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.
At our recent weekly prayer gathering, our normal tribe of passionate intercessors were pared down to a few, due to the random schedule hurdles of individuals’ busy lives. It was just three of us gathered that day in our church sanctuary. As we briefly chatted before settling down to prayer, one friend, sporting a bright smile, inquired about my recent vacation getaway with my husband. I shared the memorable highlight of stopping at the National memorial for the Unborn on our post-vacation drive home. These dear sisters are very familiar with my healing journey, so the mention of this visit sparked intimate conversation.
As we opened our hearts to one another, it became apparent that this morning was special and holy. We experienced anew the profound impact of God’s redemptive love as we revisited our individual stories: From a woman’s post-abortion healing; to a single mother in difficult circumstances choosing to raise her child; to an adoptive couple welcoming the gift of a newborn life — all of our personal stories, though varied, trumpeted one LIFE message: Christ died that we might have life. No matter the stage or circumstances, God, the author of life, loves every life!
These dear women gave me permission to share their stories… (names have been changed)
In our fifth year of marriage, I found out my husband was involved in an adulterous relationship with my best friend. This crushing hurt sent me into a destructive cycle of drinking and other unhealthy choices that, in hindsight, were attempts to ease my emotional pain. It was in the midst of our very lengthy and cruel divorce that I met my son’s birth father and became pregnant.
I was legally separated, and a hard-working, self-supporting, 25-year-old professional when I was hit with the unexpected news. In the midst of work up for other medical issues I was experiencing at the time, I was given a standard mandatory pregnancy test. I was in complete shock and denial when I was told my pregnancy test was positive! The temporary numbness was immediately followed by a rush of fear, shame, confusion, and the sense of being totally alone.
Every conceivable thought ran through my mind: How can I do this alone? How can I tell my family? What will others think of me? How can I bring a child into the mess of my life! What have I done?
Within a matter of days I began to completely shutdown and self isolate, other than forcing myself go to work.
Mountains of difficulties loomed in my mind…. Never in my life had I envisioned I would be single, raising a child without the emotional, physical, or financial involvement of the other parent. If I carried this baby, I would be doing it alone. I was concerned and felt responsible for the hardships my child might experience growing up in a single parent environment.
Even though these hurdles seemed insurmountable at the time, it was the strong belief system imparted to me by my family throughout my childhood that encouraged me to choose life for my unborn child, even though abortion had been an initial, fleeting thought.
Though I grew up in a strong Christian home, my own relationship with Christ was not a personal relationship. I had not yet committed to walking with Him. My own hurts kept me from truly feeling I could be loved by him. I had disconnected from relationship with the father of our child, and lies of the enemy made my shame feel heavier than the love of my Heavenly Father.
The defining factor that gave me strength to choose life was the power of my mother’s prayers, as well as the unconditional love and support of my family and friends. I had a large support system wrapping their prayers and arms around me and my unborn child.
Throughout those early years and through every phase of my life, God has been my strength and redeemer. Two years after the birth of my son, God brought a wonderful Christian man into my life, who embraced Matthew as his own. We married, and within one and a half years, my husband Randy formally adopted Matthew. Matthew is now 20, a first responder, and loves and serves the Lord. Though the road has not always been easy, it has been so worth it! Choosing life for my son was the best decision I could have ever made.
If a woman finds herself pregnant in a hard circumstance, I would want to encourage her with these truths: There IS Hope. Even if you don’t have a family that is able or willing to support you, there are people and services able and willing to support you through your pregnancy and beyond. Connect to people who have walked this journey and can share hope with you. You don’t have to feel alone, ashamed, or desperate. Reach out! You are loved!
Mike and I endured seven years of infertility before adopting Johnny. These were years filled with the typical highs and lows of raised hopes, dashed dreams, and unfortunately, much frustration and bitterness on my part. We so longed to be parents. It was especially hard as we watched those around us become parents.
We began having people approach us about adoption, though it originally was never on our radar. We questioned if we could love someone else’s child. We worried about the birth parent’s involvement and what that might involve. We wondered how this option would flesh out.
We began reading about adoption options. As time passed, our interest grew, until we came to fully embrace adoption as the option for us. We embarked on the journey of home studies, background checks, and the various things necessary to qualify for placement on waiting lists at different agencies.
One day, out of nowhere, we received a call from a friend of a young teenage girl with an unplanned pregnancy. Miraculously, God brought us all together and lined things up so perfectly. We were able to follow this young woman’s pregnancy, get to know her and her mother, and ended up watching our son come into the world (my husband, Mike, was blessed to be able to cut the cord). We took our son home from the hospital, and eight months later finalized the adoption.
We chose an open adoption, mostly because we had a heart of compassion for the birth mother. I always believed that our son would be better off knowing his birth mother and knowing that there were additional people in his life that loved him. I was, and am still, so grateful that she chose life for my son.
It wasn’t until after our son was born and she came for a visit that she shared her story. She had made an appointment for an abortion early in the pregnancy. She went to the appointment with her mother, and after signing in and sitting down, she changed her mind. They left the clinic, went to the car, and cried together.
Our son, Johnny, is now almost 15. His birth mother still has contact, though less than in his earlier years. She recently shared that she did have some initial depression as she processed giving up her son for adoption, but ultimately she came to the realization that God was there all along. With one phone call, God had placed her in contact with us! She recognizes that this was God’s plan. God placed her son in our lives! She now shares the story with pride and a smile.
If I could say anything to a birth mother considering adoption, I would want her to know that adoption is an amazing choice. There are people out there longing to love her child, that care about her and her heart, not just her baby. Adoption is something to be proud of. It is selfless… putting the baby’s life and future over her own. It’s a sign and symbol of how we are adopted into God’s family as sons and daughters.
For any woman considering abortion, I would want you to meet my son. He is the most amazing young man — loud and fun, smart and athletic, kind and compassionate, full of life and purpose. I cannot imagine the world without him in it! Every single life is created by God and deserves to have hope and a future. Bringing a life into the world will be forever worth it. There are people who are willing to wrap their arms around you and help you all along the way.
Bio: Susan Justice is a retired nurse, an author, and speaker sharing the devastation of abortion, and her healing through Jesus Christ. Susan is affiliated with OperationOutcry.org, a ministry of The Justice Foundation. Her recently published booklet, Out of Grief and Into Wholeness: Finding Healing through Christ after Abortion, can be found on Amazon. *ALL proceeds are donated to the life-affirming work of pro-life pregnancy care centers. Susan hosts an online healing space, heart2heartabortionrecovery.
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