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The Deep Dark Secret of a Christian Woman
By Tracy Jones   l   Special to The Church Guide
Security check, checking ID’s, searching for weapons, follow that  sign, follow this sign, take that elevator. This was just part of the  procedures that I endured when I entered into an abortion clinic. As I walked down the hall with my boyfriend, I felt so isolated. Then I  checked in again at another desk, but this time the receptionist behind the  window handed me some paper work to fill out and directed me into a  waiting room.   The atmosphere was cold. Most of the women that were waiting  held their heads down , including myself. There was absolutely no  conversation among anyone in the room. The only voices I heard were the  employees. It was so silent in the room, I questioned my decision to be there.   Many questions pondered my mind: What am I doing here? Why am I  here?  I’m a Christian woman? How would the congregation respond if  they were to learn that I was pregnant and unmarried? How can I call  myself a Christian, and at the same time be sitting here in an abortion  clinic? Many other thoughts came to my mind …. I’m not married to my  boyfriend ... I fornicated ... I work in the church ... Church folk look up to  me.    I tortured myself the entire time I sat in the waiting room.   Finally, I began to justify my decision. It was then that  I was called  by a nurse to report to the office. While in the office, I was briefly counseled and then given an  ultrasound. Once the ultrasound was completed, I returned back into the  counselor’s office. She showed me a picture of my six week old unborn child. Deep  inside I was unmoved, and showed very little emotion because I continued  to justify my decision.  But as I stared at the photo, I thought  to myself, “Wow, I’m really  pregnant.”  I again began to fear how my church members would probably  condemn me if they were to find out that I was pregnant out of wedlock.   After the abortion procedure, I went to recovery room, and the atmosphere was totally different. The women in the recovery area weren’t sitting quietly, they were all  talking with each other.  I heard one lady say, “Oh yeah, girl I have five children, and my  husband and I can hardly make it with them. So we decided to just abort  this one.” I interpret the communication as releasing the shame and a sigh of  relief that it’s over. All the secrets were being exposed in the recovery room. What  happened within the clinic, stayed within the clinic.  I remained silent and continued to convince myself that I had made  the right decision, but I did not realize that I would have a price later on. I did not know that PASS (Post Abortion Stress Syndrome) would  completely overwhelm and haunt me.   When I returned home, the clothes I wore that day were thrown in the trash … including my shoes. I wanted to erase everything that happened that day. Three months passed, and I continued to keep my deep dark secret. I was too ashamed to reach out for help. I feared for what people  would think of me if I were to share that I had had an abortion, especially  by people in my church. I felt that no one would understand my lost and pain. I stopped attending church and discontinued singing in the choir and participating in church activities. I did not feel worthy to do so. One day, I was browsing through my old anatomy and physiology  book, and I saw pictures of a six week old fetus, and read how developed  its life systems had become.  I was speechless and began to weep uncontrollably. I thought … oh  Jesus, I am a murderer! What have I done!? I was locked in despair and depression. I could not shake the  shackles of shame and sadness. I did not like how I was feeling. My deep  dark secret was destroying me, and satan was using my conscious to  overwhelm me with condemnation.     One night, I was in the bathroom praying, and I asked God to please  help me understand the mess that I’m going through. I told the Lord that if I had known what the  after effects of an  abortion was like, I would never have aborted my baby. That same night I asked the Lord to forgive me and I repented. I prayed … “Lord help me to help other women who were suffering  from the same burden , shame, guilt, and the  pain from having an  abortion. No one really knows how horrible the pain is unless you’ve been  through it. …There is forgiveness, of sins for all who repent. -- Luke24: 47(NLT)  My road to recovery and healing began when I started to do  research on abortion and the after effects,  known as PASS (Post  Abortion Stress Syndrome). According to Dr. Paul and Terri Reisser,  PASS is the process of making an abortion choice, experiencing the  procedure and then having to live with the grief, pain, and regret. Below are symptoms that describe PASS, as described by Dr. Paul  and Terri Reisser in their book, Help for the Post-Abortive Woman (now  entitled A Solitary Sorrow): Guilt, anxiety, psychological numbing, depression, anniversary syndrome, re-experiencing the abortion,  preoccupation with becoming pregnant again, anxiety over fertility and child bearing issues,  interruption of the bonding process with present and future children, self punishment, eating disorder, ineffective communication,  brief reactive  psychosis, alcohol abuse and drug abuse. My people are destroyed for lack knowledge … The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. -- Hosea 4:6(NASB) I experienced at least nine of those symptoms. Women need  to be educated about PASS and the after effect of abortion. I  immediately began to receive counseling from Christian  Psychotherapy and joined a church. 
This helped me to get the courage I needed in order to later  join a Women’s Bible Study group and Abortion Recovery Ministry  for post abortive women provided through the Kiem Center of  Tidewater.   Jesus had already forgiven me at the very moment I  repented. Jesus came to save the world not to condemn the world.  So, I had to learn that forgiveness had to begin with “me.”    During my research, I learned that I was not alone. There are  thousands of Christian women from every denomination who have  had an abortion, who suffered through the same pains and  torment, but have now recovered.  Today, nine years later, I am able to embrace my broken  Christian sisters, non-Christian sisters, and men who’ve been  terrorized by the after effects of abortion.   I believe that those women who are suffering, should seek  the healing that only Jesus can provide. Jesus doesn’t see us “as  we are,” but for what we can become through Him. Like a broken  vessel, He can put us back together … piece by piece …far  stronger then we were before.   I pray for the women and men who are hurting, that they will  seek help and get the support they need to usher them into the  healing process and recovery. There is healing and hope. No one  is beyond hope.   My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. -- 2 Corinthians12:9 (NLT) My dream came true in December 2011.   I was sitting on my bed thinking about my child that I had  aborted nine years earlier. I had a heavy heart,  so I got on my  knees and I began to pray to the Lord.  I asked God to please allow me to see my child. All I wanted  to do was to get a glimpse of what could have been.  Some time later, I fell asleep. In my dream I was walking in a  yard that was not familiar to me. I saw Mark my husband at the  time , walking with a little boy who appeared to be about eight or  nine years of age. He wore a very bright white shirt, whiter than  snow and dark slacks and they were holding hands. I did not  recognize who the child was, but he was laughing and very playful.  Mark began playfully swinging him in a circle.   As I approached them, I realized that the child was a younger  image of Mark. Out of  nowhere, this child grabs my left hand and   holds it tightly and we stared into each other’s eyes.   His head was a perfect shaped oval,  his beautiful eyes were  shaped like almonds and his complexion was smooth like caramel.  He was the most handsome little boy that I’d ever seen!   He had a radiant smile, and he smiled at me and I smiled  back. It was a beautiful feeling.   Instantly, I felt strongly connected to this child, but before I  could ask him who he was … he spoke. And with a calm, clear   and  peaceful voice, he said, “MOMMY I FORGIVE YOU FOR  NOT KEEPING ME.”   Suddenly, I was awaken by those words and tears were  pouring from my eyes.  I thanked the Lord for giving me the  privilege to see my son, my aborted child, my unforgotten son.   I give God all the glory and  praise for that moment with my child. It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them. -- Proverbs 13:19 (NLT)
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