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I was an 18-year-old freshman in college when my boyfriend of two years and I suddenly found ourselves faced with an unplanned pregnancy. I did not know where to turn. My parents had just traumatically separated. Feeling shame and fearing rejection, I didn't confide in any friends. My boyfriend and I had just started college and had no money to support a baby. In panic, we felt the only foreseeable option was abortion.

Never did I envision myself here, in the women's center, under these circumstances. I was told that my “pregnancy tissue” would be removed during a short procedure, and after a time of recovery, I would be on my way.

My abortion occurred on December 17, 1980. That day is forever etched in my mind. I remember being very fearful and anxious. The procedure was painful both physically and emotionally.

My immediate reaction after the procedure was one of relief. The procedure was over. My crisis had passed. I could continue school. No one would know. 

However, feelings of guilt, shame, emptiness, and depression came soon after. These feelings were too much to bear, so I stuffed all my painful emotions into a box and tightly shut the lid, put it in a dark cellar and locked the door.

Sadly, for the next seven years I found myself immersed in the party scene, using alcohol to dull my pain. But praise God, in October of 1987, Jesus Christ saved my life! A few years after I received Jesus, He began to lead me by the hand to that locked cellar door.

He began to orchestrate experiences that would reveal to me my need for healing.

I later shared my abortion history with my pastor, and his daughter subsequently referred me to an abortion recovery Bible study support group. Through this ministry, God mended my heart piece by piece.

One of the things we were encouraged to do in our support group was name the child we lost. It was put on my heart, and confirmed over and over that my child's name was Stephen.

God confirmed time and time again that He really cared about me and was divinely orchestrating every moment of my healing!

In time, God brought another Steven into my life, who later became my husband. We are blessed with two amazing sons, who love God with all of their hearts. God, in His amazing grace, has completely healed and restored me.

I share this story for two reasons: to honor the life of my precious son, Stephen, whom I’ll see one day in heaven; and in the hopes of powerfully discouraging others from ever making the tragic choice I made.

To those hurting after abortion – you are not alone. God can bring hope and healing to your heart, so that you too will know, "If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!”