My husband and I had just gotten a divorce when I found out I was pregnant again. It was the worst thing that could have happened. I already had 4 kids; the baby was 9 months old and slept in my bedroom because there was no other space in the house. I didn’t have a job, no money in the bank, and although my ex-husband worked, he didn’t make much money.
Being pregnant was something I couldn’t handle at the time so I made an appointment for an abortion. When it was over I got up off that table and was walking to my car when I stopped halfway across the parking lot and thought “OH MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE?” The decision I had made in an unthinking wild moment had ended up stopping another heartbeat.
I became severely depressed. I was hospitalized for a couple of weeks and was put on anti-depressants. When I returned home I got a job and went on with life. The anti-depressants worked by covering the past up a bit but what I had done was always just under the surface.
Because I was certain God didn’t love me anymore I left the Church, the Sacraments, and God Himself. I purposefully stayed away from Him for fear of rejection. My sin was too great and He would never forgive me.
I started drinking. I worked during the week but on Saturdays I would drink for 12 to 14 hours. At the bar I went to I was there for 3 shift changes. That was my whole life. Even with the anti-depressants, alcohol and drugs, I still buried the sorrow and distress of giving the gift God have given me back to Him as though I was returning something back to the store.
I always felt God calling me during those years but I ignored his voice as I couldn’t comprehend the idea that He wanted me back for any reason. I still found it hard to believe in second chances of any kind.
One morning I awoke to a feeling of being touched by something I couldn’t see or comprehend. I perceived God’s voice saying to me, “You are forgiven. I’ve told you this many times. Now stand up and start walking. Walk towards Me and for Me! But get moving!”
And I did. Although I had caused a life to be lost, and no way to bring it back, I could make it up by becoming a new life myself; a life that would work to help restore hope and healing to those who suffered from their own abortions. I could bring God’s spirit and peace to their lives by witnessing to my own restoration. Through a program called Rachel’s Vineyard, I was able to let go of my misery and rise up rejoicing because I had met God again and He held me in His arms.
I went back to the Church and am still there after four years. I have become involved in many ministries, attended trainings and pursued education, all in the grace of letting Him heal me. My greatest ministry is the Rachel’s Vineyard retreats where I volunteer.
I see them come in, both men and women, confused and hurt by what they did, and finding that God awaits their suffering minds with comfort and extreme closeness letting them know of His enduring love which never ceases.
I came back to Him and from the depth of my soul have never stopped in my gratitude for the new and life-giving gift of wholeness He has put in my life.