All it takes is one time
One of the biggest fears in my young adult life was getting pregnant. My three older sisters all got pregnant before they graduated from high school, and it was very hard on our family. It did not stop me from partying though, and as my high school friend and I traveled the country, we threw caution to the wind. We landed in California, where I became a bartender. I actually became known as one of the best ones on the Strip, so the partying became an “around-the-clock” schedule. I still wasn’t very sexually active, due to my fear of pregnancy, although my resistance was weakening with all of the drinking I was doing. “All it takes is one time,” they say. And that is all it took. I told no one but my friend – not even the father. Most everyone I hung out with would suggest abortion, as they felt it was a logical decision. One of my partying buddies had just had her third abortion, just under the 3 month deadline. She didn’t want to be pregnant for her upcoming wedding, and neither did her soon-to-be husband.
So I set the appointment in February. Dr. Porkorny and his nurse, Nancy, ended the life of my baby. That was over 42 years ago. There are few things I remember in detail that far back, but I remember so much of the specifics of that day. I remember the ceiling tiles and staring at them. I remember the sound. I remember feeling so empty and confused inside . . . immediately. I remember nurse Nancy coming to the side of my gurney and asking me if I would be ok. I answered her “Sure!” I’m a good faker. I remember my friend driving me home and just sitting there like a zombie. I remember thinking “If this is such a good thing, why do I feel so bad?”
Living in the Aftermath
So I continued my life . . . sort of. I drank a lot more. In fact, I was drinking so much that I just couldn’t deal with things, and my friend and I quit our jobs and took off again. We had no destination, just headed east and thought we would stop when we ran out of gas and money. I was a mess. Now I thought that there had to be something wrong with me. Nobody else feels this way after an abortion. (Years later, I found out how false that thinking was!) We stopped in Houston and it wasn’t long before I was working in a bar again. I was waitressing, because I now just wasn’t good enough to even bartend.
It was there I met the man who I would soon move in with, and later marry. It was about a year and a half after my abortion. As our partying lifestyle continued, it was becoming quite clear how messed up we both were. He drank more than I did! He also had undiagnosed PTSD from serving in Viet Nam. Soon, I found myself plummeting into a deep depression. I could barely function. I felt so empty. Again, I struggled with “What’s wrong with me?”
A True Life Change . . . and HOPE
Then I received a call from home, way up in Montana. My sister was at an alcohol treatment center in North Dakota. They were just informing me, but out of my mouth came, “I am coming up.” I remember thinking, “Where did that come from?” My husband was shocked too, and tried to discourage me. But somehow, I found the strength to hold my ground. It was there, during my sister’s family week, that the lights were coming on all over. It was there that I had an encounter with Jesus. It was there, laying in my nephew’s bed, looking up at ceiling tiles that looked painfully familiar, that I cried out to Jesus and he saved me. (I didn’t even know what that meant at the time.) I confessed my sins to my parents and asked them to forgive me and my mom said, “Of course we do, but Jesus forgave you 2,000 years ago!”
When I got back to Houston, I had something that I hadn’t had in year . . . HOPE! My husband did not want a wife that wouldn’t drink with him or that was a Christian, so after about 2 years (and 2 baby girls) filled with fear, my daughters and I left Houston while he was on a fishing trip. We ended up in Williston, North Dakota. And with the grace of God, and a lot of wonderful support through my church, my daughters and I were set on a healing path. Later, after a move to Kansas, I became director of Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers. What a gift! For 10 years, I was able to reach out to thousands of women, help them find a better option and tell those who had been where I had been that there was nothing “wrong” with them. Jesus could – and would – heal their wounds. God knew the plans He had for me and my girls, plans for a hope and a future!
If you have had an abortion – or are thinking about it – there may be emotions, pain and struggle that are hard to deal with on your own. That’s why we are here!
Every day, we talk to women in that very position. And they are finally given options, help . . . and the hope they need.
You can talk to us at any time. We are waiting for you.