of many whom I have been privileged to work with. It is the profound goodness of God to empower many healed of abortion trauma to become some of the most ardent, vocal and effective pro-life advocates.
In the end, I’m grateful there are no trash baskets in heaven. Nothing is wasted when surrendered to Christ. He truly IS our Redeemer. Every life is precious, and worthy of love.
Bio: Susan Justice is an author and speaker sharing the devastation of abortion and her post-abortion healing through Jesus Christ. Susan is the Ohio State Leader for operationoutcry.org, a ministry of The Justice Foundation.
“Like” Live Action News on Facebook for more pro-life news and commentary!